Sample Syllabus Only -- Actual on Canvas

Bowling Green State University: Spring, 2018
Dr. Chris Mruk, Professor of Psychology

Phone: 419-433-5560, Ext: 20612
E-mail address:
Web site through:

Office Hours


1. There will be not a required text in this course. Instead, you will be participating in developing an ongoing manuscript for the practicum. This portion of the course concerns working together as a class to develop material that could stand as a book or guide to finding, settling into, sustaining, and leaving a good clinical practicum that could be passed on to your colleagues over time. Not only does this approach save you the cost of yet another book, but it also can engage you more fully in the learning and service processes.


1. Chiaferi, R. & Griffin, M. (1997). Developing field work skills: A guide for human services, counseling, and social work students. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole. Note: There will be a copy of this book in the Library.

2. Moxley, D., (1989). The practice of case management. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.


The general aim of this course is to provide an integration or "capstone" experience to the Human Services program at Firelands College. Therefore, the practicum is based on the dynamic relationship between theory and practice. That is, your placement in a human service setting is an opportunity to integrate "classroom" knowledge and "real life" experience. I also hope that the seminar will help you to come away from the program with an appreciation of your own style, potentials, problem areas, and interests as a human service worker.

The course is built around three primary goals. The first one is to provide you with an extended practical experience. This part of the course involves 105 hours of participating in basic human service functions by doing entry level work in a structured setting. The second major goal is to help you learn how to integrate theory and practice so that you will be equipped to "learn how to learn" on your own when you leave the program. To this end, you will be dialoging information with experience in weekly classroom meetings.

Finally, the course attempts to help you develop an awareness of your own "style" as a helping professional. Each of us in human services has a characteristic way of going about working with others. It is beneficial to know our own helping style: identifying our strengths allows us to build on them and knowing about our weaknesses allows us to minimize them. In addition to increasing our effectiveness as helpers, this kind of knowledge prepares you to better adapt to the unpredictable situations that are sure to face you in this field.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course you ought to be able to do the following: function adequately in entry level work in a human services setting that involves some form of service, such as case management, demonstrate the ability to dialog clinical readings with clinical situations, describe the major characteristics of your own helping style, be able to make use of clinical and administrative supervision, present yourself as a beginning professional, and be familiar with how to conduct yourself in terms of ethical and professional behavior.


The course will be run on a seminar basis, with us meeting as a group for about an hour and a half per week. There are three reasons for the selection of this format. First, seminars work well with small numbers of students where we can function as a group. Second, they are easily adapted to meet individual student needs and interests, and each placement site tends to be unique. Third and most important, the seminar format is well established as an effective clinical and supportive training format. We will meet at time scheduled in the course catalog for the first class meeting, then select a regular weekly meeting time that is the least inconvenient for the greatest number of people possible.

Learning Assessment

The class consists of the following activities in order to help you learn and to assess your learning progress throughout the semester.

A. Class Attendance and Discussion: 80 points (5 points per class up to 16 class meetings). The class will also include discussion of the text, relevant training and clinical issues, outside readings, and/or video tapes as they become relevant during the semester. Attendance is required because it is the major tool I have for monitoring how things are going at your site. An absence may be excused if the student is asked by the site to attend a site-related special event, such as a sponsored continuing education (CE) opportunity occurring at the same time as class. However, the event must be approved by the instructor at least 24 hours in advance of when the opportunity occurs. Depending on such factors as weather or illness, I may allow for one missed class without penalty but that is not guaranteed in advance.

B. Student Presentation: 5 points. Students will present an overview of their internship site so that others may learn about that particular type of human services setting. This presentation should include an organizational chart, agency forms that you have to deal with, their philosophy, and case management as it is practiced at your facility. The presentation should take about 20 minutes and should include an additional 10 minutes of discussion. Handouts should be provided where appropriate. The other students are expected to generate significant questions in response to each presentation.

