Career Exploration Research Project
The purpose of this assignment is to provide you with an opportunity to explore any career in depth, and to develop practical skills in that career area. In particular, we will focus on the role of diversity and equity in this field of practice, and explore the implications of cultural responsivity in that career field. This project is multifaceted, and we will work on the different components throughout the semester.
Rationale for the Assignment:
All career fields, including Human Services Counseling, experience the richness of both diverse workforces and diverse client bases. There remain, however, several social and institutional barriers to the experience of equity in many career fields. This could include the ‘glass ceiling’ phenomenon for female employees, or structural barriers to service access for clients experiencing poverty or homelessness. Furthermore, we rarely consider the intersectionality of these lenses as they apply to psychological topics. As you know, there are several lenses of diversity – for example, race, class, gender, sexuality, age, and ability; “each has its own dynamic, but a dynamic that can only be truly understood in relationship to the others” (Andersen & Collins, 2013, p. xii). This assignment provides an opportunity for you to examine through three lenses of diversity a topic that interests you. Moreover, through this assignment, you will get to examine the intersectionality – or interconnections – between several aspects of diversity as they interact with your chosen topic. Finally, you will have the opportunity to consider how what you have learned through your research might influence the work of others who work in the field.
For this assignment you must first choose a specific area of practice. The more specific you can be, the stronger your proposal will likely be as well. For example, research on “primary grade urban special education” will be more specific than “public schools”, and “LGBT experiences in end of life care” will be more specific than “working with the elderly”.
Using at least 4 academically-sound sources, you will write a research paper of at least 5 pages. Your paper should be divided into the following sections:
•Introduction (10 points) ◦What population are you hoping to work with?
◦Where might you find that population?
◦In a thesis statement, what are the areas of diversity that you’re about to summarize?
•Major Topics 1-3 (20 points each): ◦In a separate section for each, describe what your academic sources have told you about the impact of the topic on your population.
◦An example might include “According to Smith and Jones (2012), primary-aged students in urban special education settings face more microaggressions based on their race than students in non-urban schools”.
•Analysis of Intersectionality (20 points) ◦How do the three major topics you’ve addressed overlap?
◦What are the implications for this overlap?
•Implications for Workers in this Field (10 points) ◦What ethical issues should people working in this field consider, based on your research?
◦How can changes in the worksite itself help to address the diversity issues you’ve addressed?
◦How can systemic changes help to address the diversity issues that you’ve addressed?
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