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SPCL 7922 Multicultural Counseling & Consultation in Schools: ASSIGNMENTS & RUBRICS

Open Educational Resource (OER) created for Professor Elizalde-Utnick's SPCL 7922 course.


This website is a critical part of this course, both as a learning platform and as the site to obtain the readings, videos, and course information (both included and not included in the syllabus). Students are expected to engage in a multi-level process of critical self-reflection, an important component of multicultural competence and cultural humility development. Each session link is filled with resources, and students are encouraged to preview the class material prior to each session and then review the material after each class. The learning process is cumulative, with each session integrating the content from earlier sessions. The readings are posted in the Bibliography section but also linked in each class session. Quiz questions are generated from the content of the assigned readings posted on this website. The website is intended to optimize the learning process, and the instructor looks forward to your feedback.


Twice during the semester, at the midpoint and at the end, students assess their level of class participation using the following Class Participation Rubric. Students evaluate their own level of participation and award points out of 100 using the criteria described below. This will be completed using a google form; the link to the form is posted on Blackboard in the Assignments link.

Midterm Self-Assessment Due: Sunday, October 31

Final Self-Assessment Due: Monday, December 20



Consistently raises or facilitates discussion with peers in every class meeting. During the synchronous online class sessions, both audio and video technology are on. Engages in integrative and higher order thinking in relation to the readings (e.g., integrates two or more pieces of information in the readings, integrates experience with research discussion, poses hypotheticals for the group based on findings); questions findings or relates to other research. During asynchronous activities, consistently posts on discussion boards before the deadline; interacts at least twice with other students during every discussion board thread. The posts are of high quality, relevant, and contribute to the learning community.


Respectful attention to others’ contributions; periodically (at least every other class meeting) shares comments on at least one topic discussed in readings and demonstrates understanding and relevance to classroom discussion. Interacts at least once with other students in each discussion board thread.


Consistently present in class; attends and responds to others’ contributions at personal level of experience, but does not participate in classroom discussions


Consistently present in class; makes no contribution to discussion; unresponsive to or argumentative with others

Less than 45


Each student will evaluate the contributions of all the other team members by completing a midterm peer evaluation using a google form link on Blackboard. The results will be disseminated anonymously to all team members by Prof. Elizalde-Utnick. The purpose of this evaluation is to give feedback to each team member to maximize team accountability.

DUE: Friday, October 31


At the end of the term, it is necessary for all members of this class to assess the contributions that each member of the team made to the work of the team.  You will divide 100 points between your teammates based on the contributions they made to the team throughout the semester. This contribution should presumably reflect your judgment of such things as: 1) Preparation (were they prepared when they came to class?); 2) Contribution (did they contribute productively to group discussion and work?); 3) Respect of others' ideas (did they encourage others to contribute their ideas?); and 4) Flexibility (were they flexible when disagreements occurred?). It is important that you raise the evaluation of people who truly worked hard for the good of the group and lower the evaluation of those you perceived not to be working as hard on group tasks. Students will submit their final peer evaluation via a google form link on Blackboard.

DUE: Monday, DECEMBER 20


Instead of cumulative exams, there are weekly individual quizzes (i.e., RATs, aka Readiness Assurance Tests) designed to assess your completion and basic understanding of the assigned readings (and videos, podcasts, etc.). Each class session will begin with a 5-question quiz on Blackboard. Students have to begin the quiz at their class section’s designated time (1:00 or 4:30 pm), and they have 30 minutes to complete and submit it. The quiz only takes 15 minutes; but a double-time accommodation is built in and as a result you will have up to 30 minutes to take the quiz. The lowest two RAT scores will be dropped; there are no make-ups for missed RATs.


Students are expected to engage in a multi-level process of critical self-reflection, an important component of multicultural competence development. One effective strategy is e-journaling which allows for a deeper level of processing the course constructs. Asynchronous journaling gives students an opportunity to provide their thoughts, concerns, and opinions in a setting that they might feel more comfortable doing so in comparison to the Zoom sessions and discussion board forums. The instructor will provide feedback and can address any concerns that arise during this self-reflection process. Students should refer to the course outline and OER website for more details regarding topics and due dates.


