Online Clinical Training in the Virtual Remote Environment: Challenges, Opportunities, and Solutions

Szu-Yu Chen, Cristen Wathen, Megan Speciale


This article focuses on the clinical training aspects of a distance counselor education program and highlights what clinical courses look like in an online synchronized classroom. Using three courses as examples, including group counseling, child and adolescent counseling, and practicum and internship, the authors share unique challenges they have encountered and solutions they have adopted when training distance students on counseling skills. The authors further discuss pedagogy, teaching strategies, and assessments that have been utilized to engage diverse distance learners in synchronized class meetings in order to maintain equivalent quality and learning outcomes with traditional clinical training methods. Finally, the authors provide recommendations for future research to increase and solidify the reality of distance clinical training in counselor education programs.


Keywords: online clinical training, distance counselor education, virtual environment, synchronized classroom, pedagogy



The rapid development of technology over the past decade has caused significant changes in higher education (Swanger, 2018). According to Allen et al. (2016), in 2015 over 6 million students participated in distance learning courses. Following these national trends, distance learning opportunities in counselor education have grown (Snow et al., 2018), delivery modes for distance counselor education programs have been developed, and attention to distance learning pedagogy has become a critical focus. At the same time, counselor educators have held the belief that counselor education, especially clinical skills training, should be learned and taught in person because of the intricacies related to developing rapport and the complexity of the counselor–client relationship (Benshoff & Gibbons, 2011). As the helping relationship is key to effective counseling (Layne & Hohenshil, 2005), providing clinical training via distance education can be a concern in regard to students’ learning experience and growth, and ultimately their ability to connect and work with clients.


Despite this caution, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited program models have begun to shift the perspective in the counselor education field. Alongside numerous pedagogies specific to the online format, the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) Technology Interest Network (2017) has published its own guidelines for online learning, showing its support of this method of counselor training. Additionally, to date, CACREP has accredited a number of fully online counselor education programs, supporting the provision of quality counselor training despite an absence of in-person contact between faculty and students. However, scholarly research around best practices and effectiveness of distance counselor education has not substantially increased. Barrio Minton (2019) reported in a thematic analysis of counselor education and supervision articles published in 2017 that only 4% pertained to distance counselor education.


A benefit of distance learning counselor training programs is that students worldwide have an opportunity to pursue an accredited advanced degree in counseling in the United States. When programs approach this type of training with a culturally competent perspective, qualified faculty, and intentional pedagogy specific to distance learners, they not only allow the profession of counseling to grow nationally and globally, they provide opportunities for individuals whose life circumstances have created a barrier to pursuing a counseling degree. With this responsibility, counselor educators recognize that it is crucial to continuously explore challenges and benefits of facilitating clinical training within the realm of technology. It also is vital for counselor educators to continue examining ways to create safe and student-centered learning communities, maintain meaningful teacher–student relationships, and model counseling relationships and clinical skills in a virtual environment. Thus, research and instruction around sound distance learning pedagogy is imperative (Perry, 2017).


This article focuses on the clinical training aspects of a counselor training program and highlights what clinical courses look like in a remote synchronized classroom. We will share unique challenges and solutions we have encountered when training distance students on counseling skills in group counseling, child and adolescent counseling, and practicum and internship. We discuss pedagogy and teaching strategies that we have utilized to engage diverse distance learners in synchronized class meetings in order to maintain equivalent quality and learning outcomes with traditional counseling programs. Finally, because of a dearth of research concerning distance training in counselor education, this article provides research recommendations to increase and solidify the reality of distance counselor education training programs. In order to ethically provide quality training, counselor educators must know what works and what best practices in distance learning produce quality counselors. In fact, Barrio Minton (2019) argued that “scholarly attention to methods for and effectiveness of distance teaching and supervision is the most neglected area within counselor education and supervision” (p. 12). With the number of online programs increasing, this should no longer be the case.


Review of Clinical Training in Distance Education


The 2016 CACREP Standards (2015) emphasize clinical training regarding general and program-specific knowledge, skills, and practice. Specifically, counselors must have knowledge, skills, and practice in conducting clinical interviewing; diagnostic assessments; case conceptualization; and individual, group, and career counseling. Students are expected to demonstrate ethically, developmentally, and culturally appropriate strategies and techniques for building and maintaining face-to-face (F2F) and technology-assisted therapeutic relationships, as well as prevention and interventions regardless of the context of the training medium (CACREP, 2015).


Although distance learning is not a new phenomenon, online counselor education has been slow to progress. Currently, CACREP (2015) defines an online counseling program as one having 50% or more of the counseling curriculum offered via distance technology. As of 2019, the CACREP database indicated 55 CACREP-accredited institutions offering 72 online master’s degree programs, compared to five CACREP-accredited online counselor education programs in 2012. As the number of CACREP-accredited online programs continues to grow, online clinical training has become a controversial topic given the nature of therapeutic relationship-focused and skills-based education. According to Perry (2017), some major concerns include whether distance students obtain as much knowledge and are able to develop comparable counseling skills as students who attend F2F training programs. To date, limited literature focuses on online clinical training and few researchers have examined the efficacy of teaching counseling practice skills through online courses (Barrio Minton, 2019). There are few studies comparing online and F2F programs’ learning outcomes in counselor education. We consider this a particularly important area to explore given that counselor supervisors and educators must conduct counselor education and clinical training programs in an ethical manner whether in traditional, hybrid, or online formats (American Counseling Association, 2014).


Online Clinical Skills Training

Concerns about the ability to translate clinical skills in an online environment are prevalent among educators (Barrio Minton, 2019; Perry, 2017). There is little research to facilitate changed attitudes around this common mindset. Researchers have examined the efficacy of distance students’ clinical skills development in the mental health professions. Murdock et al. (2012) assessed students’ skill development learning outcomes between online and in-person counseling skills courses based on Ivey and Ivey’s (1999) counseling skills training textbook. Participants included 19 students enrolled online and 18 students enrolled in person. Students were taught by the same instructor and the courses were facilitated similarly. A counselor served as an independent evaluator and 15 transcripts of counseling skills sessions were randomly selected. Results showed no significant difference in basic counseling skills based on the mode of course delivery. Similarly, Murdock et al. (2012) and Ouellette et al. (2006) found no significant differences between online and F2F sections of an interviewing skills course for undergraduate social work students.


Wilke et al. (2016) conducted a quantitative study to compare master’s social work students’ development of clinical assessment and clinical skills of crisis intervention between 74 students enrolled in an in-person class and 78 students in an asynchronous online class. All student participants were taught by the same instructor and were given the same assignments, including an assessment and treatment plan of a fictional case and a digital role-play. The role-play assignment was graded by a doctoral student who was blinded to the course delivery format. The results showed that there was no significant difference for students’ skill development between F2F and online classes. Wilke and colleagues concluded that clinical skills seem to be taught as effectively online as in a traditional classroom within the context of the same instructor.


Bender and Dykeman (2016) explored students’ perceptions of supervision in both online and F2F contexts. Counseling faculty and doctoral students provided supervision to 17 F2F students and 12 synchronous online students. Supervision took place for 90 minutes each week in a 10-week period. A posttest assessment, the Group Supervisor Impact Scale (Getzelman, 2003), was given to all participants to measure supervisee satisfaction, self-efficacy, and the supervisory relationship. The results showed no significant differences in the students’ perceived perspective of supervision effectiveness between the online or traditional supervision students. These articles stand out as starting a base of evidence for the effectiveness of online clinical training in counselor education; however, much more qualitative and quantitative research is necessary regarding a multitude of educational aspects connected to CACREP standards to sufficiently evidence the quality of online clinical training.


Assessment and Evaluation of Online Clinical Training

Reicherzer and colleagues (2012) pointed out challenges for online and hybrid programs in observing and assessing students’ counseling skills and practice because of the potential limits of a distance learning environment. Various counselor educators described similar challenges in providing experiential clinical training in a remote learning community. For example, Snow and colleagues (2018) surveyed 31 online counselor educators to investigate the features of current online counseling programs and educators’ online teaching experience, including the challenges they encountered and the strategies they used to ensure students’ success. The results indicated that some of the major challenges related to clinical training included providing experiential clinical training to distance students and supporting quality practicum and internship experiences for distance students.


Reicherzer and colleagues (2012) recommended that instructors develop program-specific standards and use technology to gather multiple artifacts that measure student learning outcomes associated with knowledge and skills. It is important for the program to determine what learning components must be taught in residencies (Reicherzer et al., 2012). Snow and colleagues (2018) further noted that asynchronous online teaching might not be an effective method for modeling, observing, and assessing students’ interpersonal and counseling skills. However, synchronous videoconferencing technologies may provide distance students and educators the same opportunity to conduct skills demonstration, provide immediate feedback, and practice experiential activities, such as role-plays (Snow et al., 2018). Furthermore, it is critical to include skills-based activities throughout the program and ensure students meet necessary learning outcomes before they advance to clinical field experiences (Reicherzer et al., 2012).


To address an increasing trend of distance counselor education, the ACES Teaching Initiative Taskforce (2016) provided suggestions for delivering a high-quality online educational experience for counseling students. It is proposed that instructors’ presence and engagement with students are key to students’ online learning experience. Thus, Hall et al. (2010) postulated a humanistic practice in distance education. Specifically, the authors proposed that instead of heavily relying on technology, instructors should make efforts to foster teacher–student relationships at the beginning of the class and intentionally maintain relationships throughout the course delivery by considering students’ personal, social, and cultural needs. It seems that with advances in technology, embracing humanistic educational foundations can help to ensure the integrity of the counseling profession.


