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Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2017/2018

HUMS 345: Working With Communities & Organization

Course Description

The values, knowledge and skills of human service practice in the context of communities and organizations.

Prerequisite: HUMS 105 or PSYC 101 (Courses May be Taken as Corequisite)

Proctored Exams: None



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Kirst-Ashman, K.K., & Hull, Jr., G. (2018). Generalist Practice with Organizations and Communities (7th). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
    • [ISBN-978-1-305-94329-2]

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


Course Overview

The material covered in this course is an important component of having a functional and effective practice, certainly at the agency-wide and community macro levels, and to some extent, at any level in the field of human services. It is hard to imagine a career where this material would not only be helpful, but imperative.

As pointed out in our text, “In order to understand your agency and community, work effectively within it, advocate for resources on your client’s behalf, and improve service delivery for them, you must learn skills to use in the agency and community contexts.”

We will employ the generalist perspective, and frequently encounter the importance of micro and mezzo skills in being effective in both small and large systems. Professional human services roles, micro skills, group skills, theoretical and human services perspectives of neighborhoods and communities, advocacy and social action with at risk populations, ethical and personal perspectives of a human services worker will be examined over 8 weeks. These will be linked to the use of real-life situations and examples to illuminate the relevance of the material.

The course makes use of student-centered learning and interactive discussions to explore the practice, structure, evaluation, management, and long-term survival of communities and organizations, and prepares the student to have more effective skills at both a micro and macro level.




Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.


Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Perform a community assessment that identifies social systems and social structures within a community.
  2. Understand the impact of community and organizations on the intra-psychic and interpersonal experience.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 360-400 90-100%
B 320-359 80-89%
C 280-319 70-79%
D 240-279 60-69%
F 0-239 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (12) 120 30%
Quizzes (8) 120 30%
Community Assessment Project Checkpoints (3) 30 8%
Community Assessment Peer Presentation 30 8%
Community Assessment Project 100 25%
Total 400 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 10 Thurs/Sat
Discussion 2 10
Quiz 1 15 Sun
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 10 Thurs/Sat
Discussion 4 10
Community Assessment Project Checkpoint #1 10 Sun
Quiz 2 15
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 10 Thurs/Sat
Discussion 6 10
Quiz 3 15 Sun
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 10 Thurs/Sat
Community Assessment Project Checkpoint #2 10 Sun
Quiz 4 15
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 10 Thurs/Sat
Discussion 9 10
Quiz 5 15 Sun
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 10 10 Thurs/Sat
Community Assessment Project Checkpoint #3 10 Sun
Quiz 6 15
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11 10 Thurs/Sat
Community Assessment Peer Presentation 30
Quiz 7 15 Sun
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Community Assessment Project 100 Wed
Discussion 12 10 Thurs/Sat
Quiz 8 15 Sat
Total Points 400

Assignment Overview

Discussions

Discussions are a central component to the course. You will be provided opportunities in our discussions to demonstrate understanding of our course readings, and engage with your classmates and instructor on each unique topic presented during the different weeks of the course. All discussions must take place in the Discussions area, meaning that uploading an attachment as your post will not count. Each week’s discussion will take place from Monday to Saturday.

Initial discussion posts must be at least 2 paragraphs each with at least 5 sentences per paragraph. Please ensure that you are answering the questions fully with a blend of your own thoughts that are backed up with information you have read. 2 or more APA citations from the assigned readings are required. Outside sources are acceptable too, as long as they are cited using APA style and you have referenced your assigned readings. You are encouraged to utilize the Purdue OWL APA website as a resource to assist you with formatting your citations. Initial posts for each discussion are due by Thursday at 11:59 pm CT of the week they are assigned.

Your responses to others’ posts are required to be substantive and provoke further thought and discussion. They should also provide an in-depth analysis, or application, of the concepts and questions. At a minimum, you should have 1 informative response post of least 1 – 2 sentences, but it is expected that your responses are substantial in the value they add to the discussion and the topic being discussed. As a result, generic responses such as “Great Job” or “Good work” are not acceptable. Response posts for each discussion are due by Saturday at 11:59 pm CT of the week they are assigned.


Quizzes

You will complete 8 weekly quizzes in this course to assess your understanding of each week’s objectives as they relate to the textbook. Each quiz consists of a mix of 15 multiple choice and true/false items. You will have 1 attempt at each quiz, with a 35 minute time limit. During Weeks 1 – 7 the quizzes will become available on Friday at 12:01 am CT, and then close on Sunday at 11:59 pm CT. During Week 8, the quiz will become available on Thursday at 12:01 am CT, and then close on Saturday at 11:59 pm CT.