C. Manuscript pages: 5 points. Instead of a reading a book, we are trying to create the equivalent in this course based on student experience and reflection over time. Thus, each of you will write a one page (20-22 lines) addition to a given chapter in the book. In other words, since there are 7 chapters in the book plus 3 other sections, we will examine one every week. In the first meeting, we will discuss our reactions and insights that pertain to the main themes of a chapter, and then someone will be assigned to writing the new material to be inserted into the chapter. This revision will be presented to the instructor by the next week's class meeting or a point may be deducted. If the class is large enough, we will do this as teams, but each person will be responsible for adding a full page. The page(s) must be turned into me as a Word file.

Should there be a summer version of the course, you may be asked to write two pages for the course manuscript; one early and then one later in the course. Depending on the size of the class, individual or groups may be used to cover the chapters. Also, from time to time such things as work schedules make it impossible for students to attend the class regularly. Under certain conditions, attendance may occur in an online format except for the first, presentation, and final classes. Turning your paper in late will reduce points.

IMPORTANT: I intend to share the manuscript pages with future classes as this work is part of the service function of the course. Therefore be sure to use proper language and examples. Do not disclose agency or client information. If you do not want your work included in this "living" document, let me know in writing to omit the material you wrote or revised when you hand it in!

D. Final Integration Paper: 5 Pages. Describe four basic clinical skills you feel you developed the most at your particular practicum site and evidence each one of them by briefly describing a time when you actually used them and how that worked out. Then take a moment to reflect on the way your coursework influenced your practical experience at the site and vice versa. For example, what basic theoretical approach from PSYC 1010 did you rely most on at the site? Did the information on human development you received from PSYC 3100 help? If so, how. Did you find your quantitative skills, such as those concerning statistics, to be helpful in any way? What information you learned about abnormal behavior and the DSM system in PSYC 4050 came into play at the site? Which parts of DHS 3300 did you use in your interactions with others, especially clients, at the site? Finally, be sure to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of your emerging clinical style before you close.

Form: Each skill should be identified, described, and reflected upon in the body of one page so that you have four pages total for this part of the paper. The fifth page should focus on your emerging professional style, including the metaphor you find most comfortable as well as a discussion of your potential strengths and weaknesses.

E. Practicum work. Each student will be given feedback concerning his or her performance at the placement site near the end of the course. That evaluation is worth 10 points. You can lose up to 5 points each from your total for certain behaviors. They include reports of such problems as excessive absences, tardiness, being short hours, or a negative supervisory report. Of course, the instructor may make an on-site visit during the semester.


Grading is based on a simple percentage system as calculated by Canvas: A = 90%, B = 80%, C=70%, and so forth.


Sites: Students are usually notified of the practicum well in advance of the first day of class. It is your responsibility to select a site, get it approved by the instructor, and start the internship there NO LATER THAN the end of the 4th week of class. Please remember that the agencies are under no obligation to take students and you may not find a placement if you wait too long. In this case, you may receive an incomplete in the course, which could delay graduation.

Safety: I am also very concerned about you having a quality experience and about your personal safety. At no time are you to engage in unsupervised work, work beyond your level of training, place yourself in a dangerous position, or be responsible for transportation for the agency or its clients. We will discuss these issues during the practicum and you can bring them up to me at any time, preferably before a problem actually occurs.

Ethics: Naturally, you are expected to maintain complete confidentiality of all client, agency, and practicum information to which you are privileged through this course, including what you hear about from other students and their sites as well as at your own site. This matter concerns in-class discussions, manuscript work, and your paper as well. Violating any class policy, any agency policy, or any type of unethical conduct is considered to be full justification for failing the course immediately if necessary!