Challenges and Opportunities of Online Clinical Training


Some educators might consider the integration of technology in the counseling training program as an opportunity for continued development in the counseling profession. Yet, others might question the capability and success of online modalities in meeting learning outcomes and standards (Snow et al., 2018) and view it as a threat given that the profession emphasizes therapeutic relationships as the core of effective counseling (e.g., Layne & Hohenshil, 2005). This argument is founded on the assumption that technology cannot provide students with a productive learning experience compared to F2F experiences (Layne & Hohenshil, 2005). Additionally, some online counselor educators identified changing their teaching style to fit an online classroom to be a major challenge (Snow et al., 2018). As a result, many educators are seeking ways to effectively maintain a focus on interpersonal relationships within a technologically oriented teaching format for some professions, including counseling, that are practiced through personal contact (Hall et al., 2010; Lundberg, 2000).


We have perceived and experienced various challenges and opportunities when providing clinical training in a virtual learning environment. Koehler et al. (2004) indicated that to effectively develop online courses, there are three components that must dynamically interact with each other: content, pedagogy, and technology. When the instructor has expertise in the subject, has skill in teaching effectively in an online environment, and understands and effectively utilizes technology in dynamic ways, students report having a better learning experience. Although there is an increasing focus on general online pedagogy in counselor education, concrete and practical strategies for online clinical training are rarely discussed. Accordingly, we aim to illustrate strategies that counselor educators can consider integrating into various skill-based courses to accommodate diverse learning styles, provide supports for students’ learning, and deliver quality clinical training.


Fostering an Effective Learning Environment for Clinical Skills Training

The element of classroom safety is an important consideration in fostering an effective virtual environment for clinical skills training. Because role-plays and mock counseling assignments often include information that is sensitive in nature, it is essential that students maintain confidentiality during and after class meetings (ACES Technology Interest Network, 2017). Although attending class in a private location is preferred, students in synchronous settings may join the class from a variety of locations in which privacy cannot be guaranteed (e.g., coffee shops, shared living spaces, and libraries), so it is important to establish classroom guidelines that address classroom confidentiality. Example guidelines that ensure a safe and respectful online environment may include: (a) using headphones in class to prevent the accidental sharing of classmates’ private information, (b) limiting background noise, (c) ensuring there is proper lighting so the student’s face is illuminated, (d) closing all other open windows on the computer to increase focus, and (e) avoiding side conversations with other students or outside persons during class.


Synchronous Tools for Clinical Skills Training

With the expansion of technology, instructors have been able to apply numerous synchronized technological tools to enhance students’ engagement and benefit students’ clinical skills development in the virtual space. One of the features of many videoconferencing software programs is breakout rooms, which function similar to small group breakouts in traditional classrooms. With breakout rooms, instructors can assign students to small groups in a virtual classroom where students can conduct case discussions and role-plays. Instructors can join each small group remotely to facilitate observations and assessment of students’ clinical skills, as well as provide feedback on students’ discussion and questions. This allows students to receive individual feedback immediately and to incorporate recommendations into their practice simultaneously.


Online counseling practice systems are another opportunity that can benefit students’ practice of counseling skills in the online realm. Instructors can incorporate this technology tool into the curriculum for students to practice specific counseling skills, such as paraphrasing, reflection of feeling, and question asking. These platforms usually provide a variety of short video clips of diverse mock clients with different presenting issues. Instructors can set up different modules and assign students to practice different skills every week. Students can watch video clips and record their therapeutic responses to mock clients as many times as they deem necessary. After students submit their responses, instructors evaluate their responses online and provide feedback by recording their skills demonstration. Additionally, instructors play mock client video clips during the synchronized class meeting and demonstrate effective therapeutic techniques. These online practice systems also serve as an additional opportunity for students to practice counseling skills in a technology-assisted counseling setting and help them understand the potential of online counseling settings.


Assessment of Clinical Skills

Although synchronous videoconferencing platforms allow counselor educators an opportunity to observe students’ verbal and facial/nonverbal communication, assessment of the full range of counseling microskills involved with facilitating a therapeutic environment is limited. Qualities such as eye contact, body positioning, proximity, and other subtle nonverbals are important markers of students’ therapeutic stance (Lambie et al., 2018); however, there are significant challenges to observing these behaviors over synchronous video. Because of the variations in the placement of student webcams and computer monitors, eye contact and body nonverbals cannot be measured consistently, so educators attempt to capture this behavior using real-time role-plays in class, as well as pre-recorded role-plays of the student performing mock counseling with an outside acquaintance (e.g., friend, family member, or other student). Using multiple points of observation, educators can gain deeper insight into the student’s nonverbal abilities and have multiple opportunities to provide feedback.


As both verbal and nonverbal communication are central to the assessment of students’ conveyance of empathy and non-judgment, limited access of students’ therapeutic presence in a synchronous format also poses challenges to the observation of cultural competency. In a residential classroom, group dialogue provides a critical opportunity for educators to assess student comfort in discussing cultural topics, such as discrimination, power, and privilege (Sue et al., 2009). During these conversations in a synchronous online format, it is difficult to observe the microbehavior associated with discomfort and reactivity, especially in classes with larger enrollment, and students that are struggling with the conversation can elect to remain muted or turn off their camera. As such, educators may find it beneficial to divide the class into smaller breakout groups to facilitate increased student engagement and bolster students’ sense of safety in smaller group settings. In this format, educators are better able to observe when and why students become disengaged or triggered by the dialogue and then intervene accordingly.


Examples of Online Clinical Skills Training in Counseling Courses


The delivery model of distance counselor education at our institution consists of synchronous class meetings via videoconference software and asynchronous learning via a learning management system. Students are required to participate in the synchronized virtual classroom meeting weekly for 1.5 hours. Instructors asynchronously assign weekly readings, facilitate additional discussion board activities, and post video lectures or other video resources.


Students enrolled in the online program are required to attend a one-week intensive basic counseling skills course residentially prior to taking other skills-focused courses online, such as group and child and adolescent counseling. We provide examples of facilitating advanced counseling techniques training in a synchronized format. Specifically, we illustrate how to structure and assess students’ clinical competencies and utilize creative and ethical solutions in group, child and adolescent, and practicum and internship courses in a virtual learning community.


Group Counseling Skills Training

Group counseling is identified by CACREP (2015) as one of the eight core content areas required for all graduates of accredited counseling and related educational programs. It is unique in that, in addition to knowledge and skill learning outcomes, there also is a requirement that educators provide “direct experiences in which students participate as group members in a small group activity, approved by the program, for a minimum of 10 clock hours over the course of one academic term” (CACREP, 2015, p. 12). This experiential component distinguishes the group counseling course as a premier opportunity for clinical skills training; however, to date, there is little research attesting to educational best practices in synchronous online learning environments about group counseling. Thus, in the development of this course, the instructors supplemented the limited existing research with consultation of group work specialists, group counseling instructors, and counselor educators specializing in synchronous online education. Through these dialogues, the following 11-week course structure was established, which is generally revised with each course offering by incorporating student feedback, continued consultation, and updated research.


Course Structure

     The required 10-week experiential component of group counseling in an 11-week online course can be achieved in a variety of ways. Common strategies include: (a) inviting external licensed group counselors (paid or volunteer) to facilitate a group counseling experience for students (without instructor observation), (b) implementing an instructor-led group counseling experience for students, (c) allowing students to serve as both group facilitators and group members in an alternating facilitation schedule (instructor-observed), and (d) requiring all students to locate and participate in an external group of their choosing (Merta et al., 1993; Shumaker et al., 2011). In consideration of the common challenges associated with an externally led and instructor-led group, including ethical concerns regarding potentially harmful dual relationships and problematic professional boundaries between students, as well as limitations imposed by the online training format, instructors chose to implement an alternating student-led structure for the experiential groups. A more thorough review of the benefits and limitations of each approach may be found in Shumaker et al. (2011).


At the beginning of the course, students are assigned to a small group ranging in membership from five to seven students each. Given the online setting, smaller groups may be more manageable for student facilitators and can give student members increased opportunities for engagement. Each group is responsible for determining a facilitation schedule for the 10 experiential groups in which students will choose the week(s) that they wish to lead the group. Students are directed to collaborate with group members to determine a specific focus of the group, falling within the realm of counseling professional development. The group meets in online breakout rooms for 60 minutes in each of the 10 weekly videoconferences. Periodically, instructors will incorporate a group reflecting team that will observe the group session live with their video and microphones off; record displayed group counseling skills, process, and content observations; and provide feedback for the group and group co-leaders based on the current lecture topics.


Ethical Considerations

Because of the potential for dual relationships, the in-class experiential group is not intended to be a therapy group. The group is described as a process group in which members will discuss issues related to professional development, and students are urged to exercise caution and intentionality regarding the nature of their personal disclosure. Students are reminded that the group experience is an assignment for the course in which participation in the group will be evaluated. Cautions regarding the limits of confidentiality and privacy are highlighted and an online practice screening session and example of a group informed consent is utilized.


