Foundations of Career Development : Graduate Counselling and Applied Psychology (GCAP) 645

Foundations of Career Development (Revision 2)


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Delivery Mode: Paced study; online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Graduate Studies

Prerequisite: GCAP 631, GCAP633

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines

Centre: Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology

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In this course, students will explore fundamental principles that guide contemporary practices in career development. The course focuses on major theories and models of career choice and development and related research. Emphasis will be placed on the integration of theory with career counselling practice. Selected course readings and assignments will allow students to develop a broad understanding of the roles of career counsellors and the major concepts and principles that guide effective career interventions.


The course is divided into 13 weekly lessons, structured as follows.

  • Lesson 1: Introduction and Overview
  • Lesson 2: Changing World of Work
  • Lesson 3: Vocational Personalities, Work Environments, Work Adjustment
  • Lesson 4: Developmental Theories
  • Lesson 5: Life Transitions
  • Lesson 6: Social Cognitive Approaches
  • Lesson 7: Gender Aware and Feminist Approaches
  • Lesson 8: Culturally Appropriate Career Counselling
  • Lesson 9: Career Construction
  • Lesson 10: Systems Approaches
  • Lesson 11: Chaos and Chance
  • Lesson 12: Ethics and Career Counselling
  • Lesson 13: Integration

Course Evaluation

To receive credit for GCAP 645, students must complete and submit all of the course assignments. The passing grade for the course is B- (70%). The assessment structure for GCAP 645: Foundations of Career Development 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 (Grouped Study) or Reflective Journal (Independent Study) 20%
Assignment 1: Critique of Theory 20%
Assignment 2: Your Personal Theory of Career Development 40%
Assignment 3: Competency Assessment 20%
Total 100%

Course Materials

Course Texts

Swanson, J.L., & Fouad, N.A. (2010). Career theory and practice: Learning through case studies (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Note: Students will be provided with links to the etexts from within their course materials.

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 2, April 2012.

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