Art of Helping

Fall 2020
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 25
4 Credits per quarter
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This course provides students the opportunity to gain relationship skills applicable to a wide range of future career needs.  The development of these skills begins with gaining an informed understanding of how beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions influence our ability to engage with others.  We will study, take, and talk about multiple self-assessment tests examining our helping characteristics, meaning-making, mental representations, beliefs inventory, caring competencies, personality type and emotional styles.

As part our work, student will be asked to make a personal behavior change, by engaging in a daily practice of one self-care activity that is directly related to stress management. Students will report on this activity weekly during class sessions, and in support of this project, the faculty member will conduct a relaxation exercise during each class session. Guided by a helping model template, students will apply relationship skills in small group practice sessions introduced by video vignettes from the work of Mark Young in his book: Exercises in the Art of Helping .  The practice skills include paraphrasing, reflecting feeling, reflecting meaning and assisting in goal development. We will work through faculty-designed scenarios in which each student rotates in the portrayal of the role of helper, client, and observer. Students develop basic relationship skills necessary in working with and leading others in individual, group or community endeavors.

Students will get to apply their learning about helping theories by selecting and studying a practice field of their interest, such as health care, education, social activism, management or special interests; students will produce a final research paper on how helping is employed in that field.


To successfully participate in this course students should have access to a computer and the internet. Students should expect 2 hours of synchronous meeting time per week using Zoom and Canvas. Students will have access to alternatives to synchronous (in person or remote) participation if conditions require.


Fall 2020 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

(4): 10116

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First Meeting