Community Assessment

To serve a community effectively, it is important to understand it. This understanding can be accomplished by conducting a community assessment of a local and/or nearby community. The findings from this assessment should define:

  • The extent of the needs that exists in the community
  • The depth of the assets available within the community to address those needs
  • The understanding of the community needs and assets can be used to strategically plan and deliver relevant, successful and timely services

Your Community Assessment Project will be a session-long assignment where your progress is actively monitored. Both instructor and peer feedback is given frequently through course discussions and feedback on checkpoint assignments and a slide presentation.

Final Community Assessment Project

To complete this assessment you need follow the 6 steps as described in the Community Assessment document found within the course. Community Needs Assessments are also discussed near the end of Chapter 8 in your textbook. In completing a Community Assessment you will:

  • Define a community issue that needs to be assessed, the impacted community members, the geographic area to assess, the key questions to be answered, and the level of detail to be included in the project
  • Collect data and identify strengths, gaps, opportunities, and challenges through analysis of that data
  • Create an action plan to address the community's needs
  • Discuss how to share what was discovered with interested parties

This is an individual project that allows you to research your current community. If you live in a rural area, then look at the community, town, or city that is nearest to where you live. I recognize that members of the military are faced with unique living situations. As a result, if you are a deployed member of the military, then look at your hometown. If you are on an installation or base, then look at the community, town, or city that is nearest to your location.

Overall, the final Community Assessment Project should be an APA-formatted paper that includes a Title page, Abstract, Body, and Reference page. There is a 5-page minimum for the body of the paper; however, there is no maximum page limit. Topical headers should be used to organize each section of the paper’s body. You are encouraged to use charts and graphs to display any statistics that you use.

This paper must be double-spaced, and include 12-point Times New Roman font. The project also requires you to include 5 or more peer-reviewed, research-based references. One of the references must be the course textbook. You are encouraged to use the Purdue OWL APA website as an APA style resource. Please remember that you must pass all 3 Community Assessment Project Checkpoints before you can submit your final project. The final draft of your Community Assessment Project is due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday of Week 8 in the Dropbox.

Community Assessment Project Checkpoints

There are 3 Community Assessment Checkpoints in the course to monitor your progress and provide ongoing instructor feedback for the different steps of the project. These checkpoints are to be passed in order, and all need to be completed for you to submit your final Community Assessment Project. Initial drafts must be double-spaced with 12-point Times New Roman font. APA formatting should be used for any citations used in these drafts. You are encouraged to use the Purdue OWL APA website as a supplemental resource for these citations. In addition, you are encouraged to provide any supplemental materials, such as worksheets, that you utilize as evidence of your progress for these checkpoints as well. These checkpoints are found in Weeks 2, 4, and 6, and they are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday in the Dropbox of the week they are assigned.

Community Assessment Peer Presentation

In Week 7, you will submit a PowerPoint slide presentation for peer feedback of your Community Assessment Project in the Discussion Area. Your grade will be based on your presentation, and the feedback you provide in response after viewing those of your fellow classmates. This should provide a summary of what you discovered while conducting your community assessment this term, and will give you an opportunity to learn about the different communities that are represented in the class. The slide presentation should include at least 1 slide for each of the 6 steps of the community assessment project. You should provide a brief introductory post to your presentation, and then attach your presentation file to your post.
Initial posts of presentations are due 11:59 pm CT Thursday of Week 7.

In addition, you are expected to provide constructive feedback for at least two of your classmates' presentations. These are to be informative and insightful response posts of at least 4 – 6 sentences each that will provide that student with feedback that you believe would be beneficial for them as they finalize their Community Assessment Project. A simple “Good job” type of response would not be an example of a form of constructive feedback in this case. Community Assessment Peer Presentation feedback response posts are due by Saturday at 11:59 pm CT of Week 7.



Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: Introduction to the Generalist Practice with Organizations and Communities
Readings

Chapter 1: Introduction to Generalist Practice with Organizations and Communities

Discussion 1

This first discussion is an introduction and opportunity to meet each other. Introduce yourself and include your hobbies, interests, work experiences and any other information that can help us get to know you. Also include your expectations and what you hope to gain from the course.

