Professor: Dr. George Gonzalez, Ph.D.


COURSE OVERVIEW: The purpose of this course is to familiarize the students with the concepts and paradigms used in counseling diverse populations, and the development of multicultural competencies. Students preparing to work as professional counselors must know and demonstrate the content, pedagogical and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all clients. Students will study the main characteristics and needs of multicultural groups including African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, women, gay and lesbians, people in poverty, people with disabilities, people who are gifted and talented, and, people who are elderly. The purpose of this course is to provide students an opportunity to gain multicultural competency as professional counselors.  Students will be exposed to current issues in broad diversity constructs: culture, national origin, language, physical appearance and ability, sexual orientation, spirituality, SES. This online course will examine substantive and theoretical constructs concerning the inherently complex dynamics involved in counseling people from diverse cultural contexts. An emphasis will be placed on expanding awareness about diverse cultures and personal bias in the effort to enhance cultural sensitivity and diffuse potential barriers in the counseling relationship and process. Current research about cultural specific issues will be addressed including race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, gender, age, marital status, sexual orientation and disability.  Completion of this course will provide the student an understanding of current theories, trends, and issues in counseling special populations; relevant skills to work with diverse populations; and strategies for studying and changing organizations and communities understanding, attitudes, and behaviors towards multicultural groups. The Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD) lists Multicultural Counseling Competencies grouped by attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, and skills in areas related to awareness of our own cultural values and biases, awareness of client’s worldview, and culturally appropriate intervention strategies (Arredondo, et al., 1996).