Counseling 268A: Advanced Career Placement

Fall 2006 California State University, Fresno
Schedule #39214 Instructor: Dottie Duncan, M.S., C.R.C.
3 Unit Course Office: 5070 N. Sixth Street, #134
Location: ED 14 Fresno, CA 93710
Office Hours by Appointment Only
Class Time: Thursdays ~ 4:00 – 6:50 pm Office Phone: (559) 224-5644
Cell Phone: (559) 349-6181
Fax: (559) 224-5645


The Advanced Career Placement Course was created through a pilot project (Job Retention) to provide job retention services to clients who are already working. Clients are referred from Fresno County’s Department of Employment and Temporary Assistance (E&TA;) and are CalWORKs recipients. Rehabilitation Counseling graduate students assume the role of service provider to these clients. Advanced Career Placement aims to provide graduate students with the necessary tools through resources and appropriate case management practices to not only render services to this particular population, but to better prepare each student with the hands on experience necessary for their own careers. The goal of the program is to help clients retain their current employment and/or advance within their employment to ultimately achieve financial self-sufficiency.


Each student enrolled in this course will serve as a case manager to approximately four clients each throughout the semester. Each case manager will spend a minimum of 8 hours/week on their caseload. This includes contacting and meeting with clients, documenting case notes, preparing resumes, researching job leads, referring to appropriate community agencies, etc. Each case manager will maintain a minimum of three contacts per month with each of their clients, both in person and by phone. Paperwork may NOT be mailed to the client’s home to be completed by the client. The Initial Interview and the Individualized Service Plan (ISP) are most important and are the means with which you will assist in guiding your client through the program. Students are asked to accommodate their client’s schedule to the best of their ability. This includes meeting clients wherever it is most convenient for you and your client, provided the environment is safe and conducive to productive case management. There are numerous services available to the clients that can be provided as deemed necessary by the case manager. CSUF Job Retention Services include, but are not limited to the following:

 Intake Interview
 Individualized Service Plan Development (ISP)
 Goal Planning
 Vocational Assessment and Exploration
 Job Development and Placement
 Job Search, Resume, Job Application Assistance, and Interviewing Skills
 Legal Services
 Money Management
 Individual Counseling
 Assistance with the Court System, Social Security, DMV
 Housing Assistance & Referral
 Vocational Counseling/Case Management Services
 Convenient Meeting Schedules and Locations
 Follow-up Services
 Awards Certificates

Primary Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

 Apply counseling skills with clients on their caseloads;
 Learn and use effective case management skills;
 Develop Individualized Service Plans and conduct Intake Interviews;
 Acquire a broad referral base of community agencies;
 Effectively maneuver through the Fresno County Employment and Temporary Assistance Department and utilize available services;
 Analyze each client individually and identify appropriate services;
 Maintain diligent documentation and record keeping for future use of Fresno County;
 Effectively interact with Fresno County Personnel and clients in a professional manner.

Student Expectations:

 Ability to complete class assignments as required and follow syllabus guidelines;
 Commitment to helping clients and their families;
 Professional ethics and adherence to confidentiality;
 Professionalism: keeping appointments, punctuality, attendance, appropriate attire when meeting clients;
 Interviewing skills: ability to relate with clients and obtain appropriate information to complete the Intake Form and Individualized Service Plan;
 Ability to analyze each client individually and identify appropriate services;
 Capacity to develop a broad referral base of community agencies;
 Skills in using resource materials for effective client assistance and case management;
 Ability to effectively interact with Fresno County personnel in a professional manner;
 Written communication skills: Professionally written reports and case note documentation.

You are required to purchase the following books: (see last page of syllabus for ordering info)
1. Job-Hunting for the So-Called Handicapped or People Who Have Disabilities by Richard Bolles and Dale Brown.
2. ABLE! by Nancy Wurst

Recommended but not required: Beyond Traditional Job Development by Denise Bissonnette

In addition to the required text, each student will be loaned a resource binder and a Fresno Metro Ministries resource manual to use with your clients. Please keep them in good condition; they will be collected at the end of the semester.

Each Student will also need to purchase a cassette recorder and four 60-minute tapes to record client sessions for instructor review.

E-Mail Account

Each student will be required to have a CSUF e-mail account with the ability to open and send attachments. Free e-mail accounts are available to all CSUF students. Sign up online at

Late Assignments

Assignments will be accepted up to one week late for 50% credit. After that, no credit will be assigned for that particular assignment. No exceptions.


