Assessment Processes : Graduate Counselling and Applied Psychology (GCAP) 634

Assessment Processes (Revision 3)


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Delivery Mode: Paced study; online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Graduate Studies

Prerequisite: GCAP 631, GCAP 633.

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines

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Assessment is an essential competency required by counselling, psychotherapy, and psychology regulatory and professional bodies. Assessment entails the systematic collection of data from the client and collateral sources, to develop a case conceptualization, and generate recommendations and plan for action or intervention. In this course, students will: examine the assumptions underlying the assessment of psychological constructs, and the bases for making inferences in counselling, psychotherapy, and psychology; develop a framework for assessment interviewing, integrating their theory of counselling; incorporate data based on psychological testing, giving consideration to validity and reliability; develop a firm base on which to build clinical skills in risk assessment; articulate the arguments in favour of and against the DSM-5; and, consider key ethical issues in assessment.


  • Unit 1 (Week 1): Introduction to assessment
  • Unit 2 (Weeks 2 to 5): Assessment interviewing
  • Unit 3 (Weeks 6 to 9): Standardized tests
  • Unit 4 (Week 10): Clinical documentation and report writing
  • Unit 5 (Week 10): Risk assessment
  • Unit 6 (Weeks 11-12): Mental health diagnosis
  • Unit 7 (Week 13): Ethics and continuing competence

Course Evaluation

To receive credit for GCAP 634, students must submit all of the course assignments. The passing grade for the course is B- (70%). The weighting of assignments is as follows.

The assessment structure for GCAP 634: Assessment Processes is based on the following course activities, with the percentage weighting of each activity as indicated. Your final grade for the course will be a composite mark based on your performance in these course activities.

Course Activity Weight
Participation in Online Discussions 10%
Assignment 1 (Part 1): Assessment Interviewing – Problem description 7.5%
Assignment 1 (Part 2): Assessment Interviewing – Case conceptualization 7.5%
Assignment 1 (Part 3): Assessment Interviewing – Integrating historical information 15%
Assignment 2: “Family of Tests” wiki 30%
Assignment 3: Self-Assessment 30%
Total 100%

Course Materials

Course Texts

Whiston, S. C. (2017). Principles and applications of assessment in counseling (5th ed.) [e-text]. Boston, MA: Cengage.

Other Materials

All other materials are available to students online.

Other Information

Students with a disability, who require academic accommodation, need to register with the Access to Students with Disabilities Centre at Athabasca University. Notification of the need for academic accommodation must normally be provided to the program office no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the first day of class. It is the student's responsibility to register with the Disability Centre to request academic accommodation if required and to notify the instructor that such accommodation has been requested. Every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate individual student needs. However, because GCAP courses are paced, all student are required to participate weekly in the online discussion forums. There are also several courses where online exams are required.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice.

Opened in Revision 3, April 2019.

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