A S 2600/SOC 2600
INTRODUCTION TO GERONTOLOGY
FALL 2008

Time and Place: TR 1:00-2:25, KOM 307
Instructor: J. Brandon Wallace, Ph.D.
Instructor's Office, Phone, and Email: TODD 330, 898-5976, jbwallae@mtsu.edu
Office Hours: TR 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Required Text: Aging, the Individual, and Society by Susan Miller and Georgia Barrow

It is the responsibility of each student to read and understand this syllabus. It acts as an agreement between the student and the instructor specifying the rights and responsibilities of each. Be sure to clarify any questions you may have about the syllabus as soon as possible.

COURSE OBJECTIVES AND DESCRIPTION:

AS 2600/SOC 2600 is an  introduction to gerontology, a multidisciplinary field of study focusing on the process of aging and the nature and experience of old age.  Drawing on biology, psychology, sociology, and other disciplines, gerontology seeks a holistic understanding of aging and the elderly.  This course seeks to introduce the student to the major theories, methods, and substantive knowledge of aging offered by biology, psychology, and sociology. Class time will be divided between lecture and student led discussions of out-of-class assignments.  Students are encouraged to ask questions and offer comments, as long as they are relevant to the course and are courteous and respectful of other persons and opinions. While it is not required that you agree with the instructor or the material presented in the class, you should be able to indicate an understanding of such material on exams.

REQUIREMENTS AND ASSIGNMENTS:

Students are expected to complete assigned readings, attend class, take good notes, and participate in classroom discussions. While no specific credit is given for attendance or participation, students who come to class and take part in discussions always make better grades. Further, attendance and participation are considered if a student's final average is borderline between two letter grades.

There will be two in-class essay exams, each consisting of 4 questions chosen from a list of study questions provided by the instructor. Students will have approximately 1.25 hoursto write their answers. Study questions for each exam will be made available online.  The exams are worth 100 points each.

Students also will complete several out-of-class assignments and compile them in a notebook due November 25.  Guidelines for completing the assignments are available online and can be accessed from the course index page. The notebook is worth 400 points.  These assignments are:

Finally, students are expected to present either their film summary, elder interview, or agency interview and two (2) news articles to the class.  A sign up sheet indicating when presentations are due will be distributed the first week of class.  These class presentations are worth a total of 100 points (25 each for the news article presentations and 50 for the paper presentaion).

GRADING:

Scores from the exams, notebooks, and class presentations will be added together to determine a student's total points. The total points possible  is 700. Each student's total points will then be divided by 7 and final grades assigned according to the scale: 90-100=A, 87-89=B+, 83-86=B, 80-82=B-, 77-79=C+, 73-76=C, 70-72=C-, 67-69=D+, 63-66=D, 60-62=D-. A score of less than 60% will result in failure.

ACADEMIC HONESTY AND PLAGIARISM:

Copying someone's exam, using notes or texts during the exam, having someone complete assignments for you, and plagiarism (claiming another's written work as you own) is cheating. Students engaging in such acts will be given a zero on the exam or assignment in question and may fail the course as well. Further, the professor may choose to report such actions to appropriate university officials for additional disciplinary action. (See the Student Handbook.)

LOTTERY SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION:

To retain Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship eligibility, you must earn a cumulative TELS GPA of 2.75 after 24 attempted hours and a cumulative TELS GPA of 3.0 thereafter.  A grade of C, D, F, or I in this class may negatively impact TELS eligibility.  Dropping a class after 14 days may also impact eligibility.  If you withdraw from this class and it results in an enrollment status of less than full time, you may lose eligibility for your lottery scholarship. For additional lottery scholarship rules please refer to your Lottery Statement of Understanding form, review lottery scholarship requirements on the web at http://scholarships.web.mtsu.edu/telsconteligibility.htm, or contact the MTSU financial aid office at 898-2830.

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES:

If you have a disability that requires assistance or accommodation, or if you have any questions related to accommodations for testing, note taking, reading, etc., please speak with me as soon as possible.  You may also contact the Office of Disabled Student Services (898-2783) with questions about their services. Students registered with the Office of Disabled Student Services will be accommodated as best as possible.

MISCELLANEOUS:

The syllabus, course outlineinterview guidelines, guidelines for viewing the filmguidelines for the site visit, and news article review guidelines can be assessed via the main web page for the course. The page is located at http://www.mtsu.edu/~jbwallae/2600.

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at MTSU hosts an Undergraduate Social Science Symposium each Fall to give undergraduate students an opportunity to present papers they have written in various social science classes. This year the symposium is Tuesday, November 18 and Wednesday November 19.  If you are interested in presenting any of the papers you write for this class or papers you have written for other classes, please contact Dr. Ida Fadzillah at ifadzill@mtsu.edu or 904-8275.

Additional information of interest to sociology students, majors, and minors is available on the Department of Sociology and Anthropology web page at http://www.mtsu.edu/~soc/.