Spring 2006

Class Time: Tuesdays 6:00p – 7:30p (Utah) Campus Location: HSRC 105
(Each section meets once per week) RCE Website:

Instructor: Norman E. Corson EdD, CRC, NCC, NCCC
E-mail: RCE Dept. phone: 435-797-0449
office phone: 916-983-0894 office fax: 916-983-0894

TA: Sandy LeBlanc

Office Hours: By Appointment Postal Address: PO BOX 2063
Folsom, CA 95762
Read this syllabus! You are responsible for knowing information contained within this document. It is important that you have a thorough understanding of the expectations of this course. If you have questions about the course requirements, ask by the end of the second week.


Advanced understanding of the instructor’s style, personality, and philosophy is important for maintaining appropriate stress levels (after all, this is graduate school, some stress should be anticipated!). Every effort will be made to allow for open communication and a positive learning environment.

1) I do not lecture from the text. I may not even refer to the text. Even so, you will be tested on the assigned readings from the text and all support materials. I do not see my role as one of reviewing material you have already consumed. I will be presenting alternative, additional, and experiential information on the same topic as the assigned reading/class topic.

2) I tell stories (specific to the topic) as a tool for your memory to lock on to material and its application. Not all stories are 100% true (most are). You will not be tested on stories - - except that they are memory tools and may save you come test time.

3) I have a sense of humor – I will pull your leg, I will tease you. It is OK to have fun while learning.

4) Lectures will be fast-paced. Limit your distractions.

5) This is graduate school. You already have a college degree (or two). As a result, I expect the following:
a. Anything you turn in needs to be at a graduate level (writing, expression, creativity, critical thinking). Use the technology you have: use spell and grammar check, read your paper when you think it is done, and have someone else read your paper prior to submission. Late work will not be accepted. (Part of graduate school is time management and the acceptance of late work is disrespectful of others who have the same requirements.)

Students needing disability-related accommodations need to discuss such needs with the instructor at the beginning of the term so appropriate arrangements can be made. Students needing such accommodations are required to contact the USU Disability Resource Center prior to or at the beginning of the semester. 435-797-2444

b. When participating in class discussion or chat-room communication, lead with your question. If possible, take a moment to write your question out prior to speaking. Sixty seconds of framing your thought can save a lot of confusion on the part of your peers and the instructor. Class time is valuable and we need to make it count.

6) Unlike many college classes, this class is not based on collaborative assessment. There is to be no team or group work on papers, projects, or exams. All assignments are to be independent and original academic effort. This is not intended to preclude study or discussion groups.


This course will provide access to professional skill development in the theory and practice of rehabilitation counseling as applied to career development, job development, and job placement for persons with disabilities. Each student will examine the role of work in our society, her/his values related to work & work identity, and the impact of such social and personal values on consumers of vocational rehabilitation services.

1. Explore your professional and personal understanding of the meaning of work and its importance in the lives of persons with and without disabilities;

2. Demonstrate your knowledge of career development theories and occupational choice and their applications to persons with and without disabilities;

3. Gain understanding and appreciation for the implications of cultural differences with regard to work and career development.

4. Become familiar with disability legislation and its impact on employment for persons with disabilities;

5. Demonstrate competencies in the use of occupational information resources including web-based resources for assisting individuals in their exploration of work/life choices.

6. Have a basic understanding of workplace accessibility and accommodation issues as applied to persons with disabilities;

7. Be familiar with the general needs of employers and their concerns in relation to hiring and maintaining employees, and their employment of persons with disabilities;

8. Demonstrate applied knowledge in job placement, job development, and job-seeking skills.

9. Have an understanding of the impact of valid assessment of vocational, physical, psychosocial, and related data in the determination of a consumer’s job readiness for competitive or supported employment;

10. Be familiar with supported employment services and issues.


Required Texts: Szymanski, Edna M. & Randall M. Parker (eds.). Work and Disability: Issues and Strategies in Career Development and Job Placement, Second Edition. Austin, TX:
pro-ed, Inc. ISBN: 0-89079-910-5 From USU bookstore or other resource.

Block, Peter & Corson, Norman E. (2003). Vocational Rehabilitation Toolkit II,
Folsom, CA ISBN: 0-9642766-1-5 On REH6160 class web site

Additional Readings: Topical readings have been assigned for use throughout the course. These are posted on the course home page. These readings will be announced in class and are on the course outline. Students need to check their e-mail frequently for new readings that may be assigned. The readings assigned by e-mail will be either attached or website URL included in the message.

