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Group Counseling 8-Week Curriculum Plan

This is an 8-week psychoeducational group for first-generation freshmen college students, designed to help them learn, develop, adjust, grow, connect, find alternative options, and increase their probability of staying at the institution.
by

Estrellita Goss

on 7 December 2012

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Transcript of Group Counseling 8-Week Curriculum Plan

Background Results Purpose Decrease By Estrellita Goss McLeod College
Orientation Post Final Session Meeting An 8-Week Group Counseling
Curriculum Plan Special
Considerations: Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 1 References: Description Rationale Diversity
Issues Marketing
Methods Screening
and Selection
of Members Before
Initial
Meeting This is an 8-week psychoeducational group for first-generation freshmen college students of various developmental levels, that is designed to help them learn about many aspects of college life, discover possible options for involvement, develop socially and personally, successfully adjust to the student culture, maximize their potential for growth, reduce feelings of isolation and incompetence, and increase their probability of staying at the institution to obtain their degrees. There are typically many resources available on campus that are geared towards student success, but accessing them all can be a very overwhelming process for the first semester, first-generation college student. This group seeks to combine access to many on-campus services and provide functional and necessary information to increase college-life competency and decrease the shock and isolation that can cause a student to drop out or transfer. The students will practice social and communication skills; develop personal identities, goals, strengths and interests; apply healthy relationship, academic study, physical care, and mental/ emotional well-being habits; become acquainted with the most relevant and needed campus resources; and develop a sense of balance between the academic and personal realms. The curriculum features a section on the array of diversity represented at the institution, and introduces resources to obtain skills for becoming more aware of similarities and differences and effectively interacting with those from different backgrounds and lifestyles. Promotional information about the group will be distributed at the Upward Bound office, posted on the campus mental health services website and on bulletin boards in Student Union, and in promotional information given to Resident Directors for distribution to first generation students. There will be a simple application available online and at the front desks of the residence halls for two weeks prior to the interview dates. The individuals can self-refer, or be encouraged to attend by their Resident Assistants. The screening interviews will take place in the campus coffee shop. The facilitator will screen out those that have serious adjustment or behavioral issues, or those who would be better served by one-on-one counseling. Those not accepted will be referred to the Counseling Center for more effective care. An assessment will be administered to determine the students’ attitudes about personal competency in college. The applicant pool will be narrowed down to 10-12. The student will take the MBTI and/or Strengthsquest assessment and have the results interpreted at the Career Development Center. It is possible for a second series of sessions to be formed for the second semester, addressing more fully the needs most commonly expressed during the course of this broader group’s meetings.

Additionally, an usually high application response from well-suited students could lead to the formation of a second, concurrently-led group.

