Orientation to Counselor Professional Identity and Function – COUC 500

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course introduces students to concepts regarding the professional functioning of licensed professional counselors and marriage and family therapists, including history, roles, professional organizations, standards, and credentialing. Current issues in the practice of counseling and marriage and family therapy in a variety of professional settings are explored. Students are also introduced to program policies, graduate level writing and APA style.




Orientation to the field of professional counseling requires a thorough understanding of professional identity and current professional issues related to counselor functioning in a variety of settings.

Method of Instruction: This 8 week course is delivered in an online format, with Blackboard® as the primary instructional delivery method. Students complete one module per week over the duration of the course.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Common Core Courses Matrix of Student Competencies

F1.  Professional Counseling Orientation And Ethical Practice

CACREP Standard

Course/Experience – Evidence

F.1.a.  history and philosophy of the counseling profession and its specialty areas

Quiz Ch. 1–2, 14; Counselor Identity Paper, DB Forum 2 (week 8)


F.1.b. The multiple professional roles and functions of counselors across specialty areas, and their relationships with human service and integrated behavioral health care systems, including interagency and interorganizational collaboration and consultation

Quiz Ch. 1–2;  DB Forum 2 (week 8)


F.1.c. counselors’ roles & responsibilities as members of an interdisciplinary community outreach and emergency management response teams

Quiz Ch. 1–2; Counselor Identity Paper; Social Justice Video Blog


F.1.d. the role and process of the professional counselor advocating on behalf of the profession

Quiz Ch. 2, 14, Social Justice Video Blog;  DB Forum 2 (week 8)


F.1.e.  advocacy processes needed to address institutional and social barriers that impede access, equity, and success for clients

Quiz Ch. 2, 10, 14 Social Justice Video Blog


F.1.f.  professional counseling credentialing, including certification, licensure, and accreditation practices and standards, and the effects of public policy on these issues

Quiz Ch. 3, Counselor Credential Video Blog


F.1.g. professional counseling credentialing, including certification, licensure, and accreditation practices and standards, and the effects of public policy on these issues.

Quiz Ch. 3–4;  Counselor Credential Video Blog and Counselor Credential Worksheet



F.1.i.  ethical standards of professional organizations and credentialing bodies, and applications of ethical and legal considerations in professional counseling.

Quiz Ch. 3, 12,


F.1.l. self-care strategies appropriate to the counselor role

Quiz Ch. 5, 13; Wellness Assessment and Plan Paper

F.2  Social and Cultural Diversity

F.2.h. strategies for identifying and eliminating barriers, prejudices, and processes of intentional and unintentional oppression and discrimination

Quiz Ch. 2, 10, 14; Blog

F.5  Counseling and Helping Relationships

F.5.j. evidence-based counseling strategies and techniques for prevention and intervention

 Quiz Ch. 6, 13; Wellness Paper


Evidence of Student Competencies: Clinical Mental Health Counseling

CACREP Standard



CMHC 1.a. history and development of clinical mental health counseling

Identity Paper;  DB Forum 2 (week 8)


CMHC 2.a. roles and settings of clinical mental health counselors

Identity Paper

CMHC 2.c. mental health service delivery modalities within the continuum of care, such as inpatient, outpatient, partial treatment and aftercare, clinical mental health counseling services network.

Reading Quizzes

CMHC 2.i.  legislation and government policy relevant to clinical mental health counseling

Quizzes; DB Forum 2;  Counselor Credential Video Blog;  DB Forum 2 (week 8)

CMHC 2.k.  professional organizations, preparation standards, and credentials relevant to the practice of clinical mental health counseling.

Identity Paper


CMHC 3.e. strategies to advocate for persons with mental health issues

Reading Quizzes, Social Justice Video Blog

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. For Discussion Board Forums (week 1 and week 5), the student will create a thread of 350–400 words. The assertions for each thread must be supported with a minimum of 1 scholarly source cited in current APA format. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 1 other classmate’s thread for each forum. Each reply must be 150–200 words with a minimum of 1 scholarly source. (MLOs: E, F, H)Note: Social Justice Discussion Board is an ASSESSMENT BENCHMARK

Blogs (3)

Blackboard blogs provide the student with a place to express personal opinion and respond to the opinions of fellow classmates. (MLOs: B, G)

Criminal Background Check

The student will purchase a background check from CastleBranch and then submit proof of purchase to Blackboard.

Counselor Identity Paper – ASSESSMENT BENCHMARK

The student will write a 3-page paper in current APA format that focuses on counselor identity. (MLOs: A, B)

MA Counseling Manual Scavenger Hunt

The student will use the MA Counseling Handbook to complete a scavenger hunt in order to become familiar with the policies and procedures applicable to the student and Liberty University’s Department of Counselor Education and Family Studies. (MLO: D)

Counselor Credential Blog and Worksheet

The student will investigate state licensure regulations and report on their findings. (MLOs: B, D)

Counselor Impairment Paper

The student will write a 3–4-page paper in current APA format that focuses on the definition, incidence, and signs of counselor impairment and a personal assessment and wellness plan. (MLOs: A, B, C, D, I)

Wellness Assessment and Plan Paper

The student will write a 4–8-page paper in current APA format that discusses his/her results of several personal assessments and how to implement wellness strategies. (MLOs: C, I)

Quizzes (14)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the module/week in which it is assigned. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 multiple-choice questions, and have a 20-minute time limit. (MLOs: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I)

Verification of Orientation Completion (COUN 050)

The student will submit a screenshot demonstrating the completion of COUN 050 – Orientation.