Post-Master Counseling Certification Program


Department: Master of Human Services
Instructor: Dr. Effie Bastas
Semester: Spring, 2005
Phone: (215) 842-0678
Credit hours: 3
Office hours: W, Th 1-6 p.m.

Pre-requisites: Master's degree in Human Services or related field; eligibility for licensing as professional counselor.

Course description: This course will examine the theoretical framework and professional skills and tools used in the career counseling process. The course will present major theories of career development and introduce the student to principles, methods and tools of career assessment and decision-making. Applications of career counseling skills to a variety of human service settings will be explored, as well as the significance of career development through the lifespan. Students will examine their own career development and advancement and apply the skills of career counseling to a practicum client.

Course goals:

1. Study career development theories and career development models.
2. Understand the history and development of the field of vocational psychology.
3. Examine the role of values, interests, skills, and personality factors in career development.
4. Delineate differences in career development needs across the lifespan and among a variety of special populations.
5. Explore methods and tools for advising individuals and groups about career implementation, career and lifestyle options, and career changes.

6. Understand the role of career counseling in human services practice.

Student objectives: Students will be able to:

1. Identify career counseling theories and models.
2. Select among models to develop methods consistent with their counseling practice.
3. Access traditional and on-line sources of career information.
4. Identify and administer at least three career assessment tools.
5. Design appropriate career counseling plans or programs for specific individuals and groups in human services settings.
6. Assist individuals to develop job search skills such as resume writing and interviewing.
7. Use the principles of lifespan career development to understand and plan the student's own career path.

8. Apply career counseling methods to at least one individual practicum client.

Course requirements:

1. Students will be required to comply with established principles and tenets of academic integrity as delineated by Lincoln University policy.
2. Students will be required to attend all classes. Three absences will constitute a failure of the course.
3. Students will be expected to participate in classroom discussions, as well as complete all in-class exercises, role-plays, and/or in-class activities.
4. Each student will be required to give an in-class presentation identifying and describing one career assessment tool, such as inventories of interests, skills, and values. Standardization, utilization, and multicultural implications of the instrument will be presented. Application to human services settings will be described. The presentation will be 20-30 minutes in length.
5. Each student will be required to give an in-class presentation summarizing a contemporary journal article in the field of career development. Articles will discuss trends, innovations, and current best practice in career counseling.
6. Each student will complete a 5-8 page career self-assessment, including work history and resume, the results of at least two inventories assessing interests, values, and/or abilities, and a timeline and career path plan, recognizing and identifying developmental issues throughout the lifespan.

7. Each student will submit a 10-12 page final paper applying his/her chosen career development theory and a comprehensive assessment and career development plan and rationale for one identified practicum client in a human services agency setting.

Required reading:

Herr, E.L. and Cramer, S.H. (2003). Career guidance and counseling through the lifespan: Systematic approaches (6th edition). New York: Harper Collins.

Recommended reading:

Zunker, V. G. (2001). Career counseling: Applied concepts of life planning (6th edition). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Sharp, R. (2002). Applying career development theory to counseling. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Recommended journals:

The Counseling Psychologist
Journal of Counseling and Development
Career Development Quarterly
Journal of Counseling Psychology
Journal of Applied Psychology
Journal of Employment Counseling
Journal of Occupational Psychology
Journal of Career Assessment
The School Counselor
Journal of Rehabilitation Education and Vocational Guidance Training and Development

Schedule of assignments:

Weeks 3-6: Assessment presentations (in alphabetical order)
Weeks 7-10: Journal article presentations (in alphabetical order)
Week 8: Career self-assessment due

Week 11: Client career assessment (final paper) due

Assessment of student performance:

Grades will be based on the following:

Class presentations 30%
Self-assessment 30%
Final paper: 40%


Week 1: Introduction to course: Process and outcomes of career counseling through the life span Theories of career development

Week 2: History of career and vocational counseling Traditional and non-traditional appraisal instruments

Week 3: Presentations on career assessment tools Career awareness exercise

Week 4: Presentations on career assessment tools Career counseling case study

Week 5: Presentations on career assessment tools Salient issues and special populations

Week 6: Presentations on career assessment tools Ethical issues

Week 7: Presentations on journal articles Planning and delivering career services

Week 8: Presentations on journal articles Skills and aptitudes in career counseling Career self-assessment due

Week 9: Presentations on journal articles Job search strategies Sources of information

Week 10: Presentations on journal articles Career counseling practice

Week 11: Applications of learnings: The role of career counseling in human services Client career counseling assessment (final paper) due

Week 12: Course wrap-up


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