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Online classes

Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2017/2018

EDUC 546: Perspectives On Involvemnt

Course Description

The study of relationships between the schools and professional educators, and the people and agencies outside the schools which influence and affect them.  Formal and informal relationships are identified, and positive and negative effects discussed.  Strategies for fostering and improving cooperative involvement and support are developed and practical application is required.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing; Full MAT or M.Ed. status

Proctored Exams: None



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Bagin, D., Gallagher, D., & Moore, E.. (2012). The School and Community Relations (11th). Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.
    • [ISBN-978-0-13-390541-0]
  • Kowalski, Theodore J.. (2011). Public Relations in Schools (5th). Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.
    • [ISBN-978-0-13-707245-3]

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

This course will enable you to gain a clear understanding of the importance of developing and maintaining a positive rapport with internal and external stakeholders in a school district.

During this course, we will establish an overview of public relations and explore the rationale for why this is critical for the health of a school district. You will explore the school in the context of the community and gain a clear understanding of symbiotic relationships that exist between the community and the school. You will investigate the school’s responsibilities in communicating with its internal and external publics as well as the appropriate use of critical communication tools such as the press, radio, television, and online media.

Discussions will highlight important points of communication, including special issue campaigns, finances, marketing, and various issues that occur between internal and external publics in a school district. You will develop and share a Comprehensive Community Involvement Plan based on research of the demographics, survey results, and other characteristics of the school’s community and a plan for implementing the Comprehensive Community Involvement Plan.



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. Promotes a positive school culture.
  2. Collaborates with families and other community members.
  3. Responds to community interests and needs.
  4. Mobilizes community resources.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 540-600 90-100%
B 480-539 80-89%
C 420-479 70-79%
F 0-419 0-69%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (10) 200 33%
Dropbox Assignment 1 50 8%
Dropbox Assignment 2 125 21%
Dropbox Assignment 3 150 25%
Dropbox Assignment 4 75 12%
Total 600 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Introduction Discussion -- Thursday
Discussion 1 20 Thursday/Sunday
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 20 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 3 20
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 20 Thursday/Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 1: Relationship Analysis 50 Sunday
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 20 Thursday/Sunday
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 20 Thursday/Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 2: Evaluation of Existing Community Involvement 125 Sunday
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 20 Thursday/Sunday
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 20 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 9 20
Dropbox Assignment 3: Comprehensive Community Involvement Plan 150 Sunday
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Dropbox Assignment 4: Implementation Plan 75 Wednesday
Discussion 10 20 Thursday/Saturday
Total Points 600

Assignment Overview

Discussions

There will be an ungraded Introduction Discussion (due Thursday by 11:59 p.m. CT of Week 1) and 10 graded Discussion posts during the course, worth 20 points each. Discussion posts will be graded according to the Discussion Rubric available in the Content Area of the course.

Initial discussion posts should be completed by 11:59 p.m. Central Time (CT), Thursday, with at least two responses to classmates’ posts by 11:59 p.m. CT, Sunday of each assigned week (with the exception of Week 8, when responses are due by 11:59 p.m. CT, Saturday).

The minimum number of words is 100 for initial post, and 50 for the response to classmates’ posts. Discussion is the heart of learning for this course. Therefore, students are expected to thoroughly answer discussion questions and participate in the required discussion topics each week. 

The discussion posts should not only address the questions asked, but reference the textbook when appropriate, and prompt further discussion. The student responses to classmates should be more than “I agree” or “Great job.” Student responses should help facilitate the discussion. 

There will be ungraded several Writers’ Workshop Discussions throughout the course. The purpose of these discussion areas is to provide you a forum to review the peer assignments/plans prior to submitting them for a grade. Writers’ Workshop Discussions are not required discussions, but you are strongly encouraged to use this forum as it allows you to receive feedback prior to final submission.


Dropbox Assignments

During this course, you will have 4 (four) Dropbox Assignments. These assignments are designed for you to thoroughly investigate and analyze a school district in their area. You will need to make arrangements to talk with a local school district by calling that school’s board of education office or a specific school within the district. You will use APA style. All assignments will be checked for originality. You can refer to the exemplar documents placed in the General Resources section.

Dropbox Assignment 1: Relationship Analysis

This paper is worth 50 points and is due on Sunday (by 11:59 p.m. Central Time) of Week 3. Identify, represent, and critique the types and qualities of interactions among groups and subgroups in a school district. 

Identify at least 7 relationships that exist within their school and its community. 

With each of these relationships, provide:

  1. A detailed description that characterizes each relationship.
  2. Examples to help reinforce these relationships.
  3. Analysis of each relationship in light of the district’s mission statement.

