Leadership for Diverse Communities
COUN 257: Case Practices in Rehabilitation Counseling
California State University, Fresno
Fall 2005
Monday 4:00 – 5:50, ED 170

Instructor: Shari P. Willis, Ph.D., CRC, Assistant Professor
Office: Room 445, Kremen School of Education and Human Development
Phone: 278-0382
Office hours: T 10:00-12:00, 2:00-3:00; W 2:00-4:00; and by appointment
Intern: Priscilla Guest
Phone: 277-1932
Course Description
COUN 257 is a fieldwork course that examines a number of methods for facilitating client rehabilitation, including interviewing and counseling skills, case management, service planning, and documentation and report writing. Other topics include discussions of professional issues, agency issues, ethical practices, and diversity concerns. The course involves a fieldwork placement at a local agency and student case presentations.
What You Will Need to Buy for this Course
Required Readings
Summers, N. (2006). Fundamentals of case management practice: Skills for the human services. (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.
I will distribute other required readings in class or ask you to download and print them from Blackboard.
Liability Insurance
All students must carry professional liability insurance for the duration of the course. Healthcare Providers Service Organization offers reasonably priced liability coverage for students, which you may purchase online at You must bring proof of coverage to class prior to beginning your fieldwork placement. You will not be able to see clients until I have this documentation on file.

Primary Learning Objectives
By the end of the course, the student will:
1. Develop interviewing and counseling skills, with emphasis on the initial interview process.
2. Become familiar with and apply counseling techniques, evaluation methods, planning procedures, caseload management techniques, and other skills in a human services agency placement.
3. Become familiar with human service agency systems and policies.
4. Become familiar with ethical standards and practices for rehabilitation counselors.
5. Better understand the importance of cultural competence and the role of cultural and other types of diversity in service planning and provision.
6. Develop beginning proficiencies in presenting client cases in professional settings.
7. Better understand the importance and use of community resources, including both social service agencies and industrial resources.
8. Develop proficiency in report writing. COUN 257 fulfills the university’s graduate writing requirement.
Course Requirements
Field placement. Students will list five preferences for field placements. I will make every effort to help you secure a field placement of your choice, but the onsite supervisor will make the final decision on whether you are accepted for that placement. Given the large number of students in the course, we will all need to be flexible. The field placement will include a minimum of 60 hours of direct service; 80 hours is preferred.

Placement activity logs. Students will complete a written log which lists the dates, times, services provided or activities carried out, and other information. You should use this log to keep track of your field placement hours, and keep a copy for yourself. I will distribute a template for the log format. Logs will be due weekly following the beginning of your placement.

Midterm and final exams. The midterm and final exams will cover material from the lectures and readings. They will consist of objective and short essay questions and will be administered via Blackboard. I will provide you with study guides for both exams.

Class attendance and participation. This class includes a significant experiential component, as well as a group supervision component. Each week you should come to class prepared to discuss your placement, especially in regard to the syllabus topic for that day. For these reasons, class attendance is particularly important. See the Course Evaluation section below for further details.

Professional dress. You will need to dress appropriately and professionally for your field placement. Appropriate dress will vary by placement site; consult your onsite supervisor if you have questions.

Ethical standards. I will expect you to adhere to the ethical standards and codes of CRCC, ACA, and other relevant professional associations.

Extra credit. You may earn 10 extra credit points for this course by selecting a book from the attached list, reading it, and submitting a 3-page reaction paper. The books deal with various aspects of diversity.
Course Evaluation
I will evaluate your performance in this course based on the following evaluation plan.
Total Percent of
Requirement Points Final Grade
Field placement 125 25%
Placement logs 50 10%
Case presentation/paper 125 25%
Class attendance and participation 100 20%
Midterm exam 100 20%
Total Points 500

Class attendance and participation. Beginning the second week of class, for each class meeting I’ll ask you to honestly evaluate your own performance across these three areas: Attendance (Were you here?), preparation (Did you read the assigned material? Did you bring questions about the readings or your field placement to class?), and participation (Did you ask questions and actively share your perspectives and opinions?). You’ll rate yourself on a 4-point scale: A=4 points, B=3 points, C=2 points, D=1 point. If you’re not here you can’t grade yourself and you can’t make up what you didn’t participate in, so you’ll receive no points for that class. You can earn a total of 75 points this way.

If you are going to miss class, please let me know in advance by calling my office. If you must miss a day at your placement site, inform your onsite supervisor as soon as possible and arrange to make up the hours you miss. If you must miss class, it is to your benefit to e-mail your placement logs to me by class time so I can give you credit for getting them in on time.

