An Emergent Phenomenon of American Indian Secondary Students’ Career Development Process


concerning this article should be addressed to Stephen V. Flynn, Department of Counselor Education and School Psychology, College of Graduate Studies, Plymouth State University, MSC 11, Plymouth, NH 03264 (e-mail:


Nine single-race American Indian secondary students’ career development experiences were examined through a phenomenological methodology. All 9 participants were in the transition period starting in late secondary school (age 18). Data sources included individual interviews and journal analysis. The phenomenon of American Indian secondary students’ career development process comprised 7 themes, which were integrated into 3 interacting dimensions: introspective, relational, and contextual. Findings reveal unique career development processes for American Indian secondary students living in tribal settings, including career decision process, career options, outcome expectations, and self-efficacy. Implications for school counselors and counselor educators are discussed.