Graduate Studies Reports Access

Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - CLP6623
Tracking Number - 2705

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Current Status: Approved by SCNS - 2012-05-15
Campus: St Petersburg
Submission Type: New
Course Change Information (for course changes only):
Comments: St. Pete approved. To USF Sys 1/18/12. to SCNS 1/26/12; CNS approved eff 6/1/12

Detail Information

  1. Date & Time Submitted: 2012-01-09
  2. Department: Psychology
  3. College: AP
  4. Budget Account Number: 125500
  5. Contact Person: James McHale
  6. Phone: 7278734969
  7. Email:
  8. Prefix: CLP
  9. Number: 6623
  10. Full Title: Professional and Ethical Issues in Psychology
  11. Credit Hours: 3
  12. Section Type: C - Class Lecture (Primarily)
  13. Is the course title variable?: N
  14. Is a permit required for registration?: N
  15. Are the credit hours variable?: N
  16. Is this course repeatable?:
  17. If repeatable, how many times?: 0
  18. Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum): Prof & Ethical Issues Psych
  19. Course Online?: C - Face-to-face (0% online)
  20. Percentage Online: 0
  21. Grading Option: R - Regular
  22. Prerequisites:
  23. Corequisites:
  24. Course Description: This graduate course is designed to expose students to the professional, ethical, and legal problems that face psychologists and through the course of their practice as clinicians, researchers, and educators.

  25. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course: Needed for new program/concentration/certificate
  26. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service? This course will be part of the course sequence for the new graduate program in psychology.

    At USF St. Petersburg, the largest undergraduate major is Psychology. In surveys of our advanced majors, nearly 90% indicate their intention to pursue advanced graduate study in Psychology and other health-related disciplines. No USF System institution offers a terminal masters program in psychology. USF Tampaís doctoral programs in Psychology do not have enough seats available to handle demand within the USF system (admitting an average of 10-15 students annually from a wide range of applicants nationally and internationally). Finding few other options in the region, most USFSP graduates look to specialized certificate programs or online Masters degrees. The USF System has historically lost out on the opportunity to provide training for the large cohort of qualified students from both USFSP and other regional universities within and outside the USF system who desire graduate training and would benefit from a masters-level education. The proposed MA in Psychology meets that demand. It also occupies a unique niche in the USF system; there is no terminal Masters in Psychology within the USF System and so no duplication.

    While the emphases of the proposed MA in General Psychology at USFSP shares both some similarities and some unique features relative to other programs in the state, perhaps to the point that is that none of the three other terminal MA programs serve the Tampa Bay area. This is particularly relevant because the Tampa Bay area has the second-largest combined population of infants and young children in the state; Risk, Resilience and Prevevention (RRP) was identified as one of the two main tracks to be offered because throrough grounding in research methodology and in health applications equips program graduates with competencies needed by Bay Area health and human agencies that serve children and families (which together with industry and education, are the primary work settings for psychology professions with masters degrees).

    With respect to the assumption that students will enroll in the program if offered, our surveys of advanced majors indicate that applications for graduate study will be robust. Our program will offer an option for talented USFSP undergraduate psychology majors identified during their sophomore or junior year to gain early entry into the MA program on a combined program. Admitted USFSP undergraduate students would complete four of the five required Year 1 core courses during their junior and senior years, and will complete the fifth required Year 1 course during the summer following graduation. This will enable them to enter into their second year in the MA program the following fall after graduating with the BA in Psychology. At two Fall 2011 meetings of the USF St. Petersburg Psychological Science Organization, which drew 22 and 35 attendees, respectively, over 90% of those polled indicated that they would find great interest in a combined 3+2 and 4+1 option. For B.A. students admitted to the two-year M.A. program, we would anticipate drawing from USF system schools, Eckerd College, St. Petersburg College, and other area institutions that do not offer a terminal masters degree in Psychology.

  27. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times? No
  28. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.) A Ph.D. or equivalent including at least one year field experience in a clinical, community, or research setting and licensed (or license-eligible) as a psychologist.
  29. Objectives: To expose students to the professional, ethical and legal problems that face psychologists in the course of their practice as clinicians, researchers, and educators. To review the ethical, legal, and professional standards that direct the activities of psychologists in a variety of settings and to present the professional, ethical and legal issues with an opportunity to examine possible solutions.
  30. Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1. Discuss the importance of studying ethics.

