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Lackawanna College

PSY 215AA: Adulthood & Aging-3credits

Dr. Sharon A. Nazarchuk


Phone: (570) 504-7957

Fall 2013


Room 242 Healey Academic            Class days: M, W, & F

Building; 2nd floor                             Class time: 8:00-8:50AM

                                                           Class room: 202


Office Hours

Monday and Wednesday                   

9:00-12:00 or by appointment           


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.  You cannot pass this course without a textbook since half of the exam questions are taken from the text and half from the PowerPoints which are on the portal.

We will be doing different activities for this class.  If you miss class do not e-mail me and ask what you missed.  Please e-mail or call a fellow student to see what you missed.


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 objectives of this course are for students to have:

  1. To study the life-span development, and review the research methods used to investigate development.
  2. To study the basic biological, intellectual, learning and memory, personality, and social changes that occur in adulthood.
  3. To examine the unique transitions and events particular to young adulthood, middle age, and old age.
  4. To study the final event in life - death and dying


After completing this course, students should 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.  This will be two-fold in its requirement.  Students will work in groups of three (no more than three) and each group will cover any area in this course that you 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.  You will present your material during the next class.  All members of the group must participate, but I will leave the sharing of the assignments up to each individual group. Each member of the group may speak or you may select only one member of your group to be the speaker.  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 assignments.

You do not have to present any material to me.  After your presentation is completed, you will be graded.  You do not return to your seat until you come over to me and receive your grade.

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. The in-class assignment will be given on Monday, October 28th.


This assignment is also worth 10% of your final grade. 

Many younger persons do not have much experience in thinking about or dealing with older persons. Older people have many life stories, all filled with adventure and challenge. Educating younger people about some of the viewpoints and some of the issues faced by older people is a great way of sharing these unique life stories.

The following are the areas you may choose from for your 3-4-page paper that incorporate issues related to older persons into specific subject areas.  Select one (1) of these areas and submit your paper by Monday, November 4th.  If you paper is not submitted by 8:50am on this date, you will be dropped one letter grade. Below is a copy of the rubric I use for grading your papers so you can see my expectations.

Social Studies  

·   Look at how family patterns have changed - more families have more older people in them now, many grandparents work as primary caregivers, many families are nuclear or headed by a single parent.

·   What is the impact of poverty on older persons?

·   What are the social costs of an ageing population on the Canadian health care system? on the family? on individuals?

·   What are the gender implications of ageing?

·   Do different age groups face different prejudices? If so, why?

·   Draw your family tree or Canada's family tree.


·   What are some of the rights of older persons in the workplace?

·   What are some of the stereotypical jobs held by older persons? younger persons? Why?

·   What are some of the projected impacts of an ageing society on business?

·   How can businesses adapt to a more active ageing community?

·   Give examples of some of the characteristics of consumers in specific age groups.


·   Look at the International Action Plan on Ageing, What entitlements does it confer on older persons?

·   Look at the UN Principles for Older Persons. How is it different from the Action Plan? What principles does it confer on older persons?

·   What rights do older persons have?

·   What are the rights of those persons caring for an older person full-time?

·   Consider the impact that a law might have on different age groups.

·   List the benefits and detriments of a will.

·   Do some types of crime happen more frequently to older persons? If so, why?

Research Paper Grading Rubric



¨  Is the topic of the paper clearly and concisely introduced?

¨  Does the introduction include a clear and concise thesis statement?

¨  Does the information forecast the remainder of the paper for the reader?


Body of the Paper

¨  Does the paper provide examples to help the reader understand points made?

¨  Does the paper synthesize the material reviewed into a few main points?

¨  Is all information factually correct?

¨  Does the paper provide excellent background, context and idea development?

¨  Does the paper include an excellent discussion of detail?



¨  Is there a conclusion?

¨  Does the paper provide a brief summary of what has been discussed?


References & Citations

¨  Does the body of the paper cite sources as necessary? (4 points)


Quality of Sources

¨  Are the sources relatively recent? (3 points)

¨  Is there a variety of sources? (3 points)


Writing Style

¨  Is the paper well organized?

¨  Is the paper free from grammar & spelling errors?

¨  Are there smooth transitions between sections?

¨  Is the manuscript clean/legible/pleasing to read?



¨  Does the paper follow the margin, font, and page specification found in the paper guidelines? (3-4 pages, 12-point font, 1” margins, double spacing)


Total Points:  _____/100


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. There will not be any exceptions.

