Internet Research Skills
While the Internet offers a wealth of information, some of that information is provided for commercial purposes, some for political purposes, and some for other personal interests. Professionals need to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff, particularly, to evaluate the credibility of information found on the Internet. This study provides guidelines to help you determine the credibility of sources you find on the Internet.
Review the following:
- Capella library: Pay particular attention to the section entitled “Introduction to Online Libraries.” Also, review the resource Tour the Library. While this unit focuses on Internet sources, Unit 2 introduces the scholarly databases referred to in the tour.
- Evaluating Source Quality: Pay particular attention to two aspects: questions to ask about sources and the section entitled “Evaluating Internet Sources.”
- Counseling Masters Research Guide: This guide was developed to guide research and professional reading throughout the master’s program at Capella. It contains links to both general and specialized resources in the field of counseling. For this unit, focus on the sections entitled “Stats & Websites” and “Staying Current.” The rest of the guide will be particularly helpful in Unit 2, when you focus on scholarly resources in the field.
Independent Research: Professional Organizations
Use the Internet to explore at least two of the following professional counseling associations. One should be in your own area of specialization, while the other can be selected from any of the remaining choices. Focus on how these associations can help your professional development.
- American Counseling Association.
- National Board for Certified Counselors.
- American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
- American School Counselor Association.
- NAADAC (The Association for Addiction Professionals).
Certificate Program Learners
Although your program does not provide a FAF courseroom, your success will still require connecting and networking with professionals in the field of counseling. For the Unit 2 assignment, for example, you will need to identify a professional in the field and arrange a time for an interview that should take place within the next few units of this course. The professional needs to have a minimum of a master’s degree in counseling and a current clinical license (e.g., LPC, LPCC, LMHC, LMFT). For Addictions Counseling learners, specialized credentials in the addictions field are preferred (e.g., CAP, CAS, et cetera). Please note non-counseling professional fields are not acceptable for this assignment (e.g., social work, psychology, psychiatry). For additional details on this assignment, see the assignment Arranging an Interview With a Counseling Professional in Unit 2.
To ensure you are able to find a professional who can be helpful to you, you need to begin reflecting on resources that have led you to your choice of this program. There are many resources available, for example, Web sites of professional organizations. These sites may be a good place for you to start. Here are some other ideas for finding appropriate professionals in the field:
- Contact someone who may have influenced your career path for suggestions.
- Contact someone prominent in a local counseling association who might be able to suggest an appropriate professional.
- Talk with friends or relatives who might know practicing counselors.
- Connect with a counselor in your specialization through the networking site LinkedIn (if you are active on this site), either in your local area or available to interview by phone.
- Browse your state Web site. Each state in the United States maintains a Web site that lists professionals in the field.
- Find a professional in the phonebook in your area, and draft a professional business letter (or e-mail), if none of the above works. See the document Sample Interview E-mail for a sample e-mail (also given in the Unit 2 assignment resources).