You are expected to attend all classes. If you need to miss a class, notify the instructor in advance by calling the Job Retention office. Due to the nature of the course, more than three absences may result in being dropped from the class with a failing grade.

Professional Dress

When you meet with your clients, you are expected to dress in a professional manner. Please do not wear shorts, jeans, revealing tops, tank tops, or short skirts. If you are unsure about what is appropriate, please see instructor.

Liability Insurance

All students must carry professional liability insurance. Proof of insurance must be provided to instructor prior to meeting with clients.

Client Appointments

Each student will carry a caseload of three clients. Your clients are depending on you to act in a professional and ethical manner at all times. Canceling or rescheduling appointments with clients are to be avoided unless an emergency situation arises. It is your professional obligation to contact your client as soon as possible if you cannot make the scheduled appointment. A pattern of missed appointments with your clients will result in your grade being lowered, and you may be dropped from the class.

Taped Client Sessions

You will be taping two Intake Interviews, two Individualized Service Plans (ISP), and four client sessions. A consent form will be signed by you and your client prior to the taping. Taped sessions will be submitted to the instructor as indicated on the syllabus. Each session is worth 25 points each.

Client Contact

There are several ways by which a student can contact their clients: 1) If you have a cell phone and wish to give your number out to your clients, you may have a portion of your minutes reimbursed. 2) The Job Retention office has the ability to accommodate multiple voicemail boxes. If you choose to pick up your messages from the office, please contact the instructor. 3) You may regularly mail letters to your clients for appointments, etc.

Clients will also be randomly called by instructor to follow-up on case management services.


All case managers are expected to maintain diligent documentation of each client on their caseload. All case notes are to be submitted to the instructor and emailed to the corresponding Fresno County Job Specialist on the dates listed in the course outline. This will include continuous updates on the client’s status, all meetings, telephone calls, and activity between the case manager, client, Job Specialist, or anyone else involved with the case.

Ethical Standards

You have a legal and ethical obligation when working with your clients. You must demonstrate professionalism through confidentiality, promptness, and respect. Exceptions to confidentiality: You are mandated reporters of child abuse. Any suspicions of child abuse, elder abuse, or imminent threat of harm needs to be reported to the instructor immediately.

Course Content

Weekly Staffing and File Review

Students will staff cases in class on a weekly basis. Come to class prepared to discuss your clients and to brainstorm potential solutions to challenges presented by yourself and your peers. We will work as a team, assisting and supporting each other, to meet the various challenges you and your clients will be facing. The instructor is available outside of class for any questions or concerns that arise and need immediate attention.

Monthly Activity Reports

Monthly Activity Reports based on each client case are required by Fresno County and due the beginning of each month. These reports are mandatory. Non-completion will result in a 50-point deduction from your grade for each report not submitted, or submitted late, and you will be subject to being dropped from the class. Pay close attention to the due dates listed on your syllabus.

Case Notes

Case note documentation is to be updated on a daily basis. Monthly case notes will be e-mailed to the appropriate Job Specialist at Fresno County on the dates listed on the syllabus and copies will be turned in to the instructor. You will document in your case notes when they were emailed to the Job Specialist and print an email confirmation to be placed in each client file. Appropriate, professional documentation is required which includes proof-reading for grammar and spelling errors. Case notes must stay current and be submitted monthly according to due dates indicated in the Course Schedule. If your case notes are incomplete or late more than once, you may be dropped from the class.

File Review

Each case file will be reviewed periodically for accurate case note documentation, complete and detailed Intake and Individualized Service Plan, correspondence, resumes, job development activities, and proper file order. Have your case files current prior to each class meeting.

Resume, Cover Letter, & Job Lead

Each case manager is responsible for developing a resume for a client on your caseload. An appropriate job lead and corresponding cover letter will be submitted with the resume.

Employment Proposal

Each case manager will submit an employment proposal for one client. The proposal will follow the guidelines and suggestions discussed in class based on Denise Bissonnette’s approach to job development. You will also include the names of three prospective businesses or employers that you would contact or submit the proposal to.