Discussion 2

Answer the following:

1. What is social planning? Identify and discuss at least two examples of social planning in your community or area.

2. How does social planning differ from social action? Identify and discuss two groups of people who might benefit from social action in your community or area.

3. Consider the role of a human services worker. How might a human services worker be involved in the social actions you identified in question 2?

Quiz 1

This quiz covers only material from Chapter 1 of your course text. You will have 35 minutes to complete this quiz. You may reference your texts and notes. Once you begin the quiz, you are not able to stop and re-start your time. Please be certain that you are in a setting conducive to test-taking/free of distractions, because there are no opportunities to re-do a test. No exceptions. The quiz opens Friday at 12:01 am CT and closes Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.

Week 2: Micro Skills with Organizations and Communities
Readings

Chapter 3: Using Micro Skills with Organizations and Communities

Discussion 3

Macro practice always involves human interaction, and any interpersonal interaction involves an intricate web of communication and interpersonal skills. Identify three micro skills that might benefit a worker during a macro-level intervention and describe the benefit of each.

Discussion 4

Identify three nonverbal behaviors in micro skills. Discuss why nonverbal behavior can be just as important, or more important, than verbal behavior.

Community Assessment Project Checkpoint #1

For this checkpoint, provide a 1 - 2 page rough draft for Step 1 as described by the Community Assessment PDF found within the course . You need to identify a community issue to be assessed, the impacted community members, and the geographic area you are assessing.  You'll also want to present some initial key questions that you would like to answer during your study, and include the level of detail you plan to include in your assessment. In addition, the draft needs to include 2 - 3 references to support Step 1. This checkpoint must be turned in by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 2.

Quiz 2

This quiz covers only material from Chapter 3 of your course text. You will have 35 minutes to complete this quiz. You may reference your texts and notes. Once you begin the quiz, you are not able to stop and re-start your time. Please be certain that you are in a setting conducive to test-taking/free of distractions, because there are no opportunities to re-do a test. No exceptions. The quiz opens Friday at 12:01 am CT and closes Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.

Week 3: Group Skills for Organizational and Community Change
Readings

Chapter 4: Group Skills for Organizational and Community Change

Discussion 5

What is meant by the phrase “leading by example?” What are the pros and cons of employing this philosophy to inspire others? In addition, what skills are essential to leadership, and how should they be employed?

Discussion 6

Share your vision and direction for your Community Assessment with the class. Talk about which aspect of your community you are going to assess and why you chose it.

Include your inspirations, frustrations/difficulties and questions too!

Quiz 3

This quiz covers only material from Chapter 4 of your course text. You will have 35 minutes to complete this quiz. You may reference your texts and notes. Once you begin the quiz, you are not able to stop and re-start your time. Please be certain that you are in a setting conducive to test-taking/free of distractions, because there are no opportunities to re-do a test. No exceptions. The quiz opens Friday at 12:01 am CT and closes Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.

Week 4: Understanding Organizations
Readings

Chapter 5: Understanding Organizations

Discussion 7

First, what is the purpose of managed care? Describe at least one way that managed care has affected agency service provision. Second, there are both supporters of and critics of managed care, and the research has been mixed. Discuss at least two pros and cons of managed care.

Community Assessment Project Checkpoint #2

You will show your progress for Steps 1 -4 as described in the Community Assessment PDF for this checkpoint.  You need to show that you have finalized Step 1 since the last checkpoint.  Step 2 should be completed as well, and the draft should demonstrate that you are making progress for Steps 3 - 4.  Identify and share at least 3 key findings from the data you've collected, and also describe them as strengths, gaps, opportunities, and challenges.  This draft should result in at least 2 - 3 double-spaced pages with an additional 2 - 3 references that support these steps. This checkpoint must be turned in by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 4.

Quiz 4

This quiz covers only material from Chapter 5 of your course text. You will have 35 minutes to complete this quiz. You may reference your texts and notes. Once you begin the quiz, you are not able to stop and re-start your time. Please be certain that you are in a setting conducive to test-taking/free of distractions, because there are no opportunities to re-do a test. No exceptions. The quiz opens Friday at 12:01 am CT and closes Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.

Week 5: Understanding Neighborhoods and Communities
Readings

Chapter 8: Understanding Neighborhoods and Communities

Discussion 8

Understanding several theoretical perspectives is necessary before you can assess and change community or neighborhood systems. What is the ecological perspective? Give an example to illustrate your definition.

Discussion 9

The nature of the community as a system means that it is subject to numerous influences, including its subsystems and its own larger environment. Thinking of your own community, identify at least two subsystems and larger environments. Discuss any goals they share and those that conflict.

