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Columbia College
Evening Campus
1001 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO 65216
(800) 231-2391


16 / 35 - Early Summer Session
May - June 2017

Course Syllabus

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Course Syllabus
16 / 35 - Early Summer Session
May - June 2017
Evening Campus
1001 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO 65216
(800) 231-2391

Course Prefix and Number: SOCI 365 A
Course Title: *American Social Policy
Semester Credit Hours: 3
Class Day and Time: Tue 
5:30 PM-9:30 PM
Additional Notes:

This course is web-enhanced, taught entirely in a classroom setting using D2L course management software to supplement in-seat content.


Catalog Description

Emphasis on the nature and development of American social policy, including the history of current structures of social welfare services, the role of policy in service delivery and analyses of current social policy issues including family policy, health care policy, drug policy, tax policy, and other topical issues. Cross-listed as HUMS 365. Prerequisite: junior standing.


Junior standing.


Foundations of Social Policy - Social Justice in Human Perspective 5th edition
Author: Barusch, A. S. (Brooks/Cole)
ISBN: 9781285751603

Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify the values that shape American social welfare policy.
  2. Describe the process by which social policies are formulated and implemented on the federal, state, and local levels.
  3. Discuss how social policy impacts vulnerable populations.
  4. Describe the concepts of human rights and social justice in the context of social policy.
  5. Describe how American social policies are similar to and different from the social policies of other industrialized democracies.

Additional Instructor Objectives

  • To develop skills and abilities in research and writing.
  • To develop the ability to work effectively in a group.
  • To develop skills in preparing presentations and leading focused discussions.

Special Course Requirements

This is an intermediate-level undergraduate course that will require the student to manage a varying work load and a variety of assignments throughout the session. Students will complete assignments independently and in groups. The amount of required reading varies from week-to-week, as we will at times be more engaged with the textbook than others. Particularly when establishing the theoretical and conceptual groundwork for policy analysis during the first weeks of the course, we will be covering 60 to 80 pages of material in the text per week. At other times, students will be responsible for independent research and group work. Students will conduct independent research in order to complete the Policy Analysis Paper assignment, an 8–10 page paper evaluating a social policy of particular interest to the student. Students will also work as a member of a 2–4 person group that will prepare, present, and lead a 45-minute lesson on an important contemporary topic in the arena of national social policy.

Instructional Methods

Course involves a mixture of lecture and discussion, quizzes, group work and presentation, and independent reading, research and writing.

Out of Class Activities

Students are responsible for coming to class prepared to engage in learning and discussion. This includes completing assigned reading prior to coming to each class meeting, as well as completing the assigned independent research, quizzes, group work, and any other assignments.

Graded Activities

Policy Observation50 Points7% of grade
Description -

A paper of at least 800 words that identifies and describes a policy of interest to you. The policy can be situated at any level of governance (e.g., city, county, state, or national) and should be closely related to a general area of study that you find interesting (e.g., education, health and human services, housing, mental health, criminal justice, etc.). The paper should briefly introduce your area of interest, and then focus primarily on identifying and describing the policy. The paper should also include some discussion of why you would like to study this policy arena in more detail throughout the course.

Method of Evaluation -

The paper will be evaluated based on the thoroughness of identification and discussion. 

Film Reaction Papers100 Points13% of grade
Description -

During the course, we will view two films. One evaluates health care policy in the United States and one evaluates education policy in the United States. Following viewing of these films, you will reflect on the observations of particular issues you observed while viewing the films in a paper of at least 800 words.

Method of Evaluation -

Papers will be evaluated for depth and coherency of discussion of issues observed in the films. Discussion should make connections between content presented in the film and content presented in the course via lectures, discussions, and assigned readings from the textbook.  

Quizzes150 Points20% of grade
Description -

Throughout the session, there will be three quizzes over the material covered in lecture and discussion. The quizzes will draw primarily on the readings assigned from the textbook. They will be made available on the D2L site and need to be taken prior to attending class on the day for which they are assigned.

Method of Evaluation -

Quiz questions will be multiple choice and short answer questions. 

