PS498 Sr. Capstone in Psychology

for S1T 2012

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Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


PS 498 Sr. Capstone in Psychology


S1T 2012 DLA


Sencil, Stephanie D.


Adjunct Faculty-Sociology and Psychology Online


PhD-Counseling Education
PsyD-Clinical Psychology
MSW-Clinical Social Work

Office Location


Office Hours

Monday-Thursday 10am-7pm Alaska Standard Time; Saturdays-9-noon

Daytime Phone


Other Phone



Class Days


Class Time



PS101 and senior standing

Credit Hours



There is no textbook for this course.  There will be weekly reading assignments available each week that will take the place of a textbook.

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information
Advising - Park University would like to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Please contact your Campus Center for advising or enrollment adjustment information.
Online Classroom Technical Support - For technical assistance with the Online classroom, email or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275). To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the website, and click on the "Technical Requirements" link, and click on "BROWSER Test" to see if your system is ready.
FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:
PS 498 Senior Capstone in Psychology: This course serves as a senior capstone experience for students in their senior year. This course will include a comprehensive examination, a portfolio, and a major paper reflecting on the students portfolio. There will also be lectures reviewing all issues designed in the Psychology Program Competencies. 2:0:2 Prerequisite: PS 101 and senior standing.

Educational Philosophy:

Dr. Sencil's Educational Philosophy:

Students are held accountable for their contributions to the course.  Please organize and structure your time to participate and submit work by the deadlines.  I am  here to provide constructive coaching and guidance to see that you are successful in this course.

Class Assessment:

  • Weekly Quiz.  There will be weekly quizzes administered throughout the semester. Each quiz will made up of essay questions about the reading assignment for each week. Each quiz will be worth up to 15 points. choice content, and essay questions. The midterm will be worth up to 100 points.
  • Final. A Final will be administered covering the readings from the entire semester (comprehensive). The questions will be made up of essay questions. The final will be worth up to 200 points.
  • Research Discussion (Discussion Thread). Each week a copy of a research article will be provided in a PDF or HTML format. Each student will be required to identify hypothesis, independent variable, dependent variable, design, results, and conclusions. Each student will need to identify threats to internal and social validity. Each student will be required to identify a related lay media source that has been published in the last 2 months (eg., newscast, newspaper article, or magazine article) related to the research article and discuss how one informs the other. Each student will reply to one classmate in the discussion thread. This information may appear on the student’s weekly quiz.


Points Possible

Identify Hypothesis


Identify Independent Variable


Identify Dependent Variable


Identify Research Design


Identify Results


Identify Conclusions


Describe Internal Validity


Descibe Social Validity


Lay Media Source(Discuss how the research article adds information to the media source or corrects information. Discuss how the media source adds social validity to the research article. The media source must be published in the last 2 months. It must be a newscast, newspaper article, or magazine article.)


Reply to a Classmate in Discussion Thread (The reply must be meaningful and show critical thinking. “Good Job” and “I agree” do not count.)




  • Current Events (Discussion Thread). A chapter from the textbook will be identified and its main points will be summarized. Each student will identify a media report made within the last 2 months of any kind that relates to the main points that have been summarized. No student can use another’s media report. As soon as the student has identified their media report, enter the title and location in the discussion thread so that no one else will use it while the student is writing their analysis. Each student will provide the content of the media report and where it is located, discuss how it relates to main points of the chapter, and identify the strengths and weaknesses of the content. Each student will reply to two classmates in a meaningful way.


Points Possible

Summarize Media Report


Provide Media Report Location


Discuss How Report Relates to the Identified Chapter


1st Reply to a Classmate


2nd Reply to a Classmate




  • Career Path Professional Timeline: Each student will submit their Career Path Professional Timeline to the assigned discussion thread. Each student will respond to two other student’s entries by asking relevant questions about each student’s Career Path Professional Timeline. 


Points Possible

Submit Career Path Professional Timeline


1st Reply to a Classmate


2nd Reply to a Classmate





  • Resume: Each student will submit their resume to the assigned discussion thread. Each student will respond to two other student’s entries by asking relevant questions about each student’s resume.


Points Possible

Submit Resume


1st Reply to a Classmate


2nd Reply to a Classmate









Weekly Quizzes

120 Points




200 Points



Research Discussion

240 Points



Current Events

200 Points



Reflection Paper (Core Assessment)

300 Points





Late Submission of Course Materials:
I do not accept late work.  Please see the course late assignments policy for this course.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

  • Online - Etiquette/Courtesy: Online communications need to be composed with fairness, honesty, and tact. Spelling and grammar are very important in an online class. What you put into an online course reflects on your level of professionalism. It is important no to take disagreement personally. Responses to different ideas and observations need to be objective. Being objective means maintaining boundaries and not making personal attacks on the ability of others or making statements that have the potential to be taken personally. An important part of online learning is discussion. Differences in thinking are good because our knowledge is broadened. Because we have differences, we will have conflict. The important thing is to handle conflict in a way that does not create defensiveness which does not promote learning. Here are online references that discuss online writing and netiquette .
  • E-Mail Procedures: General e-mail: When sending an e-mail, you must identify yourself by:

PS 498

Purpose of the e-mail

Full Name

  • It is required that you use Pirate Mail for your online class. All information - problems with assignments, concerns, etc. - pertaining to the class will be sent to you through Pirate Mail. I will check my e-mail frequently and will respond to course related questions within 24-48 hours unless I have notified you that I will be unavailable. All e-mail sent to me needs to be copy/pasted. No attachments will be accepted due to the risk of viruses.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:



Reading Assignment



Psychology is Alive/Falsifiability

1 & 2

Quiz 1, Research Discussion 1, Current Events 1


Operationism & Essentialism


Quiz 2, Research Discussion 2, Current Events 2, Up-to-Date Career Path Professional Timeline


Testimonials & Case Study Evidence/Correlation & Causation

4 & 5

Quiz 3, Research Discussion 3, Current Events 3


Getting Things Under Control/Artificiality

6 & 7

Quiz 4, Midterm, Research Discussion 4, Current Events 4, Up-to-Date Resume


Converging Evidence


Quiz 5, Research Discussion 5, Current Events 5


Multiple Causation/Probabilistic Reasoning

9 & 10

Quiz 6, Research Discussion 6, Current Events 6


The Role of Chance


Quiz 7, Research Discussion 7, Current Events 7, Reflection Paper (This Core Assessment should include the Career Timeline, Resume, & Reflection Paper)


Psychology’s Image


Quiz 8, Research Discussion 8, Current Events 8, Final

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.
ONLINE NOTE: Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a courserelated question, or using any of the learning management system tools.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:1/3/2012 11:01:30 AM