Clinical Training and Assessment

The clinical skill outcomes determined for this course were developed in line with the 2016 CACREP Standards and the Association for Specialists in Group Work’s Professional Standards for the Training of Group Workers (2000). Group counseling clinical skills are assessed through the instructors’ online observation of: (a) each student leading a group, (b) course role-plays based on working with group roles that clients often take on, and (c) the ability to identify clinical skills when observing the group as a reflecting team member. Finally, the synchronous nature of the online group counseling course allows for dispositional assessment of students, as inappropriate behaviors are discussed throughout the class and are integrated into the group rules by the course instructor. In addition, the group instructor can intervene through synchronous technology when necessary, as they are able to do so in the F2F group counseling classroom.


Challenges, Strengths, and Solutions

     Challenges related to teaching group counseling online include facilitating a humanistic relationship between group members and instructors as well as among small group members in the online environment. Holmes and Kozlowski (2015) compared online counseling group courses with a small group component with a similar in-person group counseling course. The results showed that students assessed the in-person group counseling experience more positively than the online groups. This study signifies that there is more work to be done to improve the delivery of group counseling clinical training in online settings. A challenge that may contribute to this phenomenon is that students are often not trained on the nuances of noticing nonverbals in a videoconference setting. A second challenge is the variability in where students are located while doing group. Although students may be in a confidential setting, it might not be the most helpful setting to participate in a practice group session. For example, instructors have observed students in their cars, lying on their beds, sitting in a beauty salon, and having the television on while participating in group. Clear boundaries and expectations regarding the students’ background are vital, as contexts can be distracting for group members, group leaders, and for the individual. Technological difficulties also can impede the development of group rapport and trust as students’ screens can freeze during a discussion. Similarly, group leaders can have legitimate issues that make it difficult for them to be understood and communicate, and some students may be continuously logging on and off because of internet connection problems. Facilitating a discussion regarding thoughts and emotions around group technology issues is an effective way to normalize frustration and collaboratively brainstorm strategies to facilitate connection despite these realities.


There are, however, notable advantages to teaching group counseling online. These include the ability for the group supervisor to give immediate feedback to group leaders through online chat and video options. With consent, group sessions can be easily recorded for transcription assignments, supervision, real-time classroom discussion, and utilizing a reflecting team. Other supports and areas of importance include group rules about how students will utilize microphones. For instance, will they stay muted throughout the group until they want to share, or will everyone keep their microphones on so they feel freer to talk without having the extra step of turning on their microphone? Another consideration is whether to allow group members access to private chat abilities while in group. Instructors have experienced times when this has been distracting, as student group members may bring up unrelated topics while another person is sharing verbally. However, the chat function also can allow for increased support for individuals sharing, as group members can type in multiple responses. This can be a challenge for group co-leaders as they navigate both the group chat and group work occurring verbally.


Child and Adolescent Counseling Skills Training

Child and adolescent counseling is another clinical skill-focused course in which students are expected to understand and practice a variety of developmentally appropriate approaches to working with diverse youth. According to the 2016 CACREP Standards (2015), this course may assess students’ learning outcomes not only in areas of core content, but also in specialty areas, such as school counseling, clinical mental health counseling, and family counseling. Given the first author’s specialization in play therapy, she aims to provide opportunities for students to practice basic play therapy techniques and other age-appropriate modalities such as expressive arts activities. Therefore, this course is highly experiential.


When teaching play therapy skills in a virtual classroom, some unique challenges include students’ access to toys and art materials, space for play therapy demonstration and role-plays, and limited observations of nonverbal communication. Consequently, the following section focuses on how instructors adapt the virtual classroom environment to strive for maintaining quality clinical training and assessment in child and adolescent counseling competencies.


Course Structure

     To develop child and adolescent counseling competencies, students are expected to practice various play therapy techniques and take turns as counselors and mock clients during weekly synchronized meetings. Over the 11-week class, the instructor usually begins the class with a group discussion about assigned readings and clinical session videos. The instructor also highlights some important materials and demonstrates specific play therapy skills during this time. After the instructor’s modeling, students usually practice skills in small breakout rooms for 40 minutes. The instructor observes students’ role-plays and provides live feedback in the breakout rooms. At the end of the class, the instructor brings students back to the large group to provide overall feedback and allow students to process their role-play experience.


Clinical Training and Assessment

     The instructor utilizes multiple assessments to observe students’ development of child and adolescent counseling skills. Course assignments designed to measure clinical skills outcomes include: (a) in-class participation evaluations based on the student’s level of engagement in the role-plays and case discussions and (b) a recorded play or activity session with a child or adolescent with a session critique. One of the major clinical skills assignments is for students to facilitate a 30-minute play session with a child or an activity session with an adolescent depending on the student’s preferred working population. Students are recommended to find friends’ and relatives’ children for this role-play assignment. Students can also use their own children if they feel comfortable with this option. Students are expected to record the session and provide critiques and personal reflection for their session. This assignment allows students to practice their play therapy skills and language with an actual child or adolescent outside of the classroom and, most importantly, to experience the relationship-building process with a child or adolescent.


Students’ child and adolescent counseling clinical skills are assessed through the instructor’s observation of students’ ability to communicate with children or adolescents through developmentally and culturally appropriate interventions and therapeutic responses. The instructor also assesses students’ knowledge and competencies in areas of ethics, diagnosis, treatment planning, caregiver and teacher consultations, and advocacy. The weekly synchronized meeting also allows the instructor to conduct disposition assessments of students, including how students receive constructive feedback from the instructor and peers.


Challenges, Strengths, and Solutions

     Normally, online instructors are likely to sit in front of a web camera to facilitate the class activities or skills demonstration. However, when working with child clients in a playroom setting, counselors must move around to follow child clients’ play and attend to their play behavior and nonverbal communication. When facilitating creative arts activities with preadolescents or adolescents, counselors sometimes need more space for the activity and need to focus on the client’s process of creation, which involves critical observations of nonverbal communication.


In consideration of these challenges of toys and space, instructors can consider some creative strategies. For instance, when demonstrating skills, the instructor can set up a corner of the room with purposefully selected toys and ensure the camera captures a wide angle of the room so that students are able to observe the instructor’s verbal and nonverbal therapeutic skills. To have students personally experience the power of play and creative arts activities, instructors can facilitate activities involving basic art materials, such as colored pencils and markers, that students have easy access to in their settings. Instructors also encourage students to use any objects that are accessible to students and to be spontaneous when role-playing therapy skills so that students can experience children’s creativity. Students are encouraged to adjust their camera so that their peers can better observe their play behavior and body language during the role-plays.


Although instructors demonstrate various therapeutic responses, it is important to acknowledge the limits of demonstration and role-play experience because of the online environment. It is also imperative to consider ethical issues when assessing students’ clinical skills. For example, when students conduct a play or activity session assignment, instructors need to provide clear guidelines for the purpose of the assignment in that students are not providing therapy for children; instead, students are practicing therapeutic play skills and language. Instructors also want to provide informed consent information for the child’s guardians, including video and audio recording for this assignment and that only the instructor will review the session for the training purpose. Last, instructors want to ensure the privacy of all video materials; therefore, it is recommended that students record videos using HIPAA-compliant software programs and submit them using course platforms.


Online Clinical Skills Training in Practicum and Internship

A major portion of clinical training in a counseling program is group supervision of practicum and internship courses. Although students are most often working F2F with their clients and on-site supervisors, the group supervision experience for distance students takes place in a synchronous format, meeting HIPAA and confidentiality requirements legally and ethically. Jencius and Baltrinic (2016) highlighted the ethical imperative of online supervision competence when faculty are assigned to teach the practicum and internship courses. According to CACREP (2015), practicum and internship group supervision students must meet on average for 1.5 hours per week of group supervision at a 1:12 faculty to student ratio, and qualified supervisors with relevant experience, professional credentials, and counselor supervision training must be a part of the counseling faculty or a student under the supervision of a counseling faculty. While in these courses, counseling students accumulate at least 700 clinical hours, of which 280 must be direct client contact. Through these courses, CACREP standards are met, student learning outcomes assessed, and strengths and challenges are experienced. Following best practices in online learning and CACREP standards, the following online practicum and internship course was designed.


Course Structure

     The courses are designed to evaluate basic clinical skills, facilitate theory-based clinical insights, and advance students’ clinical skills through role-plays, case presentations, course discussions, readings, reflective assignments, and experiential activities. Online courses take place once a week for 1.5 hours during an 11-week quarter. In class, students review and present actual video or audio recordings (if allowed by the practicum and internship site) of clinical work, participate in giving feedback to other students in the course, participate in reflecting teams, and follow ethical and legal considerations for client confidentiality. Weekly, students present a client case presentation based on sessions from their practicum or internship site following a specific outline. If a site allows video presentations of clients, a 5–10-minute clip of a session is presented (with the client’s consent). Students receive feedback from their peers as well as the group supervisor. In the online practicum or internship course, consent is necessary from the site regarding how video and supervision are handled in the online format. It is imperative that a HIPAA-compliant mode of course delivery is utilized for the weekly class meeting and that students presenting videos and cases are instructed on specific expectations of recording, storing, and transferring their video clips and client information that protects their clients’ confidentiality. For example, it would not be appropriate for a student to record, store, and then upload a client session on their cellular phone without proper security compliance in place. At our institution, the ability to utilize the course delivery modality to record sessions is helpful as it provides a HIPAA-compliant way to record and store session clips.


