Book by: Jane L. Swanson & Nadya A. Fouad
Review by: Deborah Renner Hull
Advising Center
Mesa Community College


For advisors with a background and training primarily related to academic advising with limited career advising experience, this may be the perfect resource! Advisors with a background in student development and career decision making are going to love this book, because it covers theorists such as Holland, Super, Gottfredson, Bandura, Dawis & Loftquist, and Savickas, 

The book is clearly written to engage those who are preparing to practice career counseling; however, via case studies written to explain the various theories as they may be applied to “clients”, the readers can easily understand how they might adapt a particular theory or theories to their own case load of clients/students. Each chapter ends with “Questions for Discussion” and a “Summary of Key Constructs”.

The authors describe the Holland Codes, Strong Interest Inventory, Skills Confidence Inventory, Minnesota Importance Questionnaire, and Adult Career Concerns Inventory as possible tools to use in assisting those seeking advice. Additionally, the authors provide the “Culturally Appropriate Career Counseling Model (p 74, 86-90), which could easily be incorporated into academic advising.

The list of competencies expected of career counselors is similar to those created by and for academic advisors (retrieved 7/15/15: https://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Clearinghouse/View-Articles/Academic-advisor-competencies.aspx) and includes an understanding of development theory, demonstrating skills in advising/counseling, providing occupational information, providing coaching and consultation, and acting in ethically and legally appropriate ways (p 9). One of the most profound statements related to competencies was found in the chapter on “Cultural Contexts and Career Counseling” (p 35), “Gain awareness of your own biases and assumptions about the role of group- and societal-level influences on work and career. This is critical to ensure you do not impose your own assumptions and biases on others.”

Appendix A explains the occupational themes as they relate to “Leslie”, a fictional client (p 294-305) and may be of interest to advisors already working with a variety of assessments. Appendix B (p 308-357) is a copy of the National Career Development Association Code of Ethics in case the reader has misplaced his/her own copy. Appendix C (p 360-364) is an example of an “O-Net Summary”, similar to what a student/client may find in the “Occupational Outlook Handbook”.

I recommend this book to academic advisors as a way to broaden their understanding of what career counselors do, the types of resources available for students/clients to use to explore their interests and potential for various occupational groups of work, the common theories that have influenced academic advising practices, and the common competencies for academic advising and career advising/counseling. The case studies are interesting because they provide the details about the client that advisors may not have time to ferret out in a 15 minute advising session; however, reading them may cause the advisor to bring a concept or question into the conversation if a student is struggling to identify a program of study or declare a major. Additionally, this book could be a valuable resource for advisors who are transitioning from academic advising into a combined academic and career counseling model of advising on their campuses.

Career Theory and Practice: Learning Through Case Studies

. (2015). Book by Jane L. Swanson & Nadya A. Fouad. Review by

Deborah Renner Hull


 Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications. 408 pp., $75.00, (Paperback), ISBN


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