Home CAP 131 Fall '03 CAP 131 Sum. '03

CAP 131 (Career Assessment & Planning) Online

This three credit course is designed for all students and career changers who are seriously exploring career and life decisions.  Through exercises, discussions and research, students engage in self-assessment, career exploration and goal setting.  By the end of the course students are able to identify careers that match their interests, skills and values; create a targeted resume; formulate long-term goals; and locate local resources for implementation of their goals.

Instructor Contact Information
Required Textbook

Course Objectives
Course Procedures/Submitting Assignments
Course Access
Late & Withdrawal Policies
Getting Started
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Summer 2003 Course Outline
Fall 2003 Course Outline

Instructor Contact Information

The best way to reach me is through e-mail at mccreaec@pgcc.edu  You may also leave a message for me by calling the PGCC Career Center at 301-322-0960 ext. 7.  I usually check my e-mail at least twice per day and will respond to simple questions immediately.  For  more involved questions, I will make every attempt to return a student's e-mail message within 48 hours. 

Online office hours  will be held throughout the semester through the Virtual Classroom feature of Blackboard.  I am also available to meet with students in the Career Center by appointment.

Required Textbook

Borchard, D., Bonner, C. & Musich, S. (2002).  Your Career Planner (8th Edition). Dubuque, Iowa:  Kendall-Hunt Publishing Company. 

It is recommended that you purchase the text before classes begin so that you will be ready to begin Module 1 immediately.  DO NOT PURCHASE THE STUDY GUIDE.

Course Objectives

To understand the roles of career and work in one's life.
To conduct a thorough self-assessment, including identifying one's abilities, skills, interests, values, and work environment preferences.
To learn models of decision-making and career/life planning and to create a five-year plan.
To learn career exploration strategies and job seeking skills.
To become familiar with a variety of occupational resources, including print, personal contacts, and online sources.
To identify possible barriers and motivators in one's life to achieving personal goals.

Course Procedures/Submitting Assignments

At least every other day you should check your e-mail and log-in to the course to read the Calendar and Announcements for any course changes or updates.

The course is divided into modules that cover the topics of self-assessment, career exploration, and job search skills.  Although you may complete the modules at any time of the day or night and from any location, you will be required to submit assignments each week in the order specified.  Each week you will:

  1. Go to the Course Documents section and read the lecture notes and any related handouts.   Print out the lecture notes if you prefer to read offline or if your ISP is prone to boot you off for inactivity.
  2. Read the assigned related textbook and/or online readings.  Hyperlinks to online readings can be found in the External Links section.
  3. Once you feel that you understand the material, go to the Assignments section and find the assignment directions for that week/module.  Print out the directions.
  4. For most assignments you will need to create a word processing document to answer the questions.  Assignments must be either Word document (.doc) files or in Rich Text (.rtf).  In some cases the assignment will be a form you can save to complete later.  Once you fill in a form you will need to rename it so that you can send it back to  your instructor.
  5. Please include your name and the week number on the top of every document you submit.  Save your work on disk and print out a hard copy for your records.  Assignments are cumulative in this class so you will often be asked to refer back to previous assignments.
  6. All assignments must be submitted electronically through the Digital Drop Box feature of Blackboard by 11 p.m. on the due date.  Be sure to ADD the file to the Drop Box and to SEND the file.  Do not send your assignments as attachments to e-mail messages.  The website will automatically record your the day and time you file is transferred. 
  7. Most weeks you will also be required to interact with your classmates using the Discussion Board feature.  Think of this as your way to "chat" with your classmates and to learn from their career and academic experiences.
  8. If you have questions about an assignment contact your instructor or your classmates immediately.  Do NOT wait until the day an assignment is due to ask questions.

Course Access

Once you are registered for the course, you will receive information from the PGCC Distance Learning Department regarding your username and password.  You will access the course through the URL http://pgcconline.blackboard.com

If you have questions about the Blackboard e-learning platform, review the Blackboard student manual through the Distance Learning Website.


Within the course outlines you will be able to view the grade point totals for each assignment and the overall scores needed for each letter grade.  There are opportunities to earn extra credit points by completing additional exercises and attending on-campus events.

Assignments will be graded each week and scores will be posted on the Blackboard Gradebook.  General comments for the entire class will be posted on the Announcements and individual feedback  will be submitted to you  privately within 10 days of the due date.

Late and Withdrawal Policies

Late Policy - Late work may be submitted for partial points for up to 5 days after the due date.*  However, you will lose 2 points for each day that an assignment is late.  AFTER 5 DAYS I WILL NOT ACCEPT LATE WORK.

* This does not apply to the final assignment submitted during finals week.

Withdrawal Policy - Students who wish to end their enrollment in any class must officially withdraw by completing the necessary forms in the Office of Admissions and Records.  If you do not complete the required assignments and do not officially withdraw from the course, you may receive an "F" for the semester. 

It is expected that students in this class adhere to the PGCC Code of Conduct.  See your college catalog or student handbook for a full description.

Getting Started

To ensure that your career planning voyage is as smooth as possible (and to complete the course successfully), here are some helpful hints to get you started.

  1. Get yourself organized.  Register for the course and purchase your textbook  before the semester begins.  Gather necessary paper and disks.  Establish an e-mail account (if  you don't already have one) and check it regularly.
  2. Block out time in your schedule each week to devote to this class.  Keep in mind that online courses require intensive reading skills.  Be sure that you have enough time to read the lecture notes, textbook/online readings, and think critically about the assignments.
  3. Review the course outline provided here and mark due dates on your calendar.
  4. Once the semester officially begins, use the login procedures sent to you from Distance Learning to access the course.
  5. Be sure to edit your personal information and e-mail address within the Blackboard system so that your instructor can contact you easily.
  6. Start learning and Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is an online class the right choice for me?

In comparison to a face-to-face class, an online class offers many advantages and disadvantages.  You will have to weigh them according to your personal situation.  Students who succeed in online classes are generally focused, organized, and self-motivated.  They have good reading, writing and computer skills and have already proven to be successful in the face-to-face college environment.  

To learn more about the distance learning options available at PGCC and to enter a self-guided tour of the Blackboard system, please see the Distance Learning website.

How will I submit assignments?

You will submit assignments electronically through the Digital Drop Box feature of Blackboard.  Documents must be either Word documents (.doc) or Rich Text files (.rtf).  Do not send assignments as attachments to e-mail messages.

How much time should I budget for this class?

You will need to schedule a total of 6-9 hours per week to thoroughly understand the lecture notes and readings and to think critically about the assignments.  Remember this course is designed to help you set a course for your future career and life plans.  Investing the time now will save you countless hours of heartache later in life.

How important is it to keep up with the rest of the class?

It is incredibly important.  CAP 131 is designed to build on previous concepts as you move through the assignments.  Your classmates can provide a wealth of information if all of you are addressing the same topics simultaneously.

What if I can't make a deadline?

Plan ahead now.  If you know you have a vacation or business trip scheduled this semester, work ahead on your assignments.  Do not get allow  yourself to get behind.  Late work may be submitted for partial credit for only 5 days after the due date.  After that point, no work will be accepted.  Students who are successful in this class submit all assignments on time.  

Do I  have to attend the on-campus orientation session?

No, attendance is not mandatory for this class.  However, you are welcome to attend the orientation to learn more about distance learning options and some of the basic procedures for operating the Blackboard software.