Clinical Training and Assessment

     It is important to note that for practicum and internship courses, the structure, expectations, and assessment of students do not differ substantially from the traditional class. Students in practicum and internship meet the CACREP standards the program has identified for these courses through the Counseling Competencies Scale-Revised (Lambie et al., 2018), whereby instructors and students evaluate and discuss their ratings together through reflective assignments, role-plays, class discussion, and the client case presentation. Group supervisors also are able to monitor students on their dispositions as they participate in giving feedback to their peers, discuss ethical dilemmas and other issues that come up for students during the practicum experience, assess their case presentation and response to peer and supervisor feedback, and review reflective assignments such as journaling or self-care plans.


Challenges, Supports, and Solutions

     Challenges for teaching practicum and internship courses online include discussing informed consent with clients, practicum and internship sites’ buy-in and understanding of how the course works in an online format, the technology limitations of the instructors and students, and technology difficulties that might be encountered during discussions and class presentations. Also, as supervising instructors are rarely in the same location as students in a distance course, there are challenges in knowing and understanding the context of a variety of cultures, regions, and contexts. Legal issues, licensure requirements, and site requirements differ from state to state and can be challenging to navigate. The practicum and internship supervisor also can be in a different time zone from the site supervision, which can make coordinating meetings difficult. Finally, as group supervision is a type of group, there are many similarities with the challenges of teaching group clinical skills (e.g., making sure students are in a confidential location where no one else can see or hear video clips or class discussions regarding clients). Instructors must be clear about the seriousness of violating confidentiality and the expectations they have for the course. Additionally, it can be difficult to give and receive constructive feedback in a setting where nonverbals are more challenging to see and experience. Instructors must work to build rapport and trust and openly discuss with the class the strengths and weaknesses of technology regarding their supervision experience.


Strengths of online practicum and internship delivery include opportunities to develop cultural competency as students from different areas, regions, states, and even countries discuss client cases from their context. Instructors can utilize the chat options of the online format to ask questions while video clips are being shared or point out particulars without stopping the video. Potentially, client information does not have to be transferred as many places when students do not have to come to campus, versus students having client information go from their site, to their home, to their university setting, and back. Also, students are able to have more flexibility in choosing a site that is not region-bound. The availability of this format can be helpful to many sites and ultimately to clients who might not be located near a university with a counselor education program and who would benefit from having practicum and internship students working with them. It also provides opportunities for students that might not otherwise be able to complete a practicum or internship to enroll in a program and successfully complete it without needing to move and leave family or work obligations. With proper training of instructors, clear expectations for students, and legally and ethically appropriate technology, the practicum and internship course in an online format can be an effective modality for counseling students.


Discussion and Recommendations for Future Research


This article has overviewed the current literature regarding master’s-level online clinical training, provided a reference for challenges and opportunities regarding online pedagogy in counselor education courses, and described examples of online clinical course structures. When facilitating online clinical training, instructors must understand the unique nature of counseling and be intentional about maintaining student relationships within the realm of technology. This is especially critical for ensuring that the program strategically integrates the technology to advance the delivery of the program rather than the program heavily relying on the use of technology. In this article, we have identified humanistic approaches and specific strategies to ensure that meaningful teacher–student relationships and rigorous assessments remain the focus of instruction when technology is integrated. Facilitating personal and professional growth in distance counselor education presents many challenges to students and instructors. If instructors can intentionally and creatively use technology to promote distance students’ learning and training, a distance delivery format can reach students who would not have the opportunity to pursue counselor education.


Currently, the online delivery of counselor training skills is outpacing foundational research literature. For attitudes and pedagogy to change around the online academic environment, more research is needed. Future research could best focus on comparing the outcome of students’ counseling skills, including multicultural counseling competencies, between traditional and online courses. Skills needed for building rapport in the online environment may differ from F2F settings. Therefore, research regarding how the instructors’ and students’ use of language online impact the helping relationship and teacher–student relationship in virtual classrooms can be valuable. There also is a need to explore counselor educators’ understanding and experiences in conducting online clinical training, as well as students’ perspectives in receiving online clinical training and supervision. Future studies also might investigate different course structures and delivery methods for specific clinical skills courses so that the best methods for online clinical training could be applied by more counselor education programs.


Conflict of Interest and Funding Disclosure
The authors reported no conflict of interest
or funding contributions for the development
of this manuscript.




Allen, I. E., Seaman, J., Poulin, R., & Straut, T. T. (2016). Online report card: Tracking online education in the United States.

American Counseling Association. (2014). 2014 ACA code of ethics.

Association for Specialists in Group Work. (2000). Professional standards for the training of group workers.

Association of Counselor Education and Supervision Teaching Initiative Taskforce. (2016). Best practices in teaching in counselor education report.

Association of Counselor Education and Supervision Technology Interest Network. (2017). ACES guidelines for online learning in counselor education.

Barrio Minton, C. A. (2019). Counselor Education and Supervision: 2017 inaugural review. Counselor Education and Supervision, 58, 4–17.

Bender, S., & Dykeman, C. (2016). Supervisees’ perceptions of effective supervision: A comparison of fully synchronous cybersupervision to traditional methods. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 34, 326–337.

Benshoff, J. M., & Gibbons, M. M. (2011). Bringing life to e-learning: Incorporating a synchronous approach to online teaching in counselor education. The Professional Counselor, 1, 21–28.

Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. (2015). 2016 CACREP standards.

Getzelman, M. A. (2003). Development and validation of the Group Supervision Impact Scale [Doctoral dissertation, University of Southern California]. USC Digital Library.

Hall, B. S., Nielsen, R. C., Nelson, J. R., & Buchholz, C. E. (2010). A humanistic framework for distance education. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education and Development, 49, 45–57.

Holmes, C. M., & Kozlowski, K. A. (2015). A preliminary comparison of online and face-to-face process groups. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 33, 241–262.

Ivey, A. E., & Ivey, M. B. (1999). Intentional interviewing and counseling: Facilitating client development in a multicultural society (4th ed.). Brooks/Cole.

Jencius, M., & Baltrinic, E. R. (2016). Training counselors to provide online supervision. In T. Rousmaniere & E. Renfro-Michel (Eds.), Using technology to enhance clinical supervision (pp. 251–268). American Counseling Association.

Koehler, M. J., Mishra, P., Hershey, K., & Peruski, L. (2004). With a little help from your students: A new model for faculty development and online course design. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 12, 25–55.

Lambie, G. W., Mullen, P. R., Swank, J. M., & Blount, A. (2018). The Counseling Competencies Scale: Validation and refinement. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 51, 1–15.

Layne, C. M., & Hohenshil, T. H. (2005). High tech counseling: Revisited. Journal of Counseling & Development, 83, 222–226.

Lundberg, D. J. (2000). Integrating on-line technology into counseling curricula: Emerging humanistic factors. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education and Development, 38, 142–151.

Merta, R. J., Wolfgang, L., & McNeil, K. (1993). Five models for using the experiential group in the preparation of group counselors. The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 18, 200–207.

Murdock, J., Williams, A., Becker, K., Bruce, M., & Young, S. (2012). Online versus on-campus: A comparison study of counseling skills courses. The Journal of Human Resource and Adult Learning, 8, 105–118.

Ouellette, P. M., Westhuis, D., Marshall, E., & Chang, V. (2006). The acquisition of social work interviewing skills in a web-based and classroom instructional environment: Results of a study. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 24(4), 53–75.

Perry, E. (2017). Counselor education unplugged? An exploration of current attitudes surrounding the use of online learning as a modality in graduate counselor education [Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University]. Duquesne Scholarship Collection.

Reicherzer, S., Coker, K., Rush-Wilson, T., Buckley, M., Cannon, K., Harris, S., & Jorissen, S. (2012). Assessing clinical mental health counseling skills and practice standards in distance education. Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation, 3(2), 104–115.

Shumaker, D., Ortiz, C., & Brenninkmeyer, L. (2011). Revisiting experiential group training in counselor education: A survey of master’s-level programs. The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 36(2), 111–128.

Snow, W. H., Lamar, M. R., Hinkle, J. S., & Speciale, M. (2018). Current practices in online counselor education. The Professional Counselor, 8, 131–145.

Swanger, D. (2018). The future of higher education in the U.S.: Issues facing colleges and their impacts on campus.

Sue, D. W., Lin, A. I., Torino, G. C., Capodilupo, C. M., & Rivera, D. P. (2009). Racial microaggressions and difficult dialogues on race in the classroom. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, 15, 183–190.

Wilke, D. J., King, E., Ashmore, M., & Stanley, C. (2016). Can clinical skills be taught online?
Comparing skill development between online and F2F students using a blinded review. Journal
of Social Work Education
, 52, 484–492.


Szu-Yu Chen, PhD, NCC, LPC, RPT, is an assistant professor at Palo Alto University. Cristen Wathen, PhD, NCC, LCPC, is a core faculty member at Palo Alto University. Megan Speciale, PhD, NCC, LMHC, is an assistant professor at Palo Alto University. Correspondence can be addressed to Szu-Yu Chen, 1791 Arastradero Rd., Palo Alto, CA 94304,

Opportunities and Challenges of Multicultural and International Online Education

Szu-Yu Chen, Dareen Basma, Jennie Ju, Kok-Mun Ng


Distance counselor education has expanded educational opportunities for diverse groups of students. To effectively train and support global students in counseling programs, the authors explore some unique challenges and opportunities that counselor educators may encounter when integrating technology in the multicultural counseling curriculum. The authors discuss pedagogical strategies that can enhance distance learners’ multicultural and social justice counseling competencies. Through an intersectional, social construction pedagogy, counselor educators can decolonize traditional multicultural counseling curricula and foster an international distance learning environment. Additional innovative approaches and resources, such as online multiculturally oriented student services, online student-centered multiculturally based organizations and workshops, and office hours for mentoring online international students and supporting distance learners’ needs, are described.


