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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - MHS7707
Tracking Number - 5332

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Current Status: Approved by SCNS - 2016-07-01
Campus: Tampa
Submission Type: New
Course Change Information (for course changes only):
Comments: Required for PhD in BCS. To GC. Approved; To USF Sys 4/21/16; to SCNS after 4/28/16. Apprd eff 7/1/16

Detail Information

  1. Date & Time Submitted: 2015-11-19
  2. Department: Child and Family Studies
  3. College: BC
  4. Budget Account Number: 583000050
  5. Contact Person: Jolenea Ferro
  6. Phone: 9747881
  7. Email:
  8. Prefix: MHS
  9. Number: 7707
  10. Full Title: Interdis Approaches to Policy & System Change in Behav Health
  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?: N
  17. If repeatable, how many times?: 0
  18. Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum): Policy and Systems Change
  19. Course Online?: C - Face-to-face (0% online)
  20. Percentage Online: 0
  21. Grading Option: R - Regular
  22. Prerequisites: None
  23. Corequisites: None
  24. Course Description: Introduce students to theory, methods, and philosophy of policy and systems change. Contemporary policy issues in behavioral health are analyzed as well as their impact on national, state, local, & community systems change and practice.

  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 taken by all students in the proposed Ph.D. in Behavioral & Community Sciences as a required core course. In addition, it will be open to students in any graduate program for whom it may be applicable.
  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.) The minimum requirement for teaching this course is a Ph.D. degree as well as experience with systems and policies related to behavioral health.
  29. Objectives: 1. The objectives of this course are to:

    (1) Identify, describe, and discuss critical policy issues across disciplines,

    (2) Identify and characterize micro- and macro systems,

    (3) Link policy and systems change to research and practice, and

    (4) Provide a foundation for the analysis of services, policies and funding that results in the identification of practices and design of research that impacts systems change and transforms service delivery practices.

  30. Learning Outcomes: At the end of this course, students will be able to:

    1. Effectively locate and use a range of policy, research, and practice resources for understanding contemporary policy and systems information:

    2. Analyze the impact of public policies on service delivery;

    3. Analyze the impact of funding on research, services, and systems.

    4. Critically review contemporary policy issues in behavioral health.

    5. Analyze and synthesize information about a contemporary policy issue within a system and discuss challenges, strengths, and next steps.

    6. Present findings in an oral presentations and written paper in a thoughtful, logical and articulate manner.

  31. Major Topics: Major Course Topics include: critical issues in mental health policy; critical issues in education policy; culturally responsive practices; critical issues in substance abuse; systems change in behavioral health; policy and research funding integrated health care; community integration and inclusion.
  32. Textbooks: No textbook is required.
  33. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases: Articles and websites dedicated to policy and systems pertinent to each topic will be provided within Canvas. In addition, students will select at least ten references (e.g., articles, reports, position statements, etc) in their area of interest and complete a policy review to include research and policy priorities.

    National Alliance on Mental Health:

    PBIS Tech. Assistance Center:

    Reeves, W.C., Strine, T.W., Pratt, L.A., et al. (2011). Mental Illness Surveillance Among Adults in the United States, Supplements 60(3), 1-32.

    World Health Organization:

    Mental Health Parity Policy Brief

    Andrulis et al. (2010). Patient protection and ACA of 2010: Advancing health equity for racially and ethnically diverse populations, Retrieved from:

    Multi-tiered Systems of Support: PBS and RtI

    Person-centered thinking -

    PBS and the Law -

    Suspension and Expulsion

    Education Policy and Politics

    National Institute of Health



    Health Resources and Services Administration

    National Center for Cultural Competence – Georgetown:


    SAMSHA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (2012). Behavioral Health Homes for People with Mental Health & Substance Use Conditions: The Core Clinical Features. Washington, DC: Author

    National Institute of Mental Health/ Research

    Health and Human Services/ Treatment & Training

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

    National Institute of Health:

    White House

    U.S. Department of Education

    Funding PBS

    Education Funding


    Medicaid and Behavioral Health Services

    Dual Diagnosis of Individuals with DD and Mental Health Problems

    Freeman, E., McGuire, C., Thomas, J., & Thayer, D. (2014). Factors affecting costs in Medicaid populations with behavioral health disorders. Medical Care, 52(3), 60-66

    Kwan, B. & Nease, D. (2013). The state of the evidence for integrated behavioral health in primary care (65 – 98). In Integrated behavioral health in primary care: Evaluating the evidence, identifying the essentials. Mary Talen & Aimee Burke Valeras. New York, NY: Springer.

