Multicultural Counseling – CEFS 504

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

This course focuses on the multiple dimensions related to competent multicultural counseling. Major ethnic groups are studied along with the counseling, social justice, and advocacy approaches appropriate to each. In a similar fashion, the overarching cultural context of relationships, including factors such as age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religious and spiritual values, mental and physical characteristics, education, family values, socioeconomic status, and within group as well as between group cultural differences are examined. Theories of multicultural counseling, identity development, pluralistic trends, and systems-oriented intervention strategies (couple, family, group, and community) are considered. Counselor cultural self-awareness and the role of counseling in eliminating biases, prejudice, oppression, and discrimination are emphasized.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


The counseling program seeks to train the student to evaluate diverse individual, group, and family populations in order to effectively determine appropriate treatments. In order to assess, diagnose, and treat individual, group, and family clients effectively, the student must develop cultural self-awareness, appreciate client multicultural differences (including demographic and religious differences), learn principles of social justice, and seek to eliminate prejudice towards a variety of populations.

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 the Course Overview.

The Advising Guide provides essential information to the successful completion of the program. The link provided in Canvas will take the student to the page that includes the program handbook and licensure information at the bottom of the page. The student will then need to agree to the Advising Guide Acknowledgement.

Discussions (3)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will complete 3 Discussions in this course. After reviewing all the Learn material in the assigned module: week, the student will reflect upon what he/she has learned. The student must then create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be 350–450 words and include pertinent aspects of the course content. The student must also reply to at least 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 200–300 words. (CLO: A, B, C)

Discussion: Video Presentation Cultural Immersion Experience

The student will complete a 10-12 minute video presentation that allows the student to consider multicultural trends found in a particular diverse cultural group of the United States and to begin comparing/contrasting his/her own cultural experience with that of this other group. Through the actual experience of what it is like to be immersed in a different culture, greater insight will occur into the role of the counselor in developing cultural self-awareness, understanding the role of community, cultural, and family systems, the promotion of social justice and advocacy, and the importance of eliminating biases. Two other students will be invited to leave replies (approximately 200 words) commenting on the content of the video presentation. (CLO: A, B, C, D, E, F)

In the Cultural Background Paper, the student will investigate his/her own cultural background to gain better insight into his/her culture, attitudes, and beliefs, and how these may impact his/her clients. The investigation will help the student apply the multicultural literature to himself/herself in a way that fosters development of self-awareness and a coherent personal counseling perspective. Such an investigation will expand the student's understanding of how cultural awareness promotes optimal wellness and holistic growth. The student will complete the cultural background paper analyzing the background of his/her parents or primary caregivers in regard to family culture. If the student has a multi-racial background, he/she will pick the two most predominate cultures. The student will look at some of the research describing people from his/her background and interview their parents/significant care givers and other significant family members to get information. This paper will be approximately 2000 words, must include a minimum of 5 scholarly sources and 2 internet/media sources, and adhere to current APA format. (CLO: A, B, C)

Cultural Immersion Project Assignments (2)

This project involves 2 papers and the selected group for this experience should be a different ethnicity, religion, and/or culture that which the student identifies and/or also must have other significantly different cultural features (e.g., older persons in nursing homes, children with disabilities, adults with disabilities, the homeless, Deaf culture, prisoners, military, etc.). The student must use current APA format, including a title page and a reference page (an abstract is not necessary).

Cultural Immersion Project: Research and Events Paper Assignment

The student will research six (6) scholarly sources on the cultural group of interest that will include research on historical/current oppression of the group. In addition, the student will attend and participate in two (2) events related to cultural group wherein the student will learn about the population through the activities. The student will answer a set of questions that addresses the research and even participation, and the answers to these questions will be approximately 2,200 words.

Cultural Immersion Project: Interview Paper Assignment

The student will conduct two (2) interviews relating to the cultural group of interest. The first interview will be with an employee or representative of an agency/organization which engages in social justice work with the student's chosen population. The second interview will be with an individual or married couple from the selected cultural group in order to develop an understanding that helped shaped that individual’s or couple’s cultural identity. Each interview should last approximately one (1) hour. The student will answer a set of questions that address responses from the two (2) interviews and include a summary of the experience. The answers to these questions should be approximately 2,500 words. (CLO: A, B, C, D, E, F)

Quizzes (8)

The student will complete 8 quizzes that are open-book/open-notes, consist of 15 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a time limit of 30 minutes. The quizzes are not cumulative; rather, each quiz focuses on the material from that particular module/week. The student will have 2 attempts to complete each quiz, and the highest grade will be recorded. (CLO: A, D, E, F)

Quiz: Population Selection

The student will select a population for his/her immersion project. The quiz will contain 1 essay question and is limited to 20 minutes. The student is allowed two attempts to complete the quiz.

Quiz: Dispositions Reflection

This Dispositions Reflection quiz requires the student to rate himself/herself on the nine dispositions required for this program by our accrediting bodies using the following scale:

  • Exceeds expectations – I believe I do this exceptionally well.
  • Clearly meets expectations – I believe I am able to do this in an appropriate way as expected for graduate students at my current position in the program.
  • Adequately meets expectations – I believe I do this but could use improvement and growth in this dispositional area.
  • Does not meet expectations – I believe I do not do this well and could use improvement.

The student can review the Dispositions material located in the Learn sections of Module 1: Week 1 and Module 8: Week 8. The student must answer these questions in an open and honest way. There are no “correct” answers for the rating questions quiz - the student must simply answer the questions honestly to receive full credit.

The final question on the quiz is a self-reflection essay question in which the student will specifically identify the following:

  1. One dispositional area in which the student believes they can improve
  2. One step the student will take to improve in the above-mentioned area