Group Work / Presentation150 Points20% of grade
Description -

Near the midpoint of the session, we will form groups of 2-4 students that will conduct focused research on a particular arena of American social policy. Groups will study, summarize, and present information to the rest of the class and lead a discussion based on relevant policies and social issues. The presentation and discussion will take place during a designated 20-minute block of time in Meeting 8 of the session.

Method of Evaluation -

Half of the points for this assignment will come from peer evaluations completed immediately following the group's presentation and discussion. The other half of the points will be earned from a similar evaluation by the instructor. The instructor will also provide individual students with detailed feedback on the quality and content of their performance. Students will be evaluated on a number of areas, including: overall performance as a group; depth and thoroughness with which the policy arena was researched, presented, and discussed; and, individual student contributions to the assignment.

Policy Analysis Paper - Outline50 Points7% of grade
Description -

An outline that will be used to guide the research and writing involved in completing the Policy Analysis Paper. At a minimum, the outline must include the four main sections required in the paper with at least two to three subsections for each main section. (See the detailed description provided for the Final Draft of this assignment below.) Each subsection must also contain a two- to three-sentence summary of the intended topic of discussion in that subsection in the final paper.

Method of Evaluation -

The outline will be evaluated based on completeness and coherency. It must indicate a particular policy arena has been selected for study, and the organization of the content must flow logically according to the criteria outlined for the development of the discussion and analysis. 

Policy Analysis Paper - Rough Draft100 Points13% of grade
Description -

This Rough Draft should demonstrate significant progress toward the completion of the Policy Analysis Paper. (See the detailed description provided for the Final Draft of this assignment below.) In other words, it should comprise approximately 8-10 pages of writing and analysis relevant to the requirements of the Final Draft. It should include references to sources and proper in-text citation and formatting where appropriate. 

Method of Evaluation -

See the detailed description provided for the Final Draft of this assignment below. This Rough Draft will be evaluated according to the same criteria. Students will be provided with feedback intended to be used in making revisions that will improve the quality of their final submission.

Policy Analysis Paper - Final Draft100 Points13% of grade
Description -

An in-depth analysis of an arena of contemporary importance in American social policy. This paper should contain four major sections: 1) an introduction to the policy arena of interest, which should include the identification and description of a specific policy and some discussion of the social issues that policies in this arena address; 2) a review of what is said about these social issues and related policies in scholarly debates and by other sources; 3) an analysis and discussion of what you have learned in your research, including the identification and description of the particular ways certain people/groups are most affected by the policies identified; and, 4) recommendations for changes to passed, proposed, or rejected policies and/or for policies needed to address social issues that are not currently being addressed by existing or proposed legislation.

The paper should be 8-10 pages in length, not including the list of works cited or cover page(s). It should be formatted according to the appropriate standard in your field (i.e., APA, MLA, etc.). It should be double-spaced with 1-inch margins. It should also be submitted in 12-point Times New Roman font.

Method of Evaluation -
  • Does the paper clearly identify an important arena of American social policy, provide a clear, detailed explanation of a particular policy in that arena, and elaborate on its contemporary relevance through discussion relevant social issues?
  • Does the paper follow proper formatting guidelines and adhere to standards of academic writing?
  • Does the paper provide sufficient background information and discussion of previous analysis/commentary of the policy, or similar policies, and relevant social issues?
  • Does the paper provide enough detailed discussion for the reader to comprehend the connections between actions taken in the policy arena and tangible outcomes in American society (e.g., changes that would be noticeable at the levels of the state, county, city, or neighborhood governance)?
  • Does the paper conclude with careful assessment of the potential impacts for parties most affected by actions in the chosen policy arena?
  • Does the paper conclude with logical recommendations for policy measures that address important contemporary social issues?
In-class Assignments50 Points7% of grade
Description -

Occasionally, students may be asked to submit their notes on a particular topic or to complete a worksheet or exercise during a class meeting.

Method of Evaluation -

These submissions will be evaluated according to student participation, task completion, and comprehension of policy concepts.


Grading Scale

90-100 A
80-89 B
70-79 C
60-69 D
0-59 F

Schedule of Activities and Assignments

Meeting 1
Social Justice and Social Workers; and The Government's Role

Introductions, lecture, discussion, presentation of Policy Observation assignment, and short video on the history of welfare programs and their reform in the United States.


Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.

Meeting 2
Policy Analysis and Policy Practice; and The Social Security Act

Lecture, discussion, and presentation of Policy Analysis Paper Outline assignment.


Chapter 3 and Chapter 4.


DUE: Policy Observation.


QUIZ: The first quiz will be available through D2L at the end of our class meeting today and will close at the start time of our class next Tuesday. The quiz will cover the content of our first two weeks of the session. It contains multiple choice and short answer questions and it is worth 50 points.

Meeting 3
Poverty; and, Healthcare Policy in the United States

Lecture, discussion, presentation of Film Reaction Paper assignment, and viewing of film on healthcare policy in the United States.


Chapter 5.


DUE: Policy Analysis Paper Outline.

Meeting 4
Health; and, Mental Health

Lecture and discussion.


Chapter 6 and Chapter 7.


DUE: Healthcare Policy Film Reflection Paper.


QUIZ: The second quiz will be available through D2L at the end of our class meeting today and will close at the start time of our class next Tuesday. The quiz will cover the content of our previous two weeks of the session. It contains multiple choice and short answer questions and it is worth 50 points.

Meeting 5
Disability; and, Children

Lecture, discussion, presentation of Group Work assignment, and group work.


Chapter 8 and Chapter 11.

Meeting 6
Women, and, Education Policy in the United States

Lecture, discussion, presentation of Film Reaction Paper assignment, and viewing of film on education policy in the United States.


Chapter 12.


DUE: Policy Analysis Paper Rough Draft.

Meeting 7
Older Adults; and, Working Americans

Lecture, discussion, and group work.


Chapter 13 and Chapter 14.


DUE: Education Policy Film Reflection Paper.


QUIZ: The third quiz will be available through D2L at the end of our class meeting today and will close at the start time of our class next Tuesday. The quiz will cover the content of our previous three weeks of the session. It contains multiple choice and short answer questions and it is worth 50 points.

Meeting 8
Group Presentations

Students will give presentations and guide discussions.


DUE: Policy Analysis Paper.


Library Resources

Columbia College Resources - Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Course Policies and Procedures


Columbia College Policy - Columbia College students are expected to attend all classes and laboratory periods for which they are enrolled.  Students are directly responsible to instructors for class attendance and work missed during an absence for any cause.  If absences jeopardize progress in a course, an instructor may withdraw a student from the course with a grade of "F" or "W" at the discretion of the instructor.  For additional information, see the Columbia College policy on Student Attendance.

Academic Integrity

Columbia College Policy - Columbia College students must fulfill their academic obligations through honest, independent effort.  Dishonesty is considered a serious offense subject to strong disciplinary actions.  Activities which constitute academic dishonesty include plagiarism, unauthorized joint effort on exams or assignments, falsification of forms or records, providing false or misleading information, or aiding another in an act of academic dishonesty.  For more information, see the Columbia College Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures.

Class Conduct and Personal Conduct

Columbia College Policy - Students must conduct themselves so others will not be distracted from the pursuit of learning.  Students may be disciplined for any conduct which constitutes a hazard to the health, safety, or well-being of members of the College community or which is deemed detrimental to the College's interests. Discourteous or unseemly conduct may result in a student being asked to leave the classroom.  For more information, see the Columbia College Student Code of Conduct and Student Behavioral Misconduct Policy and Procedures.

Cancelled Class Make-Up

Columbia College Policy - Classes cancelled because of inclement weather or other reasons must be rescheduled.  For more information, see the Columbia College Inclement Weather Policy.

Make-Up Examinations

Columbia College Policy - Make-up examinations may be authorized for students who miss regularly scheduled examinations due to circumstances beyond their control.  Make-up examinations must be administered as soon as possible after the regularly scheduled examination period and must be administered in a controlled environment.

Campus Policy - Make up examinations are scheduled on designated Saturday mornings 9am in 103 Buchanan. Students must present a picture I.D. in order to be admitted to the testing session. Students must arrange with the instructor to take the exam before or after it is given in class and permission to take a makeup examination (or any graded activity) is granted at the discretion of the instructor.

