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PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS OF COUNSELING STUDENTS AT A - page 60 / 135

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CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY

Counseling programs are responsible for the selection of students that will be

admitted for training and service in the counseling profession. Various criteria have been

employed in this decision-making process and the efficacy of each has been debated in

the research. This study assists in understanding how personality characteristics may

predict success, satisfaction, and perceived effectiveness in the counseling profession.

Scores from archival data obtained during the admission process to a seminary

counseling program, grade point average (two categories, high honor and not high honor)

and data from a survey of students that have graduated was collected and compared. This

research study is both descriptive and exploratory.

Research Design

Selection of Subjects

The attribute variables in this study could not be manipulated and therefore the

study was descriptive research with a nonexperimental ex post facto design. Ex post

facto research allows a study of relationships, but a limited interpretation of the results is

necessary due to a lack of control (Portney & Watkins, 2000). Critical issues in

descriptive research are reliability and validity of the observations and generalizability of

the sample (Heppner, Kivlighan, & Wampold, 1999). The study was a convenience

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