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COCO 712: Career Counseling, Assessment & Placement




This course has three main focuses. The first is to introduce students to the field of career development and career counseling. Students will explore different theories of career development and learn how these theories apply to the career development of children, youth and adults throughout the lifespan. A second purpose of the course is to apply these principles to the practice of vocational and career counseling, including critical activities such as decision making, vocational assessment, job development, job seeking skills, and worksite analysis all under the framework of career/employment support services. Knowledge of labor markets, including supply and demand side concepts will be highlighted as a useful resource for conceptualizing vocational and career counseling services. Uses of sources of occupational information and labor market trends will be included. Thirdly, the course will also introduce students to a variety of assessment instruments, including some now available on-line. They will experience first-hand what is like to take these vocationally oriented tests, and to deal with the results. Updated legal and regulatory trends impacting in the area of vocational and career counseling will also be explored.        


At times, students may disclose personal information through class discussions.  It is expected that the class will respect the privacy of their classmates.  The information disclosed in the class will not be repeated or discussed with other students outside of the course.

All client information should be kept confidential.  Students will refer to clients by only using initials and pseudo names.  All client materials will be destroyed in a timely fashion by student in training.

Attendance policy.

1. Become familiar with different theories of career development.
2. Be able to apply theories and processes of career development to their own work situations.
3. Demonstrate understanding of a variety of assessment methods that are used in career assessment and appraisal.       
4. Develop an understanding of vocational counseling and change processes for persons in various “at risk” groups.
5. Gain an understanding of how labor markets work, and how practitioners can utilize them to enhance placement models.
6. Become familiar with the structure of the occupational information systems of the U.S. Department of Labor, both print and on-line, and the techniques of job analysis.
7. Explore and become familiar with a variety of job development techniques.
8. Become aware of federal and state initiatives that promote employment and career development such as: transition from school-to-work; Americans With Disabilities Act; Work Investment Act; and Ticket To Work Act.

9. To be able to distinguish between and design appropriate employer and consumer-oriented follow-up services.

Weekly sessions will center on lectures and group discussions related to reading material and course assignments.

Szymanski, E. & Parker, R. (2003). Work and disability: Issues and strategies in career development and job placement (2nd ed.). Austin, TX: PRO-ED.

Herring, R.D. (1998). Career counseling in schools: Multicultural and development perspectives. Alexandria, VA: ACA.

Gildbride, D., Golden, K., Vandergoot, D., &  Stendsrud, R. (2004). Manual for the Employer Openness Survey. Hunter College, Employment Service System Research and Training Center. Web site:


There are two required assignments for all students, one required assignment specifically geared for School Counseling or Rehabilitation Counseling and assignments that all students may select two from. You may also propose an assignment but you must get approval from the instructor to proceed.
Required assignments for all students are as follows (each exercise is worth 15 pts):
1) Write a brief history of your career development. Think about how your experiences might correspond to the theories we discussed in class, you read about, and studied in other ways. Indicate which one seems to reflect your own career development. The paper should be 5-7 double-spaced pages.

2) Conduct an Employer Openness Survey (EOS) following the instructions given in the EOS manual.
Required assignment for Rehabilitation Counseling  (exercise is worth 15 pts.):
1) Complete a Transferability of Skills Assessment. This assignment is to be done with a client who has a disability or a health condition that effects every day functioning.
The steps are as follows:

A. Determine all jobs and successful training experiences performed in the past

B.    Describe the characteristics of workers typically successful on those jobs and training experiences using the worker characteristics classification system.

C.    Determine the worker profile by noting the highest level of each worker characteristic achieved across all jobs

D.    Determine if any of the highest levels achieved have to be modified due to a mental or physical impairment, an assistive device, or learning experience. If an impairment occurred since the last work/training experience the worker profile may have to be lowered. An assistive device or new learning may increase characteristics of the profile.

