Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation
& Behavioral Health Care
Fall, 2005

PSRT 5315
Tuesday: 5:30-8:30 P.M.

Carlos W. Pratt, Ph.D., CPRP
(908) 889 –2461

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course provides a comprehensive overview of the theories, principles, procedures and practices of evaluation and assessment of the abilities, achievement levels, preferences, personality characteristics and vocational skills of individuals with disabilities. The use of test and non-test data in counseling is discussed.

COURSE GOALS: The primary goal is for students to be able to guide people with disabilities through the process of evaluation and assessment including both test and non-test data. Students will be able to delineate a process for selecting specific assessment methods, describe and evaluate the psychometric properties of test instruments, interact with other professionals to request assessments relevant to the client’s goals, interpret evaluation and assessment results for the client, and use results in counseling clients and helping them to select rehabilitation goals.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1. Identify the basic categories of evaluation instruments frequently used in rehabilitation counseling and develop plans for their use in the counseling process.
2. Understand psychometric aspects of assessment such as reliability, validity and standardization and their use in selecting specific assessment instruments.
3. Utilize and synthesize a variety of assessment strategies such as objective, behavioral and clinical data in service planning.
4. Develop assessment strategies based on the characteristics, needs and preferences of clients including addressing multi-cultural and gender issues.
5. Discuss ethical and legal issues in evaluation and assessment.
6. Write an evaluation report based on test results including making recommendations.
7. Present evaluation results to clients and use the results with the client in rehabilitation planning.
8. Consult with other professionals regarding evaluation and assessment issues.


Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th Ed.)(2001). Washington, D.C.; American Psychological Association. ISBN: 1-55798-790-4.

Whiston, S. C. (2005). Principles and applications of assessment in counseling (2nd Ed.). Belmont, CA; Thompson, Brooks Cole.


Havranek, J., Field, T. & Grimes, J. W. (2005). Vocational assessment: Evaluating employment potential (4th Ed.). Athens, GA; Elliot & Fitzpatrick.


Class Participation: 10%
Four Projects (15% each) 60%
Psychometrics Examination 15%
Final Examination: 15%


A = 95-100
B+ = 90-94
B = 84-89
C+ = 77-83
C = 70-76
F = 69 or below
I = Incomplete (This grade is given only in extraordinary circumstances.
Typically, failure to complete assignments will result in a failing grade.)

Note: This is a required course for the M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling and the M.S. in Psychiatric Rehabilitation Professional Counseling track. Failure to pass the course will require retaking the course.


The quality of this course is evaluated through student course evaluations completed at the end of the course and through the Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation’s peer review process. As part of the peer review process, other faculty from the Department may attend class sessions to observe the course.


Students are encouraged to discuss requests for accommodations with the Instructor. Information about supported education services can be obtained from Michelle Mullen at (908) 889-2513 or e-mail at You can also contact the Disability Compliance Coordinator, Karine Pierre-Pierre, at (973) 972-8594.


CLASS PARTICIPATION: Participation has two elements, attending class and taking part in discussions and exercises. Attending class is an essential component of participation. Students are expected to participate in class discussions and activities including giving and receiving feedback. In giving and receiving feedback, students should frame feedback suggestions in positive terms and maintain a constructive professional approach.

PROJECTS: You will be four projects to complete for this course. These projects are applications of concepts and methods learned in class. All written work is to be typed and free of errors in spelling, grammar and usage. Projects will be presented and discussed in class.

1. Instrument Review: For this project you will compare two measures within a category of tests (e.g., interest, aptitude, etc.) on a variety of factors (e.g., psychometric characteristics, costs, ease of administration, use for person with a specific disability, etc.). You will provide a rationale for selecting one instrument over another for a client with your characteristics and the disability you selected for your self-assessment report below. There will a class hand-out and discussion describing the specific sections to be included in this paper. Test reviews can most easily be obtained from Tests in Print (Newark) and Buros: Mental Measurements Yearbook which is available on-line from the UMDNJ Library Website.

2. Self-Assessment Report: For this project you will assume that you have experienced a certain disability and cannot continue with your present occupation. Self-administer and score the Strong, COPS, and 16 PF and write an evaluation report (on yourself). Your report should follow the outline suggested in Table 5.2, page 103 of your textbook. In addition, prepare a short paper covering (1) your reaction to the testing experience in general, and (2) whether and how you might use these tests in Vocational Rehabilitation.

3. Site Visit: For this project you will visit a vocational evaluation unit at an agency other than where you work or are doing your practicum and write a paper about the evaluations conducted there addressing (1) types of evaluations provided, (2) types of clients evaluated, (3) staff training and knowledge of tests they are administering, (4) the testing environment, and (5) modifications for disabilities, etc. Arrangements with certain agencies such as JVS, First Occupational Center, JFK Rehab can be arranged if that would be helpful and you may visit these in small groups. For some background on persons conducting vocational assessments see CCWAVES (Commission on Certification of Work Adjustment and Vocational Evaluation Specialists)

4. Test Administration. DISCOVER Project. Doing vocational assessment over the web is becoming more common. For this project use the DISCOVER web site to assess someone of your choosing (client, family member, friend, etc.) to determine a vocational direction. Based on the results you should develop a Rehabilitation Services Plan. In addition to your plan write a report about what was it like for the counselor (you) and for the client. You should also include a letter to a psychologist requesting further testing that is specific about the information you are seeking from further testing, but does not tell the psychologist what to do.

FALL 2005
Note: Assigned chapters are to be read before the date of the class. Assigned readings relate to the topic to be discussed on that date.


9/6 Overview of course, Assessment in counseling. Assignment: Chapter 1

9/13 Basic Assessment Principles. Assignment: Chapter 2

9/20 Reliability. Assignment: Chapter 3

9/27 Validity and item analysis. Assignment: Chapter 4

10/4 Selection, administration, scoring, and communicating assessment results Assignment: Chapter 5

10/11 Psychometrics examination

10/18 Initial Assessment in Counseling. Assignment: Initial Assessment Chapter 6
Instrument Review Paper Due

10/25 Aptitude/Achievement Testing- (COPS; WRAT-3); In class testing- COPS
Assignment: Chapters 7 (Intelligence..) and 8 (Achievement..)

11/1 Assessment in Career Counseling. Assignment: Chapter 9

11/8 Personality Assessment: In-class testing- 16PF
Assignment: Chapter 10
Self-Assessment Report Due

11/15 Assessing Neurological Issues. Judi Weinberger
Assignment: TBA
Site Visit Report Due

1/22 Using Assessment in Counseling. Assigment: Chapter 13.

11/29 Ethical Issues and Special Populations. Assignment: Chapters 14 & 15
Discover Test Administration Report Due

12/6 Final examination

12/13 Review of exam and course wrap-up

Note: Dates for specific topics may change due to scheduling issues. Changes in schedule may affect due dates for projects.

Last modified: Friday, 3 November 2006, 05:22 PM