Fall 2016 Syllabi



by Ann Gould -
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Syllabus for SEM 140, Seminar in Life Pathways

"Life is a journey. You’ll need a map. Stay on course!"

Instructor: Office hours

Email: Monday and Wednesday:

Phone: Tuesday and Thursday:

Main Campus Operator: 517.787.0800 JC Student Services: 517.796.8425 Center for Student Success: 517.796.8415 JC Solution Center: 517.796.8639

Course Description

Students will develop skills in order to promote success in education and in life. Learners will become equipped in navigating academic advising and financial aid. Student Education Plans (SEP), the course pack, and final project will be completed; academic success strategies are introduced and reinforced.

This seminar explores four major journeys in life.

 One is our inner journey of learning more about ourselves, our strengths, our learning styles, our dreams, etc. This journey develops inner traits that lead to success, self-confidence and a sense of purpose, in school and in life.

 Another is our learning journey in courses. This journey includes active learning, effective and efficient study and test-taking strategies, and the use of self-management tools.

 In this course you will consider your career path. You will spend time considering career options and develop an educational plan that leads toward your particular career goals.

 Yet another journey involves navigating college, using available resources for academic planning, and understanding the systems and processes for achieving your academic goals (such as receiving a college degree).

Course Goals

In SEM 140, you will

1. Assess your career interests and aptitudes and create an academic plan (Student Education Plan—SEP), through completion of the course pack and final project.

2. Learn principles and apply strategies that improve your ability to succeed in courses, persist in your college career, and achieve your goals.

3. Increase communication, leadership, and interdependence skills through group work and classroom speaking.

4. Access and effectively use college resources.

5. Build critical thinking skills through employing active reading and writing strategies.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -Lao Tzu 2

Required Materials

 Textbook: On Course, 8th Edition, by Skip Downing, ISBN: 978-1-305-64716-9.

 SEM 140 Course Pack, available at the bookstore: "Seminar 140: Seminar in Life Pathways"

 3-ring binder (1-inch wide), loose-leaf paper, pens, highlighters, post-it notes

Essential Competencies

The faculty of Jackson College has determined that all JC graduates should develop or enhance certain essential competencies while enrolled in the College. The specific competencies which will be addressed in SEM 140 are: The ability to think critically and solve problems

 Grasp central ideas and arguments as outlined;

 Analyze and question underlying assumptions and logic of an issue or problem;

 Seek outside information and opinions as plans are weighed and determined;

 Evaluate and synthesize information gained and construct plan to move forward.

The ability to work productively with others

 Develop ability to discuss and question one’s own oral and written communication and that of one’s peers;

 Engage in small and large group work, defining and assigning roles and responsibilities;

 Listen well, attempt to resolve group conflict and work to reach consensus;

 Treat the ideas, gifts and limits of others with respect.

Grading Components

 Course Pack/Final Project and Navigator Appointment 40%

On Course Journals and other Activities 40%

 Attendance and Participation 20%

Grading Components Break Down

Course Pack/Final Project and Navigator Appointment – 40% 600 pts.

{On Course Journals (12 x 20) 240 pts.

Class Activities} – 40% (1-7 below and other homework projects) 360 pts.

1. Syllabus Quiz 10 pts.

2. Pre Assessment 10 pts.

3. Mid-Course Evaluation 10 pts.

4. Case Studies (6 x 20 pts) 120 pts.

5. Post Assessment 10 pts.

6. Final Presentation/Exam 100 pts.

7. Other homework projects 100 pts

Attendance and Participation - 20% 30 x 10 300 pts.

Course Total: 1500 pts. 3

Course Pack/Final Project and Navigator Appointment (40% of grade)

The purpose of the Course Pack and Final Project is to help you think through such important questions as, "What are my strengths, values, goals and dreams?" "What career fields would be consistent with my strengths, values and dreams, and what occupations would I enjoy and be good at?" "What college degree and program of study would help me realize the life of my dreams?" "What courses will I need to take to complete my desired program of study and degree?

The Navigator Appointment is mandatory and pages 69-70 must be completed in full (with signatures) to receive any points in this grading category!

Options that are available to you are categorized by career-type groupings called "Guided Pathways." Your career exploration journey begins by identifying your passions, dreams, and strengths, and determining which general career pathway best aligns with those. Each guided pathway has an array of routes to college credentials and careers. Your task will be to research those that interest you— consulting the JC catalog and other online sources, hearing from faculty teaching in those fields, etc.—in order to determine the ideal academic program (major) for you.

Every page of the Course Pack guides you on a journey of self-exploration and life planning. As you give careful thought to completing each section, you are creating a valuable resource that you will refer to and update throughout your college career.