Personal Reflection Paper

A minimum two-page typed, double-spaced, reflection paper will be turned in summarizing your personal experiences and viewpoints through-out the semester. Content should include the following areas:
- What it was like to work as a case manager for Fresno County Employment & Temporary Assistance;
- Describe your experiences working with clients with multiple barriers;
- Describe various clients’ strengths and weaknesses;
- What specifically did you learn during the course of the semester and how will this benefit you in your future career; discuss a minimum of six topics;
- In general, describe your overall experience in C268A.
- Include any additional information or feedback.

Requirements Individual
Points Total
Points % of Grade
Cover Letter
Job Lead 35
5 50 8%
Employment Proposal 100 100 17%
Monthly Activity Reports (4) @ 25 points each 25 100 17%
Monthly Case Notes (4) @ 25 points each 25 100 17%
Taped Intake Interview (2) @ 25 points each 25 50 8%
Taped ISP (2) @ 25 points each 25 50 8%
Taped Client Sessions (4) @ 25 points each 25 100 17%
Personal Reflection Paper 50 50 8%
Totals 600 100%

Grades will be assigned according to the following points achieved:
540 – 600 = A
480 – 539 = B
420 – 479 = C
360 – 419 = D
Less than 360 = F

Internships are available each semester based on successful completion of C268A. See instructor if interested.


Aug. 24 Intro to Job Retention
New Client Process/Orientation
Learning Outcomes Survey
Counseling Insurance-CM Appointment Cards
Professionalism, Ethics, and Confidentiality Order Textbooks
Aug. 31 Distribute Binders, Metro Ministries
Discuss: Writing case notes
Documentation procedures
Class Activity –Case Note Documentation
Review Intake Form for Initial Interview Become familiar with Resource Binder

Become familiar with Intake form
Sept. 7 Guest Speakers – Job Retention C.M.’s
Assign Case Files
Review Travel Logs
Review Individualized Service Plan (ISP)
Civil Rights Training
Role Play: Initial Interview Contact clients for Initial Interview appt

Become familiar with ISP form

Sept. 14 Discussion / Activity: The Culture of Poverty
Role Play: ISP
Case Staffing
File Review Due: Case Notes

Sept. 21 Video – “Minimum Wage” by Morgan Spurlock
Discussion of video
Abuse and suicidal issues
Case Staffing Due: Taped Client Sessions
Case Notes

Read: “Forward” and Ch. 1 – Bolles
“Preface” and Ch. 1 – Wurst
Sept. 28 Review Monthly Activity Report
Review resume and cover letter writing
Discuss reading assignment
Video – “Job Search Tactics”
Case Staffing
File Review Due: Taped client Sessions
Case Notes

Read: Ch. 2 – Bolles
Ch. 3 – Wurst
Oct. 5 Guest Speaker – Fresno County E&TA;
Discuss reading assignment
Case Staffing
Due: Monthly Activity Report / Sept.
Travel Logs
Taped Sessions

Email case notes and current ISP’s to
Job Specialists

Read: Ch. 3 – Bolles
Ch. 5 – Wurst

Oct. 12
Guest Speaker – Housing Authority
Discuss reading assignment
Case Staffing

Due: Client Resume
Taped Sessions

Read: Ch. 4 – Bolles
Ch. 7 – Wurst
Oct. 19 Guest Speaker – Consumer Credit Counseling
Discuss reading assignment
Case Staffing
Due: Taped Sessions
Read: Ch. 5 – Bolles
Ch. 9 – Wurst
Oct. 30 Video – “Resumes and Applications for People
With Disabilities”
Discuss reading assignment
Case Staffing Due: Taped Sessions
Read: Ch. 6 – Bolles
Ch. 10 – Wurst
Nov. 2 Video – “Job Interviewing for People with
Discuss reading assignment
Case Staffing
File Review Due: Monthly Activity Report / Oct.
Travel Logs
Taped Sessions
Case Notes

Email case notes and current ISP’s to
Job Specialists

Read: Appendix A and page 151
Ch. 13 – Wurst
Nov. 9 Video – “Interviewing Edge”
Discuss reading assignment
Case Staffing Due: Taped Sessions
Read: Appendix B & C – Bowles
Ch. 15 and Ch. 17 – Wurst
Nov. 16 Denise Bissonnett’s Employment Proposals
Format for Client Transfer letters
Case Staffing Due: Taped sessions

