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SPCL 7922 Multicultural Counseling & Consultation (Elizalde-Utnick): HOME

Fall 2023


Please read this entire page, as it will orient you to the course, including the teaching and learning methodology used. The syllabus and course calendar are located in the "Welcome to Course" box.


Graciela Elizalde-Utnick, Ph.D.
Phone: 718-951-5876
Office: 1107 James Hall
Office hours: Mondays (in person) 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; 3:30-4:15 p.m. Additional times available b
y appointment on Zoom.


Course Section, Time, & Classroom:
Section M1 (1267): Mondays @ 1:00 - 3:30 p.m. in 5604 James
Section M4 (1266): Mondays @ 4:30 - 7:00 p.m. in 5604 James


Blackboard Course Site:


This course critically examines diversity issues related to intersectionality, privilege, and systemic oppression. This course interrogates the influence of racist, nativist, Eurocentric, individualist, heterosexual, patriarchal, cisgender, ableist, and sizeist dominant discourses on the emotional, social, and behavioral development of persons living within the United States. In-class exercises, Blackboard exercises, videos, discussions, and experiential activities will foster development of cultural humility, critical consciousness, and ability to implement social justice-oriented counseling and consultation strategies.


SPCL 7922T, Multicultural Counseling & Consultation

All the readings and materials that you will need for the course are located on this website. Any text highlighted in blue is a live link. 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.

Explore this website, the SYLLABUS, and COURSE CALENDAR before our first class on Monday, August 28. Note that there are assigned tasks to be completed prior to our first class session. Go to the SESSIONS tab to see the Task List for each class session. The password for some of the readings is posted on Blackboard (Announcements).

View the video, Make Your Reading Count, which highlights how to take notes when doing the readings to improve retention.

View the Class Participation Meme for a comical reflection on how it sometimes feels to be called on by your professor.

View the video, Speak Up In Class, which highlights some strategies to help students with class participation.


Students will be participating in the learning process via a combination of facilitated class dialogue, small-group discussion, discussion board posts, case  application activities, short lecture, individual journaling, written assignments, reading assignments, quizzes, and experiential activities. Students are responsible to be prepared to express their perspective and insights as well as voicing their questions for material assigned for each class period. 

Please note: Because it will assist you in becoming an effective school psychologist, it is important for you to be open about your own experiences and relationships during this course. It is also essential for school psychologists to be aware of their own attitudes, beliefs, biases, and personal challenges. Awareness is key to developing insight and assisting the school psychologist-in-training to achieve the course objectives; yet, reflecting on your own experiences can sometimes cause challenging experiences to occur. The School Psychology Program encourages you to practice self-compassion and care for yourself during this time and to seek professional assistance from others, if needed.

Courageous Conversations within a Brave Space and Community of Respect

Multicultural competence is built on personal awareness. Gaining awareness of our own cultural lenses (and how they influence what we see and how we respond) requires that each of us step outside our typical ways of understanding the world and the people in it. Often this can be more challenging than we first imagine. It is important that the classroom environment be one of respect and of honesty, honesty not only with others but with ourselves. Though it is not necessary for all of us to agree with one another on every topic, it is important that we are able to share our differing perspectives, first so that others can learn from our ideas and second so that we can learn from others. The intent of this course is for the classroom to be a brave space, which acknowledges that it can be difficult for both students and faculty to engage in courageous conversations about privilege and oppression. Learning requires vulnerability, openness to feedback, engagement with experiential learning, cultural awareness and humility, awareness of personal triggers and bias, and a lack of defensiveness.

Confidentiality and Equanimity

As a courtesy to one another and to add to the atmosphere of respect, students are asked to keep their peers’ comments, opinions, and personal experiences in confidence. We work to create an environment in which we hold our own and one another’s feelings and experiences gently and with compassion.


table of students, click for guidelines

These are SPCL students in a TBL course with Prof. Elizalde-Utnick. They are discussing and deciding on the best seating arrangement when conducting a counseling session with a parent and interpreter.

This course will be using aspects of Team-Based Learning (TBL) pedagogy ( that can be incorporated into online teaching formats. TBL increases students’ understanding of course concepts by using them to solve authentic, real-world problems and help them develop their workplace learning skills.

The Rhythm of TBL

TBL courses have a recurring pattern of instruction that is typical of many flipped classrooms. Students prepare before class and then spend the bulk of class time solving problems together. Each session has a similar rhythm, opening with the Readiness Assurance Process that prepares the students for the activities that follow, and then moving to Application Activities that explore real-life case scenarios and apply concepts described in the readings.

Phase 1 - Pre-Class Preparation: Students are assigned preparatory materials to review before start of each module. The preparatory materials can be articles, videos, blogs, podcasts, or PowerPoint slides. The preparatory materials highlight foundational concepts the students need to begin problem solving, but not everything they need to know by module end.

Phase 2 - Readiness Assurance Test (RAT): Each session will begin with a five-multiple-choice question quiz (RAT) taken on Blackboard. The RATs hold students accountable for acquiring important foundational knowledge from the assigned readings that will prepare them to begin problem-solving during the class sessions.

Phase 3 - In-Class Activities: Students and their teams use the foundational knowledge, acquired in the first two phases, to make decisions that will be reported during the whole-class discussions and subject to cross-team discussion and critique. The class will use a variety of methods to have students report their team’s decision at the end of each activity. Sometimes students will report their decisions in Zoom's chat, sometimes they will display their work gallery style for the other teams to comment, and other times they will complete short worksheets or surveys, which will be randomly reported to the rest of the class.

Credits: TBL in-class activity image is a TBL cartoon from Sibley and Spiridonoff at the Centre for Instructional Support, University of British Columbia.


Unless otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This course website contains copyrighted materials available only for your personal, noncommercial educational and scholarly use. This site is used in accordance with the fair use provision, Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act where allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Every effort has been made to provide attribution of copyrighted content. If you wish to use any copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain expressed permission from the copyright owner. If you are the owner of any copyrighted material that appears on this site and believe the use of any such material does not constitute "fair use", please contact Professor Graciela Elizalde-Utnick to have the content removed, if proven necessary.

This open educational resource was created as part of the CUNY and SUNY 2017-19 Open Educational Resources Initiatives. Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NY State Legislature awarded CUNY and SUNY $16 million to implement open educational resources to develop, enhance and institutionalize new and ongoing open educational resources across both universities.

Special thanks to the CUNY Office of Academic Affairs, the CUNY Office of Library Services, Brooklyn College Administration and Professor Miriam Deutch, Coordinator, Brooklyn College Open Educational Resources Initiative. Site design and formatting by Colin McDonald, OER Developer.