Adding, Dropping, or Withdrawing from a Course

Columbia College Policy - Students may add a course through Wednesday of the first week of the session and drop a course without academic or financial liability through close of business on Monday of the second week of the session.  Once enrolled, a student is considered a member of that class until he or she officially drops or withdraws in accordance with College policy.  An official drop/withdrawal takes place only when a student has submitted a Drop/Add/Withdrawal form.  A failure to attend class, or advising a fellow student, staff or adjunct faculty member of an intent to withdraw from a class does not constitute official drop/withdrawal.  The drop/add/withdrawal periods begin the same day/date the session starts, not the first day a particular class begins. If a student stops attending a class but does not submit the required Drop/Withdrawal form a grade of "F" will be awarded.  For more information, see the Columbia College Registration Policy and Procedures.

Withdrawal Excused

Columbia College Policy - A student may request an excused withdrawal (WE) under extraordinary circumstances by submitting a Drop/Withdrawal form accompanied by a complete explanation of the circumstances and supporting documentation to the location director.  The WE request must include all classes in which the student is currently enrolled.  The Vice President for Adult Higher Education is the approving authority for all WE requests.  A student who receives approval of their WE request may still be required to return some or all of the federal financial assistance received for the session.  For more information, see the Columbia College Withdrawal Policy.


Columbia College Policy - A student may request that the instructor award a grade of "I" due to extraordinary circumstances (unforeseen or unexpected circumstances beyond the student's control) that prevent a student from completing the requirements of a course by the end of a session.  An "I" will not be given because a student is failing, negligent or not meeting requirements.  If the instructor believes an "I" is appropriate, the instructor will specify the work needed to complete the course and the time allowed to complete the work.  Work missed must be made up within two subsequent sessions unless the instructor specifies an earlier date.  Extensions beyond two sessions must be approved by the Vice President for Adult Higher Education.  If the work is completed during the specified time period, the instructor will change the "I" to the grade earned.  If the work is not completed during the specified time, the instructor may allow the incomplete to remain on the student's permanent record or change it to any other letter grade.  For more information, see the Columbia College Undergraduate Grading Policy.

Grade Appeal

Columbia College Policy - A student may appeal any grade given if it is believed to be in error or in conflict with Columbia College policy and procedures.  The student must state in writing to the location director why the grade awarded is believed to be in error and request a desired remedy.  The faculty member who awarded the grade will be given the opportunity to comment on all student allegations.  If the issue cannot be resolved at the location the appeal will be transmitted through the location director to the Vice President for Adult Higher Education.  A grade appeal must be received for review by the Vice President for Adult Higher Education prior to the end of 60 days from the date the grade was awarded.  For more information, see the Columbia College Undergraduate Grading Policy.


Columbia College Policy - Course prerequisites are established to ensure that a student has adequate academic preparation to succeed in a particular course.  Staff members will attempt to ensure that students meet prerequisite requirements.  However, it is the student's responsibility to closely examine the course descriptions to determine if prerequisites exist and to enroll in courses in the proper sequence.  In some exceptional cases it may be apparent that the student possesses the required skills and knowledge to succeed in a particular course, even though they have not taken the prerequisite course.  In this case the prerequisite course may be waived by the location director.  Waiver of a course as a prerequisite does not remove the requirement to complete the course if it is a requirement for the student's degree program.


Columbia College Policy - The College provides all students access to CougarMail (the official means of e-mail communication for the College), online resources from the Stafford Library, and their Columbia College records (transcripts, grades, student schedules, etc.) through CougarTrack.


Columbia College Policy - The official student email address (also known as CougarMail) will be used for all official correspondence from faculty and staff.  Students are responsible for the information received and are required to monitor their CougarMail account on a regular basis.  Students may forward their CougarMail to another email account but will be held responsible for the information sent over CougarMail, even if there is a problem with the alternate mail service.

Cell Phones

Columbia College Policy - Cell phones can be a distraction to the learning process.  Location directors or course instructors may require that cell phones be turned off or set to vibrate during class periods.  Students requiring special arrangements to receive a cell phone call during class should make prior arrangements with their location director or course instructor.

