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PSY 215AA: Adulthood & Aging

Fall 2012



Dr. Sharon A. Nazarchuk                 Phone: (570)504-7957





Room 242 Healey Academic       

Building; 2nd floor

Office Hours

Monday and Wednesday                   Class day & time: Mon. Wed. & Friday: 8:00-9:00am

9:00-12:00 or by appointment            Class Room: 202



I consider this syllabus to be a contract between the professor and the student.  I strongly

advise all students to read their “Student Handbook” to become familiar with the

policies of this college.

Anyone who breaches any of these policies will be dismissed from this class and not be allowed to return.


The aging population faces different challenges. These include issues in health, income, social relationships, crime and neglect.  These issues will be covered in this course and I will expect all students to have some opinion on each topic.  Be prepared for discussions as well as learning from the text.


Cavanaugh, John C. and Fredda Blanchard-Fields. Adult Development and Aging, 6th Edition.  Wadsworth*Thomson Learning, 2011.

All students are required to have a text for this course.  If you do not have a text, do not take the course.



This course provides an inter-disciplinary approach to its topics and considers the stigma of old age, the psychological problems of aging, the significance of individual differences in facing these problems, financial and legal strategies for surviving in old age, and the care and institutionalization of the elderly.

The health care debate that has been constant brings many issues to the forefront, including Medicare, end-of-life issues, and longevity. The United States will experience an explosive growth in the older adult population due to the aging of the baby-boom population.  We will need to understand older adults in order to master the art of living.


The objectives of this course are for students to have:

  1. The ability to critically think and apply their knowledge of aging to today’s society
  2. The ability to understand the meaning of aging
  3. The ability to study aging from many perspectives: emotional, physiological, economic, social, cognitive, financial and philosophical
  4. The ability to understand the positive and negative stereotypes of the elderly
  5. The ability to understand the nature of how younger adults view older adults because those attitudes will impact intergenerational relationships



 Some broad skills you should have after taking this course are to be able to:

~ Define the study of gerontology and to understand many aspects of the aging   process

~ Explain the person-environment approach to aging

~ Understand mental health and mental disorders of the adult

~ Understand the life-span perspective

~ Address the impact on society of the increasing adult populations that are living longer

~ Understand the ways in which social systems impact an individual’s long life, now and in the future



There will be one in-class assignment worth 10% of your final grade. Students will work in groups of three or four (no more than four) and each group will cover any area in this course that they find interesting.  You do not have to approve your topic with me, but I will be happy to give you direction or answer any questions you may have regarding this project.  You will present your material during class on the assigned day.  All members of the group must participate, but I will leave the sharing of the assignments up to each individual group.  You will be graded on content, presentation, manner of dress, how much effort you have put into this project and how you respond to questions asked by the class.  You may use audio or visual props.  I strongly urge students to use PowerPoint for their presentations, but again, this is your assignment.  Due date: Wednesday, Oct. 24th.

Again, this assignment is worth 10% towards your final grade.  If you do not participate, you will be given a “0”.  I do not want to hear how you weren’t in class and didn’t know about this project since I am giving ample time (the first day of class) for you to be prepared for this work. 


This assignment is also worth 10% of your final grade.  For this assignment you will interview a senior citizen and discuss some of the areas that are found in your text.  Some of the areas you can discuss with them can be health issues, money issues, living arrangements, or perhaps how things have changed for them over the years.  If you do not know a senior citizen, I will make arrangements for you to visit an area nursing home to talk to a resident regarding some of these issues.  This paper and interview will help you to realize some of the issues that senior citizens face with the aging process.

Your paper will be 3-4-pages in length.  You will not identify the person you are interviewing by name to protect their privacy.  You can address this person(s) as Mr. X or Mrs. Y or Miss J.  Everyone has the right to privacy so we will respect this issue.

If you have any questions regarding this assignment feel free to discuss them with me.

You can see on the class schedule when this paper is due (Monday, Nov. 5th).  Any late papers will be deducted one (1) letter grade so you will be starting off with a “B” if your assignment is late.