E.    The adjusted and final worker profile can be used to identify: jobs that can be done immediately for which placement can begin; jobs that can be done after certain services, such as training, physical restoration, counseling, assistive technology, etc. are provided.


A. Briefly provide a cover sheet describing the person’s work history by listing the jobs in chronological order, any information about the person’s impairments, and the initial reason(s) why he/she is pursuing vocational counseling.

B.    With your “consumer”, identify all jobs and successful training experiences he/she has had (up to the four most recent) on the Transferability of Skills Worksheet.

C.    For each job/training experience, using your “Factors to Consider” handout, rate the jobs as follows: (use the abbreviations in parentheses to note the characteristic)
a.    Physical Demands
i.    Select one strength factor.
ii.    Select three additional physical demands that are relevant (rated “O” or higher) to the job/training experience being considered and rate each using the percent frequency performed notation.
b.    Environmental Conditions – select three relevant (if there are three; otherwise just those present) environmental factors present in each job/training experience and note the extent to which each is present.
c.    Specific Vocational Preparation - select the one level which best represents how long it takes a typical worker to reach competitive standards.
d.    Aptitudes – select the aptitudes that were used on each job/training experience that were at least average or better and rate their levels.
e.    Select the three temperaments most reflective on each job/training experience.

D.    Create a profile of the person’s work/training history by selecting all (not just the top three) unique worker characteristics at their highest levels across all jobs and enter that in the Profile column. This represents the very best picture of the person as a worker.

E.    Adjust the profile as needed to account for any impairment, assistive device, or learning experience and reflect the final profile in the Adjusted Profile column. Explain what the impairment is and the functional limitations that result from it.

F.    Indicate the jobs that could be pursued immediately based on the Adjusted Profile and the jobs that could be pursued anywhere from three to twelve months from now. Provide a brief service plan for each scenario.

Required assignment for school counseling (exercise is worth 15 pts.):

1) This assignment requires you to develop a series of psycho-educational workshops related to career development for either elementary, middle or high school aged students. You will need to describe the content, process and evaluation of the 12 workshops that meet once per week for 45 minutes over a three month period. Please place these workshops in a specific school context taking into consideration the background of the students in terms issues like gender, ethnicity/race, class and disability.

The remaining two assignments are to be selected by all students. This should be related to your work/internship and/or interests. The maximum points to be earned are 30. Papers should be done via word processor, 5-7 pages in length and written in APA style.
1) Conduct a Job Analysis of an occupation that you are not familiar with by actually observing it. Present the critical tasks performed, skills needed, worker traits, abilities, interests, physical demands, temperaments, aptitudes, length of training, and targeted behaviors required. Find the job title and code in the D.O.T. and/or the ONET that most closely resembles this job and compare your findings with that description, including GED and SVP (15 points).
2) List and document strengths and weaknesses of at least five (5) competitive recruiting
 resources that employers use to obtain new applicants, including at least one (1) internet
 site and at least one rehabilitation or community agency [schools count] (15 points).
3) Analyze, compare, and rate the features of at least three (3) different internet
 recruitment sites. Do this from the perspective of a particular job title (15 points).
4) Survey an agency that provides career and/or vocational services to an “at risk” group (women, pregnant teens, recovering addicts, minority youth, disabled veterans, older workers, etc.). Describe in detail the needs that are addressed, services provided, expected outcomes, staff roles, and funding sources (15 points).
5) Identify needs of clients who might benefit from vocational counseling (students,
 career changers, persons with disabilities, etc.) by reviewing records of prior clients,
 conducting focus groups, and surveying current consumers (15 points).
6) Research an occupation generated by any of the in-class interest test exercises using
 resources such as the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, the Occupational Outlook
 Handbook, state labor market data, and the internet/ONET. Discuss features of the job
 and occupational trends (15 points).
7) Other assignments as may be discussed with the instructor.

Grading Requirements:
Grading requirements.

