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Office Hours at all locations:Mon to Fri from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m (MST)
*This program was previously called Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Counselling (PBDC).
The Graduate Diploma in Counselling (GDC) program is offered during three semesters each year. Students participate in paced learning activities that require completion of course work on a fixed schedule. All course work should be completed during the semester periods. Extensions to these timelines may be granted, if circumstances warrant.
Students are required to complete 18 credits in the Graduate Diploma in Counselling program. Diploma students are required to complete the following courses:
Students who successfully complete the Graduate Diploma in Counselling may apply to ladder their coursework directly into the Master of Counselling. Normally, students will not take GCAP 685 as part of the diploma program.
There are no specialized streams offered within the diploma program.
Students normally progress through the diploma program at a fixed pace. The time commitment will depend on whether you desire to ladder into the Master of Counselling Program or exit the Graduate Diploma program with the diploma (Terminal Diploma Program).
The normal program plan is four courses per year; one in the fall, one in winter, and two in the spring/summer semester. All students are required to complete the first year of the program as a cohort, completing the first four courses in a standard sequence as these courses have been designed to build sequentially the foundational competencies required for your success in the rest of the program. For most students, four courses per year is the ideal pace to complete their program, as it ensures core courses are available and you have maximum flexibility in selecting elective courses.
It is strongly recommended that you consider the time commitment involved in online graduate work as you prepare for the program. You should plan to devote a minimum of 15 hours per week to each course.
GCAP 671: Responsive Counselling Relationships & Interpersonal Communication (online + Summer Institute)
GCAP 635: Responsive Case Conceptualization & Counselling Interventions (online + Summer Institute)
To maintain program status, students must complete six credits during each academic year (September 1 to August 31). Students are required to receive an overall grade of 70 per cent or B- to pass each GCAP course. In addition, students are expected to maintain at least a B or 75 per cent in the program. Students who fail a course, or who receive a grade of B- in two courses, may be removed from the program with no option for re-admission to graduate programs.
In keeping with Athabasca University's mandate of open access, residency requirements for the GDC are satisfied when the student has successfully completed 12 credits within the GDC program. The remaining credits may be transferred from other institutions, if they are applicable to the university's GDC program. Please see Advance Transfer Credit section below for more information.
Students must participate in a three-week summer institute. These intensive face-to-face experiences are most often held in Calgary, Alberta. All students must complete the Developing a Working Alliance course within the GDC program.
Students may withdraw from the program by submitting their request in writing and formally withdrawing from any courses in which they are currently registered. Students who withdraw may apply to re-enrol in the program by following regular application procedures.
Students may study in the program on a full- or part-time basis. Part-time students must complete a minimum of six credits per calendar year. Normally, the GDC program is completed in 1.5 years. Program students will be considered full time if they complete a minimum of nine credits in a given calendar year. Note however, that other organizations (e.g. provincial student loan programs, First Nations, Canada Revenue Agency) may have other criteria for defining full-time status.
Students must complete the GDC degree requirements within three years of their initial enrolment in the program. Students who do not do so may be required to repeat courses completed at the beginning of their program.
The GDC program does not have candidacy exams, therefore the use of GDC (C) or GDC (Candidate) during your program is not permitted. You may use this credential only after the degree is conferred.
To be eligible for graduation, students must complete 18 credits of graduate coursework required for the GDC degree.
Information effective September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2020.
Updated by Student & Academic Services