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CSU professors publish book to help counselor educators

By Victoria Davis

December 1, 2011

Counseling educators provide substantial service in K-12 educational institutions from K-12 to college. Cleveland State University’s department of Counseling, Administration, Supervision, and Adult Learning (CASAL) train counseling educators to empower diverse individuals, families and groups to accomplish mental health, education and career goals.

To provide a useful resource for future counselor educators, Dr. Dilani Perera-Diltz and Dr. Katherine MacCluskie, professors in the department of CASAL, have published the book, “The Counselor Educators Survival Guide.” The co-edited book, targeted toward counselor educators, helps them design and teach courses in community mental health counseling and school counseling.

The book is an outcome of the research and experience of the authors as educators and counselors, and can serve as a valuable resource to other counselor educators at Cleveland State and other schools.

Perera-Diltz and MacCluskie feel it is important for faculty to share information such as research and experiences with one another.

“This reduces reinventing the wheel and provides more time for research and other projects to move further along,” Perera-Diltz said.

An example of this type of sharing information is “The Association for Counselor Education and Supervision” (ACES) 2011 conference. Perera-Diltz and MacCluskie both attended this conference and were able to engage with colleagues.

“Each one of us has different styles and different backgrounds,” Perera-Diltz said. “Sharing with each other increases our knowledge pool both in depth and breadth.”

There are many problems facing social services in communities who need them. These problems include lack of funding and long waiting periods.

“People have to wait for a counselor’s time to become available to see a counselor,” Perera-Diltz said. “Also, certain programs get cut out which are useful for the consumer but may not be making money for the agency providing it.”

Counseling education students are able to become engaged within and outside of the CSU community.

“Our students have to complete 700 hours in the field prior to graduation,” Perera-Diltz said. “In addition, most classroom assignments in our courses are very practically oriented.”

For those who may be unfamiliar with the CASAL department at CSU, it is a graduate department which offers master’s degree programs in educational administration, supervision, school or community agency counseling, and adult learning and development. Education specialist degrees are offered in educational administration, and counseling and pupil personnel administration. 

The CASAL department is available to serve students. It is hoped that other faculty will be encouraged to develop effective teaching strategies that will engage students.

“We would like students to know that we are here in the College of Education. There is a certain amount of pedagogy that is common across fields,” Perera-Diltz said. “We hope that other fields will also continue to discuss how best to teach our students.”