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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 27-Dec-23

Spring 2024 | SWK-2150-VO01 - Introduction to Interviewing & Counseling Skills

Online Class

Online courses take place 100% online via Canvas, without required in-person or Zoom meetings.

Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 01-23-2024 to 05-06-2024
Last day to drop without a grade: 02-11-2024 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 03-24-2024 - Refund Policy
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration


Valerie Welter
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Kate Hughes

Course Description

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of interviewing and counseling. Students learn effective techniques for interviewing, relationship-building, and communicating with clients, including strategies for supporting individuals experiencing crisis. Emphasis is placed on building introductory counseling skills and exploring how they apply to various populations.

Essential Objectives

1. Articulate the importance of developing a trusting relationship through reflective listening, empathy, authenticity, and non-judgmental feedback.
2. Practice the skills of active listening, including perception checks, reframing, utilizing silence, declining to give advice, and awareness of transference.
3. Practice effective inquiry skills, including open-ended questions, reflecting, paraphrasing, summarizing, and non-verbal communication.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of the interviewing process including intake, assessment, and referral.
5. Recognize the impact of crisis and trauma-responses and how they can impact interactions.
6. Identify strategies and tools for promoting self-awareness, self-care, and resiliency to mitigate burnout, compassion fatigue, and exposure to trauma.
7. Explain how personal values and ethics influence working with clients, as well as the ways in which implicit and explicit bias can impact professional decision-making and interactions.
8. Analyze various counseling practices and their appropriateness with diverse populations.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

SWK-2150-VO01 Link to Textbooks/Resources Information for this course in eCampus.

The last day to use a Financial Aid Advance to purchase textbooks/books is the 3rd Tuesday of the semester. See your financial aid counselor at your academic center if you have any questions.


This is online class. Presentation of course topical material, discussion, and student participation will take place exclusively through Canvas. Material will be presented using several methods including but not limited to our text, ancillary websites, videos and podcasts.

The course requires non-traditional textbooks. I believe the required texts serve as invaluable learning guides for students as we begin to examine the complex issue of trauma. Resources to supplement the texts and expand our collective discussions will be utilized as well. These will be available to students in the weekly modules as Assigned Resources.

Required Texts:

Hutchinson, D. (2022). The essential counselor: Process, skills, & techniques(4th ed.). Cognella Academic Publishing. ISBN-13: 978-1793512086

Yalom, I. (2012). Love's executioner: And other tales of psychotherapy (2nd ed.). Basic Books. ISBN-13: ‎978-0465020119

Prior to the course opening, please read the assigned Week 1 reading below. The reading will be addressed in the Week 1 discussion and assignments when the course opens.

Hutchinson: Preface and Chapter 1

A detailed syllabus that includes the weekly assigned chapter reading, supplementary resources and assignments will be available in the weekly modules on the course page in Canvas. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions about the course.

Evaluation Criteria

Most weeks there will be two assignments. Students will submit assignments directly into the discussion forums. Assignments should be comprehensive, well-organized, and academically developed responses, a minimum of 350 words (some weeks later in the semester will require only one 500-words assignment). Include thoughtful, substantive ideas addressing the assignment. Proofread for spelling, grammar and mechanics. Demonstrate critical thinking skills by contributing quality topical material from our readings and ancillary resources. Reference the assigned readings/resources in your coursework to support your thoughts and conclusions and to demonstrate an understanding of the weekly topical material. Reply to classmates with substantive responses; respond by finding points of agreement, disagreement (respectful), expanding upon or questioning. Answer topic-related questions your classmates raise. Active participation in the discussion forums is essential to your overall success in the course. The discussion forums offer students the opportunity to express thoughts, ask questions for clarification, and gain insight from your classmates’ responses and instructor’s guidance

Coursework should be written in college-level English, and should show evidence of critical thinking. You should support your opinions with references to our readings cited appropriately using APA format.

To earn full points for the week, students are required to:

1. Read the assigned material andreference it in your assignments and substantive response posts. Cite appropriately using APA format.

2. Contribute quality topical information to the discussion submitted incollege-level writing. Your first assignment should besubmitted by Thursday midnight, the second by Saturday midnight. All required postings for the week must be made by Monday at midnight (11:59 pm).Postings made after Monday midnight will not be considered for grading without prior communication with me.

3. Participate ontwo different days throughout the week.

4. Respond to at leastfourquestions or postings made by other students and/orme with asubstantive post, which references our readings.Two responses are due in each of the weekly discussion forums. A substantive post for the purpose of this course is a well-developed post, aminimum 150 words, that references our readings or other appropriate source. A substantive post isNOTone ortwo sentences of general statements or unsupported opinion. Students are welcome to reply to one another with general statements in addition to the guidelines outlined above; however these posts do not meet the criteria of a substantive post.

