Wayland Baptist University

Fort Wainwright Campus

Course Syllabus, Fall 2006


I. Course Number and Title:

  a. PSYC 4309, Psychology of Death and Dying

  b. Meeting Time and Location: Seminar Format, 3 weekends Ė Fri 6-10pm, Sat 8am-4pm, Sunday 1-5pm; 25-27 August, 29-30 September and 1 October, 27-29 October. Location is Northern Lights Chapel, Building 3430 (Rhineland and Luzon).


II. Instructor: David Neetz

  a. Contact numbers:

    1. Work: 353-9825

    2. Home: 457-6536

     3. E-mail: lambeau@acsalaska.net

   b. Hours available for assistance: Office hours (Building 1045, Swanson Suite), by appointment.


III. Catalog Description: - American "death system" reflecting contemporary theories of death and dying.


IV. Prerequisite: none.


V. Required Resource Materials:

  a. Student Textbook: The Last Dance , seventh edition, DeSpelder and Strickland, ISBN 0-07-292096-3

  b. Other Books/Periodical Resource Materials:

    1. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 4th Edition

    2. Audiovisual Resources: Videotapes on aspects of Death and Dying will be presented as available.

    3. Supplemental reading material will be distributed in class, such as, journal articles and learning exercises.

  c. Library Resources:

    1. Fort Wainwright Post Library.

    2. Eielson AFB Base Library.

    3. University of Alaska , Fairbanks , Consortium Library.

    4. WBU - On-line Library Services.

  d. Instructor's Resources: To be discussed in class.


VI. Course Outline: See Study Plan

  a. This course focuses on growth, change and choice.

  b. A course study plan is attached.

  c. The adult learner will research an approved course topic and present findings in a brief (5-7 page) research paper.


VII. Outcome Competencies (Course Final Objectives):

Each student will be able to :

  a. Identify key terms, names and concepts associated with the field of Death and Dying.

  b. Distinguish between the different views and changing natures of care for the dying.

  c. Describe the various death-related issues using a lifespan perspective.

  d. Identify legal, ethical and cultural issues associated with death and dying.

  e. Critically analyze a topic of choice and present it to the class.


VIII. Course Requirements:

   Participation . Based upon class attendance, demonstrated knowledge of reading assignments and participation in class discussions. Participation points are assigned for all classes except the midterm and final. Points are based on a 0-1 scale with 1 point per class for fully participated and knowledgeable of the subject, 0.5 points for moderately or semi-knowledgeable of the subject and zero (0) points for did not participate.

   Homework . Student is to develop an outline for each chapter in the text. Chapter outlines should be completed sufficiently to help the student learn the material and may be used during quizzes, midterm and final exam. They should also include definitions of key words and phrases. Outline and definition format and style is at the studentís discretion. Student shall also develop two well-thought out questions for each chapter in the textbook. These questions will be appropriate for in-class discussions and may be presented in a format of the studentís choosing. Questions are due at the BEGINNING of each class period. Outlines and definitions will be turned in for review in conjunction with the midterm and final examinations. Homework will not be accepted after the due date.

   Paper and Presentation . A 5 - 7 page research paper on a topic of the studentís choosing (after consulting with instructor) is due at the beginning of class three. Student will develop and turn in for review no later than class seven an outline for their paper. Paper should include a minimum of ten sources. Each student will give a 10 - 15 minute oral presentation to the class on his/her paper. Papers will be graded utilizing the WBU Course Research Paper Assessment and Feedback Form.

   Tests . There will be one midterm and one final examination consisting of multiple choice, true/false and essay questions. Students may use notes, outlines and definitions for the tests. Books are NOT to be used.

   Debates. Students will participate in two class debates as assigned by the instructor.

   Extra Credit . Extra credit will be available to students who develop lists of useful web sites related to the course topic at the rate of 1 point for every 4 web sites.


IX. Means for Assessing Student Achievement of the Outcome Competencies:

  a. Procedures Used to Compute Final Course Grade:

Participation and Homework: 20%

Paper and Presentation: 20%

Midterm Test: 20%

Debates: 20%

Final Examination: 20%

  b. Grading Criteria: Letter grades from "A" to "F" will be used in this course. The grading criteria is per the University standard: A = 100% to 90%; B = 89% to 80%; C = 79% to 70%; D = 69% to 60%; F = 59% and below; I = Incomplete.


IX: Information Technology (Internet Resources): Adult learners are encouraged to use Internet's search tools to improve information gathering. Web search engines provide a broader array of up-to-date sources. The World Wide Web is a section on the Internet that offers easy access to text, graphics, and other multimedia resources. Some of the major search engines are listed below:

Altavista http://www.altavista.digital.com

Argus http://www.clearinghouse.net

DejaNews http://www.deja.com

Excite http://www.excite.com

HotBot http://hotbot.lycos.com

Infoseek http://www.infoseek.com

Yahoo http://www.yahoo.com

Magellan http://www.mckinley.com

MetaCrawler http://www.metacrawler.com

Switchboard http://www.switchboard.com

Webcrawler http://www.webcrawler.com

White House http://www.whitehouse.gov

Alaska SLED: http://sled.alaska.edu

Alaska Campus Writing Center : http://www.wbu.edu/ak/write_center/writinglist.htm


X. Notice to Students Experiencing Disabilities: It is the University's policy that no otherwise qualified person experiencing disabilities be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity in this University. If a student has an impairment that would require additional accommodations by the instructor and/or the University, then please inform the instructor, or the Academic Dean, before the beginning of the first class session.


XI. Statement to Students to retain course research papers: WBU degree seeking students are strongly encouraged to retain copies of all research papers. To graduate from WBU, students must complete the senior Exit Seminar course, GRAD 4101. The Exit Seminar is designed to capstone an adult learner's discipline knowledge through the completion of a discipline portfolio or the completion of an approved research project. The research papers retained from previous courses, particularly courses within the discipline, will aid the adult learner in completing the GRAD 4101 course. For more information on the Exit Seminar, GRAD 4101, speak with a WBU academic advisor, or visit the web site at http://www.wbu.edu/ak/exit/exit_seminar.htm.


XII. Study Plan: This course is taught over a period of a 12-week term. The term begins 21 August 2006 and ends 4 November 2006. All class sessions meet from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Mondays at Fort Wainwright . The study plan presented below is provided to assist in the adult learner's study effort and time management. If changes to the study plan occur, then members of the class will be appraised. However, this syllabus/study plan should in no way or under any circumstances be construed as a contract between the instructor and student.