Syllabus for HUS-295



The three-credit Associate-Level Human Services Capstone is an in-depth, student-centered experience that requires the integration of theory and practical experience. In this course you apply the skills and techniques you have learned, as well as your knowledge of agencies and culturally diverse client populations, to a specific project. The project will identify an issue, problem, information gap, or creative endeavor in which you will explore, research, evaluate, and theorize in a final paper. On successful completion of the course, you will have met the learning outcomes of the Human Services degree program.


To successfully complete this course, you will be expected to:


  1. Demonstrate proficiency as an independent learner and critical thinker by documenting your training and job responsibilities and preparing a comprehensive research paper on an issue, problem, information gap, or creative endeavor in your field of study.

  1. Summarize and evaluate agency policies and procedures by identifying an issue, problem, information gap, or creative endeavor in your field of study as the focus of a capstone project.

  1. Apply two major theories in your field of study to the explanation of agency policies and procedures as they relate to the capstone project.

  1. Design a capstone project based on previously studied theory and coursework to resolve the issue, problem, information gap, or creative endeavor identified.

  1. Research and discuss literature pertaining to the capstone project.

  1. Apply literature, theories, and practice toward a comprehensive explanation and resolution of the issue, problem, information gap, or creative endeavor identified.

  1. Summarize the historical development and current state of your field of study as related to the capstone project.

  1. Summarize the code of ethics in your field of study and discuss how it applies to your agency and capstone project.

  1. Explain and apply cultural diversity to the field of human services, your agency, and capstone project.

  1. Revise and submit an ethically responsible final project in an academic, professional format that serves as a bridge to your future education, work, or employment.


You will use the following materials to complete your capstone:



The Associate-Level Human Services Capstone consists of seven (7) modules. Each module includes an overview, topics, objectives, study materials, and activities. Additional resources are also available to help you with your assignments. Module titles are listed below.





For your formal work in the course, you are required to complete eight (8) essay assignments and to prepare and submit an outline, draft, and final capstone paper (see below for details). All course assignments will be graded by the mentor with the use of an evaluation rubric designed for the particular assignment.


Essay Assignments

The eight essay assignments in Modules 1–4 each address a particular component of your final capstone paper and thus prepare you, step by step, for outlining and writing your paper. Each assignment is worth 5%  of your course grade for a total of 40%.


Prepare your essay assignments using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. 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.


Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text format (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.


When satisfied that your assignment represents your best work, submit it to your mentor.


Capstone Paper

You will complete your capstone paper in three stages, beginning with a comprehensive outline in Module 5 (worth 5% of your course grade), continuing with a draft of your paper in Module 6 (worth 20%), and culminating in the submission of your final paper at the end of Module 7 (worth 35%).


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:


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:






























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.).



First Steps to Success

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


Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:



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 can take the following forms:

Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at




Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. 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, or without identifying it as a direct quote, 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.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism 

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin


Disciplinary Process

First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:

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