Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2018/2019

MSCJ 561: Crisis Intervention

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  Course Description

Study of the theory and practice of crisis intervention with an emphasis on outreach intervention models.  Demonstration of skills is required.

Prerequisite: Twelve semester hours of required graduate foundation courses.

Proctored Exams: None



  • Kanel, K. (2015). A Guide to Crisis Intervention (5th ed.). Brooks/Cole Publishing, Co.  
    • [ISBN-978-1-285-73990-8]
  • Stevens, D. J. (2008). Police Officer Stress: Sources and Solutions.Prentice Hall, Inc.  
    • [ISBN-978-0-13-117881-6]

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 secret of success is to know something nobody else knows." Aristotle Onassis (1906-1975)

This is a graduate-level course in Crisis Intervention. This course will introduce to you, not only an understanding of the theories and concepts of crisis intervention, but also proper approaches to safely and effectively resolve crisis situations. You will understand the holistic concept of stress and how it impacts your daily lives. This course will provide tools to work with victims and perpetrators–effective communicative calming techniques to aid in successful resolution to conflicts surrounding crisis situations as they happen and assist in long- term solutions.

  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 Objectives

  • Describe the characteristic of a crisis situation, the different crisis domains and the variety of theories and models of crisis intervention.
  • To conduct and report in writing (APA format) research relevant to crisis intervention.
  • Display basic crisis intervention skills including listening, acting and assessment.
  • Develop and justify a crisis management proposal or plan which includes strategies and tactics described in course materials.
  • Explain the nature of stress, its symptoms and normal human responses to stress.
  • Distinguish between the different levels and types of victims in a crisis situation and identify common strategies involved with dealing with these victims.
  • Describe Critical Incident Stress Debriefing and apply the relevant principles and tactics to real and hypothetical situations.
  • Differentiate between Crisis management approaches and plans at the national, state and local or individual level.
  • Interpret and apply course principles to real and hypothetical crisis situations.
  • Appraise current literature, materials and development in Crisis management and intervention.
  • Give examples of crisis situations involving manmade disasters, violence in schools and workplace, and hostage encounters, and select appropriate intervention for resolving these situations.
  • Describe important theories and incidents in the history of the discipline and illustrate their current use and importance.
  • Synthesize and integrate all the above areas and demonstrate competence through (1) submission of a research project and other written work on course issues.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
F 0-699 0-69%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions 240 24%
Chapter Assignments 240 24%
Case Studies 120 12%
Course Project 200 20%
Final Exam 200 20%
Total 1000 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Discussion Introduction -- Wednesday
Discussion 1 30 Wednesday/Saturday
Chapter Assignments 1-6 30 Saturday
Case Study 1 15

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 30 Wednesday/Saturday
Chapter Assignments 7-12 30 Saturday
Case Study 2 15

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 30 Wednesday/Saturday
Chapter Assignments 13-18 30 Saturday
Case Study 3 15

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 30 Wednesday/Saturday
Chapter Assignments 19-24 30 Saturday
Case Study 4 15

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 30 Wednesday/Saturday
Chapter Assignments 25-30 30 Saturday
Case Study 5 15

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 30 Wednesday/Saturday
Chapter Assignments 31-36 30 Saturday
Case Study 6 15

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 30 Wednesday/Saturday
Chapter Assignments 37-42 30 Saturday
Case Study 7 15
Course Project 200

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 30 Wednesday/Saturday
Chapter Assignments 43-48 30 Saturday
Case Study 8 15
Final Exam 200
Total Points: 1000

  Assignment Overview

Reading Assignments

All reading assignments must be completed prior to submitting any assignment.


Discussions involve understanding and conceptualizing the course material covered each week. The topics for discussion are found in the Discussions area of the course. You are required to respond to each discussion topic in a thorough fashion reflecting graduate-level erudition. You are required to constructively reply to the postings of fellow students a minimum of fifteen separate times each week. The first discussion postings (original) must be posted by Wednesday each week to allow other students time for constructive responses. Keep in mind, your replies must not be “one or two word” responses such as “I agree…absolutely…I see your point.” Again, your responses must be in-depth and thorough in nature.

Chapter Assignments

These assignments are drawn directly from your text readings and involve a comprehensive understanding of each textbook chapter. Your responses must be thorough in context and reflect graduate-level erudition. The minimum length for each chapter question response is one full page for each question, double-spaced, and 12 point font (New Times Roman). In order to meet this length requirement, the use of multiple sources is required.  Thus, all Chapter Assignment submissions must cite each source of the information (a minimum of four references, which may include your course textbooks) in an APA editing format. All Chapter Assignments are submitted to the Dropbox area of the course in the folder entitled “Chapter Assignments.” Submit all chapter questions as a single document file.

