Department: Masters School Counseling School: Education Campus: Manhattan
Member of NYIT Since: 2000
Cultivating global awareness in school counselors is the top priority of Professor Carol Dahir, Ed.D., whose work has taken her to Japan and Turkey to expand cultural competence as a core value in NYIT's school counseling program.
"The word on the street is that we're a place that respects diversity," Dahir says. "Our program is designed to meet the needs of diverse student populations. Our graduate students also come from all over the world, from places including Taiwan, India, Lithuania, Turkey, the Philippines, the Caribbean Islands, Serbia, and Italy."
In August, Dahir traveled to Tokyo for the second phase of a two-part Fulbright scholarship (she completed phase one last year.) She worked with counselor educators at the city's Ochanomizu University and collaborated on the translation of her textbook, The Transformed School Counselor, which will be used to train Japanese school counselors in master's programs.
"The Fulbright brought the concept of transforming school counseling to Japan," Dahir says. "Japanese counseling professors are interested in making the shift from a clinical, mental health focus to school-based programs with an emphasis on more prevention and intervention work similar to what we have in the United States."
This was Dahir's third visit to Japan. On her trips, she has absorbed the country's culture, visiting Kyoto for its tranquil contrast to Tokyo's bustle, hiking Mount Fuji, and tasting cuisine beyond sushi.
School counseling students have benefited from Dahir's cultural awareness. For the past three years, she has taken them on academic exchanges to Turkey, a location encouraged by Turkish graduate students. There, they have worked with universities in Istanbul, Izmir, and Ankara. The result has been a partnership between the School of Education and the Turkish Cultural Center in New York City, where students have participated in events such as an Iftar dinner, the meal eaten by Muslims to break their fast during Ramadan.
Dahir also leads a five-day Cultural Competence Institute for students every July at NYIT-Manhattan. This past summer, graduate students from NYIT and four other universities visited centers for Orthodox Jews and Muslims, and worked with Hispanic, African-American, and Asian educators.
"We try to provide knowledge and understanding of the diverse student populations that they'll work with in New York City," she says. "We want every school counseling candidate to be culturally competent in order to best serve students and their families."