Vocational Assessment & Counselling

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
PSYC 4373
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course is an introduction to vocational counselling, which includes a review of major theories of career choice, development, adjustment and their specific application to career counselling. Also included is a brief review of, and application of, career assessment directed at facilitating career decision-making and counselling process. Relevant ethical guidelines are considered, as are the needs of special populations and settings related to career development.
Course Content
  1. Major theoretical models underlying vocational assessment and counselling, including historical overview, such as Trait & Factor Theories, Developmental Theories, Social Learning & Cognitive Theory and Constructionist/Constructivist Theories of Careers
  2. Vocational counselling relationship and process, including guidelines for ethical practice
  3. Role of assessment in career counselling as well as analysis of internal and external variables related to work, career decision-making, and plan development
  4. Vocational counselling with special populations characterized by age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, culture, linguistic, special needs or disability variables
  5. Application of vocational counselling in specific settings
Learning Activities

Lectures will anchor instruction.  Other methods may include: Audio-visual demonstrations, student self- assessment, case studies, guest speakers, small group activities, group discussions, behavioural rehearsal, videos, and computer simulations.

Means of Assessment

The course evaluation will be in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy. Evaluations will be based on the course objectives. The specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester.

Students may conduct research with human participants as part of their coursework in this class.  Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving human subjects.

An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

Discusssion and class contribution - 10%

Quizzes - 15%

Application exercises - 10%

Exams - 2 at 20% each - 40%

Written assignment - 25%

Total - 100%


Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, the successful student will be able to:

  1. Describe and discuss the basic tenets of major theoretical models underlying vocational counselling.
  2. Identify and analyze essential features of effective career counselling.
  3. Discuss the role of assessment in facilitating career decision making, including sources of bias in assessment.
  4. Outline effective procedures for problem clarification and goal formulation related to career counselling.
  5. Discuss the application of relevant ethical principles.
  6. Describe the considerations accruing to diversity and multicultural counselling, as well as application to special populations and settings.


Textbook Materials

Textbook(s) such as the following, the list to be updated periodically:

  • Harris-Bowlsbey, J.G., & Niles, S.G. Career Development Interventions (current ed.). Pearson Canada.



Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for PSYC 4373
Langara College (LANG) LANG PSYC 2XXX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU EDUC 328 (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) No credit
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU PSYC 431 (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO PSYO_O 2nd (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV CNPS_V 363 (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC PSYC 4XX (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV PSYC 3XX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC ED-D 3XX (1.5)

Course Offerings

Fall 2024