Type client transfer letters and address
Nov. 23 Thanksgiving Holiday – No Class
Nov. 30 Discuss/Share Employment Proposals
Case Staffing
File Review Due: Employment Proposal
Monthly Activity Report / Nov.
Travel Logs
Final Taped Sessions
Case Notes
Client transfer letters & envelopes

Email case notes to Job Specialists
Dec. 7 No Class – Faculty Consultation Day
Dec. 14
5:45pm – 7:45pm
Turn in Case Files, Resource Binder, and
Metro Ministries book
Learning Outcomes Survey Due: Final Monthly Report / Dec.
Final Travel Logs
Personal Reflection Paper

Email case notes to Job Specialists
and any current ISP’s
Subject to Change:

This syllabus and schedule are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances. If you are absent from class, it is your responsibility to check on announcements or changes made while you were absent.

University Policies

Cheating and Plagiarism:
Cheating is the actual or attempted practice of fraudulent or deceptive acts for the purpose of improving one’s grade or obtaining course credit; such acts also include assisting another student to do so. Typically, such acts occur in relation to examinations. However, it is the intent of this definition that the term ‘cheating’ not be limited to examination situations only, but that it include any and all actions by a student that are intended to gain an unearned academic advantage by fraudulent or deceptive means. Plagiarism is a specific form of cheating which consists of the misuse of the published and/or unpublished works of others by misrepresenting the material (i.e., their intellectual property) so used as one’s own work. Penalties for cheating and plagiarism range from a 0 or F on a particular assignment, through an F for the course, to expulsion from the university. For more information on the University’s policy regarding cheating and plagiarism, refer to the Schedule of Courses (Legal Notices on Cheating and Plagiarism) or the University Catalog (Policies and Regulations).

Services for Students with Disabilities:
The University is committed to providing reasonable academic accommodations to students with disabilities. Services to Students with Disabilities provide university academic support services and specialized assistance to students with disabilities. Individuals with physical, perceptual, or learning disabilities as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact Services to Students with Disabilities for information regarding accommodations. Please notify your instructor so that reasonable efforts can be made to accommodate you. For more information, contact Services to Students with Disabilities in Madden Library 1049

Disruptive Classroom Behavior:
The classroom is a special environment in which students and faculty come together to promote learning and growth. It is essential to this learning environment that respect for the rights of others seeking to learn, respect for the professionalism of the instructor, and the general goals of academic freedom are maintained. Differences of viewpoint or concerns should be expressed in terms of which are supportive of the learning process, creating an environment in which students and faculty may learn to reason with clarity and compassion, to share of themselves without losing their identities, and to develop an understanding of the community in which they live. Student conduct which disrupts the learning process shall not be tolerated and may lead to disciplinary action and/or removal from class.

Make-up Policy for Planned and Unplanned Absences:
In the case of an unplanned student absence due to an emergency situation, papers, tests and/or homework assignments due during the time the student is absent may be made up only if the student contacts the instructor as soon as practicable after the absence occurs and works out a plan. In the case of authorized absences due to university-sponsored activities, students should expect to submit their work to the instructor on or before the due date, or as arranged with the instructor. This includes papers, tests, and/or homework assignments.

Suggested Reading List

Albert, K. A., & Luzzo, D. A. (1999). The role of perceived barriers in career
development: A social cognitive perspective. Journal of counseling & Development, 77 (4), 431-436.

Bissonnette, D. (1994). Beyond Traditional Job Development. Chatsworth, CA:
Milt Wright & Associates, Inc.

Kalt, N. C. Ph.D (1996). Career Power: A Blueprint for Getting the Job You
Want. Pound Ridge, NY: Career Power, Inc.

Mitchell, K. E., Levin, A. S., & Krumboltz, J. D. (1999). Planned happenstance:
Constructing unexpected career opportunities. Journal of Counseling &
Development, 77 (2), 115-124.

Strawn, J. & Martinson, K. (2000). Steady Work and Better Jobs: How to Help Low-Income Parents Sustain Employment and Advance in the Workforce.
New York, NY; MDRC.

Swartz-Kulstad, J. L., & Martin, W. E. Jr. (1999). Impact of culture and context
on psychosocial adaptation: The cultural and contextual guide process.
Journal of Counseling & Development, 77 (3), 281-293.

U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. (1995).
Dictionary of Occupational Titles (4th Rev. edlk vol. 2). Chicago:
VGM Career Horizons.

Last modified: Saturday, 18 December 2010, 12:48 AM
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