5. Quizzes will not be used in the course, students are evaluated on their ability to synthesize course readings/resources into assignments and discussion posts. Assignments/posts should demonstrate an understanding of course content; course concepts and vocabulary should be evident.

In summary, each week students are responsible for TWO assignments and FOUR substantive response posts for a total of SIX submissions.

Learning will be assessed through the completion of the weekly assignments & discussion forums and final course presentation. The weekly assignments & discussion forums will be evaluated on the following criteria:

COMPLETENESS: Does the assignment meet the word length requirement requirement? Did you add at least two substantive responses in each discussion forum? Did you address all of the assignment prompts and does your writing reflect a thorough and critical consideration of the weekly material?

APPLICATION & ANALYSIS: Did you connect your assignment and substantive responses to the assigned weekly readings and resources? Do you demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the weekly topical material? Did you provide examples, detail any generalized statements, and substantiate with concrete explanations?

CONSTRUCTION: Did you use complete sentences, proper grammar, accurate spelling, good paragraph structure, and logical organization in your work? Did you cite the course information you referenced using APA format?

TIMELINESS & PARTICIPATION: Did you submit your assignment on time? Did you participate in the online discussion a minimum of two different days?

15 weeks @ 40 points each: 600 points

Introduction: 5 points

Midterm Essay: 50 points

Final Essay: 50 points

Total: 705 points

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments


An Invitation to Counseling Work


Hutchinson: Preface and Chapter 1

When assigned, supplemental resources will be available in the respective weekly modules.


Discussion Forums

Week 1: Part 1 Assignment & Discussion

Week 1: Part 2 Assignment & Discussion



Skills & Tasks for Engaging a New Client


Hutchinson: Chapter 2


Discussion Forums

Week 2: Part 1 Assignment & Discussion

Week 2: Part 2 Assignment & Discussion



Skills for Developing the Relationship


Hutchinson: Chapter 3


Discussion Forums

Week 3: Part 1 Assignment & Discussion

Week 3: Part 2 Assignment & Discussion



Establishing the Cultural & Ethical Foundation for Good Practice


Hutchinson: Chapter 4


Discussion Forums

Week 4: Part 1 Assignment & Discussion

Week 4: Part 2 Assignment & Discussion



Assessment, Goal Setting & Action Planning


Hutchinson: Chapter 5


Discussion Forums

Week 5: Part 1 Assignment & Discussion

Week 5: Part 2 Assignment & Discussion



Skills for Deepening the Relationship


Hutchinson: Chapter 6


Discussion Forums

Week 6: Part 1 Assignment & Discussion

Week 6: Part 2 Assignment & Discussion



Integrating Yalom (Part 1)


Yalom: Prologue and Chapters 1-5

Review past reading in Hutchinson.


Discussion Forums

Week 7: Part 1 Assignment & Discussion

Midterm Essay: Yalom: Process, Skills & Techniques



Essential Action Skills: Working Toward Goals


Hutchinson: Chapter 7


Discussion Forums

Week 8: Part 1 Assignment & Discussion

Week 8: Part 2 Assignment & Discussion



Advanced Action Skills: Moving Beyond Stability


Hutchinson: Chapter 8


Discussion Forums

Week 9: Part 1 Assignment & Discussion

Week 9: Part 2 Assignment & Discussion



Skills for Managing Crisis Situations


Hutchinson: Chapter 9


Discussion Forums

Week 10: Part 1 Assignment & Discussion

Week 10: Part 2 Assignment & Discussion



Exceptional Counseling Challenges


Hutchinson: Chapter 10


Discussion Forums

Week 11: Part 1 Assignment & Discussion

Week 11: Part 2 Assignment & Discussion



Skills for Ending


Hutchinson: Chapter 11


Discussion Forums

Week 12: Part 1 Assignment & Discussion

Week 12: Part 2 Assignment & Discussion



The Whole Counselor: Maintaining Health & Perspective


Hutchinson: Chapter 12


Discussion Forums

Week 13: Part 1 Assignment & Discussion

Week 13: Part 2 Assignment & Discussion



Integrating Yalom: Part II


Yalom: Chapters 6-10 and Afterword

Review past reading in Hutchinson.


Discussion Forums

Week 14: Part 1 Assignment & Discussion

Endterm Essay: Yalom: Process, Skills & Techniques



Course Closure


No New Assigned Reading: Reference Readings From Throughout the Semester in Week 15 Coursework.


Discussion Forums

Week 15: Part 1 Assignment & Discussion


Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.