NCDA ethical standards you believe are relevant to the case as well as any multicultural or social change considerations

Week 4: Ethical and Legal Considerations in Career Counseling

Imagine you are providing career counseling workshops to eighth grade students and their families. An African-American family approaches you with concerns about whether a career and technical education program (CTE) at one high school is a good fit for their daughter. Their daughter adores science, and the family sees the merits of a CTE program. It comes with a certification as a laboratory technician upon graduation along with some college credits. However, they are concerned that the perception of CTE as second tier to the regular high school programs could lower her opportunities if she decides to go to college. They are also concerned that vocational education has historically tracked lower-income, students of color, and immigrant youth deemed unsuited for more academic coursework into lower-paying professions. They want the best for their daughter, but is this the right choice (Seaton, 2019)?

Counselors must address concerns like these in an ethical manner. They must respect the dignity and concerns of the family and promote the welfare of the young woman so she can make the best choice for her. This week, you will explore ethical and legal considerations as it applies to career counseling.

Reference: Seaton, G. (2019, May 1). Rethinking career and technical education. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Demonstrate ability to integrate and conceptualize career counseling theory and application

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Niles, S., & Harris-Bowlsbey, J. (2016). Career development interventions (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

  • Chapter 15, “Ethical Issues in Career Development Interventions”

National Career Development Association. (2015). 2015 NCDA code of ethics. Broken Arrow, OK: Author. Retrieved from

Document: Career Ethics in Practice: Four Case Studies (Word Document)


Discussion: Putting Ethics into Practice

Ethical practice represents the foundation for all licensed or credentialed counselors and school counselors. In career development, common ethical issues include the following:

  • careful and culturally appropriate selection, evaluation, and interpretation of career assessment interventions;
  • cautious use of interventions newly available due to technological advances, for example, Internet-based distance counseling and career information;
  • and general limitations surrounding practices within one’s area of training and competence.

This Discussion will focus your attention on these issues through review and application of the ethical standards from the NCDA, which are dedicated to career counseling.

To Prepare:

  • Review the NCDA Ethical Standards found in this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Access the “Career Ethics in Practice: Four Case Studies” located in the Week 4 Learning Resources. Select the case study most closely aligned with your area of specialization. As you review the case study, consider how you as a counselor would ethically work with this client/student, including any multicultural or social change considerations.
  • Select at least two NCDA standards you think are most relevant to the case, considering how these standards are relevant.

By Day 3

Post the following:

  • A brief summary of the case study you selected
  • A description of how you would ethically work with this client/student
  • The NCDA ethical standards you believe are relevant to the case as well as any multicultural or social change considerations, identifying the specific standards and how they apply

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleague’s postings in one or more of the following ways:

  • Compare similarities and differences of the case you selected with that of your colleague.
  • Offer an alternative NCDA ethical standard that you believe may be relevant to the case selected and explain you reasoning.
  • Validate the description of how your colleague would work with this client/student with your own experience.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights that you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.

Note: Support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources and any additional sources you identify, using both in-text citations and references. It is strongly recommended that you include proper APA format and citations.

Submission and Grading Information

Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:

Week 4 Discussion Rubric


Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 6

To participate in this Discussion:

Week 4 Discussion