Case Studies

These Case Study assignments provide you with the ability to apply their own strategies and ideas for dealing with crisis situations by using “real-world” scenarios from the readings in Police Officer Stress: Sources and Solutions, and answering the fundamental question: What would you do if you were in charge? The Case Study responses must be in essay format, a minimum of  two double-spaced pages in length using 12 point font (Times New Roman), and utilize proper APA editing format containing in-text citations and a minimum of four references (this may include your course textbooks). All Case Study assignments are submitted to the Dropbox area of the course in the folder entitled “Case Studies.”

Course Project

Students are required to complete a course project which indicates mastery in application of crisis intervention tactics, strategies, theories, and skills emphasized in this course. This project involves conducting an in-depth personal interview of a person in your current workplace/organization, or even at Columbia College, documenting a work-related crisis situation they have managed, dealt with and/or attempted to resolve, providing an in-depth assessment of the crisis situation and what you would have done differently. Again, this project ultimately answers the following questions: What would you do if you were in charge? What crisis intervention strategies or skills would you have used? What types of organizational changes would you implement to facilitate better crisis intervention outcomes? The course project will consist of a minimum of ten and a maximum of twelve pages of text (not including title page, cited references, etc.). It must be typed, double-spaced, and 12 point font (Times New Roman). All papers must be in proper APA format, i.e., a title page, an abstract, in-text citations and a reference page. You must have a minimum of 10 references of scholarly quality (your course text books can be used as sources). The project must be submitted to the Dropbox area of the course in the folder entitled “Course Projects.”

Keep in mind, there are several unacceptable internet resources which cannot be used for any course assignment, including your research project. These resources include the following: Wikipedia, WikiInfo, and Anarchopedia. References from newspapers and periodical magazines written for the general public are unacceptable for assignments in this course.

Final Exam

The Final Exam will be taken in the eighth week of the course. The Final Exam is located in the "Quizzes" area of the course and will be available Sunday of Week 7. It can be completed anytime from Sunday until the course deadline on Saturday at 11:59 p.m. CT. The exam is timed, so once started, you will have two hours to submit your responses. Don't forget to save your responses often! Remember, the Final Exam is not a group project and must be completed individually.


All of your work must be your own. Papers prepared for other Columbia College classes may not be used. Collaboration with other students is also not permitted. Please see Plagiarism Policy below. To review what constitutes plagiarism, as well as plagiarism tools available to students, see the Plagiarism Tutorial found in the Content area of the course.

  Course Outline

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


Chapter 1 (Kanel & Stevens)

Discussion Introduction

Introduce yourself to the other students in the course. Please give us more than your name. Include your profession; hobbies, interest in crisis intervention, and any other information that can help us get to know you.

Discussion 1

After reviewing the video (V#1), please answer the following questions:

Can images project a crisis accurately? Do images have the power to motivate action for change?  Were you motivated for change after viewing this video?

List your top five images in the video. Please provide your reasoning for each image.

Chapter Assignments 1-6

1. Describe in great detail the term “crisis.”
2. Explain the term “crisis as both danger and opportunity.”
3. Thoroughly describe the “precipitating events” and for conceptual purposes, the two types of crises.
4. Describe the Wellesley Project, and the seven characteristics of effective coping.
5. Describe the time line for the development of crisis intervention.
6. Describe at least five contributions from other theoretical modalities.

Case Study 1
Read the case study on p. 17 (Stevens) and answer the question: What would you do if you were in charge?

Chapter 2 (Kanel & Stevens)

Discussion 2

After reviewing the video (V#2), please answer the following questions:

Please share your thoughts on the stigma placed on gay or lesbian police officers?

Discuss how work organizations can either help or inhibit crisis intervention strategies dealing with matters of sexual orientation.

Chapter Assignments 7-12

7. Describe and identify the need for professional ethics.
8. Explain the concept of confidentiality.
9. Describe the concept of crisis within African and Asian American families.
10. Describe the concept of multicultural sensitivity in crisis intervention.
11. Describe crisis intervention issues involving the subculture of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender populations.
12. Discuss the Elder and Child Abuse Reporting Acts.

Case Study 2
Read the case study on p. 117 (Stevens) and answer the question: What would you do if you were in charge?

Chapters 3 and 4 (Kanel & Stevens)

Discussion 3

After reviewing the video (V#3), please answer the following questions:

Do you know a person like “John” in your life?

What would you do if a friend or family member showed signs of suicide?

Chapter Assignments 13-18

13. Explain the great detail, all of the steps and processes involved in the ABC Model of Crisis Intervention.
14. Describe the symptoms and clues of suicide. Discuss the concept of suicide assessment and interventions.
15. Explain the two philosophies of suicide prevention. .
16. Identify and describe each of the risk factors for violence against others.
17. List six questions that can be used to assess a persons’ potential to hurt others.
18. Describe the terms psychotic decompensation, gravely disabled, and mental status exam.