    2. Differentiate between law, ethics and morality.

    3. Domonstrate familiarity with the APA Ethics Code.

    4. Distinguish between ethical principles and standards as outlined in the APA Ethics Code.

    5. Demonstrate awareness of the most common ethical issues facing psychologists.

    6. Describe the law(s) that regulate the practice of psychology.

    7. Discuss the landmark court cases affecting the field of psychology.

    8. Describe and implement an ethical decision making model to be used when faced with an ethical dilemma.

  31. Major Topics: Law, Ethics and Morality; Ethical Philosophies, Ethics, Ethics Codes, and Ethical Principles, Ethical Decision-Making, Licensure, Certification and Professional Regulation, Professional Standards and Competence, Privacy, Privilege and Confidentiality, Mandatory Reporting and Duty to Protect, Multiple Relationships and Dual Roles, Autonomy and Decision Making: Informed Consent and Assent; Ethics in Teaching and Supervision; Ethics and Service Learning; Ethics and Research; Decisional Capacity as an Ethical, Legal and Professional Issue in Psychology; Ethical and Legal Issues related to Technology; Issues of Culture, Race, Ethnicity and Gender.
  32. Textbooks:
  33. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases: National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. (1979, April 18). The Belmot Report: Ethical principles and guidelines for the protection of human subjects of research. Washington, DC: National Institute of Health.

    American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (2002 with 2010 Amendments):

    Chaper 490, Florida Statues: Psychology


    Additional readings may be required and will be made available/accessible by the professor.

  34. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy: Assignments (20% of grade)

    Case Study Project (20% of grade)

    Weekly Media Journal (10% of grade)

    Exams (40% of grade)

    Participation (10% of grade)

    97-100 - A+

    94-96 - A

    90-93 - A-

    87-89 - B+

    84-86 - B

    80-83 - B-

    77-79 - C+

    74-76 - C

    70-73 - C-

    67-69 - D+

    64-66 - D

    60-63 - D-

    59 or below - F

    *grades will not be rounded up.

  35. Assignments, Exams and Tests: Assignments (20%): Students will be required to complete assignments throughout the semester. These assignments require the student to integrate and apply information from class and the required readings. Assignments will be graded on content/substance as well as style and form. Assignments are due at the beginning of class. Find the Law Assignments (, Lexis): Boynton v. Burglass (FL), O'Keefe v. Orea (FL), Green V. Ross (FL), Nova v. Wagner (FL). Florida Statutes or Administrative Code: Makeup of Florida Board of Psychology, Penalties for sexual misconduct by a psychologist, Grounds or activities for which psychologists may be disciplined, HIV/AIDS training requirements for psychologists, Intent of law regulating practice of psychologists, Record keeping requirements of psychologists, Psychologists' use of professional titles on promotional materials, Definition of child abuse and neglect for purposes of mandated abuse/neglect reporting, Definition of disabled adult for purposes of reporting abuse/neglect of disabled adults, Types of professionals mandated to report reasonably suspected child abuse or neglect, Definition of mental illness for purposes of involuntary examination/hospitalization, 3 ways in which a person may be held for involutary examination/hospitalization, criteria for involuntary examination/hospitalization, rights of persons receiving treatment in state operated mental health facilities.

    Case Study project (20%) Working as a group, students will be responsible for completing an ethical case study related to a topic assigned to the group during the first few weeks of the semester. This project requires students to apply portions of an ethical decision making model to be discussed in class and described in the textbook. Students will be responsible for presenting their case to the class on the date the topic is being discussed.

    Weekly Media Journal (10%) Students will be expected to maintain a weekly media journal. The purpose of the journal is to integrate ethical issues related to psychology observed in the "real" world. Students will keep a weekly journal of ethically problematic (or potentially problematic) situations involving actual fictitious psychologists or observed in film, television, books, newspaper articles, magazine advice columns, radio and television talk shows, news and feature stories or personal experience. Each journal entry should be 1-2 pages maximum and will be collected weekly.

    Exams (40%). Four exams will be given throughout the semester. Each exam is worth 100 points. Exams are not cumulative and may consist of multiple-choice and short answer questions covering materials from the preceding two to three lectures and assigned readings. Students will be responsible for information covered in class and in the textbook and assigned readings. Exams will be administered on Blackboard; They will be posted for one week. Students will have 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete each exam. One point will be deducted from the grade for each minute exceeding the time limit.