You must use APA style for your citations.The length of the Relationship Analysis paper is a minimum of 6 pages.

Dropbox Assignment 2: Evaluation of Existing Community Involvement

This paper is worth 125 points and is due on Sunday (by 11:59 Central Time) of Week 5. Conduct research on how the school’s community involvement plan (or parental involvement plan) is perceived by parents and other community members. 

The paper should include the following:

  1. Identification of all community groups and constituents that are impacted by the plan.
  2. Three or more methods of surveying (pg. 28 of Bagin, Gallagher & Moore will help with this).
  3. Analysis and critique of how each of the groups and constituents are involved and if changes need to be made to the plan.

You must use APA style. The length of the Evaluation of Existing Community Involvement paper is a minimum of 8 pages.

Dropbox Assignment 3: Comprehensive Community Involvement Plan

This paper is worth 150 points and is due on Sunday (by 11:59 Central Time) of Week 7. Use the findings from the Evaluation of Existing Community Involvement paper as a basis for the Comprehensive Community Involvement Plan. Develop a plan that includes marketing and public relations components. 

The final plan should

  1. Include references and information from your Evaluation of Existing Community Plan.
  2. Identify and explain the many types of community involvement with the school.
  3. Identify and link a wide range of stakeholders included with the involvement activities.
  4. Include a wide range of public relations tools and describe how they will be used.
  5. Include a marketing plan on how the Community Involvement Plan will be marketed within the community and school.

You must use APA style. The length of the Comprehensive Community Involvement Plan is a minimum of 10 pages.

Dropbox Assignment 4: Implementation Plan

This paper is worth 75 points and is due on Wednesday (by 11:59 central time) of Week 8. Create an implementation plan for the community involvement plan at your school. 

This plan should include:

  1. Overall goals and mission of the plan
  2. Timeline of implementation
  3. Details on how each part of the plan will be put into action
  4. Information about stakeholders and how they will be brought into the plan
  5. Methods to assess the effectiveness of the plan

You may include information from the previous assignments. However, this should not simply be a compilation of the previous assignments.  You can add additional components such as analysis of previous data and appendices.

You must use APA style. The length of the Implementation Plan is a minimum of 5 pages.



Course Outline

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

Week 1: The Essentials of Public Relations
Readings

Bagin, D. et al: The School and Community Relations

  • Chapter 1: The Importance of Public Relations
  • Chapter 2: Public Character of the School
  • Chapter 3: Understanding the Community
  • Chapter 4: Policies, Goals, and Strategies
  • Chapter 5: Administering the Program
Introduction Discussion

Introduce yourself. Be sure to include your current job position. Include any personal information that you are willing to share to help us know you better.

Discussion 1

Interview at least 3 school district professionals who have any type of public relations responsibilities at your school.

Be sure to ask questions about communication plans, community demographics, the relationships that exist with the school’s community, and goals and policies that are in place to address public relations. 

Did you find anything abnormal? Is there anything you disagree with in their communication plan(s)?

Week 2: Relations with Special Publics
Readings

Bagin, D. et al: The School and Community Relations

  • Chapter 6: The Communication Process
  • Chapter 7: Communicating with Internal Publics 
Discussion 2

Characterize the communications with the internal publics at your school. 

Consider how these communications are similar to those outlined in Chapters 6 and 7, and how they are different.

Discussion 3

Detail the crisis plan that exists at your school.  Consider what emphasis is placed on prevention and how the plan has been communicated internally and externally.

Additionally, post what you find about other types of communication with specific populations, including the business community, local government, patrons, senior citizens, and parents. 

Analyze others’ posts to determine how effective communications with special publics are.

Week 3: Communication Tools: Part 1
Readings

Bagin, D. et al: The School and Community Relations

  • Chapter 8: Communication with External Publics
  • Chapter 11: Working with the News Media
  • Chapter 12: Working with Publications
Discussion 4

Review handbooks, newsletters, correspondence, press releases, newspaper articles, and radio and television spots that have been developed or published within this school year.

Compare your district with others’ districts and determine the strengths and weaknesses of your district. What could your district use from another district to improve its PR?

Writers' Workshop Discussion

This discussion is for you to post any questions that you have about the Evaluation of Existing Community Involvement assignment.

This is not a required discussion.

Dropbox Assignment 1: Relationship Analysis

Identify, represent, and critique the types and qualities of interactions among groups and subgroups in a school district. 

Identify at least 7 relationships that exist within the school and its community. 