Videos & CDs Streaming Video or CD-ROM as needed: A set of web accessible videos has been selected as part of optional and required material for this course. A recommended viewing order has been provided.

Music CD (REQUIRED): A music CD is provided with class materials. Listen to it often prior to the midterm exam (strongly recommend you listen to the words). Students who need alternative format for the music CD content, please communicate with instructor.

VHS/DVD Retail Movies (REQUIRED): A set of six movie videos has been selected for viewing. A recommendation is made that you rent, get, or check out these movies and watch one or two from column A prior to the midterm and one or two from column B between the midterm and the final. It is strongly recommended that you choose one from each column in which you see significant career, vocational and/or rehabilitation issues in the storyline and buy it/them ($9.00 to $15.00 each). (You have been warned.)
A (2) Midterm B (2) Final
Working Girl Turk 182
Renaissance Man Men of Honor
Real Women Have Curves As Good as it Gets

Technology: Please see the Internet page for specifics regarding computer requirements: Broadband access to Internet is required for this course and you must have an e-mail account. For on-campus students who do not have personal access to a computer, the Adele & Dale Young Technology Center located on the first floor of the Jones Education Building (USU Logan Campus) is equipped with computers for web access. There are additional computer labs on campus that have web access. Off-campus students who use agency computers for course access will need to make sure that downloading of articles, etc. is possible. Communication via an @rce e-mail account that you will be assigned is used extensively in this course. It is recommended that you check it frequently.


NOTE: The instructor reserves the right to make adjustments to this schedule, topics or otherwise amend with notice. Such adjustments will be announced at the beginning of class or prior to the affected class meeting. If, for any reason, a class needs to be canceled, every effort will be made to give participants the earliest possible notification.


Class Dates Lecture Topic class #
Viewings: some marked (optional) some marked Required
(Special Materials)
**Papers Due, Exams, Projects Due (XX points)

1 / 10 Course overview 1
The meanings of work I
Reading: Szymanski & Parker, Chapters 1
Reading: Block and Corson, Chapter 1
Readings: class web site files on Informational Interviewing
Viewings: M-1 Vocational Counseling I (optional)
(PowerPoint 1)
(Music CD)

1 / 17 The meanings of work II 2
Theories of career development I
Reading: Szymanski & Parker, Chapter 4
Reading: Block and Corson, Chapter 2
Viewings: M-2 Overview of Vocational Counseling II (optional)
(PowerPoint 2)

1 / 24 Theories of career development II 3
Reading: Szymanski & Parker, Chapter 8
Reading: class web site document, Kosciulck (2005). Structural Equation Model of …
Viewings: M-3 Overview of Vocational Counseling III (optional)
(, Tour site)
(PowerPoint 2)
**Reports on Informational Interviews (2.5 points each x 2 = 5 points)

1 / 31 Career and Vocational Assessment 4
Reading: Szymanski & Parker, Chapter 5
(, Skills Profiler)
(PowerPoint 3)
**First Career Theory Paper (10 points)

2 / 7 Job Analysis and Functional Limitations 5
Reading: Szymanski & Parker, Chapter 3 and pages 261 to 276 in Chapter 7
Viewings: 6200 B-8 Counseling Theory, Counseling Unrealistic Clients (optional)
(, View job video related to your JA project)
(Reminder, listen to the music CD)
(PowerPoint 4)
**Second Career Theory Paper (10 points)

2 / 14 Labor Market and Employment Information Systems 6
Reading: Szymanski & Parker, Chapter 7 minus pages 261 to 276
Reading: Block and Corson, Chapter 4
Reading: class web site document, Samuelson (2003). A Crackup for World Trade
Viewings: M-11, Sources of Occupational Information (optional)
(, view LM information by state and “what’s hot”.)
(PowerPoint 5)
(JA formats and samples on class web site)

2 / 21 Society and legislation effecting employment of persons with disabilities 7
Reading: Szymanski & Parker, Chapter 2
(PowerPoint 6)
(JA formats and samples on class web site)
**Job Analysis Report (10 points)

