446 The Professional Counselor | Volume 10, Issue 4 the pipeline problem in the Western region. However, it is worth noting that these three private universities are teaching institutions rather than research institutions, and such programs may need guidance regarding how to include sufficient research training in the doctoral curriculum if the program cannot offer funding to doctoral students and the faculty are not given support to generate faculty-led research and scholarship. Impact of Doctoral Programs on Regional Professional Identity Authors such as Lawson (2016) and Mascari and Webber (2013) have argued that CACREP accreditation strengthens the professional identity of the program and of students within the program. It is unknown whether the number of CACREP-accredited master’s and doctoral programs within a region also strengthens and contributes to professional identity within a region. There are no existing published studies that have comprehensively examined the regional impact of the number of CACREP-accredited master’s and doctoral programs on professional identity. Anecdotally, there appear to be several potential effects from having a lack of CACREP-accredited doctoral programs within a region. CACREP-accredited master’s counseling programs must recruit new faculty hires from outside of the region if there is an insufficient number of candidates available from established doctoral programs within the region. Because the Western region and New England states have a dearth of CACREP-accredited doctoral programs, counselor education programs in those states may need to recruit from outside of their region to find suitable candidates. As mentioned previously, this pipeline problem can make recruiting difficult, as candidates strongly weigh location and closeness to home when selecting doctoral programs (Hertlein & Lambert-Shute, 2007; Honderich & LloydHazlett, 2015; Poock & Love, 2001) and faculty positions (Hunt & Jones, 2015; Magnuson et al., 2001; Millar et al., 2009). Location appears to be a particularly important consideration for candidates from underrepresented minority backgrounds (Bersola et al., 2014; Linder & Winston Simmons, 2015; Peek et al., 2013; Ramirez, 2013). As a result, prospective doctoral students and faculty members may be unwilling to study or work at a program outside of their home region. Online CACREP-accredited doctoral programs may create pathways for more students in a region with a lack of doctoral programs to pursue and attain a doctorate in counselor education, which may reduce any existing pipeline problem. Studies are needed to examine comparative hiring rates of online versus in-person programs to ascertain whether graduates of online programs are filling needed faculty positions. Hiring school counselor educators is particularly challenging (Bernard, 2006), and studies are needed that examine the proportion of school counselor educators that graduate from online counseling programs. Counselor education programs are continually seeking to increase the diversity of their faculty (Cartwright et al., 2018; Holcomb-McCoy & Bradley, 2003; Shin et al., 2001; Stadler et al., 2006). Because prospective doctoral students from minority backgrounds may be more inclined to restrict their applications to doctoral programs within close proximity to their current location (Bersola et al., 2014; Linder & Winston Simmons, 2015; Ramirez, 2013), online doctoral programs appear to be a viable option for students from culturally diverse backgrounds who live in regions with few inperson doctoral programs. Data are needed to support whether online graduates are (a) filling open faculty vacancies in the Western region and New England states, (b) filling school counselor educator positions, and (c) contributing to faculty diversity. This study represents the first-ever analysis of regional differences in the number of CACREPaccredited doctoral CES programs. Because this was an ex post facto study, the results are nonexperimental and thus have the potential for error because of the lack of experimental control and