The Importance of Career Counseling in Helping Youth with Learning Disabilities Obtain and Maintain Employment – Research Proposal Example
Career counseling of youth with learning disability Purpose Method Findings/results Discussion Implication for counseling Recommendations
The purpose of the study is to demonstrate the importance of career counseling in helping youth with learning disabilities obtain and maintain employment. The study’s key objective include:
i. to highlight characteristics of youth with learning disabilities that might contribute to their problems in career development
ii. to highlight the importance of youth with learning disabilities in receiving career development and participating in career development programs in secondary schools
iii. to explore career counseling programs that yield successful results for students with learning disabilities
The study participants included students with learning disabilities in secondary school.
The researcher hypothesized that career counseling was important in helping youth with learning disabilities obtain and maintain employment. The independent variable in the study was career counseling whereas the dependent variable was learning disability. The results indicated that receiving developmental career counseling in secondary school improved employment prospects of students with learning disabilities. The results also indicated that the use of cognitive instruction as a counseling strategy helped students with learning disabilities learn skills, which are useful in obtaining employment for example, interview skills, anger management, awareness of self/career, problem solving, and employment writing.
Hutchinson sought to investigate the importance of career counseling in helping youth with learning disabilities obtain and maintain employment. She began by first identifying characteristics possessed by youth with learning disabilities that might undermine their abilities to develop their careers. After which, she reviewed past literature on studies done on the employment rate of adults with learning disabilities devoid of career counseling whereby she found their unemployment rate was high. She then went on to examine the effects of applying cognitive instruction specifically “Pathway” program, in helping secondary school students with learning abilities develop skills that increase their employment prospects. She found out that developmental career counseling did improve their odds (Hutchinson, 1997).
Implication for counseling
It is apparent that the use of cognitive approaches in the reinforcement of self-control for students (at the secondary school level) with learning disabilities increases their employment prospects. As such, counselors in secondary schools should endeavor to provide developmental career counseling for students with learning disabilities. In light of the various psychotherapeutic models present, evidence based research holds that the cognitive instruction model is most suitable for helping students with learning disabilities prepare for post-school employment. The major focus of cognitive instruction entails equipping these students with the ability to rationalize their behavior, as they are able to reflect on the clear and concise explanations given throughout the counseling session. It is important for counselors dealing with this special needs group to adopt instruction strategies supported by evidence-based research. For example, the use of “Pathways” for cognitive instruction continues to yield successful results whereby, the program focuses on five key career related areas (problem solving, interview skills, employment writing, awareness of self and career, and anger management) (Hutchinson, 1997). However, it is important for counselors to note that this is not the only cognitive instruction program at their disposal, as they have the ability to customize programs based on the individual needs of their students they are catering to and accessible resources. It is impractical for other stakeholders to delegate the responsibility of counseling students with learning disabilities solely to counselors, as the success of developmental career counseling hinges on the cooperation of all relevant stakeholders, who include teachers, counselors, parents, students with learning disabilities, and school administrators. In addition, support from the local community also contributes to the program’s success.
Current studies on unemployed adults with learning abilities continue to focus on possible factors that contributed to their unemployment; for example, according to Hoffman et al. (1987), lack of self-understanding ranked high as a pervasive characteristic (Hutchinson, 1997). In light of this, future studies should endeavor to focus on intervention models that will help in the mitigation of adverse factors that contribute to the high rate of unemployed adults with learning disabilities. For example, research studies should explore the efficacy of models such as cognitive instruction in helping these adults develop skills, which will increase their employment prospects. There also exists limited research on whether or not career counseling should be a lifelong endeavor for students with learning disabilities. With the rapid changes occurring in the society; for example, rampant technological advancements, it is crucial for people in the employment sector to keep abreast with the changes. This might present difficulties for individuals with learning disabilities. A key limitation of the study was failure to highlight whether the skills imparted during career counseling in secondary school reinforced students’ resilience, which enabled them to cope with challenges external to the work environment but are likely to affect their behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs at work such as marital and financial problems among others. Future research should aim to uncover a counseling model that seeks to address holistically challenges that affect individuals with learning disabilities, and not just focus on career counseling.
Hutchinson, N. L. (1997, June 5). Career Counseling of Youth with Learning Disabilities. Retrieved from Kid Source: http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content2/career.counsel.ld.k12.3.html