As stipulated in the practicum manual, you must pass COUN 257 with a grade of B or higher in order to register for internship (COUN 296). You must also pass with a B or better in order to take COUN 258.

Case presentation paper. You will submit a case presentation paper on a client from your placement to meet the graduate writing requirement and demonstrate proficiency in report writing. I will distribute a detailed outline for the paper; please follow it in writing your report.

Final grades. I will calculate your final grade for this course based on the following scale:

90% to 100% A
80% to 89% B
70% to 79% C
Below 70% D or F
Course and University Policies
Students with Disabilities: I wish to fully include persons with disabilities in this course and provide reasonable accommodations to students with documented disabilities. If you have disability-related needs as outlined in the Americans With Disabilities Act, please contact Services to Students with Disabilities in Madden Library 1049 (278-2811) for academic and other support services.

Disruptive Classroom Behavior (from the Provost’s Office): "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 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."

Cheating and Plagiarism (from the Provost’s Office): “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).”

Please complete all of your course assignments independently. If you need help or want to generally improve your writing, I can direct you to a number of resources that the university offers for this purpose. I will also be available to help you improve the quality of your written work.

Computers: Fresno State policy requires each student to have or have personal access to a computer, including a modem, printer, recommended software, and the necessary links to the university's information resources. Computers and support are available through INTERESC in ED 420.

You will need an e-mail account and Blackboard access for this course. The university provides free e-mail accounts to students. Sign up online at if you do not already have a CSU Fresno account. Blackboard requires the use of a username and password. To access Blackboard, go to, click on Shortcuts, and choose Blackboard. Free Internet access is available from CVIP (

All assignments must be typed. I will not accept handwritten work.
Tentative Course Schedule
Assigned readings may change slightly over the course of the semester and I will distribute additional readings to be determined (TBD). We may also have guest speakers or presentations on issues related to working with special populations. I will add the dates for these presentations as I finalize them.

Date Topic Reading
Mon, 8/22 Course introduction; introduction to fieldwork
Mon, 8/29 The helping process; models of human service delivery
Mon, 9/5 Holiday; no class
Mon, 9/12 Diversity and cultural competence; attitudes and perceptions
Mon, 9/19 The initial interview
Mon, 9/26 Basic communication and counseling skills
Mon, 10/3 Basic communication and counseling skills
Mon, 10/10 Giving and receiving feedback; use of supervision
Mon, 10/17 Case management and service planning
Mon, 10/24 Boundaries and problem clarification; midterm exam on Blackboard
Mon, 10/31 Developing goals and objectives
Mon, 11/7 Documentation and report writing; use of information
Mon, 11/14 Ethics
Mon, 11/21 Mental health disorders; case presentation paper due
Mon, 11/28 Mental health disorders
Mon, 12/5 Self care and avoiding burnout; class wrapup
Final exam on Blackboard

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 made while you were absent.

257 and 258 Extra Credit Book List
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
Barbara Ehrenreich
An entertaining, eye-opening, and sometimes exasperating look at the experience of trying to survive on low-wage jobs.

Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man
Susan Faludi
Faludi examines what she considers the collapse of traditional masculinity and its effect on working men in America.
Naked in the Promised Land
Lillian Faderman
This compelling memoir deals with many often-overlooked aspects of diversity: sexual orientation, religious and cultural identity, poverty, immigration, illiteracy, and mental illness, among others.
I Begin My Life All Over: The Hmong and the American Immigrant Experience
Lillian Faderman and Ghia Xiong
Oral histories from Fresno-area Hmong residents. Ghia Xiong is a graduate of Fresno State’s CSER department.
Strangers Among Us: Latino Lives in a Changing America
Roberto Suro
A Washington Post reporter discusses the critical issues facing Latino immigrants to the United States.
A Hope in the Unseen
Ron Suskind
This book follows a Black teenager from his inner-city DC neighborhood to Brown University and the Ivy League.
The Working Poor: Invisible in America
David Shipler
Interviews with working people who live so close to the edge that a seemingly minor problem such as a car repair bill can lead to an irreversible downward financial spiral.
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
Beverly Daniel Tatum
A discussion of racial identity development that primarily focuses on the adolescent years.
Rain of Gold
Victor Villasenor
Villasenor recounts the struggles of three generations of his family in Mexico and the U.S.

Last modified: Wednesday, 2 January 2008, 10:18 AM