Counselling is the process of assisting and guiding others in times of transition, anxiety, and/or crisis. As such, counselling is not only a distinct profession, but also a skill set applicable to a wide range of human service, educational, and business settings. As a field, counselling is interdisciplinary and tends towards a non-pathologizing approach to understanding and intervening in personal and interpersonal difficulties. Education in counselling fosters greater understanding of one's self, others, and interpersonal dynamics, while deepening knowledge of identity formation, conceptions of health and well-being, and the process of developing trusting relations to facilitate personal growth and change.
Who Studies Counselling?
Generally three categories of students take the B.A. Minor in Counselling. These categories include students who would like to:
- Increase employability on graduation: Students and employers recognize study in counselling equips one with knowledge, skills, and abilities beneficial in any field involving working with others (education, criminal justice, healthcare, business, etc.).
- Pursue counselling as a career: The B.A. Minor in Counselling prepares students for graduate studies (i.e., M.A./Ph.D or M.Ed.) in Counselling at other institutions (e.g., SFU, UBC, TWU, or Adler School of Professional Psychology).
- Pursue teaching as a career: Courses in the B.A. Minor in Counselling are generally transferable as Education credits to institutions that require undergraduate Education courses for acceptance to teacher education programs (e.g., SFU, TWU, UFV; check the BC Transfer Guide for up-to-date information about specific courses). Students interested in a career in teaching can take an education concentration in combination with the B.A. Minor in Counselling. Visit the departmental website for details: http://www.kpu.ca/arts/edst/education
Department's website: kpu.ca/arts/edst
The B.A. Minor in Counselling is a highly marketable degree in conjunction with other KPU Majors for work in social and community services, as well as occupations that value interpersonal communication skills and abilities. There are multiple levels of career paths related to such fields. A Bachelor's Degree will enable students to obtain an array of positions. Professional occupations generally require further certification and/or education at the Master's or doctoral level. The B.A. Minor in Counselling provides the first step to those who aspire to these occupations. Listed below are two categories:
- Occupations obtainable with a B.A. Minor in Counselling (sample majors would include Psychology, Sociology, Criminology, Anthropology, etc).
- Occupations in which the B.A. Minor in Counselling is a first-step.
Occupations in social and community services include, but are not limited, to: addictions worker, child and youth worker, employment service worker, social services worker, disability management worker, group home work, life skills instruction, mental health advocate, program supervisor, recreation worker, rehabilitation worker, street outreach worker, transition house worker, and volunteer supervisor.
The B.A. Minor in Counselling is also a strong complement to careers where strong interpersonal communication skills are an asset such as: business, sales, marketing, advertising, public relations, management, consulting, mediation, etc.
Note: One may counsel in limited capacities with an undergraduate degree (particularly if one moves to remote locations and/or works in the non-profit and human services sector).
Career opportunities in which the B.A. Minor in Counselling is a first step include:
- Counselling (including specializations such as mental health and addictions, death and dying, advocacy, disability and rehabilitation counselling, genetic counselling, couples counselling, family counselling, school counselling, art therapy, non-profit work in human service agencies, and private practice). Note: To be a registered clinical counsellor one must have at least a Master's degree.
- To be qualified to work as a counsellor in K-12 public school, one must also obtain a teaching certificate.
- Students can apply for graduate school in counselling with any major, as long as they have the prerequisite courses for the particular program of interest.
- Students who pursue a Ph.D. in Counselling Psychology from an accredited program may become registered psychologists if they meet the criteria set out by the BC College of Psychologists.
- Education (teaching, counselling, related fields): Counselling courses transfer as Education credits for those who are seeking to become teachers and complete a teaching program following completion of their undergraduate degrees. Many students choose to become teachers first and then return for an M.Ed. in Counselling Psychology. B.A. Minor in Counselling students have also gone into graduate programs in Educational Psychology and School Psychology.
- Healthcare: KPU B.A. Minor in Counselling students have gone on to graduate studies in a range of healthcare fields such as occupational therapy, social work, speech therapy, and medicine. Students interested in such careers are strongly encouraged to look at the entry requirements for these positions as they require additional schooling, certification, and registration.
- Criminal justice: A number of graduates from the B.A. Minor in Counselling have gone on to careers in probations and policing, as well as been accepted to law school. Students interested in such careers are strongly encouraged to look at the entry requirements for these positions.
Visit the BC Transfer Guide - bctransferguide.ca - for information about course transfer in B.C.
Students will be introduced to major theoretical approaches that underlie the work of counsellors. They will examine psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, existential, humanistic, post-modern, and family systems theoretical frameworks in their broad sociological, historical, and philosophical contexts, while critically evaluating their own assumptions regarding health, dysfunction, and change. Attendance: Counselling Psychology courses require that students work in groups and practice professional conduct. In order to best support student learning and skill development, regular attendance is required.
Prerequisite(s): 45 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher
Students will develop a broad understanding of major theories of career development and related assessments. They will explore historical and cross-cultural perspectives on the meaning of work and considerations for career development, counselling, and education with diverse populations and in diverse settings. Students will also critically examine the role career plays in psychological well-being and they will apply theoretical concepts to their own process of career development. Note: Students may get credit for only one of CNPS 3320 or EDUC 3320 as these are identical courses.
Prerequisite(s): 45 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher
Cross-listing: EDUC 3320
Students will be introduced to issues of diversity as they pertain to the helping professions in contemporary multicultural societies. They will develop an understanding of the situated nature of identity, examine the relationship between cultural assumptions and the counselling process, and explore Western and non-Western conceptions of psychological health and healing. Students will also examine issues of cultural competence and engage in reflection regarding their own assumptions, strengths, and challenges in relation to living and working in a pluralist society.
Prerequisite(s): 45 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher.
Students will examine how helping relationships are developed and learn basic interviewing skills. They will learn active listening skills and examine the values, knowledge, and abilities necessary for communicating in a professional helping context. Students will participate in role-plays and simulated helping interactions including video recording to receive feedback on their basic counselling skills.
Prerequisite(s): CNPS 3310
Students will survey a range of reflective practice models. They will examine their own expectations, assumptions, and developmental issues in becoming a helping professional through the process of journaling, reflection, and reading. Students will examine both theoretical and pragmatic issues related to reflective practice and ongoing self-supervision. They will consider professional issues in dealing with challenging clients, power struggles, boundaries, and counsellor over-involvement. Students will consider occupational challenges associated with the helping profession and personal needs for self-care.
Prerequisite(s): CNPS 3310
Students will learn a wide spectrum of both theoretical and experiential approaches to group facilitation, with particular emphasis on core facilitation skills. They will examine group dynamics and evolution, interpersonal relationships (e.g., conflicts, alliances and other structures), leadership styles, curriculum development, and the role of health and healing practices. Students will develop effective facilitation strategies through achieving greater self-awareness and active sensing. They will also learn about the emerging models of group work which focus on collaboration, community-building and creativity. Note: This is a seminar course. Students may get credit for only one of CNPS 4330 or LCOM 4330.
Prerequisite(s): 60 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher
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