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General Course Information for PSY624A: Testing and Assessment

Course: PSY624A - Testing and Assessment
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:

Course Description:

Acquaints students with the various information-gathering techniques used in clinical practice for the purposes of diagnosis and treatment planning. Emphasizes building conceptual and practical bridges between initial presenting symptoms, diagnosis and treatment planning.

Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Conduct a clinical interview and a mental status examination/mini mental status examination.
  • Evaluate assessment instruments used in psychological reports.
  • Analyze the intended uses and limitations of assessment instruments.
  • Evaluate the common assessment instruments used by counselors in the field and the value of instrument interpretation reports.
  • Administer a psychological assessment, including the interpretation of test results and the connection between results and the client's treatment plan.
  • Evaluate the connection between therapeutic style/theoretical orientation and the use of testing instruments.
  • Develop treatment plans that integrate test results.
Specified Program Learning Outcomes:
  • Apply therapeutic interventions with diverse clients within the context of professional clinical counseling, including attention to vocational issues when necessary.
  • Assess vocational problems and develop academic plans for diverse clients.
  • Develop culturally appropriate strategies and treatment plans for successful interventions with individuals and groups.
Course Requirements:

ABILITIES, KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS OUTCOMES: Abilities are tasks that therapists should be able to perform. In order to do so, therapists have to draw on relevant knowledge and skills. In this syllabus, abilities are listed as broad categories of performance that also function as class goals and that are further broken down into the sub-categories of knowledge and skills. The knowledge and skills sections are more specific in stating criteria for evaluation of these components. Abilities to be demonstrated in class role-plays, exercises or written assignments. Related to diagnosis, evaluation, and outcomes assessment: elect appropriate and ethical instruments to aid in the diagnosis of a client. Administer, score, and evaluate assessment instruments used with clients. Identify client behavior and functioning indicating the need for psychological testing. Identify client behavior indicating the need for psychiatric evaluation. Assess intervention outcomes used to treat the client. Related to psychotherapeutic interventions: Develop a treatment plan with a client based on assessment results. Identify appropriate interventions based on assessment results. Determine treatment goals with client, based on assessment. Related to psychotherapeutic relationship and context: Develop rapport with a new client undergoing assessment. Establish a safe and supportive environment for assessment. Communicate assessment results to client in a positive way. Knowledge to be demonstrated using objective formats. Related to diagnosis, evaluation, and outcomes assessment: Know assessment instruments commonly used by LPCCs. Know common instruments used in psychological evaluations. Understand the purpose of using assessment instruments. Recognize ethical issues in administering and scoring assessment instruments. Understand how assessment results are used to arrive at diagnoses. Know how to integrate assessment results in treatment plans and written reports. Understand reliability and validity and their importance in clinical assessment. Know legal and ethical issues involved in choice and use of assessment instruments with specific clients. Know how to formulate questions to conduct an intake interview. Identify and determine when to refer the client for adjunctive services. Related to psychotherapeutic interventions: Know how to use assessment results to choose therapy model, prioritize clinical issues and design treatment strategies. Know how to assess the results of interventions used. Related to psychotherapeutic relationship and context: Know how to establish a safe and supportive environment for assessment and clinical evaluation. Skills to be practiced in class. Related to diagnosis, evaluation, and outcomes assessment: Practice administering test instruments used by LPCCs. In role play, evaluate clients through interview techniques used for assessment. Practice scoring assessment instruments used in class. Related to psychotherapeutic intervention: Develop written treatment plan based on assessment of client in vignettes. Related to psychotherapeutic relationship and context: Develop rapport with a new client undergoing assessment. Communicate assessment results to client. Develop a treatment plan based on client's and therapist's understanding of treatment goals. COURSE COMPONENTS: In this course, approximately 25% of class time should be spent in practice based learning formats related to KSAs for this course. It is not expected that any class time will be spent on student presentations of theoretical material. Written assessment reports, dyadic presentations of interview and assessment techniques, simulated testing sessions, and use of test data to build treatment plans may be used.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures