Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Using a consensual qualitative research (CQR) approach, this study investigated the experience of nontenured, tenure track faculty (NTTTF) members involved in gatekeeping with students for non-academic concerns from American Psychological Association (APA)- and The Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)-accredited programs. The study investigated the emotional and cognitive reactions, factors supportive/facilitative and discouraging/hindering of the decision to intervene, the impact the gatekeeping process had on NTTTF relationships and what the NTTTF learned from the gatekeeping intervention. Participants were five female faculty members. Results indicated participants had little to no training in gatekeeping beyond informal training from mentors/colleagues, but suggested that faculty should receive a fact-based training/orientation and be provided with mentoring. The NTTTF cared for the gatekept student’s wellbeing, but the student rejected the relationship. Supportive/facilitative factors for the faculty in intervening were a) support offered by other faculty; b) support sought from mentors; c) a sense of responsibility to protect future clients and the profession; d) confidence in their own experience, competence and evidence; and e) concern for the student. Hindering/discouraging factors were a) experience of negative affect, self-doubt, or anxiety; b) lack of support or engagement from other faculty members; c) lack of support from University officials; d) and departmental policies and procedures. Professionally, participants lost time and energy for publication and other professional responsibilities during the gatekeeping experience. After the intervention, they are faster to intervene with concerns, have more conversations with students about gatekeeping prior to problems, and are seen as the “go-to” faculty in their department for future gatekeeping and policy development. The intervention led to increased trust and connection with other faculty, increased communication and partnership with support staff, and increased stress in family relationships. Other students in participants’ programs had questions about enforcement of training/professional standards related to the gatekept student. Results’ relationship to Social Cognitive Career Theory are investigated. Implications for training and practice, as well as future directions for research, are discussed.