Syllabus for BUE–101

PERSONAL FINANCE FOR 2000 AND BEYOND


COURSE DESCRIPTION

Personal Finance for 2000 and Beyond provides the information you need to make sound financial choices. This course will help you determine the best course of action as you gather, protect, and use your financial assets. Eight key elements of personal finance are emphasized throughout this course: obtaining, planning, saving, borrowing, spending, managing risk, investing, and retirement and estate planning.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, you should be able to: 

  1. Explain how your financial decisions impact on your own life and the lives of your family or loved ones.
  2. Create a financial plan based on your own needs and the needs of others who will be affected by your plan.
  3. Set financial goals and implement an action plan that will meet these goals.
  4. Describe strategies for managing the stress that can result from conflicts over purchasing decisions and managing finances.
  5. Explain how to ensure the financial security of yourself and your family or loved ones.
  6. Identify strategies for managing investments.
  7. Describe the principles of retirement and estate planning.

COURSE MATERIALS

You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

  1. Jack R. Kapoor, Les R. Dlabay, and Robert J. Hughes, Personal Finance, 10th edition (New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2012).

    ISBN-13: 978-0073530697

Publisher's Web Site

The textbook publisher provides free access to the textbook's Online Learning Center Web site (http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0073530697/student_view0/index.html). This site provides resources for additional learning and links to Web sites for the study of personal finance topics.

When you reach the site, click the down arrow in the "Choose one. . ." box in the navigational bar on the left of the screen, and click the chapter you are studying. For each chapter, you may find the following helpful:

  1. Quizzes: These are self-grading multiple-choice items. You learn whether you answered correctly when you click Submit Answers, and if you did not, you are given the correct answer. Please do not submit any of these self-checks to your mentor. You are to submit only your Written assignments and your Online Class Discussions for grading.


Web Sites: By clicking "Creating a Financial Plan" in the navigational bar on the left of each chapter's screen, you will come to the same financial planning information that appears in your text in an end-of-chapter feature called "Your Personal Financial Planner in Action" (e.g., page 29 in Chapter 1). This feature of the site is helpful because in some cases it provides more up-to-date URLs for the Web sites that are listed.

 

A link to this Web site is provided in each study assignment page (see the Assignment Modules area of the course Web site).

COURSE STRUCTURE

Personal Finance for 2000 and Beyond is a three-credit online course, consisting of six (6) modules. Modules include study materials and activities. Module titles are listed below.

  1. Module 1: Planning Your Personal Finances
  2. Module 2: Managing Your Personal Finances
  3. Module 3: Making Your Purchasing Decisions
  4. Module 4: Insuring Your Resources
  5. Module 5: Investing Your Financial Resources
  6. Module 6: Controlling Your Financial Future

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in one (1) ungraded "Introductions" forum at the beginning of the semester, participate in four (4) graded online class discussions, complete six (6) written assignments, and take two proctored online examinations—a midterm and a final. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to an ungraded "Introductions" forum in module 1, Personal Finance for 2000 and Beyond requires you to participate in four graded class discussions, each focusing on a personal finance topic.

Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct assignments: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and subsequent comments on classmates' responses.

 

You will be evaluated both on the quality of your responses (i.e., your understanding of readings, concepts, and practices as demonstrated by well-articulated, critical thinking) and quantity of your participation (i.e., the number of times you participate meaningfully in the assigned forums). Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful. Discussions may require research from your course materials or other outside sources. You must give the sources of all information that you provide that is from such sources.

 

Meaningful participation in online discussions is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement.

Your initial responses and subsequent comments on classmates' responses are due on the days specified by the course Calendar.

Written Assignments

For Personal Finance for 2000 and Beyond you are required to complete six (6) written assignments. Each assignment has two parts and each part covers from one to three chapters. Each part (A and B) must be submitted separately to your mentor, The assignment questions are located in the Assignment Modules area of the course Web site. Take the time to familiarize yourself with this area of the course Web site, and read through the written assignment questions before you begin each study assignment.