The discussion board forums are student-centered and aimed at fostering student-to-student learning community via an asynchronous format. The discussion prompts are designed to foster a deeper processing of the course material timed right before the material is discussed synchronously via Zoom. Students are expected to post on discussion boards before the deadline and to interact at least twice with other students during every discussion board thread. Students should refer to the course outline and OER website for more details regarding topics and due dates. Students should also reflect on the following discussion board rubric to enhance the quality of their posts.












of Post

Makes appropriate comments: thoughtful, reflective, and respectful of others’ postings

Makes appropriate comments and responds respectfully to others’ postings

Responds, but with

minimum effort. (e.g., "I agree with Jean")



of Post

Posts topics related to discussion topic; prompts further   discussion of topic

Posts topics that are related to        discussion content

Posts topics which do not relate to the discussion content;     makes short or irrelevant remarks



to the



Aware of needs of community; attempts to motivate the group discussion; presents       creative approaches to topic      

Attempts to direct the   discussion and to present relevant viewpoints for consideration by group; interacts freely

Does not make effort  to participate in learning community as it develops


While you are encouraged to watch the entire video training session, this assignment is based on approximately 55 minutes of the video which plays Episode 3: The House We Live In, which is part of the film series, Race: The Power of An Illusion.

Start watching at 14 minutes, 30 seconds (14:30) and stop at about 1:10:30.

It is set to start at this point, but if you rewind, it will go all the way to the beginning.

Respond to the following questions; you can write your reflection paper in question-and-answer format. You should review the rubric before writing this paper.

1. Who was allowed to become a naturalized citizen before 1954 and who wasn’t? What rights and privileges do citizens have that non-citizens don't have? What were the consequences for those denied citizenship?

2. How did European “ethnics” become white? What changes made this possible?

3. How did federal housing policies institutionalize segregation and wealth disparities?

4. Why do property values go down when a neighborhood changes from white to nonwhite? Who plays a role in this?

5. What happens to measures of racial disparities in places like education and welfare rates when groups of similar income AND wealth are compared?

6. The film shows how government policies have created unfair advantages for whites in the past, resulting in a substantial wealth gap between whites and nonwhites. What examples of disparity exist in the community you grew up in and in the community you live in today? Will the wealth gap go away if we ignore race?

7. Central to the concept of the American Dream is the notion that anyone who works hard enough will be rewarded—that anyone can “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” How has this been made more difficult for people not defined as white? What is the long-term impact of that denial? What difference does access to financial resources make in terms of your life opportunities?

8. Given that race isn’t biological, should we get rid of racial categories? Why might racial classifications still be useful? If we stop tracking racial information, how will we tell if disparities still exist?

9. Critically reflect on this assignment. What were your thoughts and feelings as you watched the video?


DUE: Sunday, September 26


This critical reflective writing activity requires students to explore self in relation to attitudes and beliefs, and develop knowledge about personal cultural identity, development, and worldview (including key personal values). Students will address the impact of personal values, cultural identity, family history, and current lifestyle on current sense of self, their future work as school psychologists, and their ability to work with different groups in counseling. Use all your course experiences to date (readings, other course materials, class dialogues, etc.) to inform your work on this project. Also, use the specific resources and prompts listed below as a guide for your personal cultural review and reflection.

Each prompt is to be integrated in your essay. You are encouraged to utilize creativity, thoughtfulness, and intention in discussing your intersectionality and cultural identity.

1. How do you identify culturally? Include the identities (e.g., woman) and identity intersections (e.g., low income, queer, Chinese woman) you view as most salient and describe why these are most salient for you.

2. When you look at a photograph of yourself, what do you think others see in terms of your cultural (e.g., ethnicity, race) background based purely on your physical features? What do you see about yourself?

3. Using the racial identity development theory that fits your racial identification, describe your life experiences (give examples) as you moved along each of the stages. Which stage were you in during your teenage years?  Why?  Give examples.  Which stage are you in right now? Do you remember any significant shifts in developmental stages of this identity? How is this course impacting your racial identity development? Give examples.