Keywords: distance counselor education, multicultural, international, online education, social justice


The growth in distance learning has led to an integration of technology in the curriculum over the past two decades (Allen et al., 2016). Counselor educators now can deliver distance learning courses internationally via videoconference systems, such as two-way audio and video software programs, for students to attend classes either synchronously or asynchronously (Snow et al., 2018), and many programs are moving toward distance education (Benshoff & Gibbons, 2011; Reicherzer et al., 2009). This shift in educational platforms allows both domestic and international students to receive counselor education and training remotely without having to commute or leave their home countries. For example, the counselor education program at the institution of the first three authors currently has over 300 students from the five most populous continents in various stages of counselor preparation. Distance education has expanded educational opportunities, targeted underserved groups of students, and given space for the formation of a more globally diverse student body (Columbaro, 2009; Gillies, 2008).


With the dramatic increase of diversity and attention to racism and other forms of human oppression in the United States, by the early 2000s, the issues of multiculturalism and social justice had come to the center of the counseling profession (Arredondo, 1999) and were recognized as two sides of the same coin (Ratts, 2011). As a result, multicultural education in the profession has been aimed at enhancing students’ awareness of cultural diversity and social justice in counseling relationships and implementation of advocacy competencies as they grapple with power, privilege, and oppression at the individual and systemic levels (Ratts et al., 2015). More recently, the Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies (MSJCC; Ratts et al., 2015) has integrated a social justice and advocacy component into the framework of multicultural counseling competencies developed in 1992 by Sue, Arredondo, and McDavis, and highlighted the intersection of identities and the role power, privilege, and oppression play in the counseling relationship. The American Counseling Association (ACA; 2014) has also asserted that “counselor educators actively infuse multicultural/diversity competency in their training and supervision practices. They actively train students to gain awareness, knowledge, and skills in the competencies of multicultural practice” (F.11.c). Yet there seems to be a lack of attention in the literature to how online training programs can address global students’ multicultural and social justice counseling competencies given their non-traditional modes of learning delivery. With the emphasis on the helping relationship in the counseling profession, instructors who teach online face additional challenges because of a lack of in-person contact with students and may feel skeptical about the effectiveness of creating a safe and interactive space virtually, especially in relation to addressing challenging and complex topics (Hall et al., 2010).


It is worth noting that many counselor educators have not received formal pedagogical education and training on integrating technology into their curriculum and developing effective online courses (Cicco, 2012). This impacts educators’ feelings of discomfort or lack of preparedness when developing and delivering an online international multicultural counseling course, as well as facilitating discussions about multicultural issues and developing global students’ multicultural and social justice counseling training and competencies through an online medium. Consequently, when considering the development of an online multicultural counseling course, educators have to not only grapple with the complexity of designing a nuanced curriculum, but also negotiate delivery of a curriculum on an evolving learning platform in which international students who do not reside in the United States are integrated into the learning experience. As such, there are several opportunities and challenges to consider when facilitating multicultural and social justice counseling training on an online platform.


To effectively retain and support global students with diverse backgrounds and learning styles in distance counseling programs, herein we explore challenges and opportunities that counselor educators encounter when integrating technology in the multicultural and social justice counseling curriculum. Specifically, we want to discuss pedagogical strategies that we have found valuable to enhancing global learners’ multicultural and social justice counseling competencies. With the movement toward internationalizing the counseling profession, we believe that counselor educators can decolonize the traditional multicultural counseling curriculum and promote global students’ multicultural and social justice advocacy competencies through an intersectional and social construction online pedagogy and further cultivate an inclusive global learning environment. Additionally, we want to share innovative approaches counselor educators can use to support global students’ needs and enhance student retention in online counseling programs.


Internationalization of Multicultural Counseling Education in the Virtual Classroom


In international distance education, each student may differ in experiences of culture, cultural identities, and developmental level of multicultural counseling and social justice competencies. To address the increase in a globally diverse student body, the counseling profession is transforming from a Western-based to a global-based practice (Lorelle et al., 2012). Historically, textbooks and journal articles in the United States regarding diversity are typically monoculture in nature, focusing primarily on social identities such as race, ethnicity, gender, and social class that are commonly found in U.S.-based diversity discourse (Case, 2017). Students who live abroad may find these materials and foci disconnected from their contexts and not applicable to their practice. Consequently, these students can become less engaged in the learning experience.


The movement toward internationalizing the counseling profession over the past two decades has highlighted the need to extend multicultural competencies in ways that are relevant to mental health services beyond U.S. borders. Relatedly, Harley and Stansbury (2011) asserted that the multicultural movement needs to take place at two levels. On the first level, it requires our diligence to recognize, learn about, and appreciate the cultural diversity that exists on U.S. soil. The second level requires us to develop a global perspective that recognizes other cultures and sociopolitical forces that impact the lived experiences of people in other countries. Other scholars (e.g., Bhat & McMahon, 2016; Knight, 2004; Ng et al., 2012) also acknowledge these two dimensions in efforts to internationalize the counseling profession and emphasize the need to address the underdevelopment of cross-national multicultural competencies.


To date, systematic discourse related to international students’ learning experiences and perspectives in online training programs remains limited. To respond to this shift in distance counselor education, we propose adding a third dimension—the internationalization of counselor education—to the two levels of multicultural education proposed by Harley and Stansbury (2011). This third multicultural dimension requires a conceptualization of cultures and ways of being into a counseling curriculum that maintains a global and international perspective. Thus, learning is comprised of training activities and programs designed to prepare students to provide culturally responsive counseling services and advocacy that are simultaneously informed by both a local and global perspective.


Counselor educators are aware of the enormity of some of the challenges associated with the movement toward internationalizing counselor education. There have been encouraging but limited developments by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), ACA, and the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) toward this cause. For example, to advance global mental health training and services, NBCC trains and collaborates with international counseling organizations to promote counselor professionalism as they develop their training requirements to the needs of their specific populations. ACA and ACES offer international counseling students and faculty interest networks in which counselors and counselor educators have space to facilitate discussions about challenges and solutions when providing global counseling services and preparing culturally responsive training curricula for students. However, the effect of these advocacies on internationalizing counselor education has not been widely evaluated yet. It appears that the counseling profession recognizes the benefits of this endeavor but is sorting out opportunities as well as resources necessary for implementation. We view contributing to the dialogue on internationalizing multicultural counseling training through an intersectional and social construction online pedagogy as a privilege.


Intersectional and Social Construction Online Pedagogy

An area of dissonance for international counseling students involves differences in cultural worldview. Marsella and Pederson (2004) posited that “Western psychology is rooted in an ideology of individualism, rationality, and empiricism that has little resonance in many of the more than 5,000 cultures found in today’s world” (p. 414). Ng and Smith’s study (2009) highlighted that international students, particularly those from non-Western nations, may struggle with integrating Eurocentric theories and concepts into the world they know. Their findings indicated that international trainees tend to experience more difficulties in areas related to clinical training and worldview conflicts in understanding mental health treatment compared to their domestic peers. International students can find that materials learned in Western-based counselor education have little relevance and applicability to the local demographics in which they work (Ng et al., 2012).


Ng and colleagues (2012) indicated that the goals of internationalizing counseling preparation curricula are to better equip students with required knowledge, awareness, skills, beliefs, and attitudes and to train students to become social change agents who actively resolve global mental health issues and inequalities. Herein lies the opportunity for counselor educators to intentionally search for appropriate pedagogies and to critically present readings and other media that help inculcate a multicultural perspective (Goodman et al., 2015) that is relevant to local contexts while appreciating a global perspective of lived experience and civilization. Social constructionism demands that we take a critical stance toward ways of understanding the world (Burr, 2015). It emphasizes the need to acknowledge the context and extent of subjectivity infused into what we know and invites us to critically examine the knowledge we have gained based on the culture and society surrounding the time period in which we exist. This lens helps us recognize that our knowledge is rooted in historical and cultural relativity and is socially created (Young & Collin, 2004). We need to be mindful that the knowledge created in the classroom has a social, cultural, and political impact on society. Thus, to internationalize distance counselor education, we consider it crucial for academics to recognize the social construction of the knowledge they carry and communicate in the virtual classroom setting, including the construction of their teaching methods for delivering knowledge (hooks, 1994).


Over 30 years ago, Crenshaw (1989) and hooks (1984) postulated that individuals hold a set of multiple and simultaneous identities. Crenshaw introduced the term intersectionality to describe individuals’ complex identities as opposed to categorical generalizations. Traditionally, multicultural courses tend to focus on one aspect of social identity and related oppressions separately from other social identities. The intersecting complexities among social identities and structural oppressions and privileges are often neglected. Collins (2000) provided a pedagogic conceptual framework to include both advantaged and disadvantaged identities. Although the intersectionality theory has been integrated within multiple disciplines, such as women’s studies, sociology, psychology, and law, instructors often do not incorporate intersectionality into diversity courses (Dill, 2009). Scholars, therefore, have called for an intersectional approach to transform higher education (Berger & Guidroz, 2009) and move beyond single-axis models.


