Syllabus for SOS–150



This course is designed to help you gain the self-knowledge you need to discover new career options and develop a plan to build and maintain a successful, rewarding career. Based on the National Occupational Information Coordination Committee (NOICC) guidelines for adult competencies, the course is designed to help you meet the suggested competencies for self-knowledge, educational and occupational exploration, and career planning.


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Complete a personal assessment.
  2. Explore the world of work and the job and career opportunities currently available.
  3. Develop a job search strategy.
  4. Discuss the relationship between self assessment and career planning.
  5. Identify and apply Super's theory to career planning.
  6. Describe the importance of a balanced life.
  7. Differentiate between a job and a career.
  8. Describe the importance of a positive life outlook.
  9. Describe the techniques and components that assist the individual in creating and maintaining a positive self outlook.
  10. Define the concept of values and describe how they are developed.
  11. Define balance and elaborate on leisure as a component of balance.
  12. Describe the Myers-Briggs personality classification system.
  13. Describe RIASEC (Holland Interest Environments).
  14. Describe your individual personality type and interests.
  15. Describe the relationship between personality types and career options.
  16. Describe your interests in terms of the "World-of-Work" map.
  17. Identify and evaluate societal issues that influence work and career choices.
  18. Identify and describe factors prevalent in the modern changing workplace including knowledge workers, new technology, global economy, small business, woman-owned businesses, and temporary/leasing agencies.
  19. Identify and discuss trends in the 21st century workplace, including liberal arts education, lifelong learning, and trends in job growth.
  20. Describe the trends in job growth and identify where to find current information on projected job growth.
  21. Identify possible career choices that match your personal characteristics.
  22. Describe the elements common to all organizations and the relationship of those commonalities to potential career paths.
  23. Research career options.
  24. Describe and evaluate the different decision-making strategies.
  25. Describe your individual decision-making style.
  26. Set personal career goals.
  27. Describe steps in the goal-setting process.
  28. Identify and manage factors that may influence goal achievement.
  29. Identify an ideal job.
  30. Identify the options available to complete a job search.
  31. Search for a job using a variety of methods including: classified ads, mail and e-mail, employment agencies, volunteering, internship.
  32. Conduct an information interview and relate how it might assist you in finding a job.
  33. Network with a variety of people and explain how this practice might assist you in finding a job.
  34. Develop a job search action plan.
  35. Develop a personal portfolio.
  36. Write a résumé.
  37. Write a cover letter.
  38. Complete a successful job interview.
  39. Describe the steps of the interview process.
  40. Describe the basics of negotiating for salary and benefits.


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

ISBN-13: 978-0132762335

ISBN-13: 978-0130493149


Self Assessment and Career Exploration is a three-credit online course, consisting of ten modules. Modules include study materials and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in ten (10) online discussion forums, complete six written assignments, and complete a final project. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in 10 discussion forums, including an ungraded introductions forum in Module 1 part 1. Graded class discussions ask you to think critically about the texts and to apply them to your own life and experience, including current events. A minimum of two postings are required per discussion forum.

In addition to an ungraded "Introductions" forum in Module 1, Self Assessment and Career Exploration requires you to participate in nine graded class discussions.

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 posted question (discussion thread) and subsequent comments on classmates' responses.

You will be evaluated both on the quality of your responses (i.e., your understanding of readings, and concepts as demonstrated by well-articulated, critical thinking) and quantity of your participation (i.e., the number of times you participate meaningfully in the assigned forums). Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Meaningful participation in online discussions 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.

Written Assignments

The course has six written assignments. These activities require you to demonstrate familiarity with the readings and to use higher order thinking skills as you analyze and synthesize what you have read. You will be required to relate the concepts studied in the text to your own life experience.

The written assignments are the primary means for you to express yourself verbally, controlling content and meaning. Due dates for each assignment are listed in the Course Calendar.

Take the time to familiarize yourself with the Modules area of the course Web site, and read through the written assignment questions before you begin each study assignment.

Your answers to the assignment questions should be well developed and convey your understanding of readings and concepts. Formulate responses in your own words. Do not merely copy answers from your reading materials. When quoting or paraphrasing from the text or other sources, be sure to cite the source of information properly according to MLA or APA guidelines (see also Writing Style Guides).

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.

Final Project - Final Comprehensive Assessment

There is no midterm or final proctored examination in this course. Instead, a 5- to 7-page paper acts as your final assessment and is worth 20 percent of your grade.

You should be working on this paper throughout the course, but you must submit it by the last day of the semester. As a final assessment, the paper should represent a synthesis of the knowledge and skills you have acquired.

For details about the final assessment, see the Final Project Module.


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 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 course not in your area of study), 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:


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.