The questions on each chapter fall into two categories: Review Questions and Financial Planning Problems. Answer the Review Questions in brief, outline form, making sure all key points are clearly covered. No more than two paragraphs should be required for each question, and you can often answer a question in a single short paragraph. You are referred to the Personal Finance textbook for the Financial Planning Problems. Answer all problems assigned, making sure you cover all parts of each problem. When calculations are involved, you must show your work to receive full credit. Please leave space after your answers for your mentor to make corrections and comments.

The best way to proceed with the written assignments is to answer the questions and problems for each chapter just after you have read the chapter. This is especially true for assignments that contain a heavy workload of questions. If you do the questions as you read the chapters, you won't be overwhelmed when the written assignment is due.

You should, however, follow the schedule given in the course Calendar for transmittal of assignments to your mentor, grouping them as prescribed.

Written assignments must be prepared electronically with a word processor, preferably with whatever equation editor comes with your word processing software. However, if your word processor is not compatible with your mentor's word processor, you will need to save your assignment as a rich-text file (.rtf) before submitting it. Check with your mentor first to determine file compatibility. Important: Use the equation editor to insert equations into your word-processed document, not to create the document itself.

Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.

Examinations

You are required to take two (2) proctored online examinations: a midterm exam and a final exam. Both exams require that you use the College's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.

Each exam will consist of a combination of true/false, multiple choice, problem-solving, and brief essay questions. Both exams are closed-book, but financial calculators are permitted. If tables are needed to solve particular problems, they will be furnished.

Midterm Examination

The midterm exam is a closed-book, proctored online exam that is three hours long. It will cover subject matter assigned through Module 3 of the course.

Final Examination

The final exam is a closed-book, proctored online exam. It is three hours long and covers material assigned in Modules 4-6. Note, however, that the optional reading and viewing you do at the end of the course will not be tested in the final examination.

Online exams are administered through the course Web site. Consult the course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.

Sample Examination

You will find a sample online examination in the Tests & Quizzes area of this course site. Use this sample exam to familiarize yourself with the online testing setting and format before you take your online exam. Keep in mind the following potential differences between the sample exam and your online exam:

  1. The content of your exam will match the content of your course; the sample exam has some generic questions on art history, world history, and environmental science.
  2. Your exam is likely to include only one type or at most several types of questions (such as multiple choice or essays). The sample exam includes all the types that you might encounter in an online assessment at Thomas Edison State College.
  3. You will be able to enter and take your final exam just once—once you have entered the exam you must complete it. The sample exam may be taken as often as you like.
  4. There will be a penalty for exceeding the time limit in your actual exams (see the "Statement about Cheating" below), whereas there is no corresponding penalty with this sample exam.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:

  1. Looking up any answer or part of an answer in an unauthorized textbook or on the Internet, or using any other source to find an answer.
  2. Copying and pasting or, in any way copying responses or parts of responses from any other source into your exams. This includes but is not limited to copying and pasting from other documents or spreadsheets, whether written by yourself or anyone else.
  3. Plagiarizing answers.
  4. Asking anyone else to assist you by whatever means available while you take an exam.
  5. Copying any part of an exam to share with other students.
  6. Telling your mentor that you need another attempt at an exam because your connection to the Internet was interrupted when that is not true.

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Online discussions (4)—10 percent
  2. Written assignments (6)—40 percent (Each written assignment has an A and B part)
  3. Midterm exam (proctored online, 1-3)—25 percent
  4. Final exam (proctored online, 4-6)—25 percent

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:

A

=

93100

A–

=

9092

B+

=

8889

B

=

8387

B–

=

8082

C+

=

7879

C

=

7377

C–

=

7072

D

=

6069

F

=

Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.

  1. Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course, how to schedule exams, and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.

  1. Arrange to take your examination(s) by following the instructions in this Syllabus and the Online Student Handbook.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.

  1. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.
  2. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.

Plagiarism

Using someone else's work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > "Citing Sources.")

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else's. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

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