I expect students to attend class and to participate. You need to keep up with the reading and be prepared for each class.

Once you have missed the allotted number of absences, you will be dropped from the course.


Students enrolled in credit-bearing courses at Lackawanna College will fail any course(s) in which they accumulate absences beyond the maximum number allowed. This pertains to online classes as well. Attendance is tracked by instructors, so be sure to log on and adhere to the following scale:

# of Times Class Meets

Maximum # of Absences Allowed

3 times a week


2 times a week 4


1 time a week 2


Developmental Classes

DE 010, DE 020, DE 030



A student has the privilege of withdrawing from any courses or from the College itself without academic penalty up to and including the final date for withdrawal indicated on the College calendar.

To withdraw officially from a course or from the College, a student must obtain the proper withdrawal form from the Counseling Office, complete this form and submit it to the Registrar's Office before the final day for withdrawal without academic penalty as indicated on the College calendar. If a student should stop attending or never attend an enrolled class or classes without officially withdrawing prior to the last day to withdraw without academic penalty, the student will receive a grade of F* (Failure) in these courses. No exceptions will be made.

Students who violate the College's Academic Integrity Policy and fail a course in consequence may not exercise the withdrawal privilege in that particular course.

Financial obligations to the College will be determined according to the Refund Policy.


Grades are non-negotiable.  Do not phone or e-mail me at the end of the semester and ask for a grade change.  You grade will reflect exactly what you have earned. I will not give any extra credit assignments.  Throughout the semester I will be giving extra credit assignments in the classroom that are unannounced for several extra points towards the next exam. These will be group projects at the discretion of the professor.

Do not come into the classroom late. I will NOT tolerate students coming into the classroom late.  If you are late you will not be allowed in class and this will count as an absence.  You know class begins at 8:00AM so make provisions to be here on time.  Students cannot just enter the classroom whenever they feel like as it is disrupting to the class in progress.

There will not be any electronic equipment in use during the class.

All cell phones are to be placed on your desk when entering this classroom. If you need to take an emergency call, step into the hallway to take it. I will not tolerate any student text messaging during class.  If you are caught doing this, you will be asked to leave the room and not return.  Headphones are to be removed before entering the classroom.


You will be responsible for any work or assignments you miss.  Your class schedule lists the dates and the material that will be covered.  Sometimes, we deviate from the schedule or we may have class in a different area, so it is your responsibility to know what is happening in class.  I suggest you get in touch with a fellow classmate if you miss class.  It is your responsibility to find out what you missed in class so you should obtain a phone number or e-mail address from a fellow student. The dates of the exams are clearly marked on the class schedule, but if for some reason you cannot take the exam, you must see me ahead of time to make alternative arrangements.  I do not give the same exam for make-ups nor do I give any make-up exam for the final unless you miss for a very good reason.  If you miss an exam, you have 24-hours to get in touch with me and schedule a make-up.  Do not come into the next class after the exam and ask for a make-up.  Again, e-mail or call me to schedule a make-up exam and to give me your reason for missing the exam.

Throughout the semester I will be giving extra credit assignments in the classroom that are unannounced for several extra points towards the next exam. These will be group projects at the discretion of the professor.


In-class project           10%

Interview Paper          10%

Exam #1                       20%

Exam #2                       20%

Exam #3                       20%

Exam #4                       20%

Total                            100%


I DO NOT give you your grades, you earn them .  Please do not come to me before final grades are due and ask for extra credit assignments.  This would not be fair to those who attended classes and did well on their exams.  If you are having difficulty, see me before the end of the semester.  There will be four exams each worth 20% of your final grade, one in-class assignment worth 10% of your final grade, and one picture reflection paper worth 10% of your final grade.  The exams will cover all of the material prior to the date of the exam, but nothing from the previous exam, in other words the exams are not comprehensive.  Format of the exams are multiple choice and true/false.  The dates of the exams are clearly listed on your Class Schedule.  Below are the corresponding numerical scores and the letter grades .

