Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education

Major Professor

Melinda Gibbons

Committee Members

Joel Diambra, Jennifer Morrow, David Cihak


Individuals with intellectual disability (ID) typically experience lower rates of employment compared to their peers without disabilities; 21% of working age adults with ID are employed (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018). School counselors are in a unique position to assist in career/postsecondary exploration and can help to obtain early work experiences during high school. However, prior research has found that school counselors may feel inadequately prepared to meet the career development needs of all students and are hesitant to participate in career and college readiness tasks with individuals with disabilities due to being unfamiliar. Therefore, this quantitative study focused on perceived self-efficacy, supports, and barriers of school counselors addressing career development needs of students with ID. This study addressed three main research questions: What are psychometric properties of the Career and College DevelopmentStudents with Intellectual Disability survey? What is the perceived self-efficacy of school counselors to provide career development to students with ID? and What are perceived barriers or supports that impact school counselors working with students with ID? Participants in this study were high school counselors who currently serve students with ID and have at least oneyear experience. Results concluded that career counseling self-efficacy is significantly correlated with self-efficacy of school counselors providing career development to students with ID. Additionally, variables such as training and years in career predicted higher levels of selfefficacy related to career development with students with ID. Barriers and supports were identified, such as training, counselor time, knowledge, and collaboration that impact school counselor incorporation of career and college readiness programming into their school counseling program. Further research into understanding the impact of school counselor selfefficacy should focus on postsecondary outcomes of students with ID, with the intention that all students have the opportunity to engage in career exploration. Based on these findings, implications for future research, school counselors, and counselor educators are provided.

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