Syllabus for GER-620



Geropsychological Interventions prepares students to develop effective psychological interventions as well as health promotion and prevention programs for older adults. Discussed are a variety of therapeutic modalities (individual, family, and group psychotherapy) and evidence-based theoretical models (cognitive, behavioral, interpersonal, environmental, systemic). Coursework will emphasize the importance of providing care in diverse settings and collaborating with interdisciplinary teams. Students will also explore program evaluation strategies used to assess the efficacy of interventions and programming. 



After completing this course, you should be able to:

CO1        Integrate the Contextual, Adult Life Span Theory for Adapting Psychotherapy (CALTAP) model, as well as evidence-based theoretical models, in developing interventions for older adults with a variety of psychiatric diagnoses.

CO2        Assess different modalities of psychological treatment, including individual, group, and family interventions.

CO3        Develop assessment strategies to evaluate the effectiveness of intervention programs.

CO4        Develop health promotion and prevention programs for older adults with physical and/or mental health conditions.

CO5        Assess the importance of cultural diversity in development of intervention and prevention programs.

CO6        Apply ethical standards in case scenarios to develop appropriate intervention and prevention programs.

CO7        Suggest ways to interact effectively when working within interprofessional teams.


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

Required Textbook and Video

          ISBN: 978-0199652532

Note: Students purchased and used the Knight and Pachana text for GER-610, focusing in that course on the assessment information. Students will be continuing to use the book in the first half of GER-620, but focusing on intervention issues this time.


You will need to view the following films to complete activities in modules 2 and 5 of this course. Links for each film along with access information are provided in the module details.


Geropsychological Interventions is a three-credit, online course consisting of six modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Students are required to submit a final project by the end of the last week of the course. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in a blog as well as three online discussion forums, complete written assignments and case conceptualization assignments, and complete a final project. See below for details. Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to an ungraded Introductions Forum, you are required to participate in three graded online class discussions.

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

All of these responses must be substantial. 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 or your mentor, state and support your position.

You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation, including your use of relevant course information to support your point of view, 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, mature, and respectful.

Blog Entries

You are required to complete three blog entries. Blogging is a means by which people communicate about particular issues. These blog entries provide you the opportunity to practice and refine your blogging skills and offer you another platform to engage in the discussion of course topics. Everyone is encouraged to read their classmates’ blog posts and comment on them. Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Note: The blog in this course is a collection of individual blog entries. As such, you will receive one grade for all required blog entries at the end of the course. Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete six written assignments. Written assignment questions afford you an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the information that you have studied within the module. Each written assignment includes guidelines for response length. In all cases, you should be sure to adequately address each part of the assignment.

Be sure to apply the material to real-world situations when appropriate. It is always desirable that you use scholarly sources in addition to the course textbook to support your arguments. All sources, when used, should be properly documented in APA format.

Case Conceptualization Assignments

You are required to complete five case conceptualization assignments. Case conceptualization requires that you apply the theories you have learned to clinical scenarios with hypothetical patients. In these assignments, you will integrate medical, psychological, social and policy information to develop appropriate interventions within a theoretical orientation (i.e., cognitive theory, family systems theory). Be sure to adequately address each part of the assignment.

Final Project

Your final project will be a paper of between 1250 and 2000 words (with a typical font and spacing, between 5 and 8 pages) that integrates course content within the CALTAP framework to develop a health promotion/education intervention targeted toward older adults.

See the Final Project area of the course site for a full description of this assignment.


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 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.


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 University 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 University 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 University 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 University Catalog and online at




Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Thomas Edison State University 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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