Bookstore Information

Columbia College Policy - As part of Truition, students will receive their course materials automatically as described below. 

eText Information

If a course uses an eText, (see Textbook information above) the book will be available directly in Desire2Learn (D2L) and through the VitalSource eText reader the Friday before the session begins, if registered for courses prior to that date.  Students will have a VitalSource account created for them using their CougarMail email address.  Upon first login to VitalSource, students may need to verify their account and update their VitalSource password.  More information about how to use the VitalSource platform, including offline access to eTexts, can be found in D2L.  Students that would like to order an optional loose-leaf print-on-demand copy of eligible eTexts can do so through the VitalSource Bookshelf at an additional cost.  Once orders are placed, it can take approximately five to seven business days for students to receive their print-on-demand books.

Physical Course Materials Information

Students enrolled in courses that require physical materials will receive these materials automatically at the address on file with Columbia College.  Delivery date of physical materials is dependent on registration date and shipping location.  Please refer to confirmation emails sent from Ed Map for more details on shipping status.

Returns:  Students who drop a course with physical course materials will be responsible for returning those items to Ed Map within 30 days of receipt of the order.  More specific information on how to do so will be included in the package received from Ed Map.  See here for Ed Map's return policy.  Failure to return physical items from a dropped course will result in a charge to the student account for all unreturned items.

Students who opt-out of having their books provided as part of TruitionSM are responsible for purchasing their own course materials.  Visit for details.


Columbia College Policy - The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.  For more information, see the Columbia College Family Education Rights and Privacy Policy.

Student Accessibility Resources

Columbia College Policy - Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources.  Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted.  If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible.  The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible.  Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626.  For more information, see the Columbia College ADA and Section 504 Policy for Students.

Alcohol and Other Drugs: Columbia College Policies & Resources

Columbia College Policy - Columbia College recognizes the negative health effects associated with the use, possession, and distribution of controlled and/or illicit substances, and their detrimental impact on the quality of the educational environment.  Therefore, all members of the College community share in the responsibility of protecting the campus environment by exemplifying high standards of professional and personal conduct.  For more information and resources, see the Columbia College Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy.

Tobacco-Free Policy

Columbia College Policy - The following policy goes into effect on August 21, 2017.  Columbia College values and is concerned for the health and well-being of its students, employees and visitors. The College is committed to providing a healthful and productive educational and employment environment for members of the College community. Consistent with this commitment and in the interest of the general health and welfare of the College community, the College prohibits the use of all tobacco products and related devices on all College property and premises.  For more information, see the Columbia College Tobacco-Free Policy.


Columbia College Policy - Discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of protected status (see Notice of Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity for a definition of "protected status") are strictly prohibited. Persons who engage in such conduct are subject to discipline up to and including termination or dismissal.  For more information, see the Columbia College Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Policy and Complaint Resolution Procedure.

Columbia College Policy Library

Columbia College Policy - The policies set forth in the Online Policy Library are the current official versions of College policies and supersede and replace any other existing or conflicting policies covering the same subject matter.  The Online Policy Library is currently under construction with new policies being added on a frequent basis and the policies currently listed are not comprehensive of every College policy.  Questions regarding the Online Policy Library should be directed to the Office of the General Counsel.  For more information on policies applicable to students, see Student Policies.  For more information on policies applicable to the entire Columbia College community, see College-Wide Policies.

Technical Support

Columbia College Policy - If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Technology Solutions Center, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance.  If you have technical problems with the VitalSource eText reader, please contact VitalSource.  Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

        - Columbia College Technology Solutions Center:, 1-800-231-2391 ext. 4357

        - D2L Helpdesk:, 1-877-325-7778

        - VitalSource:, 1-855-200-4146


Course Evaluations - All students are encouraged to complete the online course evaluations. Students are notified by way of CougarMail when the evaluations are available. The evaluations are used to help instructors improve their teaching techniques. They are reviewed carefully by the Evening Campus Director, Assistant Director, and several AHE Administrators. Student should know that all responses are completely confidential, instructors only view results after grades are posted. Your input is valued and appreciated.

Late graded assignment/activity policy - All graded assignments or activities are due when stated in the syllabus or by the instructor. Graded assignments or activities submitted after the stated due date/time will not receive any credit unless the instructor has specifically stated that full or partial credit may be awarded to late submissions.


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