4. Describe yourself in terms of each component of the ADDRESSING Framework. In what areas do you hold privilege? In what areas do you experience marginalization? How does intersectionality impact your experiences with privilege and oppression?

5. When did you recall learning that you were male or female? How did you learn this? What gender assumptions/biases are common in your cultural and family group?

6. When do you remember learning what your sexual orientation is and how did you learn this? How is sexual orientation regarded in your cultural group? How did your family help shape your attitudes about sexual orientation?

7. When did you find out what religion your family practiced, if any? How did your family feel about people who had a different religion? Did you have similar feelings? How would you describe your current religion/spiritual orientation?

8. What were you taught about your family’s socioeconomic status throughout your life? Was social class (yours or others) openly discussed, observed, assumed, etc.? Did you often interact with those whose SES background differed from your own? Describe a critical incident that made you aware of your social class.

9. Discuss your earliest recollections of learning that people are “different.” Discuss how you realized you or others were “different” and how it impacted you. Describe the childhood and adolescent experiences or relationships that shaped your view of people who are culturally different than you. What is your current view of people who are culturally different than you? Describe some experiences that may have influenced you to change the way that you view people who are culturally different than you.

10. How did you first come to understand that racism existed? What did you learn from this experience?

11. What cultural values do you currently hold? Are they similar to or different than those of your family? Which of these values will be different from the common values of other cultural groups?

12. What biases are you currently aware of? How do you plan to manage your biases when working with your clients/students?

13. What groups do you think that you will have the most difficulty working with? The least difficulty? Why?

14. What are the implications of these answers for your work with clients from both similar and dissimilar cultural backgrounds? Describe your strategies and plan for advocacy and anti-racist work that you plan to engage in.

You should review the rubric before you write your paper. The paper will vary in length based on an individual’s personal history and experiences; however, this assignment is considered a comprehensive personal review and reflection. Consider 8-10 content pages (not including title) to be a target. Your writing will be evaluated for its reflective nature and your shared understanding of multiple cultural elements, characteristics, and dynamics included in this course.

DUE: Sunday, October 24


This assignment involves students in the process of curating content for this OER course. The goals of this assignment are to give the teams agency in their own learning and to share this curated content with other students in the class who engage in peer review of the cases. These cases will be uploaded to the OER course site for future students to discuss. Teams should review the rubric prior to completing this assignment.

Step-by-Step Procedure for Team Curated Intersectionality Case Conceptualization:

A. Determine Intersectional Domains: Team members collaborate and decide on several intersectional identity domains to incorporate into the case. The case can be based on actual or composites of children and adolescents (clients) from current or past work and/or hypothetical creations based on the team members’ own experiences. Any identifying information must be changed to ensure anonymity. Team members need to consider the course content when writing the case vignette. Click here for guiding prompts.

B. Write Case Description & Questions: Team members collaborate using Google Docs and develop a case with the following elements:

Part 1: Case Description. The case description must be brief and succinct, and yet provide enough descriptive information to capture the details of the client’s presenting issues within sociocultural and sociopolitical frameworks. The purpose of these cases is to use them in class discussions so that students in this course: become aware of their own biases and assumptions about human behavior; understand the intersectional cultural worldview of the case being discussed; develop culturally responsive intervention strategies; and broaden their awareness of how systemic and contextual forces affect not only culturally diverse clients but the helping relationship as well (Sue, Gallardo, & Neville, 2014, p. xxi). The case description must include the following information:

  • demographic information and intersectional identities;
  • presenting concerns (client’s reason for seeking help; parental and/or teacher concerns);
  • contextual factors (culture, relationships, family history, living environment; systemic/sociopolitical forces);
  • client strengths;
  • sessions with the school psychologist.

Part 2: Reflection and Discussion Questions. Team members write five reflection and discussion questions that address cultural, clinical, sociopolitical, or ethical issues related to the case. The questions highlight multicultural issues that must be considered in culturally responsive intervention; click here for further elaboration.

C. Submit Google Doc Link: Team submits a Google Docs link that gives permission to comment; click here for directions.

PARTS 1 & 2 plus Commenting Link DUE: Sunday, November 14

D. Provide Feedback to Teams: Other teams provide peer feedback on the case. They comment on the case description, ask clarifying questions, make suggestions, and answer the questions. They also evaluate the strengths of the vignette and its limitations as a discussion tool for future students in the course. Click here for directions.