2 / 28 Job Search Skills I 8
Reading: Block & Corson. Chapters 5, 6, and 7
Reading: class web site document, Multon (2001). Client psychological distress
Viewing: M-6 ECLECON, Networking (optional)
Viewing: M-4 ECLECON, Applications and Résumé’s (optional)
(PowerPoint 7)

3 / 7 Job Search Skills II 9
Reading: Block and Corson, Chapters 8, 9, & 10
Viewing: M-7 ECLECON, Interviewing (optional)
(, Tour site)
(PowerPoint 7)
(Take-Home Midterm given out)

3 / 14 SPRING BREAK 10
Viewings: One of Three Rental Videos from List “A” Required
** Work on Midterm Exam

3 / 21 Job Placement and Job Development I 11
Readings: Szymanski & Parker, Chapter 10
Viewing: M-8 Supported Employment -- Required
( see functional resume’)
( see functional resume’)
(, Review resume’ and cover letter links)
(PowerPoint 8)
**Mid-Term Turn In (20 points)
**Resume’ Project Turn In (5 points)

3 / 28 Job Placement and Job Development II 12
Readings: Szymanski & Parker, Chapter 12
Viewings: Job Development (Performance by Design, David Henry) (optional)
(, Review interviewing links)
(PowerPoint 8)

4 / 4 Employers as Customers 13
Readings: Szymanski & Parker, Chapter 6 & 9
Reading: class web site document, Loo (2002). Attitudes of management undergraduates
(PowerPoint 9)
**IEP -- Job Placement Plan w/ resume’ (10 points)

4 / 11 Work Place Accommodations and Assessing Client Job Readiness 14
Reading: Course Reader (2002). Job readiness and planning
Reading: class web site document, Bishop (2000). Depression: a primer
Reading: class web site document, Mannock (2002). Assessing readiness of clients
Viewings: One of Three Rental Videos List “B” (reminder to view)
(PowerPoint 10)

4 / 18 School to Work Transition and Supported Employment 15
Reading: Szymanski & Parker, Chapter 11
Reading: class web site document, Degeneffe (2000). Supported Employment
Viewings: M-9 Job Placement and Development – Transitions (School to Work) (optional)
(PowerPoint 11)
(Final Exam Take Home Part One - Essay)

4 / 25 Final Exam Proctored or In-class 16
(Final Exam Part Two – in class)

5 / 2 Take Home Final Exam (give out on 4/18) Due 17
**Final Exam (30 points)


Informational Interviews: (2 at 2.5 point each, total 5 points)

Informational interviews are one of the best and most frequently assigned tasks for career exploration and job search preparation. There is no question but that you will be expecting your customers to complete informational interviews as homework in the vocational rehabilitation process. Knowing and remembering what this process “feels” like is important for the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. When you lose contact with the fear, confusion, and avoidance that our clients feel while going through the services process, you lose much of the empathy that builds an effective counseling relationship.
Complete two informational interviews with people you do not know, in industries that you have no experience. You need to:
a. Make the ‘cold calls’ to employers to request the informational interview for a specific occupation
b. Explain to the receptionist what you want/need and get past him/her to the point of contact (POC)
c. Sell the informational interview process and your need to the POC and set a face-to-face visitation
d. Complete the informational interview (2) lasting between 30 and 60 minutes.
c. Write up a one-page summary for each interview that includes:
• Employer, address, and telephone number
• POC, name and position
• Job title of the position that the informational interview
• Normal entry level skills wanted by employers
• Normal wages and benefits for this occupation in this geographic area
• Physical and emotional demands of the work
• Best part of the job
• Worst part of the job
• Who else would the POC recommend that you talk to so as to get additional information
Submit your papers via e-mail (as the body of the e-mail or as a MS WORD attachment to the e-mail) no later than the due dates ([email protected]). No other form of delivery is acceptable.

Career Development Theory Papers: (2 at 10 points each, total 20 points)

Effective, holistic, vocational rehabilitation counseling requires a foundation in career development theory. As in all counseling venues there is a foundation of knowledge and theory that is central to professional development, peer communication, and delivery of structured guidance and counseling services. This class will cover several foundation theories in career development.
Write two (2) two to three-page papers (double-spaced, one inch margins and word processed) on two of the career development theories that you find most relevant to your work as a career professional. In each paper state the basic premises underlying the theory. A sample theory paper and outline are included on the class web site.
Your papers need to be written in an organized professional/academic manner that indicates a clear understanding of the theory as well as its application. Poorly written and disorganized papers are difficult to read and may fail to communicate your understanding of the theories you choose. Submit your papers via e-mail (as the body of the e-mail or as a MS WORD attachment to the e-mail) no later than the due dates ([email protected]). No other form of delivery is acceptable.