Case Study 3
Read the case study on p. 158 (Stevens) and answer the question: What would you do if you were in charge?

Chapters 5 and 6 (Kanel & Stevens)

Discussion 4

After reviewing the video (V#4), please answer the following questions:

Please share your thoughts after reviewing the video on the concept of death.

In one paragraph, write your own obituary. Discuss how you felt about writing it.

Chapter Assignments 19-24

19. Explain Erickson’s eight stages of development. Identify the crisis, possible social changes, and interventions as well.
20. Describe family systems theory. Define the term runaways and the numerous facets of structural family therapy.
21. Explain the eleven intervention strategies for bullying, the phenomena of teen pregnancy, eating disorders, the motivations and interventions of teens running away.
22. Describe the four tasks of mourning.
23. Explain the five stages of death and dying as described by Kubler-Ross.
24. Explain the crisis of divorce and separation. Describe the interventions. Explain the crisis of job loss and the interventions.

Case Study 4
Read the case study on p. 231 (Stevens) and answer the question: What would you do if you were in charge?

Chapters 7 and 8 (Kanel & Stevens)

Discussion 5

After reviewing Video (V#5), please answer the following questions:

Please share your thoughts on the concept of war as a crisis.

Do these photos of war provide you a clearer perspective on the impact of PTSD?

Chapter Assignments 25-30

25. Define PTSD and discuss its symptoms.

26. List and describe the “invisible wounds” facing veterans.

27. Describe the issues facing the families of veterans.

28. What is a critical incident debriefing?

29. List the behaviors common in young children after a critical incident.

30. Describe the issues facing college enrolled veterans.

Case Study 5
Read the case study on p. 300 (Stevens) and answer the question: What would you do if you were in charge?

Chapter 9 (Kanel); Chapters 9, 10 & 11 (Stevens)

Discussion 6

After reviewing this series of videos (V#6), please answer the following questions:
Is violence against women, a men’s issue?
Has the U.S. military done enough to prevent sexual assaults?

Chapter Assignments 31-36

31. Define rape. Describe the six myths and facts of rape.
32. Describe the concept of date and acquaintance rape.
33. Explain the interventions with a rape victim.
34. Describe the empowerment model with sexual assault survivors.
35. Describe the concept of military assault.
36. Explain rape trauma syndrome.

Case Study 6
Read the case study on p. 353 (Stevens) and answer the question: What would you do if you were in charge?
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.

Chapter 10 (Kanel); Chapter 12 (Stevens)

Discussion 7

After reviewing the video (V#7), please answer the following questions:

Please share your overall thoughts on the domestic violence story depicted in the video.

If a family member, friend, or co-worker confided in you concerning issues of domestic violence, what would you recommend? Why?   

Chapter Assignments 37-42

37. Discuss child abuse, the prevalence, the types, and the indicators how to detect child neglect.
38. List the signs that a child is being abused and the signs that parent is being abusive to a child.
39. Discuss the mandated reporting laws and interventions with an abused child.
40. Describe intervention strategies for dealing with perpetrators of sexual abuse and elderly abuse.
41. Discuss the strategies for intervening with battered women.
42. Discuss the strategies for intervening with the batterer.

Case Study 7
Read the case study on p. 385 (Stevens) and answer the question: What would you do if you were in charge?
Course Project

Your Course Project is due. Please submit it to the appropriate folder in the Dropbox area of the course.


Chapters 11 & 12 (Kanel); Chapter 13 (Stevens)

Discussion 8

After reviewing the video (V#8), please answer the following questions:

Would you consider becoming an HIV activist? Yes or no, please share your reasoning.

If a family member, friend, or co-worker confided in you that they were HIV positive, what would say to them? Why?

Chapter Assignments 43-48

43. Describe the crises of substance abuse from the perspectives of types, family, medical, legal, and psychological.
44. Discuss the concept of alcoholism, its interventions, and the challenges of codependency.
45. Describe the crises of cocaine, meth, marijuana, LSD, heroin, and the nonmedical use of prescription drugs.
46. Define AIDS and HIV. Describe the misconception, modes of transmission, progression stages, treatment, and social aspects.
47. Define Alzheimer’s disease and the effects on the caretaker.
48. Discuss the crisis intervention strategies for persons with disabilities.

Case Study 8
Read the case study on p. 419 (Stevens) and answer the question: What would you do if you were in charge?
Final Exam

Complete the Final Exam, which can be found in the Quizzes area of the course.

  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.


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.


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.

There is no extra credit, and all late assignments will receive zero credit.

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.