To move beyond the individual and monocultural level, Case (2017) proposed that educators and students can address issues of culture, diversity, and advocacy in a diverse classroom through an intersectional pedagogy. Case emphasized an effective intersectional pedagogy that includes the following main tenets: Instructors (a) conceptualize intersectionality as a complex analysis of privileged and oppressed social identities; (b) teach intersectionality across a wide range of institutional oppression; (c) aim to explore invisible intersections; (d) include aspects of privilege and analyze power when teaching about intersectionality theory; (e) encourage students reflection about their own intersecting identities; (f) reflect the impact of educators’ social identities, biases, and assumptions on the learning community; (g) promote social action; (h) value the voice of marginalized students; and (i) infuse intersectional studies across the curriculum.


We believe that using an intersectional perspective that couples with a social construction perspective in multicultural education curriculum development can be valuable in the context of distance international counselor education, particularly in multicultural and international online education that contains a globally diverse student body. By implementing an intersectional and social construction pedagogical design in multicultural and social justice online counseling courses, instructors focus on examinations of social locations concerning privilege and oppression (Cole, 2009) and avoid overemphasizing any single characteristic of individual identities (Dill & Zambrana, 2009). This approach also provides instructors and worldwide students with a critical framework for analyzing structural power and oppression, examining the complexity of identities, and discussing action plans for empowerment and advocacy (Dill & Zambrana, 2009; Rios et al., 2017). Chan et al. (2018) also supported embodying an intersectional framework in developing multicultural and social justice courses within the counselor education curriculum. Counselor educators who teach beyond multicultural counseling knowledge and skills can enhance students’ critical thinking, case conceptualization skills (Chan et al., 2018), and cultural empathy (Davis, 2014) toward marginalized groups. Moreover, students are likely to see beyond the prescriptive counseling approach that addresses a limited set of cultural values (Chan et al., 2018). This perspective also can engage students in analyzing issues of privilege, power, and global oppression, and systematically reflecting on their own experiences.


Wise and Case (2013) noted that intersectional pedagogy is an inclusive approach that helps students reduce resistance when engaging in examining privileged and oppressed identities. This approach validates worldwide students’ various experiences and includes exploration of invisible interactions when discussing personal privilege. Considering that issues related to multiculturalism can evoke various emotions in the classroom, such as frustration, shame, guilt, and defensiveness, intersectional pedagogy provides an outlet to engage all students in this learning process (Banks et al., 2013; Wise & Case, 2013). Creating a safe space for learners in virtual classrooms to bravely experience and address these challenges requires thoughtful learning strategies. Accordingly, we illustrate intersectional and social construction pedagogy and strategies that counselor educators can consider integrating into online curricula to facilitate and assess global students’ multicultural and social justice counseling competencies, as well as provide supports for students in a diverse online learning environment.


Internationalizing an Online Multicultural Counseling Course

The master’s counseling program at the first three authors’ institution offers online or residential format options. The online counseling program provides domestic students and international students who live abroad opportunities to receive counselor education and training. Given the high ratio of international students and students with diverse backgrounds at the authors’ institutions, we believe that structuring the virtual multicultural counseling course from a global perspective and grounding it in a socially constructed, intersectional framework can facilitate student understanding and appreciation of multiculturalism, diversity, and social justice. Additionally, a successful integration of technology entails careful consideration of course content, the instructor’s role in the teaching and learning process, and students’ access to and comfort with the technology (Zhu et al., 2011). The following is an example of how an online master’s-level multicultural counseling course is delivered through an intersectional and social construction pedagogy that includes an international perspective, and how global students’ multicultural and social justice counseling competencies are assessed.


Our online multicultural counseling course focuses on creating a critical space where students can actively and transparently deconstruct their socially constructed knowledge, beliefs, and biases about differences and others. Rather than focusing on attending to specific cultural groups, which historically has been the norm for multicultural counseling classes, we focus on internationalizing the counseling profession and emphasize the need to address cross-national multicultural competencies. This course aims to develop students’ consciousness about the system of oppression that significantly impacts both dominant and marginalized groups’ well-being. Thus, the intersectional and MSJCC frameworks are used to structure our online multicultural counseling course in that knowledge, awareness, skills, and advocacy are at the core of each of the assignments, readings, and synchronized and asynchronized discussions.


Readings assigned for the class include both a clinical counseling textbook that attends to assessment, counseling, and diagnosis from a multicultural lens, and supplementary readings from the fields of multicultural and social justice education. Instructors use a learning management system to facilitate asynchronized online discussion board activities and readings and provide written, audio, or video feedback on students’ assignments. In addition to asynchronized learning, instructors and students meet in an interactive synchronized virtual classroom weekly for 1.5 hours over an 11-week course. Research shows that online models can be effective, with synchronous online programs being the most promising (Siemens et al., 2015). Students also have opportunities to do live multicultural role-plays in which instructors provide immediate feedback.


Instructors can face unique challenges in teaching and discussing some sensitive and controversial issues with students, which is an inherent part of multicultural and social justice advocacy training. It is recommended that educators foster positive relationships with students and establish a safe and trusting learning environment to engage students in constructive conversations and self-reflection (Brooks et al., 2017). Yet teaching a multicultural counseling class in a virtual setting can add additional barriers to fostering a safe learning environment. For example, in a virtual classroom, instructors are only able to see a student’s face amidst many other digital faces. As a result, some of the challenges of teaching this course virtually include effectively noting students’ nonverbal communications, sensing their emotive responses or reactions to the discussion content, and attending to topics that students may be having a difficult time speaking about in front of a large group. Moreover, many videoconferencing platforms allow students to engage in both private and public conversations with other students via chat boxes. Consequently, establishing virtual classroom ground rules is essential. Examples of ground rules and strategies that ensure a safe and respectful online learning environment may include: (a) turning on the camera to allow instructors and classmates to observe others’ nonverbal communication and address immediacy, (b) using headphones to respect classmates’ sharing, (c) turning off the private chat setting to avoid side conversations among students, and (d) providing options for students to share their thoughts and feelings in the chat box. It also is important to facilitate a discussion with students about ways to share their airtime with classmates in a virtual classroom and provide their classmates with understanding and support by observing virtual verbal and nonverbal communication.


To assess global students’ cross-national multicultural and social justice counseling competencies, we developed three major assignments and assessments for this class. Virtual classroom discussion is an essential assessment. To socially construct students’ knowledge of power, privilege, and oppression and reflect students’ learning experience, students are encouraged to actively share their reactions to the learning materials and how these materials are related to personal experience and counseling implications in their countries. Students’ level of participation and self- and other-awareness can be assessed in breakout rooms as well as in a large discussion group. However, considering students may have various ways to engage with the materials, instructors encourage students who struggle with verbally participating in the virtual classroom to collaboratively identify alternative concrete methods to evidence participation with instructors, such as reflective journals.


The second assignment is a group presentation that attends to manifestations of oppression within systems. The purpose of this assignment is to increase global students’ knowledge and understanding of how racism and oppression are produced and reproduced across generations, institutions, and countries. Although oppression impacts all institutions, this project encourages student groups to focus on dynamics in eight mutually reinforcing areas: housing, education, immigration, the labor market, the criminal justice system, the media, politics, and health care. Students are also asked to create a vignette based on the presented topic and facilitate role-plays. This experiential activity facilitates students’ understanding of intersecting identities in the counseling relationship and enhances cross-national cultural empathy by attending to clients’ experience. This assignment increases global students’ awareness of the complexity of mental health issues and transgenerational trauma that can ensue as a result of systematic oppression. It also challenges unconscious biases and beliefs that students may have around marginalized populations being impacted by these systems in their countries.


The last major assignment, the resistance project, is a quarter-long individual project and targets an increase in awareness of self. For counselors, awareness of self in the context of culture is one of the more challenging parts of our work and is a process that is ongoing and constant. This assignment focuses on attending to both conscious and unconscious biases to groups of people. Initially, students are asked to identify three specific cultural groups to which they identify resistance in their countries. Students can express significant struggles around this part of the assignment indicating feelings of guilt, shame, judgment of self, denial of bias, and confusion around their biases. Normalizing and validating these feelings is crucial in fostering a space for critical reflection, as well as providing non-judgmental feedback regarding their initial explorations. The next part of our resistance project asks students to select one of the three identified groups to explore in greater detail throughout the quarter. Students are asked to begin looking for numerous academic sources, social media sources, and immersion experiences that they can engage in throughout the quarter that would encourage them to very directly examine their biases. Significant levels of discomfort appear here among students, particularly regarding individual and group experiences they have engaged in. Students are asked to reflect on and lean into that discomfort in order to better understand it. In addition, they are asked to critically examine their internal process and connect their reactions back to their identified resistance.


Supporting Globally Diverse Students Outside of the Virtual Classroom


As counselor education focuses on further developing multicultural online pedagogy, there is a need to evaluate programmatic effectiveness in demonstrating sensitivity to the concerns of globally diverse student populations. Just as it is critical for instructors to attend to creating culturally relevant curricula, program administrators need an understanding of the challenges that characterize distance students from global communities and be intentional about addressing some of those challenges. This section discusses ways that institutions can walk the walk in their application of the principles espoused in curricular pedagogy by creating an environment in which worldwide students feel welcomed and supported.