PEER FEEDBACK DUE: Sunday, November 28

E. Analyze Feedback & Revise Case: Team members evaluate and incorporate the feedback into the case vignette as part of the final section of the paper:

Part 3: Analysis and Reflection. The team analyzes the peer review process and writes their analysis, as follows:

  • Categorize and summarize the feedback provided by peer reviewers. Were the questions answered as expected?
  • Describe how the feedback was incorporated into the case, including how the case description and questions were revised.
  • Reflect on this assignment: What did you enjoy about the process? What challenges did you encounter? What recommendations do you have for this assignment?
  • Attach the revised Case Description and Questions

Click here for directions.

PART 3 DUE: Sunday, December 19


Films can help foster growth in students’ multicultural competencies. This project will help students apply the theoretical and applied constructs learned in this course to a virtual culturally diverse client based on the chosen film. It is recommended that students preview the film in order to make the best choice for their multicultural competence learning. Students should review the rubric prior to writing this paper.

Step-by-Step Procedure for Film Case Conceptualization:

1. Choose a movie from the list provided. (If interested in movies not listed, consult the instructor for permission.)

2. Select a character who could have experienced the most intense challenges or situations.

3. Pretend the character is your counseling client.

4. Specify the demographics of the client (i.e., using the ADDRESSING Framework). If some of the details of the demographics are vague in the film, give a rough estimate (e.g., middle age) based on your professional judgment.

5. Describe your reasons for choosing the person as a client.

6. Elaborate what issues or concerns the client could encounter. The client’s demographics should be factored in.

7. Examine your personal strengths and weaknesses (due to any personal demographics, developmental stage of racial/cultural identity, motives, values, assumptions, preconceived notions, biases, any of the -isms addressed in class). Examine how and why your strengths and weaknesses could affect the service for the chosen client.

8. What strategies will you use with this client? Consider the readings and class discussions.

9. Reflect on this assignment. How did this assignment impact on your learning? What aspects of this assignment were challenging? What aspects were helpful? What did you enjoy the most about it? The least? What suggestions do you have for other films?

This assignment is excerpted/adapted from: Shen, Y.-J. (2015). Cultivating multiculturally competent counselors through movies. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 10, 232-246. DOE: 10.1080/15401383.2014.959679.

Films: Always Be My Maybe; American Son; Amistad; American History X; American Son; Amreeka; Antwone Fisher; Boys Don’t Cry; Boyz in the Hood; El Norte; Freedom Riders; Higher Learning; Incendies; Just Mercy; Love, Simon; Mi Familia/My Family; Moonlight; My Life in Pink (Ma Vie en Rose); Pariah, Saving Face; Schindler’s List; Selma; Stateless; The Hate You Give; The Namesake; The Wedding Banquet; This Is Us; Towelhead; Trembling Before G-d; When They See Us; Years and Years.

DUE: Sunday, December 12


Faculty members are bound by the ethical code to ensure that graduates entering the field meet high standards. The Program is committed to ensuring that qualified candidates meeting professional standards of conduct and training will enter the profession. The Professional Standards of Conduct for School Psychologists is an instrument for program faculty to raise a concern about students’ professional and personal development so that the issues can be resolved following college procedures. These procedures may include, but are not limited to, advisement, consultation, and counseling.

Structured Evaluation Methods: Each semester, teaching faculty evaluate students using the Professional Standards of Conduct form to indicate whether students’ professional and personal development meet minimal standards for professional school psychology. If a student receives a rating of “0” in any area, indicating that there is a serious concern to be addressed, the professor and/or program coordinator will meet with the student to develop a plan to address the problem, as well as a method and timeline to evaluate progress. In the unlikely case that there is no adequate progress in the area of concern, dismissal from the program may follow.

Faculty also meet regularly and discuss student progress and concerns. Such faculty discussions are designed to problem-solve areas of concern and plan for support to students. Faculty advisors are alerted whenever there are problematic patterns of behavior resulting in faculty concern.