Letter Grade

Numeric Range

Quality Points


96 – 100



90 – 95



87 – 89



83 – 86



80 – 82



77 – 79



73 – 76



70 – 72



67 – 69



60 – 66



0 – 59



  • The grace period for late assignments is as follows:
    • 1 day late-assignment will be dropped one (1) letter grade.
    • If you do not notify me within 24-hours after missing an exam you will receive a “O” for that exam.
    • Anyone not participating in the in-class project will receive a “O.”
    • There will be no “extra credit” assignments.  Seek tutoring if you are not doing well in the class, but do not wait until the end of the semester.


Academic dishonesty in any form, such as plagiarism and cheating, will not be tolerated. Sanctions will include an automatic F for plagiarism, but the severity or frequency of the violation may result in dismissal from the College as well. Please see the Student Handbook for a complete explanation.

The following are among the forms of dishonesty for which sanctions may be applied:

  • Using books, notes or other materials during an examination, unless expressly permitted;
  • Using purchased essays, term papers or preparatory research for such papers;

·         Copying others' work or engaging in unauthorized cooperation during an assignment or examination;

  • Allowing another student to copy from an examination or other assignment intended to be performed independently;
  • Borrowing from published works, whether material is taken verbatim or with minor alterations, without proper and/or sufficient acknowledgment;
  • Submitting as one’s own work originally done by someone else;
  • Submitting the same written report in more than one course without prior approval from the instructor(s) involved;
  • Stealing examinations or assignments;
  • Supplying or selling examinations or assignments;
  • Misrepresenting statements concerning work submitted;
  • Falsifying or fabricating experimental data or results;
  • Falsifying or fabricating the need for extensions on papers or make-up examinations.


§  Lackawanna College is an Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity institution.  Students with disabilities and other needs should feel free to contact the instructor privately if there are services and adaptations which can be made to accommodate specific needs.  Students who are having difficulties with class material are strongly advised to seek assistance in the reading and writing lab.  If you feel that

             you have a disability that has not been formally documented, you may meet with Ms.

 Deborah Hartzell in the academic development office to discuss your options.


  • Lackawanna College will not discriminate in its educational programs, activities or employment practices based on race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, ancestry, union membership or any other legally protected classification.  Announcement of this policy is in accordance with State law, including the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, and with Federal law, including Titles VI and

            the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections

            503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and

            the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Inquires should be directed to Ms. Gail 

            Scaramuzzo, policy coordinator, 961-7848. 


Throughout the course, each student should keep a record of his/her grades so you should have a very good idea of how you are doing.  I DO NOT change any grades unless I have made a mathematical error; you get exactly what you earn so do not ask for a higher grade because you need it to pass or to increase your GPA. 

All lectures are given with the use of your text and PowerPoint, which are on the portal.  You need to read each chapter in your text in conjunction with the Power Points.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to talk to me; don’t wait until the end of the Semester to voice them.  Do not come to me before the final exam and ask what you need to pass the course. Do not come to me before final grades are due and ask for extra credit assignments to bring up your grade.  This is not fair to those who have attended class and did well on their exams and in-class assignments. If you are having any problems I will make every reasonable effort to help you.  If you want to learn about Adulthood and Aging, I am willing to help you learn. Make sure you have a text and keep up with the reading and the Power Points.


Monday, August 27th:  Introductions/Discuss syllabus/Class schedule

Monday, Sept. 3rd: No class/Labor Day

EXAM #1:   Monday, Sept. 17th

Monday, October 8th: No class/Columbus Day

EXAM #2: Wednesday, Oct. 10th

IN-CLASS ASSIGNMENT : Wednesday, Oct. 24th

EXAM #3 : Monday, Nov. 5th

INTERVIEW PAPER: Monday, Nov. 5th

Monday, Nov. 12th: No class/Veteran’s Day

Wednesday, Nov. 21st: No class/ Thanksgiving recess

Friday, Nov. 23rd: No class/Thanksgiving recess

EXAM #4: Week of Dec. 3rd: Day and time to be announced