According to the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP; 2016), approximately 32% of students enrolled in counseling programs are from racially diverse heritages. Kung (2017) reported that “in the 2015–2016 academic year, over 1 million international students were reported as studying at U.S. colleges and universities” (p. 479). Currently, there are no official statistics on the number of students enrolled in distance counselor education programs by race, ethnicity, or country of residence. Although specific data is lacking, the statistics above provide an indication of the potentially significant presence of an international student population in distance learning programs. It is critical to examine the criteria for determining a university’s effectiveness in supporting worldwide students outside the virtual classroom. “Exemplary institutions” in recruiting and retaining minority students of color have the characteristic of being successful in increasing enrollment of minority students of color and retaining students through to graduation (Rogers & Molina, 2006). While an institution’s effectiveness in providing needed support does not necessarily equate to its ability to retain students and achieve high graduation rates, one can surmise that some unsupported individuals will choose to drop out. Although there are numerous ways that an institution can provide a sustainable environment for global students outside of the virtual classroom, we will focus on six key approaches, namely technology, field experience, multiculturally oriented student support services, mentorship, student-centered multiculturally based organizations, and multiculturally based events and workshops.



In an online education format, access to reliable technology is imperative to students’ success in the program. Level of access to proper computing devices or to the internet by various social identity groups can create a digital divide, which disadvantages one group over another (Bolt & Crawford, 2000; Clark & Gorski, 2001). International students from developing and underdeveloped nations experience frequent disruption when accessing virtual class meetings and course contents because of political causes or technological deficiency in their regions. For example, a student from the Central African Republic is sometimes unable to log in to class meetings when she is unable to turn on generators in a remote village for fear that this could alert guerilla gangs and prompt additional warfare. A student in Peru who does her internship in rural areas is unable to submit her assignments on time because of a lack of internet access. Students in Beijing experience tight internet firewalls preventing them from accessing sites such as Google, Gmail, and YouTube; this problem intensifies during the week of the governmental National People’s Congress annual meetings. Therefore, Clark and Gorski (2001) urged educators to critically analyze the use of the internet as an educational medium and examine ways technology “serves to further identify social, cultural, educational ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’” in educational settings (p. 39).


As a partial solution to the problem of Chinese students’ difficulty in accessing web-based course content, our institution has purchased a VPN with a reliable server based in Hong Kong. Given that there are approximately 30-plus China-based students in matriculation at our institution each year, this becomes an institutional business decision. Additionally, academic advisors encourage Chinese students to approach their instructors at the beginning of each term to discuss a plan for accessing course material and timely submission of assignments. Instructors and administrators also have a responsibility to be proactive in collaborating with these students in finding alternatives by inquiring and learning about students’ potential challenges regarding technology. Educators need to discuss a plan to accommodate students’ needs within reason.


Field Experience

Issues with cultural worldviews and contextual differences become prominent during students’ process of searching for practicum opportunities and experiences of participating in clinical training in their home countries. Specifically, students and educators have encountered these obstacles in three aspects. First, the philosophical understanding of the purpose of internship and supervision of interns are different. Next, the integration of Eurocentric theories and implications with their clients’ cases might not be applicable. Last, there is a lack of regulatory infrastructure to guide and oversee the helping profession. A case example is students in China, where many native organizations expect to benefit financially from placement of interns. They do not seem to consider that student interns are capable of counseling clients under proper supervision. Thus, many mental health agencies do not permit trainees to provide counseling before graduation. Supervision is considered more of a business arrangement than a supervisory and mentoring relationship.


The first three authors’ institution offers an online practicum course each academic term for students residing and doing an internship overseas. This strategy aims to provide a weekly forum where students receive additional support in applying counseling concepts and approaches to their cultural context. This also serves as a supportive distance environment in which instructors and students collaboratively conceptualize and explore treatment approaches that are culturally and contextually relevant to their client populations. The second purpose for the dedicated practicum course is to navigate students’ dual legal and ethical milieus. A lack of regulatory oversight for the counseling profession in China and other countries has created legal and ethical challenges for intern placements. This reality has added confusion and inconsistencies in what is permissible based on U.S. regulatory and accreditation boards, as well as common practices in students’ home countries.


Multiculturally Oriented Student Support Services

Student services offices in institutions generally provide a wide range of services. To meet distance learners’ needs, it is necessary to implement some student services via an online format. First, institutions provide tutoring services to help improve the English writing skills of speakers of other languages. Students from immigrant and refugee communities as well as some international students fall into this category. Students from non–English-speaking countries enrolled in counseling and related disciplines tend to experience challenges related to English proficiency (Ng, 2006). As such, one-on-one tutoring is available at our institution for students who struggle with editing and American Psychological Association (APA) style writing. This service is critical because many foreign countries do not utilize APA format, and therefore international students do not have familiarity with this style of writing.


Second, tutors at the first three authors’ institution are doctoral students from the psychology department who have opportunities to provide services for students from marginalized communities. Through collaboration between the office of student services and the counseling department, this strategy serves as an excellent service learning experience in working with individuals from globally diverse communities. With an intentional design, the writing skills tutoring service complements classroom pedagogy on multiculturalism by presenting experience with real-world problems, providing opportunities for students to grapple with their beliefs and biases and involve action-oriented solutions.



Mentorship is a substantive resource for supporting worldwide students from diverse communities. Rogers and Molina’s (2006) study found that nine of the 11 psychology programs and departments that were successful at recruiting and retaining students of color had established mentoring programs. In general, ethnic minority students tend to prefer and report more satisfaction with mentors who share a similar racial background (Chan et al., 2015). Figueroa and Rodriguez (2015) posited that mentoring is social justice work that “is a racially and culturally mediated experience instead of a race-neutral, objective interaction” (p. 23). It is an unfortunate reality of counselor education that there exists a significant underrepresentation of minority faculty. The disparity is prominent among Hispanic/Latinx demographics, where student enrollment (8.5%) is almost double the number of faculty (4.7%) from Hispanic/Latinx heritage among CACREP-accredited programs (CACREP, 2016). Black student enrollment is 18.3% and only 12.7% of the total faculty members in CACREP-accredited programs are Black. Chan and colleagues (2015) suggested that in the absence of same-race mentors, the presence of cross-cultural support in the form of multiculturally sensitive mentoring can be beneficial and even critical to the success of international students from diverse ethnic backgrounds.


To support the unique needs of international students in the residential and online cohort, the first author designed weekly office hours for online international students to provide advising and mentorship. The virtual office hours aim to provide a space where students and their peers can not only share challenges, struggles, and concerns about their learning experiences in the program, but also support each other. Additionally, the third author and a colleague have served as international and distance directors of clinical training, which can provide specific mentorship regarding practicum experiences for international students.


Student-Centered Multiculturally Based Organizations

The presence of student-centered organizations is another effective way to provide a sense of belonging and an environment that facilitates peer support among those with shared interests on campus (Rogers & Molina, 2006). Some culturally and social justice–based organizations active at the first three authors’ institution serve this purpose well. One of the university-wide organizations, Diaspora, serves students, staff, and faculty in the community who are interested in learning about and advocating for mental health issues relevant to the Black diaspora. Members of Diaspora aim to raise the community’s awareness of psychosocial and environmental factors that impact the Black community’s well-being. Another organization at our institution, the Latinx Task Force, was formed with a Unity grant award from our university president’s office for faculty, students, and staff to join forces across programs to implement projects that serve the Latinx/Hispanic community on and off campus (Latinx Task Force, n.d.). Furthermore, the Latinx Task Force initiated a Spanish clinician course that introduces students to essential clinical vocabulary, clinical skills, and cultural considerations required to work with Spanish-speaking clients. The Latinx Task Force also conducts a mentorship series that brings Latinx professionals in the field to offer career mentoring support to students.


Multiculturally Based Events and Workshops

Delivery of multicultural education and inclusion of diverse students should not be limited to the virtual classroom. Institutions can be intentional in hosting events and workshops that complement and reinforce classroom pedagogy on multiculturalism while actively supporting individuals from various communities. In recent years, the first three authors’ institution has hosted a rich array of workshops with topics such as “LGBT Psychology,” “Asian Americans and Suicide,” and “Risk and Resiliency Among Newcomer Immigrant Adolescents.” In addition, a “Women of Color Leaders in Psychology” event celebrates the contributions of women of color in psychology and social justice. When the workshops occur in our physical venue, they are often made accessible via videoconferencing platforms and are recorded for later viewing at a convenient time or by those in a different time zone.


Multicultural counseling education and support of the globally diverse student population are ongoing, interrelated endeavors that extend beyond the virtual classroom walls. Intentionality in hosting extracurricular events and creating a supportive environment are ways an institution makes multicultural pedagogical concepts come alive for students. They also are a way of sustaining worldwide students to graduate with a strong foundation from which to launch their counseling careers.


Discussion and Future Direction for Research


The multicultural counseling course in counselor education programs is one of the critical spaces where global students actively engage with the core components of the MSJCC. Given the complexity of teaching this course in a distance learning format, it is crucial for educators to thoroughly think through the varying foundational components, including structure, content, pedagogy, and the various challenges that can arise in virtual classrooms.


We have used our experiences in integrating technology into the multicultural counseling curriculum to discuss online pedagogical framework and virtual course development while exploring unique opportunities, challenges, and solutions. Given the movement of internationalizing the counseling profession, we postulate that multicultural counseling distance education must extend beyond U.S. borders, class meetings, and the curriculum. It is critical that counselor educators provide multicultural and social justice counseling training through systemic modeling by internationalizing the curriculum and training environment and collaborating with training programs and institutions to advocate for, attend to, and support the needs of globally diverse students in distance education.