    Participation (10%). Students are expected to attend class and participate in class discussions and activities. Students should come to class prepared to discuss assigned readings.

  36. Attendance Policy: Course Attendance at First Class Meeting Ė Policy for Graduate Students: For structured courses, 6000 and above, the College/Campus Dean will set the first-day class attendance requirement. Check with the College for specific information. This policy is not applicable to courses in the following categories: Educational Outreach, Open University (TV), FEEDS Program, Community Experiential Learning (CEL), Cooperative Education Training, and courses that do not have regularly scheduled meeting days/times (such as, directed reading/research or study, individual research, thesis, dissertation, internship, practica, etc.). Students are responsible for dropping undesired courses in these categories by the 5th day of classes to avoid fee liability and academic penalty. (See USF Regulation Ė Registration - 4.0101,

    Attendance Policy for the Observance of Religious Days by Students: In accordance with Sections 1006.53 and 1001.74(10)(g) Florida Statutes and Board of Governors Regulation 6C-6.0115, the University of South Florida (University/USF) has established the following policy regarding religious observances: (

    In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. Itís the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.

  37. Policy on Make-up Work: There will be no make-up exams. An "I" grade may be awarded at the discretion of the instructor. An "I" grade indicates incomplete coursework and may be awarded to a student only when a small portion of the student's work is incomplete and only when the student is otherwise earning a passing grade.

    Members of the University community support high standards of individual conduct and human relations. Responsibility for oneís own conduct and respect for the rights of others are essential conditions for academic and personal freedom within the University. USF St. Petersburg reserves the right to deny admission or refuse enrollment to students whose actions are contrary to the purposes of the University or impair the welfare or freedom of other members of the University community. Disciplinary procedures are followed when a student fails to exercise responsibility in an acceptable manner or commits an offense as outlined in the Student Conduct Code. Refer to USF 6.0021, Student Code of Conduct at

    Academic Integrity of Students Reference: USF Regulation USF 3.027 - The following is the portion of the Regulation pertaining to graduate students. To read the entire regulation, go to:

    Academic integrity is the foundation of the University of South Florida systemís (University/USF) commitment to the academic honesty and personal integrity of its University community. Academic integrity is grounded in certain fundamental values, which include honesty, respect and fairness. Broadly defined, academic honesty is the completion of all academic endeavors and claims of scholarly knowledge as representative of oneís own efforts. Knowledge and maintenance of the academic standards of honesty and integrity as set forth by the University are the responsibility of the entire academic community, including the instructional faculty, staff and students.

    The following policies and procedures apply to all students, instructional faculty and staff who participate in administration of academic classes, programs and research at the University of South Florida. This regulation asserts fairness in that it requires notice to any student accused of a violation of academic integrity and provides a directive for discussion between the instructor and student to seek a fair and equitable resolution. If a fair resolution is not accomplished in this discussion, this regulation allows the student continued rights of due process under the academic grievance procedures based upon the preponderance of the evidence. The policies described below are the only policies and procedures that govern violations of academic integrity at the University and supersede any previous policies or regulations.

    Violations of Academic Integrity: Undergraduate and Graduate

    Behaviors that violate academic integrity are listed below, and are not intended to be all inclusive.

    (a) Cheating, (b) Plagiarism,(C) Fabrication, Forgery and Obstruction,(d) Multiple Submissions, (e) Complicity, (f) Misconduct in Research and Creative Endeavors, (g) Computer Misuse, (h) Misuse of Intellectual Property

    Violations and Sanctions for Graduate Students:

    An F or Zero grade on the subject paper, lab report, etc., An F in the course activity in which credit may be earned, An FF in the course (leading to expulsion from the University, Academic dismissal for any violations of academic dishonesty policies or regulations. Possible revocation of the degree or graduate certificate following a thorough investigation.

  38. Program This Course Supports: Proposed MA in Psychology, USFSP
  39. Course Concurrence Information: This course will be part of the course sequence for the new graduate program in psychology at USFSP. While the course will focus on professional and ethical issues in psychology, many of the principles and standards that are part of the ethics code in psychology that will be covered in this course (e.g. privacy and confidentiality, research ethics, professional competence) are applicable to other mental health and health professionals. Thus, it is foreseeable that students from other graduate programs across colleges may benefit from enrollment in this course.

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