Career Tips – The Third Stage – (1940-1959) In Career Counseling History

The third stage in the development of career counseling was characterized by the focus of societal resources on colleges and universities and the training of professional counselors as a direct result of and response to a new social transition engendered by two major events that set the tone for all subsequent world-wide actions: World War II and the USSR’s successful launching of rockets that orbited earth and even landed on the moon.


Second, the USSR successfully launched the first space probe, Sputnik I, in 1957, and followed that with the lunar landing of Lunik II, in 1959. These two events, more than any other, humbled American capitalism for a time. The U. S. had considered itself far superior technologically to any other country on earth; however, when the USSR was so successful in their space program, federal legislators were impelled to begin to address the problems in science and math education across the U. S. The passage of the National Defense Education Act in 1957 was a direct response to the successful launching of Sputnik and the desperation of U. S. government officials over the loss of this supposed U.S. superiority in technology. The Counseling and Guidance Training Institutes were established under the NDEA to provide improved training for counselors who were to identify and encourage science and math majors for college education. This was a boom period for the training of counselors, and almost 14,000 individuals received training in these NDEA institutes (Borow, 1974).


Schwebel (1984) identified two social conditions that characterized the post-World War II period that led to the rise of the professional practice of counseling, especially career counseling: “(1) the personal and career problems of adjustment faced by vast numbers of veterans, including those handicapped during the war; (2) the influx of new types of students to higher education as a result of the G.I. Bill of Rights, an influx comparable to the compositional changes in the secondary school earlier in the century” (pp. 25-49).

Source by David Hale

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