Quiz 5

This quiz covers only material from Chapter 8 of your course text. You will have 35 minutes to complete this quiz. You may reference your texts and notes. Once you begin the quiz, you are not able to stop and re-start your time. Please be certain that you are in a setting conducive to test-taking/free of distractions, because there are no opportunities to re-do a test. No exceptions. The quiz opens Friday at 12:01 am CT and closes Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.

Week 6: Macro Practice in Communities
Readings

Chapter 9: Macro Practice in Communities

Discussion 10

How can human services workers specifically increase individual and group empowerment? Provide at least one example of each type of empowerment.

Community Assessment Project Checkpoint #3

For this last checkpoint, submit a rough draft of Steps 1 - 6 as described in the Community Assessment PDF found in the course. You need to show that you've finalized Steps 1 - 4. Your draft for Step 5 should demonstrate your action plan to address the key findings you found in Step 4. In Step 6, you will demonstrate how you would share those findings to those who would benefit from knowing them. You should count on at least 2 or more double-spaced pages to your draft with 2 - 3 more references since the last checkpoint.  This checkpoint must be turned in by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 6.

Quiz 6

This quiz covers only material from Chapter 9 of your course text. You will have 35 minutes to complete this quiz. You may reference your texts and notes. Once you begin the quiz, you are not able to stop and re-start your time. Please be certain that you are in a setting conducive to test-taking/free of distractions, because there are no opportunities to re-do a test. No exceptions. The quiz opens Friday at 12:01 am CT and closes Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: Advocacy and Social Action with Populations at Risk
Readings

Chapter 11: Advocacy and Social Action with Populations at Risk

Discussion 11

Identify and describe a population at risk in your community or a community you have lived in. Using information from materials you encountered, describe two interventions targeted at improving the quality of life of the described population from a social justice perspective. Be sure to cite your sources.

Community Assessment Peer Presentation

Your grade for the Community Assessment Project Peer Presentation will be based on your presentation, and the feedback you provide in response after viewing those of your fellow classmates. 

Submit your PowerPoint slide presentation for peer feedback of the Community Assessment Project in the Discussion Area of the course.  You need to provide a brief introductory post to your presentation, and then attach your presentation file to your post.
Initial posts of presentations are due 11:59 pm CT Thursday of Week 7.

In addition, you are expected to provide constructive feedback for at least two of your classmate’s presentations. Community Assessment Peer Presentation feedback response posts are due by Saturday at 11:59 pm CT.

Quiz 7

This quiz covers only material from Chapter 11 of your course text. You will have 35 minutes to complete this quiz. You may reference your texts and notes. Once you begin the quiz, you are not able to stop and re-start your time. Please be certain that you are in a setting conducive to test-taking/free of distractions, because there are no opportunities to re-do a test. No exceptions. The quiz opens Friday at 12:01 am CT and closes Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.

Week 8: Ethics and Ethical Dilemmas with Organizations and Communities
Readings

Chapter 12: Ethics and Ethical Dilemmas in Practice with Organizations and Communities

Community Assessment Project

Please remember that you must pass all 3 Community Assessment Project Checkpoints before you can submit your final project. The final draft of your Community Assessment Project is due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday of Week 8 in the Dropbox.

Discussion 12

The family services agency where you counsel survivors of domestic violence is undergoing significant budget cuts. The agency's administration has indicated that it will need to eliminate some services in order to stay afloat. Programs that may be targeted include day-care for working parents, sex education and contraception counseling for teens, or the thriving but expensive foreign adoptions program. The agency’s other alternatives include elimination of the domestic violence counseling program, decreasing staff for all programs, or significantly cutting workers’ salaries across the board. The community has depended on your agency and its various services for many years, as adequate alternate services do not exist elsewhere in the community.

Which principles from the Dolgoff, Loewenberg and Harrington's "Ethical Principles Screen" would apply here? Explain your answer.

Quiz 8

This quiz covers only material from Chapter 12 of your course text. You will have 35 minutes to complete this quiz. You may reference your texts and notes. Once you begin the quiz, you are not able to stop and re-start your time. Please be certain that you are in a setting conducive to test-taking/free of distractions, because there are no opportunities to re-do a test. No exceptions. The quiz opens Thursday at 12:01 am CT and closes Saturday at 11:59 pm CT.



Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

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 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.  No late assignments are accepted without prior permission from the instructor.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.


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