Disability Policy: In accordance with the University policy, if the student has a documented disability and requires accommodations to obtain equal access in this course, the student should contact the instructor at the beginning of the semester and make this need known. Students with disabilities must verify their eligibility through the Office of Disability Services, 105 George Mylander Hall - Firelands or 38 CPOB - BG campus. Students wishing to discuss their eligibility for such accommodations are encouraged to contact the office at phone: 419-372-8495, fax: 419-372-8496, or email: If you need to take an exam in the learning center at Firelands, then you MUST follow these procedures: (a.) Follow all of BGSU's procedures for accommodation, (b.) If the accommodations involve extended time for testing, you must first email me notification of that need 24 hours in advance of the time the class will take any particular exam - a blanket request will not suffice as sometimes students wish to take the exam in the regular classroom anyway, (c.) Make arrangements to start the exam at the same time as the regular class does but in a proctored environment, such as the learning center, or I will need to create a makeup version for you. Other accommodations, such as readers, note takers, and so on, must be made through the learning center or disabilities staff.

Class Cancellations, Modifications, and Office Hours. Note that notification of class cancellations, changes, and other modifications in case of illness or other events will be sent to you as an Announcement in the Canvas pages for the course, BGSU email, or both. My office hours can be found at under the appropriate link.

Cheating: Cheating in any form cannot be tolerated and students are referred to the Academic Honesty section of the current Student Code/Affairs Handbook for specific information concerning definitions of cheating, plagiarism, other offenses, and their respective penalties beyond the one for violating class policies. All violations will be reported. Students are expected to use the computer in responsible ways that are consistent with general university guidelines concerning email, posting, linking, or sharing files and so forth.

Class room behavior: The use of tape recording, or electronic data recording devices, is not acceptable without the written permission of the instructor. Pagers, cellular phones, and the like may buzz, ring, or make noise at any time. Even texting can quietly can disrupt the flow of attention. Such intrusions can disrupt the teaching and learning process which is the most important priority of a university. It is the responsibility of those who use such equipment to make sure it does not disturb either the instructor or other students. Similarly, excessive talking in the class while someone else holds the floor, or any other kind of disruption to the learning process, cannot be tolerated. A verbal warning will be given to an individual if such an event occurs but a second occurrence by an individual may result in being removed from the class.

Class cancellations: The BGSU Firelands Faculty handbook requires faculty to notify students that if class is canceled by the instructor for such reasons as illness, students will be notified through their Canvas accounts. Be sure to check them if you are concerned about a class being canceled.

Grades of "Incomplete" must be approved by the instructor, who gives them only under extremely extenuating circumstances occurring near the end of the semester. Requests to extend an incomplete must be made to the Dean's office before the appropriate deadline has passed. In case class is canceled, we may meet for up to an hour longer after the usual ending time until we make up material, providing space is available. If this happens, I will attempt to make a recording of the lecture and place it in the library in case you cannot stay. If for some reason you intend to drop the course after the first few weeks of class, do not just stop showing up and assume that BGSU knows you've dropped it. Instead, make sure you fill out a drop form and have me sign it.

Special Events: Upon occasion, a campus event may occur which is relevant to a course. In that case, I will identify the event, announce its time and date, and then make up some questions on that particular topic. Therefore, I encourage you to attend these things if that is possible for you. I will also cover the material in the lecture so that you will be prepared for the exam. However, you should know that learning about something through experience is usually more effective than learning by hearing about it. Note that in the rare event of a summer offering, the schedule will vary from this one because of its compressed format.

TENTATIVE PRESENTATION SCHEDULE (Note: The schedule for special sections of the course, such as summer are rare will be presented independently.

Jan. = Open

Jan. = Open

Jan. = Book = Open

Feb. = Presentation = ; Book =

Feb. = Presentation = ; Book

Feb. = Presentation = ; Book =

Feb. = Presentation = ; Book =

Mar. = Presentation = ; Book =

Mar. = Spring Break

Mar. = Presentation = ; Book =

Mar. = Presentation = ; Book =

Apr. = Presentation = ; Book =

Apr. = Presentation = ; Book =

Apr. = Presentation = ; Book =

Apr. = Presentation = ; Book =

May. = Presentation = ; =

May. = Closure

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