Skip to Main Content
"Children’s hands-on-pinecone" by Delaware Master Gardeners is licensed under CC BY 2.0

SPCL Department | Library | Other SPCL OER

SPCL 7804 Human Development (Skinner): Syllabus: Assignments, Policies and Rubrics

OER for Professor Jaye Skinner

Course Requirements and Grade Percentages

Class Attendance and Participation (15% of overall grade)

Students are required to keep up to date on class readings and assignments, and to be active team members. If students miss a class, they miss whatever their team did. The team process is critical to learning, and the content of each session will be reflected on the midterm and final exams. Most teams, in real life and here, will forgive a single absence for which students have a good reason, and be less forgiving of multiple or casual absences. More than one absence and/or tardiness will affect the course grade (two points per absence and one point for lateness). Attendance is taken at the beginning of class, and it is expected that all students will be present at the start of class. 

Brooklyn College abides to the state law regarding non-attendance because of religious beliefs, as expressed in page 53 of the student bulletin (available at:

As cited in the bulletin (p. 53), New York State Education Law, Title I, Article 5, Section 224-a, declares that: “Any student in an institution of higher education who is unable, because of his [or her] religious beliefs, to attend classes on a particular day or days shall, because of such absence on the particular day or days, be excused from any examination or any study or work requirements.” In addition, “It shall be the responsibility of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to make available to each student who is absent from school, because of his [or her] religious beliefs, an equivalent opportunity to make up any examination, study or work requirements which he [or she] may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days…No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his [or her] availing himself [or herself] of the provisions of this section.”

If you are unable to attend class on any occasion for religious reasons, please notify me in advance to make the necessary arrangements.

Midterm & Final Participation Self-Assessment:

Twice during the semester, at the midpoint and at the end, students assess their level of class participation using the following Class Participation Rubric. The process is two-fold: the students conduct a self-assessment, and the instructor evaluates participation via observation. Students are required to critically reflect on their participation in small- and large-group discussions by completing a midterm and final self-assessment. The purpose of the self-assessment is to foster an honest critical self-reflection and to enhance the quality of participation. If the student’s and instructor’s assessments do not coincide, then they will meet to discuss it further. Ultimately, it is the instructor’s evaluation that is used for grade purposes; but the self-assessment is an integral component that potentially maximizes the level of participation and performance outcomes. Students evaluate their own level of participation and award points out of 100 using the criteria described below. This will be completed using a google form; the link to the form is posted on Blackboard in the Assignments link.

The self-assessment form will include the following items:

  • The number of class participation points I believe I have earned.
  • Number of classes missed with reasons/explanations for absences.
  • Provide an explanation for your self-assessment.  Please note that it is impossible for you to get a grade of 90 or above if you have missed more than one class during this marking period.

This self-assessment process provides an opportunity for students to get feedback from their professor on their level of class participation. It is the professor’s assessment that is used for grading purposes; often there is consistency between the students’ self-assessment and that of the professor; if there is a difference, then it provides an excellent opportunity for feedback.

Class Participation Evaluation Points
Consistently raises or facilitates discussion with peers in every class meeting. Engages in integrative and higher order thinking in relation to the readings (e.g., integrates two or more pieces of information in the readings, integrates experience with readings, poses hypotheticals for the group based on readings). 90-100
Respectful attention to others’ contributions; periodically (at least every other class meeting) shares comments on at least one topic discussed in readings and demonstrates understanding and relevance to classroom discussion. 66-89
Consistently present in class; attends and responds to others’ contributions at personal level of experience but does not participate in classroom discussions. 45-65
Consistently present in class; makes no contribution to discussion; unresponsive to or argumentative with others. Less than 45

This website is a critical part of this course, both as a learning platform and as the site to obtain the readings, videos, and course information (both included and not included in the syllabus). Students are expected to engage in a multi-level process of critical self-reflection, an important component of multicultural competence and cultural humility development. Each session link is filled with resources, and students are encouraged to preview the class material prior to each session and then review the material after each class. The learning process is cumulative, with each session integrating the content from earlier sessions. The readings are posted in the Bibliography section but also linked in each class session. Quiz questions are generated from the content of the assigned readings posted on this website. The website is intended to optimize the learning process, and the instructor looks forward to your feedback.

Students are expected to have completed all the readings for each class and be prepared to engage in team activities and class discussion regarding the assigned material.

