The Counseling Psychologist
Twelve women tenured as associate professors in American Psychological Association–accredited counseling psychology doctoral programs were interviewed regarding their pursuit of promotion to full professor. Interview data were analyzed using a modified version of consensual qualitative research. Most participants indicated a strong desire to be promoted and stated that they would not change their minds about achieving this goal. Participants reported that their universities’ guidelines for promotion emphasized a strong publication record and evidence of a national reputation, but participants often described these criteria as vague. Pursuit of full professorship was encouraged by having a current mentor, receiving supportive feedback about applying for promotion, and publishing noteworthy research. Pursuit of full professorship was discouraged by negative prior promotion experiences, feelings that colleagues did not value the participant’s research, and conflicts between career and family obligations. Results are discussed within the context of Super’s theory of career development and social cognitive career theory.