College of Education
Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, & School Psychology

Course: EDS 462 Supervised Field Observation in Rehabilitation Counseling

Instructor: Barbara Westre, M.S. E-mail:
Term: Fall 2006 Office:
Day/Time: Thursdays, 9:00-11:50 am Office Phone: (916) 995-6841
Location: Eureka Hall, Room 215 Office Hrs: by appointment

Course Description:

This is the introductory class for students entering the Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling program or who are considering entering the program. The philosophy of the course is to learn about the field of rehabilitation counseling by observing community facilities in addition to lectures and discussions. The course, therefore, attempts to integrate theory and practice. The foundations of vocational rehabilitation counseling will be explored through a study of the history and legislation affecting the field. This will include recent legislation, particularly the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Reauthorization Amendments for state agency rehabilitation. Community facilities to be visited will include those across a variety of settings and in large part focus on those agencies that serve individuals with severe disabilities. Independent living skills, assistive technology and advocacy will also be themes of this course.

Course Restriction:

This course is open to both classified and unclassified graduate students who are interested in investigating the field of vocational rehabilitation counseling.

Course Orientation:

This course is the introductory course in the rehabilitation program in collaboration with the different rehabilitation settings within the larger community. Transportation, either public or private, is required.


Handout materials, particularly on history and legislation
Handout materials from community agencies



Rubin, S. and Roessler, R. (2001) Foundations of the Vocational Rehabilitation
Process 5th ed

Community Services Planning Council. Community Services Directory,
Sacramento. 55th Edition


Crimado, W. & Riggar, T. F. (1996, 2003) Utilizing Community Resources

Parker, R. & Szymanski, E. (1998). Rehabilitation Counseling Basics and Beyond
(3rd ed)


1. Read the chapters in the textbook as assigned.

2. For each community facility that we visit, you are to complete an “Observation Write-Up.” It will be due one week after each visit. It is your responsibility to ask questions when we visit the facility so that you have sufficient information to complete the form. Missed classes are to be made up – discuss with me.

See Observation Write-Up form for the questions. Most students now use these questions as a template on their computer rather than the form itself when they complete their write-ups. Some students use this form to take notes with when they are at the facility. Ask me if you need more copies of the form.

3. Research and present your findings to the class about a Rehabilitation resource available on the Internet. I am viewing the Internet as a “community” at large.

See Guidelines for Internet Assignment for more detail.

4. Complete volunteer hours or paid experience in a rehabilitation agency that serves consumers who have disabilities. The purpose of this activity is for you to learn more about consumers. The more in-depth participation you have with consumers, the better, although it is understood that in-depth participation may not be possible as a volunteer. For those students who are working and want to complete this assignment on the job, it must be a new or expanding activity not something you have done in the past. See me to discuss. A one-paragraph proposal of your planned experience is due by the fourth week of the semester. A three-page (minimum) report documenting dates, times, activities and especially your reactions to this experience is due at the end of the semester. A one page “Activity log for Volunteer Hours” signed by supervisor should accompany your report.

See Activity Log and Guidelines for Volunteer Experience


This is a Credit/No Credit class. In order to receive a grade of Credit, you must:
1. Attend and participate in all classes. Missed classes must be made up.
2. Read all assignments including textbook, handout materials and websites.
3. Complete and turn in an Observation Write-up form for each facility.
4. Complete Internet Proposal form. Research a “community” resource on the Internet, complete a written report and present your findings in class.
5. Complete volunteer hours or paid experience, complete a written report and make a presentation in class.
Course Goals:

1. To provide the student with a foundation for the field of Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling.
2. To acquaint the student with the various settings that provide rehabilitation services including: State, facilities, independent living, specialty areas and private rehabilitation.
3. To provide an in-depth exposure to a rehabilitation setting.
4. To be able to evaluate consumer’s needs and the appropriateness of the different services offered by various rehabilitation settings and resources.

Last modified: Thursday, 14 December 2006, 07:36 PM