Grades will be calculated as follows:

Attendance and Class Participation 25%
Required assignments
Student selected assignments
----------------------------- ----




100-97.5% = A+
92.5– 97.4% = A
90 – 92.4% = A-
87.5 – 89.9%
82.5 – 87.4% = B
80.0 – 82.4%
77.5 – 79.9%
70.0 – 77.4% = C
0 – 69.9% = F

Students will be graded based on the scoring rubric provided. The grades are assigned according to the values published by the Hunter College Graduate catalog.

1 Course overview & introduction to employment support services 4a-i
2 Theories of career development. Trait and type theories: trait and factor; work adjustment; Holland's types; Myers-Briggs types 4a
3 Theories of career development & review progress on career paper. Life-span theory: career development in childhood, adolescence and adulthood 
4a & d
4 Theories of career development & review progress on career paper. Special focus theories: constructivist and narrative approaches; relational approaches; Krumboltz's social learning; social cognitive; decision-making approaches; sociological and economic perspectives. 4a & d
5 Workplace socialization: putting career theories to work 4a, d & h
6 Introduction to NY State CareerZone & ONET 4b, e, g & f
7 Social and personal significance of work
Vocational assessment: structured interview, functional vocational assessment & observing worker behavior
4c, d & f
8 Labor markets and employment 4c, e & h
9 Labor markets and employment: supply side services 4c, e & h
10 Labor markets and employment: supply side services 4c, e & h
11 Employment support services: demand side 4c, e & h
12 Transfer of skills assessment 4c, e, h & f
13 Employer openness; what it is & how to measure it 4c, e, h & f
14 Employment support services: demand side 4c, e & h
15 Transition from school
Universal design for enhancing employment
Ethics, laws/policies & programs that influence employ
 4c, e, h & i


Expectations for Written Proficiency
Students must demonstrate consistently satisfactory written English in coursework. The Hunter College Writing Center provides tutoring to students across the curriculum and at all academic levels. For more information, see In addition, the Teacher Placement Office in the School of Education offers a writing workshop during the semester and a series of free writing classes are offered to students who are in need of additional support in improving their writing skills. In both cases, stop by room I000 West for information and dates of workshops.

Integrity and Plagiarism
Hunter College has subscribed to the online company, allows faculty to compare student papers with extensive databases of billions of documents in order to detect and verify material that has been plagiarized.  In this course, is used to deter students from plagiarizing material.  Please be aware that student papers will be examined from time to time.  Students who plagiarize will be punished. “Hunter College regards acts of academic dishonesty (e.g., plagiarism, cheating on examinations, obtaining unfair advantage, and falsification of records and official documents) as serious offenses against the values of intellectual honesty.  The college is committed to enforcing the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity and will pursue cases of academic dishonesty according to the Hunter College Academic Integrity Procedures.”

Statement of Reasonable Accomodation
In compliance with the American Disability Act of 1990 (ADA) and with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Hunter College is committed to ensuring educational parity and accommodations for all students with documented disabilities and/or medical conditions. It is recommended that all students with documented disabilities (Emotional, Medical, Physical and/ or Learning) consult the Office of AccessABILITY located in Room E1124 to secure necessary academic accommodations.  For further information and assistance please call (212- 772- 4857)/TTY (212- 650- 3230).

K.4.a. career development theories and decision-making models;

K.4.b. career, vocational, educational, occupational and labor market information
resources, visual and print media, computer-based career information systems, and other electronic career information systems;

K.4.c. career development program planning, organization, implementation, administration, and evaluation;

K.4.e. career and educational planning, placement, follow-up, and evaluation;

K.4.f. assessment instruments and techniques that are relevant to career planning and decision making;

K.4.g. technology-based career development applications and strategies, including
computer-assisted career guidance and information systems and appropriate world wide web sites;

K.4.h. career counseling processes, techniques, and resources, including those applicable to specific populations; and ethical and legal considerations.

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