With each of these relationships, provide:

  1. A detailed description that characterizes each relationship.
  2. Examples to help reinforce these relationships.
  3. Analysis of each relationship in light of the district’s mission statement.
Week 4: Communication Tools: Part 2
Readings

Bagin, D. et al: The School and Community Relations

  • Chapter 13: Using Online Tactics
  • Chapter 14: Conducting Special Issue Campaigns
  • Chapter 15: Communicating School Finance Issues
Discussion 5

Imagine that your school needs a tax levy increase. Identify all the stakeholders in this venture and propose a plan of action to pass the levy increase at the polls. Discover what methods you will use to engage these stakeholders and discuss what you will do if key stakeholders disagree with the levy.

Week 5: Contemporary Perspectives
Readings

Kowalski, Theodore J. Public Relations in Schools.

  • Chapter 1: School Public Relations: A New Agenda
  • Chapter 2: Social and Political Contexts
  • Chapter 3: Legal and Ethical Aspects of Public Relations
Discussion 6

Assume that a high school principal writes an article in the school newspaper explaining that he recommended the dismissal of an English teacher because she consistently used unacceptable language in the classroom. To support his decision, he adds information about the teacher’s background, including the fact that she had been arrested for shoplifting when she was a sophomore in college.

Explain whether including this information violated the dismissed teacher’s privacy right. 

Dropbox Assignment 2: Evaluation of Existing Community Involvement

Conduct research on how the school’s community involvement plan (or parental involvement plan) is perceived by parents and other community members. 

The paper should include the following:

  1. Identification of all community groups and constituents that are impacted by the plan
  2. Three or more methods of surveying (pg. 28 of Bagin, Gallagher & Moore will help with this)
  3. Analysis and critique of how each of the groups and constituents are involved and if changes need to be made to the plan.
Week 6: Communication and Conflict Management/Public Relations Programs
Readings

Kowalski, Theodore J. Public Relations in Schools.

  • Chapter 5: Communication and Conflict Management
  • Chapter 6: Public Relations Programs
Discussion 7

Assess the case study on pages 84-85 of the Kowalski text. 

Post your reactions to the case study, in light of the readings, and answer questions 2, 3, and 4 on page 97.

Writers’ Workshop: Comprehensive Community Involvement Plan Discussion
This discussion is for you to post any questions that you have about the Comprehensive Community Involvement Plan. This is not a required discussion.
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: Wrapping Up: Community and Media Relations
Readings

Kowalski, Theodore J. Public Relations in Schools.

  • Chapter 9: Community Relations
  • Chapter 10: Media Relations 
Discussion 8

Describe the relationship between the community members and school personnel at your school.

Based on your findings in chapters 9 and 10, how can this relationship improve? What do you view as the key strengths of your district’s relationship between the community members and school personnel?

Discussion 9

Share your Evaluation of Existing Community Involvement paper from Week 5. How is your evaluation similar to your classmates’ evaluations? How does it differ?

Writers’ Workshop: Implementation Plan Discussion

This discussion is for you to post any questions that you have about the Implementation Plan.

This is not a required discussion.

Dropbox Assignment 3: Comprehensive Community Involvement Plan

Use the findings from the Evaluation of Existing Community Involvement paper as a basis for the Comprehensive Community Involvement Plan. 

Develop a Comprehensive Plan of Community Involvement that includes marketing and public relations components. 

The final plan should:

  1. Include references and information from your Evaluation of Existing Community Plan.
  2. Identify and explain the many types of community involvement with the school.
  3. Identify and link a wide range of stakeholders included with the involvement activities.
  4. Include a wide range of public relations tools and describe how they will be used.
  5. Include a marketing plan on how the Community Involvement Plan will be marketed within the community and school.
Week 8: Wrapping Up: Implementing the Community Plan
Readings
There are no readings for this week.
Dropbox Assignment 4: Implementation Plan

Create an Implementation Plan for your school. 

This plan should include:

  1. Overall goals and mission of the plan
  2. Timeline of implementation
  3. Details on how each part of the plan will be put into action
  4. Information about stakeholders and how they will be brought into the plan
  5. Methods to assess the effectiveness of the plan

You will want to include information from the previous assignments. However, this should not simply be a compilation of the previous assignments.) You can add additional components such as analysis of previous data and appendices.

Discussion 10

Post your Comprehensive Community Involvement Plans. 

Compare and contrast your plan with your classmates’ plans.



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, as discussion involves dialogue with fellow students. Once the week is over, it is time to move on.

Late Dropbox assignments will be accepted up to one week past the due date for the Dropbox assignment, but a 20 % penalty will be imposed.

After one week, no late assignments will be accepted.

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.


Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


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