Syllabus for SOC-322

Cultural Diversity in the United States


COURSE DESCRIPTION

Cultural Diversity in the United States examines racial, ethnic, sexual, religious, and other minority groups in American society. The course explores the impact of law and policy on these groups and promotes an understanding of individuals from diverse backgrounds.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Analyze issues surrounding race, ethnicity, majority/minority groups, intergroup hostility, immigration, prejudice, and discrimination.
  2. Examine the global implications of race, ethnicity, and diversity.
  3. Compare the historical and contemporary experiences of various minority groups in the United States.
  4. Evaluate the impact of laws and public policies in the United States on dominant group/subordinate group relations.
  5. Evaluate strategies to promote intercultural awareness and respect for diversity.
  6. Assess arguments on controversial issues relating to minority groups.

COURSE MATERIALS

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

Required Textbooks

  1. Racial and Ethnic Groups, 13th ed., by Richard T. Schaefer. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2012).

ISBN-13: 978-0-205-84233-X


  1. Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Race and Ethnicity, 8th ed., by Raymond D'Angelo and Herbert Douglas (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011).

ISBN-13: 978-0-07-805004-6

  1. Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin (New York: New American Library, 2003; originally published in 1961).

ISBN-13: 978-0-451-20864-4

 

COURSE STRUCTURE

Cultural Diversity in the United States is a 3-credit online course. The course consists of seven (7) modules. Modules consist of objectives, study materials and activities.  Module titles are listed below.

  1. Module 1: Race and Ethnicity Issues

  1. Module 2: Prejudice and Discrimination

  1. Module 3: Arab Americans, Muslim Americans, and Jewish Americans

  1. Module 4: Native Americans and Latinos

  1. Module 5: African Americans

  1. Module 6: Asian Americans

  1. Module 7: Other Patterns of Dominance; Overcoming Exclusion

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in ten (10) online discussion forums, complete seven (7) written assignments, and take seven (7) quizzes. Students are also required take two proctored examinations—a midterm and a final. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to posting an introduction to the class in Module 1, you are required to participate in ten (10) graded online discussions, each focusing on a different subject.

 

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

Meaningful participation 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. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Written Assignments and Book Revivew

Cultural Diversity in the United States has six (6) writing assignments, as well as a book review. Pay attention to each set of directions and to the general directions for assignments. Many students find it helpful to read over the assignment questions for a module before beginning the reading for the module.

Prepare your written 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 (.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.

Module Quizzes

Cultural Diversity in the United States has seven (7)  graded quizzes. Taken together they are worth 14 percent of your grade. These quizzes are closed-book and will be completed online. Go to the Examinations area of the course site and click the appropriate link when you are ready to take the quiz.

You have 20 minutes to complete each quiz. You may enter each quiz only once, so be sure you are ready to take the quiz before clicking the link. After you take the quiz, you will be able to see your score.

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.

 

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

Midterm Examination

The midterm is a closed-book, proctored online exam. It is two hours long and covers material from Modules 1 through 3. It consists of identification questions and short essay questions. The identification questions require you to write definitions for terms. If you have concerns about the format and/or content of the examination, please contact your mentor at least a week in advance of the scheduled test.

Final Examination

The final is a closed-book, proctored online exam. It is two hours long and covers material in Modules 4 through 7. Like the midterm, it consists of both identification and short essay questions. In the identification section of the final exam, however, you will be asked to supply the proper term that fits a particular definition.

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. Written Assignments (except review)—18 percent
  2. Book Review—6 percent
  3. Online Discussions— 12 percent
  4. Quizzes— 14 percent
  5. Midterm Examination (proctored online – modules 1-3)— 30 percent
  6. Final Examination (proctored online – modules 4-7)— 20 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

=

93–100

C+

=

78–79

A–

=

90–92

C

=

73–77

B+

=

88–89

C–

=

70–72

B

=

83–87

D

=

60–69

B–

=

80–82

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.

  1. 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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