Currently, the literature on training and online delivery of international multicultural counseling education remains limited. To explore the best online pedagogy for internationalizing multicultural counseling education, more research is needed. As such, future research could focus on examining the outcome of incorporating intersectional and social construction approaches in online counseling curricula, including global students’ multicultural and social justice counseling competencies in their home countries. Future studies also might investigate different course structures and online pedagogy to understand the best methods for multicultural distance counselor education. There is a need to explore counselor educators’ experiences of conducting online multicultural counseling education with globally diverse student populations and their perspectives on receiving multicultural counseling distance education. Supports needed for global students in the online environment may differ from traditional students. Therefore, research on how the academic support of counseling programs and institutions impacts global students’ counseling practice and retention in distance counselor education can be valuable.


Conflict of Interest and Funding Disclosure
The authors reported no conflict of interest
or funding contributions for the development
of this manuscript.



Allen, I. E., Seaman, J., Poulin, R., & Straut, T. T. (2016). Online report card: Tracking online education in the United
American Counseling Association. (2014). 2014 ACA code of ethics.
Arredondo, P. (1999). Multicultural counseling competencies as tools to address oppression and racism. Journal of
Counseling & Development
, 77, 102–108.
Banks, C. A., Pliner, S. M., & Hopkins, M. B. (2013). Intersectionality and paradigms of privilege: Teaching for social
change. In K. A. Case (Ed.), Deconstructing privilege: Teaching and learning as allies in the classroom (pp. 102–
114). Routledge.
Berger, M. T., & Guidroz, K. (Eds.). (2009). The intersectional approach: Transforming the academy through race, class,
and gender
. University of North Carolina Press.
Benshoff, J. M., & Gibbons, M. M. (2011). Bringing life to e-learning: Incorporating a synchronous approach to online teaching in counselor education. The Professional Counselor, 1, 21–28.
Bhat, C. S., & McMahon, M. (2016). Internationalization at home for counseling students: Utilizing technology to expand
global and multicultural horizons. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 38, 319–329.
Bolt, D. B., & Crawford, R. A. K. (2000). Digital divide: Computers and our children’s future. Bantam.
Brooks, M., Alston, G. D., Townsend, C. B., & Bryan, M. (2017). Creating a healthy classroom environment in
multicultural counseling courses. Journal of Human Services: Training, Research, and Practice, 2, 1–24.
Burr, V. (2015). Social constructionism. In J. Wright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences      (2nd ed., pp. 222–227). Elsevier.
Case, K. A. (2017). Toward an intersectional pedagogy model: Engaged learning for social justice. In K. A. Case (Ed.),       Intersectional pedagogy: Complicating identity and social justice (pp. 1–24). Routledge.
Chan, A. W., Yeh, C. J., & Krumboltz, J. D. (2015). Mentoring ethnic minority counseling and clinical psychology students: A multicultural, ecological, and relational model. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 62, 592–607.
Chan, C. D., Cor, D. N., & Band, M. P. (2018). Privilege and oppression in counselor education: An intersectionality   framework. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 46, 58–73. 
Cicco, G. (2012). Counseling instruction in the online classroom: A survey of student and faculty perceptions. i-    manager’s Journal on School Educational Technology, 8(2), 1–10.
Clark, C., & Gorski, P. (2001). Multicultural education and the digital divide: Focus on race, language, socioeconomic           class, sex, and disability. Multicultural Perspectives, 3(3), 39–44.
Cole, E. R. (2009). Intersectionality and research in psychology. American Psychologist, 64, 170–180.
Collins, P. H. (2000). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment (1st ed.).
Columbaro, N. L. (2009). E-mentoring possibilities for online doctoral students: A literature review. Adult Learning, 20(3–4), 9–15.
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. (2016). CACREP annual report 2015.
Crenshaw, K. W. (1989). Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A Black feminist critique of antidiscrimination     doctrine, feminist theory, and antiracist politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum, 1989, 139–168.   
Davis, D. N. (2014). Complexity overlooked: Enhancing cultural competency in the White lesbian counseling trainee          through education and supervision. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 18, 192–201.
Dill, B. T. (2009). Intersections, identities, and inequalities in higher education. In B. T. Dill & R. E. Zambrana (Eds.), Emerging intersections: Race, class, and gender in theory, policy, and practice (pp. 229–252). Rutgers University Press.
Dill, B. T., & Zambrana, R. E. (2009). Critical thinking about inequality: An emerging lens. In B. T. Dill & R. E.      Zambrana (Eds.), Emerging intersections: Race, class, and gender in theory, policy, and practice (pp. 1–21).   Rutgers University Press.
Figueroa, J. L., & Rodriguez, G. M. (2015). Critical mentoring practices to support diverse students in higher education:      Chicana/Latina faculty perspectives. New Directions for Higher Education, 171, 23–33.
Gillies, D. (2008). Student perspectives on videoconferencing in teacher education at a distance. Distance Education, 29,           107–118.
Goodman R. D., Williams, J. M., Chung, R. C.-Y., Talleyrand, R. M., Douglass, A. M., McMahon, H. G., & Bemak, F. (2015). Decolonizing traditional pedagogies and practices in counseling and psychology education: A move   towards social justice and action. In R. D. Goodman & P. C. Gorski (Eds.), Decolonizing “multicultural”   counseling through social justice (pp. 147–164). Springer.
Hall, B. S., Nielsen, R. C., Nelson, J. R., & Buchholz, C. E. (2010). A humanistic framework for distance education.   Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education and Development, 49, 45–57.    
Harley, D. A., & Stansbury, K. L. (2011). Diversity counseling with African Americans. In E. Mpofu (Ed.), Counseling           people of African ancestry (pp. 193–208). Cambridge University Press.
hooks, b. (1984). Feminist theory: From margin to center. South End Press.
hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. Routledge.
Knight, J. (2004). Internationalization remodeled: Definition, approaches, and rationales. Journal of Studies in      International Education, 8, 5–31.
Kung, M. (2017). Methods and strategies for working with international students learning online in the U.S. TechTrends:   Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, 61, 479–485.
Latinx Task Force. (n.d.). Welcome to Palo Alto University Latinx task force.
Lorelle, S., Byrd, R. J., & Crockett, S. (2012). Globalization and counseling: Professional issues for counselors. The          Professional Counselor, 2, 115–123.
Marsella, A. J., & Pedersen, P. (2004). Internationalizing the counseling psychology curriculum: Toward new values,            competencies, and directions. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 17, 413–423.
Ng, K.-M. (2006). Counselor educators’ perceptions of and experiences with international students. International Journal               for the Advancement of Counselling, 28, 1–19.
Ng, K.-M., Choudhuri, D. D., Noonan, B. M., & Ceballos, P. (2012). An internationalization competency checklist for           American counseling training programs. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 34, 19–38.
Ng, K.-M., & Smith, S. D. (2009). Perceptions and experiences of international trainees in counseling and related   programs. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 31, 57–70.
Ratts, M. J. (2011). Multiculturalism and social justice: Two sides of the same coin. Journal of Multicultural Counseling       and Development, 39, 24–37.
Ratts, M. J., Singh, A. A., Nassar-McMillan, S., Butler, S. K., & McCullough, J. R. (2015). Multicultural and social            justice counseling competencies.
Reicherzer, S., Dixon-Saxon, S., & Trippany, R. (2009). Quality counselor training in a distance environment. Counseling          Today, 51(12), 46–47.
Rios, D., Bowling, M., & Harris, J. (2017). Decentering student “uniqueness” in lessons about intersectionality. In K. A.           Case (Ed.), Intersectionality pedagogy: Complicating identity and social justice (pp. 194–213). Routledge.
Rogers, M. R., & Molina, L. E. (2006). Exemplary efforts in psychology to recruit and retain graduate students of color.         American Psychologist, 61, 143–156.
Siemens, G., Gašević, D., & Dawson, S. (2015). Preparing for the digital university: A review of the history and current           state of distance, blended, and online learning. Massive Open Online Course Research Initiative.
Snow, W. H., Lamar, M. R., Hinkle, J. S., & Speciale, M. (2018). Current practices in online counselor education. The           Professional Counselor, 8, 131–145.
Sue, D. W., Arredondo, P., & McDavis, R. J. (1992). Multicultural counseling competencies and standards: A call to the        profession. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 20(2), 64–88.                     
Wise, T., Case, K. A. (2013). Pedagogy for the privileged: Addressing inequality and injustice without shame or blame. In        K. A. Case (Ed.), Deconstructing privilege: Teaching and learning as allies in the classroom (pp. 17–33). Routledge.
Young, R., & Collin, A. (2004). Introduction: Constructivism and social constructionism in the career field. Journal of         Vocational Behavior, 64, 373–388.
Zhu, E., Kaplan, M., & Dershimer, C. (2011). Engaging faculty in effective use of instructional technology. In C. E. Cook
& M. Kaplan (Eds.), Advancing the culture of teaching on campus: How a teaching center can make a difference      (pp. 151–166). Stylus Publishing.


Szu-Yu Chen, PhD, NCC, LPC, RPT, is an assistant professor at Palo Alto University. Dareen Basma, PhD, LPC-MHSP, is a core faculty member at Palo Alto University. Jennie Ju, PhD, LPC, is a core faculty member at Palo Alto University. Kok-Mun Ng, PhD, NCC, ACS, LPC, is a professor at Oregon State University. Correspondence can be mailed to Szu-Yu Chen, 1791 Arastradero Drive, Palo Alto, CA 94304,