    Williams, J.W. (2012). Integrative care: What the research shows. North Carolina Medical Journal, 73(3), 205-206.

    Mechanic, D. (2012). Seizing opportunities under the Affordable Care Act for transforming the mental health and behavioral health system. Health Affairs, 31(2), 376-382.

    Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

    Inclusion in Early Childhood Programs AUCD Webinar

    PBIS and inclusion

  34. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy: This course will require student responses to discussion questions for 10 weeks (25%); a policy review paper (40%) for which they must identify a contemporary policy issue in behavioral health and complete a research and policy review related to that issue; and deliver a presentation of what they learned related to their selected policy review and develop discussion questions for the class (35%).
  35. Assignments, Exams and Tests: 1. Class Discussion and Resources (125 points, 12.5 points x 10 weeks) 25%

    During ten of the weeks, as specified in the class schedule, students must respond to discussion questions posted on Canvas pertaining to the week’s topic. Responses are due by 5:00 p.m. on the Sunday before class. Responses are to be posted on Canvas and hard copies brought to class to facilitate group discussion. As part of their response, students are to identify at least one additional authoritative resource related to the week’s topic and relevant to the discussion. These are to be posted in the Resources section of the class site so they can be shared with all students. A rubric will be used to grade the discussion as follows: 7 points for relevance, accuracy, and critical thinking; 3 points for format and organization; and 2.5 points for one relevant resource. A more complete rubric will be developed when the course is delivered.

    2. Policy Review (200 points) 40%

    Students must identify a contemporary policy issue in behavioral health, have it approved by the instructor, and complete a research and policy review related to that issue. A list of critical topics will be provided in class. However, other topics may be generated after consultation with the instructor to ensure the issue is relevant to their area of study. The following criteria for the work product are as follows:

    • Be a 10 to 15 page paper written in APA style;

    • Cite at least 10 references that include peer-reviewed research articles, policy articles, organizational position statements, and material from legitimate web sites;

    • Include a thorough description of the issue;

    • Include a statement of the objective of the review, i.e., why chosen;

    • Include a review of the literature and other authoritative materials; and

    • Include a discussion of research and policy priorities, challenges and barriers to changing systems, review of any model public or private policy/practice experiments, and recommendations for future steps.

    A rubric will be used to grade the policy review as follows: 50% of the points for content (e.g., critical thinking, use of pertinent references, etc); 30% for organization; and 20% for format and style. A more complete rubric will be developed when the course is delivered.

    3. Policy Presentation and Discussion (175 pts.) 35%:

    Students will develop a lecture based on their policy review paper to be presented to the class. The presentation should be no longer than 30 minutes and should include handouts and two or three discussion questions. The discussion questions provided for each class may be used as examples. The presentation (power point or link), handouts, and discussion questions will be uploaded to canvas at least one week before the presentation so students in the class will have the opportunity to respond to the questions and prepare for the discussion. The student presenting will lead the remaining class members in a discussion of the material on the day of the presentation.

    A rubric will be used to grade the presentation and discussion as follows: 40% of the points for use of materials, development of position on issue; 40% development of discussion questions and leading discussion; and 20% for presentation clarity and style. A more complete rubric will be developed when the course is delivered.

  36. Attendance Policy: Students are expected to attend all classes. If students need to miss a class for any reason, they are expected to contact the instructor by e-mail before the class session. Students are responsible for material covered in class if they are absent and for turning in assignments.

    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: Canvas, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. It’s 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: Assignments that are not turned in will receive a grade of 0. Assignments turned in late, i.e., after the date/time specified on the syllabus, will be eligible to receive a maximum of only 50% of the possible points for that assignment unless otherwise specified in the syllabus. In-class assignments must be completed in class and are not eligible for late submission. Refer to the USF Academic Integrity Regulation for related information:
  38. Program This Course Supports: This course supports the proposed Ph.D. in Behavioral & Community Sciences.
  39. Course Concurrence Information: This course could be applicable to any graduate program in behavioral health and sciences, e.g., Aging Studies, Social Work, Criminology, Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health, Applied Behavior Analysis, Communication Sciences & Disorders, Sociology, Anthropology, as well as graduate programs in Education and Public Health.

- if you have questions about any of these fields, please contact or