Courses Supporting Genetic Counseling Practice-Based Competencies

Interactive Online Courses Steeped in Developing Genetic Counseling Technique

UConn’s Systems Genomics: Clinical Communication & Counseling (CCC) certificate consists of four, 3-credit, 100% online and asynchronous required courses (12-credits in total) that are offered in the semesters listed below. This genetic counseling-focused certificate can be completed in less than one calendar year.

Note: Fall and Spring CCC courses are offered in accelerated 7-week formats. 

Fall Spring
ISG 5200 1/16 - 3/01/2024
ISG 5201 3/04 - 4/26/2024
ISG 5202 8/26 - 10/11/2024
ISG 5203 10/14 - 12/6/2024


ISG 5200: Comm. & Counseling Skills for Effective Health Care Conversations, Online (3 credits)

Theoretical knowledge and practical genetics communication, counseling and support skills for the benefit of connecting practitioners and consumers within the context of health care and genomics.

By the end of the semester, students should be able to:

  1. Apply genetic counseling theory to consumer, provider, and counseling scenarios
  2. Examine ethical, legal, societal implications within genetic / genomic and other healthcare scenarios
  3. Demonstrate effective verbal and non-verbal provider to consumer genetic-health communication 
  4. Establish rapport, cultural awareness and empathy within a genetic counseling session

ISG 5201: Cultural Awareness: Working with Diverse Populations in Health Care, Online (3 credits)

Connecting the impact of cultural differences with the delivery of genetic counseling services and health care discussions.

This course aims to identify factors (culture, ethnicity, race, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation, personal characteristics, values, socioeconomic status, etc.) that impact health care interactions among providers, patients, and community members. 

Course Learning Objectives include:

  1. Reflect upon cultural sensitivity and awareness for self
  2. Explore the science, ethics and implications of culture and ethnicity in individualized medicine in terms of genetics communication
  3. Assess issues of stereotypes, micro-aggressions, oppression, discrimination and the role of privilege
  4. Demonstrate effective genetic counseling skills and strategies when working with diverse populations for delivery of genomic data in a health care setting
  5. Identify factors (culture, ethnicity, race, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation, personal characteristics, values, socioeconomic status, etc.) that impact healthcare interactions among providers, consumers, and community members

ISG 5202: Creating a Therapeutic Alliance, Online (3 credits)

Critical concepts and application of genetic health literacy, genetic health communication, and provider-consumer communication models.

Exploring the process of establishing both rapport and a trusting relationship, also referred to as a “therapeutic alliance” is imperative for all clinical relationships and not simply reserved for professional counselors who utilize psychotherapy. Often, providers may focus on mastering specific therapeutic techniques or interventions, but research has shown that the delivery of services and relationship between the provider and patient is far more significant than the technique itself (Beck & Kulzer, 2018). Additionally, effective provider-patient communication has been repeatedly associated with important patient outcomes such as adherence to treatment, satisfaction with care, and improved health status (Haskard et al, 2008). By the end of the semester, students should be able to:

  1. Identify challenges and barriers to effective genetic health communication within the context of individualized medicine
  2. Identify the impact of culture on genetic health communication and developing rapport
  3. Assess non-verbal communication in clinical interactions
  4. Discuss the relevance of quality interpersonal communication in health care delivery models
  5. Utilize therapeutic strategies to effectively communicate with health care consumers and providers in terms of genetic health

ISG 5203: Death, Dying, Grief, & Coping (3 credits)

Critical concepts of death, loss, and grief and their impact on consumer-provider discussions of death, within a health care setting.

By the end of the semester, students should be able to:

  1. Describe emotional, intellectual, behavioral, social, economic, and cultural issues related to death, dying, bereavement and loss in terms of genetic health.
  2. Evaluate the ethical, legal, and societal implications and considerations of death and dying often relayed within genetic counseling sessions
  3. Reflect on personal, cultural, traditional, and societal trends with respect to death and dying.
  4. Identify provider resources for assisting families coping with dying, death and loss.
  5. Apply historical and/or cultural context, theory, effective provider-consumer communication strategies and empathy to discuss uncertain outcomes and/or bad news sometimes prevalent within genetic counseling consultations