If financially feasible, a co-leader would be an invaluable component for this kind of group and would be highly beneficial in the facilitation process. Increase To increase retention and attenuation of first-generation freshmen college students by helping them learn new information that will help them adjust to college successfully and enhance the quality of their higher education experience. Anxiety
Fear
Isolation
Incompetence
Stress
Frustration
Drop-out/ transfer rates
Culture shock
Lack of information
Imbalance Retention and attenuation
Connection to each other
Education about college life
Number of available options
Social/individual development
Academic/personal life balance
Successful adjustment
Positive habits and skills
Confidence and competence
Connection to campus resources Objectives: Introduce members, break the ice, establish group ground rules, discuss roles of members and leader, and bond as a group Methods:
Set up an atmosphere of acceptance, individual respect, and good humor
Confidentiality commitment and disclaimer
Technical details of group
75 min (30, 15 min break, 30)
Every Tuesday night from 6-7:15 pm
8-10 members, closed group
Discuss what group counseling is
Collective group is smarter than any one individual
Simulation lab for life
Share purpose of group:
Enhancing the quality of life
Identification and exploration of group members’ concerns about college
Ongoing college orientation and adjustment
To share truth that “You are not the only one going through this”
Psychoeducational nature
Ground rules
Establish them as a group, making sure we cover the bases
**BREAK**
Acknowledge awkwardness of first sessions
Address attendance policy
Define role actions of leader at onset
Share my hopes for what they will get out of the group
Invitation for feedback on effectiveness of each component (through the worksheets that call for the identification of the most and least impactful sections)
Administration of simple retention attitude inventory (ex. “How likely are you to return to school here next semester?”) with a Likert-scale measurement.
Going around and sharing top two favorite colors, and referral circumstances/ motivation/ inspiration (“what got me to group”)
Wrap-up and house-keeping tasks "WARMING UP" "EXPLORING INITIAL EXTERNAL PERCEPTIONS" "MINIMIZING CULTURE SHOCK" "PRACTICAL ORIENTATION" "PERSONAL CARE" "DEVELOPMENT AND DISCOVERY" "SOCIAL HEALTH" "PREPARING AND PLANNING" Objectives: Further bond as a group, explore first impressions and their impact, and brainstorm how to present oneself in the most positive way Objectives: Discuss campus culture, become familiar with prominent college stressors, discuss nature of new common experiences, and reduce culture shock Objectives: Share and connect with each other, develop an open forum within the group to answer questions about college, and disseminate useful information Objectives: Learning about and discussing ways to stay healthy and happy, make positive changes, and embrace growth Objectives: Explore personal features and strengths, and discuss potentially taboo but frequently-observed behaviors Objectives: Develop good interpersonal habits, expand network of friends, and practice effective communication skills and social interactions Objectives: Learn about helpful resources, bring closure to the group, complete assessments, and make plans for future connections Methods:
•Confidentiality
•Share what animal they would be and why
•Lemons and strawberries (Going around and sharing the lows and highs of the previous week)
•I model examples, then ask for and encourage others’ contributions
•Link members to each other by referencing commonalities I observe between them from their statements
•Find the sameness and uniqueness between members of the group
•**BREAK**
•Go around and share most awkward or scary part of being in the group
•First impressions exercise (breaking up into dyads, sharing first impressions of each other, taking turns to discuss accuracy/inaccuracy of those first impressions, and sharing them with the group)
•Discussion of what can be done to improve initial impressions
•Creation of personally-promoting or identifying “commercials” for introductions and getting to know others (ex. “Hi, I’m Estee! I am a full-time secretary and counseling graduate student. I love reading and cooking.”—5-second commercial)
30-second commercial
15-second commercial
5-second commercial
•Relevant application through reflective worksheets
•Completion and discussion of group assessment sheet “What would you like to see more of, or less of?”
•Wrap-up and house-keeping tasks Methods:
•Confidentiality
•Lemons and strawberries
•Identification of group members’ concerns about college
•Sharing of new information about college life adjustment
•College student culture
Image in popular media
Shared preconceptions
Clearing up of misinformation
Reality (would help to have a co-leader facilitate this portion, to share their experiences and perspectives)
•Balance (school/jobs/personal life)
Sharing of tips for striking the perfect balance
•Time management and prioritization
•Study skills discussion
Taking notes
Study system organization
Classroom effectiveness
Textbook use
•**BREAK**
•Sharing of personal finance tools, guidelines, and resources
Discussion about financial behaviors
•Diversity
Discussion of populations on campus from different backgrounds or with different lifestyles
Discussion about how to interact with those who are different
Presentation of resources on how to effectively communicate and build relationships with different people (including tips about finding common ground and celebrating different perspectives)
•Family issues
Homesickness
Changing role in family
Attention needed back home
•Worksheet about questions raised and new material learned
•Wrap-up and house-keeping tasks Methods:
•Confidentiality
•Reminder of ground rules
•Lemons and strawberries
•In-session worksheet: “ex. I never...I always...I can’t...I can…One thing about me that others would find surprising is….I love…I can’t stand…etc.”
•Sharing and discussion of this sheet
•Members each write down 5 (or more) specific questions they have about college on separate notecards
•**BREAK**
•Identification of group members’ concerns about college through anonymous question-asking on notecards (leader reads question, group members volunteer to answer)
•Group discussion to follow
•Time permitting, presentation of orientation materials covering: registration for classes, lists of who to ask for help in residence halls/academic departments/health center/athletic facility/computer labs, etc., how to find and join a student organization, how to use the postal services, how to print and access the internet from the dorm room, library, or lab, etc.
•Wrap-up and house-keeping tasks Methods:
•Confidentiality
•Lemons and strawberries
•Practicing individual self-care
Taking time out to rest, reflect, and recharge
Journaling or blogging
Keeping in touch with family and old friends
Strengthening spirituality
Volunteering, etc.
•Sharing suggestions and discussing
•**BREAK**
•Healthy habits and managing stress
•Diet (esp. in dining halls): Moderation, balance, healthfulness
Exercise
Sleep
Avoiding smoking, drinking, drugs, and excesses of sugar, salt, fat, and caffeine
Mental health self-monitoring
Daily routine
Efficiency and balance
Organization of living space
•New identity development
Worksheet about changes made in personal identity
Discussion
•Wrap-up and house-keeping tasks Methods:
•Confidentiality
•Lemons and strawberries
•Personal development overview
•Development of personal goals
•Strengths-identification and building
Discussion of MBTI/Strengthsquest results, and applications for personal development and communication/interaction with others
•Cultivating interests and hobbies
Discussion
•**BREAK**
•Sexual development during college
Discussion
•Party/mixers/functions/formals culture
Discussion
•Worksheet about application of discussion topics to personal development
•Wrap-up and house-keeping tasks Methods:
•Confidentiality
•Lemons and strawberries
•In-session worksheets with built-in group assessment
•Social concerns
Healthy relationships
Building friend network
Conflict management
Assertiveness (rights and needs)
Current affairs
Social media
Communal living
•**BREAK**
•Practice skills
Giving/receiving feedback
Role-playing
•Check-in discussion of what they have been doing to find balance and the outcomes
•Remind members that next week is the last session and encourage them to take note during the week of any remaining questions
•Wrap-up and house-keeping tasks Methods:
•Confidentiality
•Lemons and strawberries
•Fuller knowledge and increased use of campus resources
Greek life and other student organizations
Resume development and career resources
Financial aid management
Library services
Mental health education resources
Study Abroad services
Other campus resources
Other community or online resources as needed
•Last call for college adjustment questions
•Sharing of plans for rest of semester and year
•Discussion reflecting on the past group sessions and the fact that this is the last session
•Administer competency in college attitude and retention attitude instruments
•Explain how to keep in touch (includes passing around sign-up sheet for contact information)
•Remind members of reunion group
•Wrap-up and house-keeping tasks There will be a reunion group meeting 1 month after final session (serving pizza, soda, and cake). We will discuss the impact of the group, share any personal/ interpersonal/ academic/ professional developments observed since the final session, and document the progress made, in order to support the group’s efficacy. Corey, G., Corey, C., & Corey, H. J. (1997). Living and learning. Independence, KY: Cengage Learning Press.

Corey, M., Corey, G., & Corey, C. (2010). Groups: Process and practice. (8th ed., pp. 285-421). Independence, KY: Cengage Learning Press. Assessment
Methods Initial attitudes of competency are measured during the screening interview and then in the final session. Likewise, a Likert-scale-scored retention attitude instrument is administered during the first and final sessions to measure changes. During the first session, feedback on the effectiveness of each component discussed or utilized is requested from the group members for each of the future sessions.
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