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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: EDUC507 Course ID: 2788 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice covers the development of professional dispositions and ethical and legal foundations of the counseling profession especially as it relates to practice in the public schools. This course examines critical issues in the practice of the profession of school counseling, providing information relating to ethical standards and codes, legal responsibilities, counselor responsibilities and professional identity, and related professional organizations. Overall, candidates are prepared to provide fundamental school counseling services to diverse populations in an ethical and professional manner. (Prerequisite: EDUC505)

Course Schedule

No Course Offerings.

Current Syllabi

Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  1. Examine the history and philosophy of the counseling profession, including significant factors, events, confidentiality, and standards development
  2. Evaluate professional preparations standards and professional credentialing including national certification, state licensure, accreditation practices, specific standards, state regulations, confidentiality, client rights, and duty to warn and protect
  3. Explain the role and value of professional organizations, primarily NBCC, ACA and ASCA, their divisions, branches, and affiliates, including membership benefits, activities, services to members, and current emphasis
  4. Develop professional identity consistent with the standards of the counseling profession
  5. Analyze the role of school counselors related to the academic mission of the school and in crisist prevention and intervention (at school and community levels)
  6. Demonstrate effective consultation skills
  7. Advocate for counseling issues, appropriate counseling roles, and policies/programs
  8. Apply legal and ethical standards to counseling practice
  9. Evaluate counseling supervision models, practices and ethical considerations
  10. Examine limitations of one’s own school counselor role, seeks supervision and refers students to other school or community resources when appropriate
  11. Design comprehensive counseling programs that enhance the academic, career, and personal/social development of all students

Homework assignments (7)

Throughout the term, you will write responses to weekly questions. These responses will involve analyses of readings, comparing and contrasting the views of authors, and critique of arguments presented by the readings or the class. Papers will be graded for accuracy of interpretation, rigor of argument, and clarity of expression. Limit your response to between three and five double-spaced pages. Use APA style for all annotations and you must have references to support your work. Homework assignments are due by 11:55PM, EST on Sunday of the week listed.

Forum Participation (8)

Please join the forums each week. Students must post a reply to both weekly forums and reply to at least 2 other students for each Forum. This means that each week you should have 2 initial posts and 4 responsive posts. Replies must be posted in the week due and replies after the end of the each week will not be graded. The Forums are for student interaction and input should be submitted before the week ends in order to fully participate in the discussions. Students should demonstrate their own knowledge in the forums and avoid copying and pasting from websites.


  • Post the initial response to each forum by 11:55pm, ET, Wednesday.
  • Initial responses should be no less than 300 words.
  • Initial responses are to be original in content and demonstrate a thorough analysis of the topic.
  • Reply to at least 2 of your classmates in each forum by 11:55pm, ET, Sunday.
  • Replies to classmates should be no less than 150 words.
  • Responses to classmates are significant to advance the forum.
  • All forums can be accessed in the Forums section of the course.

Forum Rubric

Final Case Study (1)

You will be provided with a case study in which you must be demonstrate an understanding of ethical and legal standards, as well apply the STEPS Model for School Settings to develop an approach to assessing, intervening, and advocating for the student. The final paper should be 7-9 pages of body and also include a title page, an abstract, and at least five peer reviewed references in addition to the course texts. References should be listed at the end of the paper and should follow accurate American Psychological Association (APA) formatting. Your submission is due by 11:55PM, EST on Sunday of the final week of the course. This assignment is 30% of your grade: 30 gradebuilder points.

Student Membership Application

In this course, one of our Forum topics is professional development. Membership and involvement in counseling and/or education-related associations is one way to develop as a professional. Association memberships come with several benefits, usually including publications with recent research, conference opportunities, and free or discounted liability insurance.

For this course, you are required to join a professional association related to the field of counseling or education. Most associations have discounted membership fees for students. Some examples of relevant national associations are American School Counselor Association (ASCA), American Counselor Association (ACA), National Education Association (NEA), etc. There are also professional associations at the state and local level (e.g., West Virginia Education Association, West Virginia School Counselors Association, etc.)

Review several associations and submit an application for student membership to one that fits your career goals. You should evaluate the most relevant choice based on:

  • opportunities for professional growth;
  • services offered with membership fee (e.g., legal advice, publications, liability insurance); and
  • fit with your area of educational specialization.

Note that liability insurance is a pre-requisite for your practicum and internship and your association may offer free or discounted insurance.

You will need to submit a copy of your receipt from the association after paying your membership fees (due week 6).

The success of this course depends on your ability to read the assigned readings closely, think carefully about the points raised or ignored by authors, and bring your questions and concerns about their thoughts or positions into the Forums. Prior to each class I will post Announcements and outline the focus of the subsequent session and direct your reading. Having prepared the readings prior to class ensures your productive participation.

We should work to achieve conversational exchanges with each other through Forums and emails, constructively challenging each other to think broadly and critically about ideas or assertions posed by the readings.

In all participation and assignments I am looking for evidence of:

  • demonstration of substantial knowledge and higher order thinking and analytic skills and application of facts, concepts, terms, and processes learned/read/discussed;
  • critical contemplation, e.g., "grapple" with issues and topics;
  • appropriate use of knowledge learned;
  • imaginative thinking and responses to challenges/problems/issues;
  • exploring underlying assumptions about the lifelong value of education and schooling;
  • clarity of expression and logical connection among ideas expressed;
  • writing that reflects precise and concise thinking;
  • excellent grammar, syntax, and spelling.

Course Textbooks:

There are two textbooks required for this course

Remley, T. P.  & Herlihy, B. (2010).  Ethical, legal, and professional issues in counseling 

               (3rd ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Merrill Publishing. 

Stone, C.  (2009).  School counselor principles: Ethics and law (2nd ed.).  Alexandria, 

               VA: American School Counselor Association.

In addition to the required course texts the following public domain Web sites are useful. Please abide by the university’s academic honesty policy when using Internet sources as well. Note Web site addresses are subject to change.

APA Format

American School Counselor Association

American Counseling Association

Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES)

Association of Multicultural Counseling and Development

Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP

Education Trust

National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)

Office of Special Education Programs

US Dept of Health &

Human Services

US Dept of Education – No Child Left Behind

No Syllabi Found

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.