At the end of the semester you get to evaluate me.


Because missing class means missing an opportunity to ask questions and check your understanding, it’s important to attend class on a regular basis and take advantage of the opportunity to let me help you clear up confusion as soon as it arises.  The more I see you, the more I can help you.

You must be in class and participating.  Anyone who misses more than six (6) classes will be dropped from the class.  It is your responsibility to obtain the work you missed so you can be prepared for the next class.  If you are late for class please take the first available seat so you don’t disrupt the class.  Please try to come to class on time.  You have a responsibility to be in the classroom and in your seat at the beginning of class, not 10 or 15 minutes into the lecture.  You know that class begins at 8:00AM so make sure you are in class on time. Anyone who falls asleep during class will be asked to leave and not return.

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


For students to successfully complete their college work, regular class attendance

is necessary. Attendance is important to you in that the things I emphasize in

lectures are often the things that show up on exams. Although those things are

usually also emphasized in the text, attendance in class makes it easier to

understand and learn important terms and concepts, and familiarizes you with the

language I use when addressing those topics. Lax attendance also shows your

attitude toward this class and its subject matter. Students with excessive

absences (defined by the above scale) may be dropped from the class. For these reasons,

attendance will be taken at the beginning of every class period. Attendance is not

counted as part of the grade, however. I will pass a sign in sheet around at the start of the class so make sure that you sign it, of you don’t you will be considered absent.


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 for students who did not do well all semester and then need a higher grade for whatever reason.

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 8AM 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 put away when entering this classroom. 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.

Hoods and baseball hats:

These are to be removed when you enter the classroom.


At the college level, the role of the professor is to construct a context for learning.

Learning—and the development of the course—depends on student engagement.

Knowledge is not transmitted, but actively created.

Participation during class:

· Note-taking.

· Listening to your colleagues.

· Contributing comments based on the reading.

· Giving other students a chance to speak.


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 I suggest that you 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. Exams are taken from the text and the PowerPoints so I would advise you to keep up with the reading from the text as well as the PowerPoints. I do not give extra credit at the end of the semester to bring up a grade.  Throughout the semester I have several in-class projects that give you extra credit so if you are in class, you have an opportunity to earn extra credit.


In-class assignment    10%

Research 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, matching, and true/false.  The dates of the exams are clearly listed on your Class Schedule and also are listed on the portal. 

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 are no make-ups for this project.
    • 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.

Christine Kiehart 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. Inquiries should be directed to Anita Cola,

            Affirmative Action Officer, at (570) 961-7815 or OR Dan  

            LaMagna, Affirmative Action Officer, at (570) 504-1579 or .


Lackawanna College will empower you to experience learning by inspiring your critical thinking, assessing your talents and skills, motivating you toward a career choice, and encouraging you to make a difference. In evidence of this learning, the College requires a graduation portfolio containing Career Documents, including a résumé, two letters of recommendation, and a career exploration; Core Coursework, including a research paper from College Writing; three sample papers or projects from Major Coursework; and a Lackawanna College Reflection Paper.


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.  The extra credit assignments are given during the course sessions so you need to be in class to be eligible for these extra credit in-class projects.

I am in this classroom every morning from 7:10am until the start of class and am willing to cover any material that you do not understand.  You do not need an appointment, just come in to receive tutoring.

I strongly urge all students to obtain a copy of Lackawanna College’s Student Handbook and to become familiar with all policies.

All lectures are given via PowerPoint and these are located 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 & 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, Aug. 26th:  Introductions/Discuss syllabus/Class schedule

Monday, Sept. 2nd: No Class/ Labor Day

EXAM #1: Monday, Sept. 16th

Monday, Oct. 14th: No Class/Columbus Day

EXAM #2: Monday, Oct. 21st

IN-CLASS ASSIGNMENT : Monday, Oct. 28th

RESEARCH  PAPER: Monday, Nov. 4th 

Monday, Nov. 11th: No Class/ Veteran’s Day

EXAM #3 : Monday, Nov. 148h

Wed. Nov. 27th:  No Class/Thanksgiving Break

Friday, Nov. 29th: No Class/ Thanksgiving Break

EXAM #4:  Week of Dec. 2nd   

Just a reminder that Academic Advising begins on Monday, October 28th.  See your advisor to complete your spring schedule. I will not sign off on any advisee that does not come to see me.

There are no Handouts for this set.