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Athabasca University

Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Counselling
Program Regulations

Program Delivery

The 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.

Program Requirements

Students are required to complete 18 credits in the Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Counselling program. Diploma students are required to complete the following courses:

GCAP 631 Models of Counselling and Client Change (3)
GCAP 632 Professional Ethics (3)
GCAP 633 Counselling Psychology: Sociocultural and Systemic Influences

(3)

GCAP 635 Interventions to Facilitate Client Change (3)
GCAP 671 Developing a Working Alliance (3)
  In addition:  
1 elective (3)

Students who successfully complete the Post-Baccalaureate 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 decide to:

  • apply to ladder into the Master of Counselling Program
  • exit the Post-Baccalaureate 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.

Terminal Diploma Program Plan

Year Semester 4 Courses/Year
1 Fall GCAP 631: Models of Counselling and Client Change (online)
  Winter GCAP 633: Counselling Psychology: Sociocultural and Systemic Influences (online)
  Spring/Summer

GCAP 671: Developing a Working Alliance (online + Summer Institute)

GCAP 635: Interventions (online + Summer Institute)

 
2 Fall Option Course I
  Winter GCAP 632: Professional Ethics (online)
  Spring/Summer  

Please Note:

  • This program plan is designed only for students who are certain they will exit the program without laddering into the Master of Counselling.

Laddering Diploma Program Plan

Year Semester 4 Courses/Year
1 Fall GCAP 631: Models of Counselling and Client Change (online)
  Winter GCAP 633: Counselling Psychology: Sociocultural and Systemic Influences (online)
  Spring/Summer GCAP 635: Intervening to Facilitate Client Change (online + Summer Institute)
GCAP 671: Developing a Working Alliance (online + Summer Institute)
 
2 Fall GCAP 691: Methods of Inquiry (online)
Apply to Ladder into MC
  Winter Ladder to MC
Continue to Master's Program Plan and Select Exit Route
  Spring/Summer  

Please Note:

  • Students are expected to progress through the program according to the above course sequence. After completing five courses, you may apply to ladder into the Master of Counselling program.
  • Unless you inform the Program Office that you intend to exit the PBDC program with the diploma, you will automatically be considered for laddering into the Mast of Counselling program. You will be informed of your admission to the MC program after you have completed your sixth course. If your GPA drops below 3.0 with the fifth course, you will be required to exit the program after completing the sixth course.

Program Status

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.

Residency

In keeping with Athabasca University's mandate of open access, residency requirements for the PBDC are satisfied when the student has successfully completed 12 credits within the PBDC program. The remaining credits may be transferred from other institutions, if they are applicable to the university's PBDC 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 PBDC program.

Program Withdrawal

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.

Full- and Part-time Status

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 PBDC 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.

Program Completion Time Limits

Students must complete the PBDC 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.

Use of Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Counselling Credential

The PBDC program does not have candidacy exams, therefore the use of PBDC (C) or PBDC (Candidate) during your program is not permitted. You may use this credential only after the degree is conferred.

Graduation Requirements

To be eligible for graduation, students must complete 18 credits of graduate coursework required for the PBDC degree.

Information effective September 1, 2017 to August 31, 2018.

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