Leadership and Advocacy in Counselor Education Programs: Administration and Culture
Are leaders and advocates born or made? As with all questions of this nature, the answer is that both innate and developed knowledge, skills, and attributes are important. Some people seem to naturally possess an innate desire and skills to lead and advocate for disenfranchised individuals and groups. At the same time, leaders in the counseling profession seem quick to credit those who mentored them as a student. At its core, counseling is a developmental profession. In the same vein, the process of becoming a professional counselor is very much a developmental one, in which students build a range of knowledge and skills over time, including knowledge and skills related to leadership and advocacy. Increasingly, counseling students learn during their preparation that counseling and social justice are inexorably linked (Lewis, Toporek, & Ratts, 2010). Counselor educators, then, serve a vital role in advocacy and leadership training and development, including what/how they teach, how they organize and administer their program, and what they model for students. Leadership and advocacy eorts are necessarily directed to advocate for both (1) individual clients and marginalized groups, and (2) the counseling profession (Myers & Sweeney, 2004). erefore, the authors in this chapter will explore a number of ways in which counselor educators can use administrative processes and program culture to develop leaders who advocate for clients, for the counseling profession, and against all injustices that harm society.