You will receive clear instructions and support for completing the Course Pack/Final Project and Navigator Appointment. Past Seminar students have reported that these areas helped them develop a clear vision and plan for their future. We hope this will be your experience as well. You will present your findings to the class at the end of your research and investigation.

On Course Journals, Reflections, and Other Class Activities (40% of grade)

You will be assigned guided journal writings and reflections. Rather than simply "free writing," you will be given specific tasks and prompts to guide and develop your writing. Read the prompts carefully and follow them step by step. Don’t skip any parts! The best writing shows that you have thought deeply about a topic and shared something of yourself, including new understandings and realizations. Dive deep, and use the 4 "Es": Examples, Experiences, Explanations, and Evidence. Your writing does not have to be "polished," but it should be real and heartfelt—with attention paid to spelling, grammar, punctuation, and handwriting.

Class activities are done solo, with partners, in small groups, and in large groups. Sometimes this array of activities combines both reading and writing, skits, summaries, and report outs. Your active participation and engagement in these activities will help promote your understanding and applications of interdependence, self-awareness, critical thinking, and active learning. These will also help you discover and further develop both your soft and hard skills.

Attendance and Participation (20% of grade)

Attendance is not optional. A college course is similar to a job in that students are expected to arrive on time, stay until class has finished, and be fully engaged throughout the class. You are expected to be 4

present for and fully engaged in class activities, including active reading of articles, discussions of readings, case studies, quizzes, in-class reflections, etc. What is done in class may not be made up; the grade for a missed activity or quiz is a zero.

Sitting in class is not participation. Participation demands your active presence and your readiness to discuss ideas, to work collaboratively, and to stay on task. If you miss a class due to an emergency, it is your responsibility to contact a classmate or the instructors before the next class meeting to find out what you need to do to prepare for the next class. You probably have a busy life and many things that compete for your time. Nevertheless, class attendance and school work must be high priorities if you are to benefit from this course and receive credit. Attendance matters!

Assignments and Time Management

Daily homework assignments are posted in your course calendar. We strongly suggest that you have a specific place (e.g., small planner, front of your notebook) to record these assignments. You are expected to read the assigned materials and complete journal writings and other homework before class starts. You should spend about 2-3 hours preparing for each hour of class time.

Late Assignments

All assignments are due at the beginning of class. In the event of an absence, no in-class assignments/activities may be made up. Late homework assignments will be accepted on the next day that the class meets, only, and will be reduced by 20% (10 pts x 80% = 8), one full grade. In the event of an absence on a test day, arrangements may be made to make-up the test.

Small Group Work

Often in class, you will be asked to complete assignments working as a team. Your ability to collaborate, communicate, and contribute effectively are critical to your success as a learner who can help foster others’ learning. Employers in our tri-county area continually ask that we help students develop critical thinking and collaborative skills. They know that developing these skills requires practice and application. We will be working on both of these—critical thinking and collaboration—in our small group projects.

Classroom Environment

 Be respectful of all speakers including instructors, students, guests, etc.

 Be mindful that many students need quiet surroundings during independent work for focus.

 Arrive early if you want to check your text messages. If you need to take an important call, please put your phone on vibrate, take the call outside of class, and return quickly.

 Be sure that the time spent online in our technology-enhanced class reflects our focus for the day and does not lead to distractions that should be kept for non-class time.

 Recording class discussions and taking photos or videos is not allowed unless you have prior instructor permission.



 Take restroom breaks as needed; avoid these breaks during test time. Permission is not necessary.

 I expect you to arrive on time. However, I would rather you arrive late (and safely) than miss class entirely.

Academic Honesty Policy

The JC Catalog states that Academic honesty . . . is the ethical behavior that includes producing students’ own work and not representing others’ work as their own, either by plagiarism, by cheating, or by helping others to do so. Faculty members who suspect a student of dishonesty may penalize the student by assigning a failing grade for the paper, project, report, exam or the course itself. The academic dean will be notified of the situation.

Extra Credit Policy

Extra credit will not be awarded in this course. Faculty are responsible for ensuring that students’ learning and advancement take place through completion of the actual work of the course.


Students must earn a minimum 2.0 grade in all pre-requisites and all courses contributing to an earned certificate or degree. Grades are computed by dividing the possible number of points by the number of points earned. This box shows the grading scale if there were a total of 1500 possible points. Grading Scale






1350 - 1500



1275 – 1349



1200 – 1274



1125 – 1199



1050 – 1124



975 – 1049



900 – 974



825 – 899



824 <