03/01/2006

Learn How to Integrate ePortfolios and Blogs into Distance Career Counseling

by Sally Gelardin and Pete Hubbard

If you have used the telephone or e-mail to counsel a client, then you have performed cybercounseling (CC). To discover more about the emerging field of career cybercounseling, link to the "CCC-Project" hot button at the top of every NCDA Forums* webpage. Learn technology skills to support your clients in the development of ePortfolios and weblogs (blogs), while receiving the support of a cybercounseling community - all on a free, no-fee platform!



*Note: NCDA Forums is no longer operational as of October 2006. Any reference to the Forums in this article may be clarified by contacting one of the authors.




Recent Growth of Cybercounseling
Several years ago, JoAnn Harris-Bowlsbey and David Reile conducted an NCDA workshop in their bathrobes to demonstrate some of the benefits of counseling clients from your home. Then John Bloom, Garry Walz, and Donna Ford designed an online Course for ACA entitled - Cybercounseling: Going the Distance for Your Clients http://www.counseling.org, and Sally Gelardin designed an online program for career practitioners and clients that includes information, numerous links, activities, and opportunities for online discussions on eResumes, ePortfolios, and other electronic tools that can be used by career practitioners with job-seeking clients. More recently, ReadyMinds introduced a Distance Counseling Training Program, also approved by CCE, that leads to the Distance Credentialed Counselor Certificate.

Most recently, Pete Hubbard invited a small group of career counselors to explore a career cybercounseling project he had started on the Internet. It is called the Career Cybercounseling (CCC) community project and it is a work in progress. CCC will give clients the ability to invite a career cybercounselor into their personal, partitioned e-space - their weblog - to keep the interaction integrated with their blog musings. Asking clients to duplicate their lifework experiences in a string of e-mails risks a certain degree of disconnect for the client and cybercounselor. As more applications and features are integrated into a person's virtual lifework space, personal learning becomes more natural, spontaneous and transformational.

Beginning Cybercounseling
The CCC group is in the process of developing intake forms, personal profile specifications, a cybercounseling glossary, and clear instructions for counselors on how to use specific Internet tools to communicate with clients and to set up support systems with colleagues. The group is also preparing a Q & A on ethical and legal issues in distant counseling that have been expressed by counselors. The group is working with each other and graduate students in counseling to test out the process, before making the process available to clients.

Tools for Distance Career Counseling
Several professional development institutes and workshops are scheduled for this year to demonstrate the use of ePortfolios, blogs, and other distance tools in the career counseling process. They will cover cybercounseling issues and concerns, such as security and confidentiality, as well as ways that blogs and e-portfolios can be used to connect people who share common interests. In addition, participants will become familiar with free online learning community platforms in which they can create their own personal profiles and interact with clients. Following is a list of NCDA and ACA 2006 scheduled conference presentations on tools for distance career counseling. View the links below to NCDA Forums to access more information:

  • On March 31, at 5:30 pm, Sally Gelardin and Marilyn Harryman will present an ACA 06 Convention Learning Institute on E-Portfolios Are Replacing Resumes: Are You Ready? An online dialogue is open before and after the Institute to those interested in this topic through the following link:(NFT0291) .
  • The Quebec presentation on ePortfolios will be repeated in abbreviated format at an ACA Career Development and Employment Counseling Educational Session on April 2 at 3:15 pm. In addition, a presentation on The Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) will be offered as an Educational Session during the Conference.
  • On July 6, Virginia Chomiak, Donna Ford, Sally Gelardin, and Pete Hubbard will present a PDI on Career Cybercounseling: A Secure Weblog, E-Portfolio Model Based on a No-Fee Platform at the 2006 Chicago NCDA Conference, from 7:30 - 12 noon, PDI #5. Attendees will learn how to set up an account on the no-fee learning community platform and create their own career cybercounseling sessions with their clients. (NFT0281)
  • On July 7, also at the NCDA Conference, from 4:50 - 6 PM, an overview of CCC and NCDA Forums and other Internet-based tools will be presented in session #212 Enhance Your E-Connecting and E-Collaboration Skills: Learn Basic and Advanced Features of NCDA Forums and a No-fee Cybercounseling Blog. (NFT0294)
  • A shorter version of the above #212 presentation will be a roundtable session at the NCDA Conference.
  • As their time permits, some members of the Cybercounseling group will be available at the Cyber Cafe to answer questions about the CCC community project.


Register on NCDA Forums (NF) and subscribe to the above NF topics. Create an account and join the Career Cybercounseling community project to explore this exciting new frontier. Distance/cybercounseling is a fast-emerging phenomenon. What role will you play?




Sally Gelardin, Ed.D. (International & Multicultural Education), NCC, DCC, GCDF Instructor and Provider, is principal of The Job Juggler online employability skills program http://www.jobjuggler.net , NCDA Programs Chair, and Membership and Publications Committee member. Sally received the 2004 NCDA Merit Award. She can be reached at lifeworks@gelardin.net

Pete Hubbard is the administrator of NCDA Forums (NF), creator of the CCC project and LifeWork Planning Services, Chair of the NF committee, member of the NCDA Professional Development and Membership committees, and Chair of the ACSCI Public Relations committee. Pete received the 2005 NCDA Presidential Recognition Award for his work on NF. More info is available at http://lifeworkps.com/hubbard/ or by emailing Pete at hubbard@waypt.com


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