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Registration for the Fall 2019 semester begins June 25.  Watch your email for more details.

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Vocational Assessment & Counselling

Course Code: PSYC 4373
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Psychology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

An introduction to vocational assessment and counselling. Included will be a review of major theoretical models, assessment strategies for internal (aptitudes, interests, values) and external (qualification, availability, compensation) factors and the counselling process directed at facilitating career decision-making. Principles of effective written communication of assessments will be outlined. Relevant ethical guidelines will be considered, as will the needs of special populations and settings.

Course Content

Major theoretical models underlying vocational assessment and counselling.

  1. Vocational counselling relationship and process, including guidelines for ethical practice.
  2. Problem clarification and goal formulation.
  3. Analysis of Internal Variables:
    1. aptitude and achievement
    2. personality and vocational interests
    3. work values


    1. norm-referenced standardized testing
    2. ideographic assessment strategies and devices
  4. Analysis of External Variables:
    1. occupational skill and knowledge requirements
    2. key features of particular work environments
    3. current and future occupational availability
    4. compensation and mobility considerations

    Through review of:

    1. career-related websites
    2. occupational description and outlook publications
  5. Decision-making and plan development.
  6. Plan implementation and evaluation.
  7. Written communication of integrated vocational assessment.
  8. Vocational counselling with special populations characterized by age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, culture, linguistic, special needs or disability variables.
  9. Vocational counselling in specific settings, including high schools, colleges and universities, adult career centres.

Methods of Instruction

Lectures will anchor instruction.  Other methods may include: Audio-visual demonstrations,student self- assessment, case studies, guest speakers with particular expertise in vocational/career assessment and counselling, small group activities, group discussions, behavioural rehearsal, video, DVD and computer simulations.

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy.  Evaluation will be based on course objectives and may include:

  1. Multiple choice, short answer or essay exams
  2. Term paper, research report or other written assignment
  3. A review of psychometric properties of a particular test

The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific evaluation at the beginning of the semester. 

An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

  1. Two exams – midterm and final at 30% each for a total of 60% toward the final grade.
  2. Written assignment 20%
  3. Test review  10%
  4. Participation 10%

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the basic tenets of four major theoretical models underlying vocational counselling.
  2. Describe the essential features of effective counselling in this area.
  3. Outline effective procedures for problem clarification and goal formulation.
  4. Identify effective assessment strategies for aptitude, achievement, interest, values variables.
  5. Identify effective assessment strategies for external variables including job requirements, current and future availability, work environment and compensation/mobility features of occupations.
  6. Outline effective decision-making and plan development procedures.
  7. Outline effective strategies for plan implementation and evaluation.
  8. Communicate in writing an integrated vocational assessment, with recommendations.
  9. Discuss the application of relevant ethical principles.
  10. Describe the considerations accruing to special populations and settings.

course prerequisites

PSYC 1100, PSYC 1200

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.

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