Syllabus for SOS-370



Challenges in U.S. and Global Public Health introduces students to domestic and international health policy. The course explores public and private forums in which health policy is formulated and within which the politics of heath care operate. It examines a range of contemporary issues in U.S. health care and the legislative and political mechanisms that shape those issues, and it focuses on how health issues relate to globalization, immigration, and migration and how health policy and foreign policy decisions in the developed world influence health policy and healthcare delivery in the developing world.


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Summarize and compare U.S. and global public health systems, including the major formal organizational structures and systems.
  2. Discuss the impact of public law on public health policy.
  3. Explain the public health policy process.
  4. Articulate key issues of individual rights as they relate to public health and health care.
  5. Explain how basic health insurance in the United States operates.
  6. Specify key challenges to public health funding in the United States.
  7. Explore the Affordable Care Act and its impact on health policy and health care.
  8. Characterize public health and healthcare systems outside of the United States.
  9. Compare and contrast challenges in public health policy in the United States and globally.
  10. Apply policy analysis methods to examine current U.S. and global public health policies.


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

  • Teitelbaum, J. B., & Wilensky, S. E. (2013). Essentials of health policy and law (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

    ISBN-13: 978-1-4496-5330-9



Challenges in U.S. and Global Public Health is a three-credit online course, consisting of ten (10) modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, and submit a final project. See below for details.

Consult the course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

Challenges in U.S. and Global Public Health has ten (10) graded online discussions. There is also an ungraded but required Introductions Forum in Module 1. Participation in class discussions is required and counts 25% toward your final grade in the course.

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 a classmate's response. 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, including your use of relevant course information and your awareness of and responses to the postings of your classmates. Remember, these are discussions. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete five (5) written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules and count 25% toward your final grade in the course.

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 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.

Final Project: Health Policy Analysis Paper

For your Final Project in this course, you'll complete a written analysis of a healthcare policy (such as a new bill, regulation, judicial decision, or other health policy). Your Health Policy Analysis Paper will be due in Week 12 (see Course Calendar), but you will be asked to choose a topic (subject to approval by the mentor) and to submit drafts of individual sections of the paper at regular intervals throughout the semester so that you can receive feedback from the mentor before compiling and submitting the final paper.

The schedule for completing the Final Project is as follows:

  1. Topic Selection (to be approved by mentor): due Week 2
  2. Problem Statement (draft): due Week 3
  3. Background (draft): due Week 4
  4. Landscape (draft): due Week 6
  5. Options (draft): due Week 8
  6. Recommendations (draft): due Week 10
  7. Compilation of Final Project (incorporating mentor feedback and all that you have learned over the course of the semester): due Week 12

The first step will be to select a topic by exploring health policy Web sites to determine what’s currently happening in the health policy arena (at the federal, state, or local level). You should begin this step as early as Week 1 so that you can propose a topic by the middle of Week 2. Pick a policy problem that interests you and for which you can complete a policy analysis paper. If you need assistance in identifying a topic, please contact the course mentor. For details on the Final Project, see the Final Project section of the course Web site.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

Most 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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