Syllabus for HUS-495



The six-credit Bachelor-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 analyzing and documenting your training and job responsibilities, applying theory to practice, and preparing a comprehensive research paper on an issue, problem, information gap, or creative endeavor..

  1. 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 and two theories in management 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, interpret, and critically analyze literature pertaining to the capstone project.

  1. Synthesize research findings, theories, and practice into a comprehensive explanation and resolution of the issue, problem, information gap, or creative endeavor identified.

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

  1. Critique the code of ethics in your field of study and agency as it applies to the capstone project.

  1. 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 work or employment.


You will use the following materials to complete your capstone:

  1. Your agency's policies and procedures manual
  2. Current job description
  3. Textbooks from theory courses, management courses, research courses, statistics courses, ethics courses, and cultural diversity courses
  4. Peer-reviewed articles pertaining to your project
  5. Professional Web sites
  6. Textbooks and monographs relating to your project
  7. Your profession's code of ethics
  8. Textbooks containing historical content from various courses


The Bachelor-Level Human Services Capstone consists of seven (7) modules. Each module includes an overview, list of topics, module objectives, list of study materials, one or more activities, and additional resources to help you with your assignments. The module structure is as follows:

  1. Module 1: Employment History, Job Responsibilities, and Analysis of Training
  1. Course objectives covered in this module include: CO 1
  2. Topics addressed include: employment history, job responsibilities, analysis of training

  1. Module 2: Identifying a Capstone Project and Applying Theory to Practice
  1. Course objectives covered in this module include: CO 1, 2, 3
  2. Topics addressed include: agency policies and procedures, capstone project, theory in field of study, theory of management

  1. Module 3: Research Methods and Literature Review
  1. Course objectives covered in this module include: CO 1, 4, 5
  2. Topics addressed include: theory and knowledge in field of study, research methods and analysis techniques, literature analysis

  1. Module 4: Code of Ethics, Historical Perspective, and Cultural Diversity
  1. Course objectives covered in this module include: CO 1, 5, 7, 8, 9
  2. Topics addressed include: capstone project; code of ethics; history, current state, and future direction of field of study; cultural diversity

  1. Module 5: Outline of Capstone Paper
  1. Course objectives covered in this module include: CO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  2. Topics addressed include: capstone project, agency policies and procedures, theories in field of study and management, research methods and analysis, cultural diversity, code of ethics

  1. Module 6: Draft of Capstone Paper
  1. Course objectives covered in this module include: CO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  2. Topics addressed include: research methods and analysis, capstone project, bibliography

  1. Module 7: Finalizing and Submitting the Capstone Paper
  1. Course objectives covered in this module include: CO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
  2. Topics addressed include: agency policies and procedures, capstone project, theories in field of study and management, research methods and analysis, cultural diversity, code of ethics


For your formal work in the course, you are required to complete eight (8) essay assignments; prepare and submit an outline, draft, and final capstone paper; and take a standardized proficiency profile from Educational Testing Service (see below for details). All 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 4.75% of your course grade for a total of 38%.

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%).

ETS Proficiency Profile

This component of the course requires that you complete an assessment called the ETS® Proficiency Profile. (This assessment was called the MAPP test through 2009, and you may continue to see some references to the MAPP test.) The test, offered through Educational Testing Service (ETS), measures knowledge in the core areas of reading, mathematics, writing, and critical thinking. It is a widely accepted standardized assessment tool that will provide the College with important data to assess the College’s overall quality and effectiveness in meeting the needs of our students. It serves as a valuable tool in helping us measure progress in achieving established learning goals and evaluate the effectiveness of our programs.

The ETS Proficiency Profile assessment is administered in an unproctored, online format. It should take you no longer than 45 minutes to complete. The confidentiality of your responses and scores will be protected. Your individual score will not be recorded, but you will receive 2% of your overall grade for completing the assessment. Consult the course Calendar for the due dates for taking this test.

For more information on the ETS Proficiency Profile and how to access the test, see the ETS Proficiency Profile Test section of the course Web site.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Essay assignments (8 @ 4.75% each)—38%
  2. Outline of capstone paper—5%
  3. Draft of capstone paper—20%
  4. Final capstone paper—35%
  5. Educational Testing Service Proficiency Profile—2%

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:

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

  1. Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook in the General Information area of the course Web site. The Handbook answers many questions including how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the learning management system's 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.

  1. Before starting the first module, take time to look at the recommended study materials, additional resources, and assignments.

  1. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.


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 activity, 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.


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 the 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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