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Higher education institutions aim at being more receptive to attract, recruit, and retain diverse students (“Diversity & the Ph.D.,” 2005). The increase of racial/ethnic diverse minority doctoral students in counselor education programs has created a need to understand their individual challenges. The dearth of research related to the in-depth experience of doctoral students in counselor education program affirms the need for exploration of minority doctoral student experience. This research proposal aspires to give voice to minority doctoral students’ stories of their challenging experiences, employing a reflexive process to discover the meanings connected to the experiences and identifying essential themes for participants. I will utilize a phenomenological research approach to gain a deeper understanding of the experience of minority doctoral students. The research design follows Max van Manen’s (1990) principle philosophy to establishing procedures for a phenomenological study with the aim of uncovering meanings beyond the text by applying a reflexive practice and viewing this from different spatial lenses. Findings from this study could serve a source for counselor educators in supporting minority doctoral students (MDS). Recommendations will be provided based on conclusions.


A dissertation Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Counseling Idaho State University Summer 2015.