Syllabus for GER-710



Geropsychological Consultation prepares the student to consult with families, professionals, service agencies, communities, and legal systems in the area of geropsychology. The student will learn how to work within an interdisciplinary care team and will become conversant with relevant ethical and legal standards and social policies. Consideration is given to issues of cross-cultural understanding and communication in consulting and collaborating with diverse groups of professionals and clients.

Note: The major course topics are based in part on the Pike’s Peak Geropsychology Knowledge and Skill Assessment Tool (Council of Professional Geropsychology Professional Training Programs, 2008).



After completing this course, you should be able to:

CO1        Determine situations in which geropsychological consultation is appropriate and develop geropsychological conceptualizations in a variety of professional scenarios.

CO2        Evaluate the benefits of interdisciplinary models of healthcare provision and how team composition and functioning can help patients across settings.


CO3        Integrate the needs and perspectives of family members with the needs and perspectives of older adult clients.

CO4        Adapt core principles to multiple levels of geropsychological intervention/consultation, including families, healthcare professionals, organizations, and community leaders, and determine ways to advocate for quality care.

CO5        Develop staff interventions that educate, promote, and produce positive attitudes towards working with challenging patient populations.

CO6        Examine the different care settings for older adults with mental health needs, including home-based, primary care, assisted living, and long-term care.

CO7        Evaluate ethical challenges and propose ethical decision-making principles in geropsychology consultation across settings.

CO8        Appraise sources of external funding for innovative programming.

CO9        Develop a grant proposal.


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


         ISBN: 978-0-199652532


DOI: 10.1037/a0035063


Geropsychological Consultation is a three-credit, online course, consisting of five 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 consultation reports, 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 five 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.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete five written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules. 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 to support your arguments. All sources, when used, should be properly documented in APA format.

Consultation Reports

You are required to complete five consultation reports. Consultation reports allow you to apply the theories you have learned to consultation scenarios with hypothetical patients. In these assignments, you will integrate medical, psychological, social, and policy information in interdisciplinary consultation settings. Be sure to adequately address each part of the assignment.

Final Project

Your final project will be a grant application for a program of your choice. Grant writing can be challenging, but it does open up new opportunities in geropsychology and is an important skill to acquire.


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:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

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.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

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:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

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 for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

Copyright © 2016 by Thomas Edison State University. All rights reserved.