SO332 Dying, Death, & Bereavement

for S2B 2013

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

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.


SO 332 Dying, Death, & Bereavement


S2B 2013 BL


Martinez, Beatriz E.


Senior Adjunct Instructor


M.A. Psychology
M.A. Management & Leadership
M.A. Human Resource

Office Location

Fort Bliss, Texas

Office Hours

By appointment only

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

March 18, 2013 to May 12, 2013

Class Days


Class Time

7:40 - 10:10 PM

Credit Hours



 The Last Dance: Encountering Death & Dying, by L.A. DeSpelder, McGraw-Hill Publishers, 2011, 9th Edition, ISBN#: 978-0-07-353201-1

Additional Resources:

 Funeral Customs/Planning:                                               

Suicide Survivor Support Links:

Euthanasia, Ethics & Public Policy:

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

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

Course Description:
SO332 Dying, Death, and Bereavement: Examines the demographic, cultural, and social psychological aspects of dying, death, and the grieving process. Topics include cultural and individual attitudes toward death, the medicalization of death, associated institutions, end of life care, the social role of funerals, and various forms of death, such as old age, and dying young, euthanasia, suicide, and genocide. 3:0:3 *ýÍ

Educational Philosophy:
The educational philosophy is to have group class room experiences, discussion and activities, lecture, text book reading, videos, research, and reflection on individual and societal misconceptions. The class will capture the understanding of a diverse audience including individuals with special needs, multiple learning abilities and styles, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Students will be rated on their ability to express themselves effectively through both oral and written assignments, apply critical thinking skills, and respond with reflective feedback to discussion and subject.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Define and examine various risk factors and different stages of life.
  2. Explain and describe various models of grief.
  3. Explore life perspective and how to deal with death related issues.
  4. Define and apply basic psychological vocabulary.
Class Assessment:

Class Assessment:

 Midterm Exam



Individual Presentation

Final Exam

Extra credit: Guest Speaker or Community Resource Visit

Midterm exam: questions will be a combination of multiple choice, true/false, completion and essay. Tests/quizzes cannot be made up, but can be taken in advance if it is known that one will be administered.   It is a matter of fairness because once the examination is administered there is potential for compromise. Therefore, make-up examinations are discouraged and will be available only for emergency reasons, appropriately documented.

Article: Students will research related articles and will bring them to class on the dates indicated in the course syllabus. Students should be prepared to discuss the articles and their relevance to the assigned reading material and class discussions.

The paper: a minimum of 10 pages in length (not including the Title page and Reference Page) and must be written in proper APA format, 6th Edition. This paper should be submitted with a title page and reference page citing a minimum of five (10) sources, including the text. The in-text citations must indicate the source of the material. If a source is not cited it could be grounds for plagiarism so caution must be exercised when using sources. The topic for each paper must be related to some aspect of psychology. The discussion should include background information about the topic and some observations or analysis about the topic. The APA sample paper will be provided must be used to assist in formatting the core assessment essay. Times New Roman (TNR) font, 12 pt will be used for your essay.

Individual presentation: Individual presentation is based on the aspect of the psychological core assessment paper, and the observation assessment topic to the class. Professional power point presentation.

Final Exam: questions will be a combination of multiple choice, true/false, completion and essay. Tests/quizzes cannot be made up, but can be taken in advance if it is known that one will be administered.   It is a matter of fairness because once the examination is administered there is potential for compromise. Therefore, make-up examinations are discouraged and will be available only for emergency reasons, appropriately documented.

Extra credit: student must schedule the appointment with instructor, guest speakers are welcome to speak of any important topic covered from the book.

Wikipedia,, Encarta, Encyclopedia and similar sources are not an appropriate source for any academic paper and should not be used as a source for any activity in this course. All papers will be submitted in the appropriate Drop box in the E-Companion system by the assigned due date. All papers will be submitted in the English language, in MS Word format and must be saved in a .doc or .rtf file. Papers will be submitted as a single attachment. Essays will be graded on the basis of proper format, grammar, spelling, and thoroughness.



Midterm                                        200 points 20%

Paper                                             200 points 20%

Individual Presentation                 200 points 20%

Articles     (4 x 25 points)             100 points 10%

Homework Assignments              50 points   5%

Final Exam                                    200 points 20%

extra credit Guest Speakers           50 points   5%

                                                      1000 points 100%

1000-900 A

899-800   B

799-700   C

699-600   D

599- below F 

Late Submission of Course Materials:

 Late submission of course material will depend on the student emergency. I will work with all students. It is the responsibility for the student to schedule an appointment to discuss with the instructor the reason for late submission of course material.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

It is expected that all students will engage one another in a professional and courteous manner.

The classroom is an environment whereby opinions and positions can be openly expressed, regardless of their popularity. To that end any personal criticism or ridicule is not appropriate. Debate, on the other hand, is encouraged. The exchange of different ideas will result in the academic and intellectual growth of everyone.

Students are expected to attend all class meetings and be on time, being habitually late is not acceptable.

Students who report to class 30 minutes or more late or leave 30 minutes or more prior to the end of class will be counted as Unexcused unless prior notification has been made with the instructor.

Attendance is recorded at each class meeting; if students are going to be absent, notification to the instructor is required prior to class; otherwise the absence will be recorded as unexcused.

After two unexcused absences, one letter grade will be deducted, after three unexcused absences, two letter grades will be deducted and after four unexcused absences students will be given a final grade of “F”.

Cell phones must be on vibrate or silent mode. If you must take a call, please do so outside of the classroom.

Laptops will not be on during class unless the student is utilizing an e-book. Students are not allowed to seek internet material that has nothing to do with the course.

 Military students can make alternative arrangements with the instructor because of deployments or other unforeseen military duties that often arise.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1: (Monday March 18, 2013 & Wednesday March 20, 2013)

Introduction to the course, review syllabus, review course requirements, students must be ready to discuss chapter 1 and 2.

Week 2: (Monday March 25, 2013 & Wednesday March 27, 2013)

Class discussion/slide lecture on chapter 3 and 4, article due, guest speakers

Week 3: (Monday April 1, 2013 & Wednesday April 3, 2013)

Class discussion/slide lecture on chapter 5 and 6, article due, guest speakers, homework assignment

Week 4: (Monday April 8, 2013 & Wednesday April 10, 2013)

Class discussion/slide lecture on 7 & 8, Review for Midterm, (Midterm Exam)

Week 5: (Monday April 15, 2013 & Wednesday April 17, 2013)

Class discussion/slide lectures on 8 & 9

Week 6 (Monday April 22, 2013 & Wednesday April 24, 2013)

Class discussion/slide lectures 10 & 11 guest speakers, article due, Individual Presentation due

Week 7: (Monday April 29, 2013 & Wednesday May 1, 2013)

Class discussion/slide lectures 12 & 13 Homework assignment due, Review for Final

Week 8: (Monday May 6 & Wednesday May 8

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 2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog Page 97

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 2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

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.

Park University 2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98

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:2/11/2013 9:01:50 AM