Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education

Major Professor

Melinda M. Gibbons

Committee Members

Jeff L. Cochran, Jennifer Ann Morrow, and Maria Saez-Tatman


In campuses across the U.S., and especially in the wake of the global pandemic, concern for student mental health is increasing. Descriptions of disparity between service provision and demand are making national headlines, as reports of student depression, anxiety, substance use, and suicidality rise. Additionally, several marginalized groups, among them: racial, ethnic, and cultural minorities, continue to have mental health needs that go unaddressed and unmet. As the future workforce of the world, students’ mental health support remains a crucial priority. This is not to discount the wealth of campus resources that exist, but merely to advocate for the need for increasing and diverse service provision. Counselor educators serve as vital leaders in the training of future mental health professionals, providing programming and support that bridges education to practice. This two-manuscript dissertation begins with an exploration of this problem. The purpose of manuscript one is to identify current campus mental health climate, recognize existing resources available to students, and provide concrete steps in which counselor educators can engage in their community of campus mental health service. The second manuscript explores the characteristics of counselor educators who participate in addressing mental health issues in their HEI, including whether their identities as professional counselors, organizational stewards, or multicultural and social justice advocates influence their participation. Participant survey data from a quantitative study of these variables are measured using a Bivariate Correlational and Standard Logistic Regression analyses were conducted to assess if professional identity development, organizational stewardship, and social justice advocacy, related to CE engagement level (no engagement, engagement). Taken together, these manuscripts summarize counselor educators’ continued efforts to engage in intentional leadership strategies to address gaps in mental health advocacy and address social justice disparities in their campus communities.

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