Job Analysis: (1 for a total of 10 points)

Conduct a job analysis of one of the occupations that you investigated in the informational interview exercise. Use the Internet, U.S. Department of Labor information, DOT, O*NET,,, site visitation, and informational interview resources. This analysis will include:
• A summary and descriptive information about the occupation and workers in it
• Employment outlook information that reflects both national, state, and local (your area)
• Physical demands
• Emotional/Psychological demands
• Environmental issues and exposures
• Tools and materials used in the performance of the occupation
Specific format and other details will be posted on the course home page.
Submit your papers via e-mail (as the body of the e-mail or as a MS WORD attachment to the e-mail) no later than the due dates ([email protected]). No other form of delivery is acceptable.

Midterm Exam: (20points)

Given out at end of class on week 9, due prior to the start of class in week 11, 3/21/06. Format is mixed media, open book, essay, multiple choice, fill-in, and diagram completion. Submit your exam via e-mail (as a MS WORD attachment to the e-mail) no later than 10PM Mt. Time on the due date ([email protected]). No other form of delivery is acceptable.

Resume’: (1 for a total of 5 points)

Deliver a “functional” resume’ (one page) or Curriculum Vita (more than one page) for yourself.

Individual Employment Plan: (1 for a total of 10 points)

The organization and structure of an IEP is central to the customer’s success in finding positive-gainful employment. Deliver a written IEP with no less than three individual objectives for an imaginary customer seeking work in the occupation that you have written about in your job analysis report. Specific format and other details will be posted on the course home page. Your IEP package is to include a robust, one page, functional resume’ for the customer.

Final Exam: (30 points)

Part One, take home: Given out on week 15, 4/18/06 at the end of class. Due prior to 6PM Mt. Time, 5/2/05. Format is mixed media, open book, essay. (10 points)
Part Two, in-class/proctored: Given in class 16, 4/25/06. Proctored exams must be taken between 4/25 and 5/1 and are to be postmarked no later than 11:59PM 5/1/06. (20 points)

Extra Credit: (1 or 2 assignments for 2 to 10 points)

I’ll tell you if and when someone asks.


This is not an easy class. Students should not anticipate an “easy A” grade. The standard for graduate level writing, original & creative thought, and academic rigor is high. There will be no allowance for late work. Work that is below the expected level will be submitted by the instructor to another professional or graduate assistant for review and discussion prior to awarding any grade below 75% of possible earned points.

A student’s course grade will be determined by the total points accumulated from the evaluation of assignments as well as scores on the midterm and final exams. (100 Max, any extra credit that may be earned will still not result in a final grade point tally in excess of 100.) All grades on essay exams, papers, and written assignments will, by their very nature, involve subjective review by the instructor and/or doctoral student/assistant.

Remember, this class is not based on collaborative assessment. There is to be no team or group work on papers, projects, or exams. All assignments are to be independent and original academic effort. The instructor will use academic software and technology to screen for plagiarism or shared writing efforts. This is not intended to preclude study or discussion groups.

Student Evaluation & Course Grade (percentage of points rounded up from .5):

93 -100 A 63 - 67 C
88 - 92 A- 58 - 62 C-
83 - 87 B+ 53 - 57 D+
78 - 82 B 48 - 52 D
73 - 77 B- 43 - 47 D-
68 - 72 C+ < - 42 F

General Information Questionnaire
Due by 1/16/2006, not for grade

Name (first, last):

Name you like to be referred by:

E-mail address (emergency contact, the one you will check just prior to class:

Best evening telephone number:

Mailing address:

Current/Most recent work setting:

Anticipated future work setting:

Past job enjoyed the most:

Past job least liked:

Personal/Family experience with disabilities and disability issues:

Area of academic focus in vocational rehabilitation studies:

Undergraduate degree:
From where:
When earned:

Experience in job placement/job development:

What you would like to learn in this class:

Return to: Norman E. Corson, EdD, CRC

Last modified: Monday, 18 December 2006, 11:27 AM