Quizzes (25% of overall grade)

There are weekly quizzes, consisting of 5 multiple-choice questions on the major concepts of the assigned readings. The lowest two quiz scores will be dropped; there are no make-ups for missed quizzes.

Final Exam (15% of overall grade)

There will be a final exam consisting of a case conceptualization where students will analyze the case and integrate what they have learned in the course, using several theories. Students will also consider potential recommendations for possible interventions and/or school counseling activities.

Annotated Bibliography (20% of overall grade)

Students will prepare an annotated bibliography on a chosen developmental disability.

Students will use Brooklyn College Library database APA PsycARTICLES (EBSCO) off-campus login required for library item access. and Google Scholar to conduct a search for articles on their topic and create an annotated bibliography of at least 5 journal articles published from 2010 to 2023 that relate to how development occurs in the disability they have chosen.

Students will also write a short essay (2-3 pages, typed and double-spaced) that integrates their findings and summarizes how development unfolds in the disability chosen, including but not limited to cognitive development, social-emotional development, and attachment.

Submitted papers must include the first page of all the articles in their PDF version. It includes the title, author and abstract.

References and citations should follow the current APA format.

What is an annotated bibliography?

Taken From: Engle, Michael  (2022) "How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography: The Annotated Bibliography" Cornell University Library.

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150-250 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.

Annotations vs. Abstracts

Abstracts are the purely descriptive summaries often found at the beginning of scholarly journal articles or in periodical indexes. Annotations are descriptive and critical; they expose the author's point of view, clarity and appropriateness of expression, and authority.

The Process

Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research. First, locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items. Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.

Cite the book, article, or document using current APA style. Write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that:

  1. evaluate the authority or background of the author,
  2. comment on the intended audience
  3. compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or
  4. explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic.

Students should review the Rubric Form - Annotated Bibliography that will be used for grading. Late submission will be penalized with a two-point/day deduction.

My Personal Development Paper (25% of overall grade)

This project is a culminating activity for the course which entails a process of critical self-reflection, integrating class readings and discussions. The purpose of this exercise is to consider your development and life history.  Using the studied theories and readings, describe, analyze, and discuss your life across the developmental phases from early childhood through the present.  As you develop your paper, include insights on how your family, cultural history, gender, sexual identity relates to your development.  

Review the Rubric Form - My Personal Development Paper for further elaboration on scoring criteria

The typed, double-spaced paper should include all areas listed below:

Final Project: My Personal Development

  1. Developmental History
    1. Early Childhood (Prenatal-Birth-Infancy-Toddler and Preschool Years)
    2. Middle Childhood & Adolescence
    3. Young adulthood to present
    4. Discussion: How these factors/events influenced my life?
  2. Contexts, culture, and environment
    1. Timeline of important life events
    2. Family history and description (Characteristics and important events; Description of family interactions and communication patterns)
    3. Ethnic and cultural background
    4. Gender and sexual identity
    5. Discussion: How these factors/events influenced my life?
  3. Great debates: Discuss how your own development influences your view and understanding of:
    1. Nature vs. Nurture
    2. Discontinuity vs. Continuity
    3. Neuroplasticity and Critical/Sensitive Periods
    4. Universality vs. Cultural Relativism
  4. Conclusions:
    • How did this course influence your view/knowledge about your own development? How has learning about your own development influenced your development as a counselor? How has this course influenced your views/approach towards individual differences, diversity issues, special concerns, or special populations?  What theories of development appeal to you?

Late submission will be penalized with a two-point/day deduction. The following CACREP standards are being assessed in this project: Human Growth and Development, Counseling and Helping Relationships, Social and Cultural Diversity, Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice, and Practice for School Counseling.

Note: In the Course Outline there are self-reflection prompts. These serve to facilitate the process of reflecting on the course material and integrating it for this paper.

Timely submission of work is an important professional attribute. Work submitted late will be marked down accordingly at the discretion of the instructor. The only exception is when the student contacts the instructor before the assignment is due, and the instructor agrees to provide an exception to the due date based on the student’s extenuating circumstances. Assignments not submitted on the due date with no advance notice to the instructor will be penalized as specified in the assignment instructions (see individual rubrics).

Faculty Council has determined the following policy for Incomplete Grades:  A grade of Incomplete (INC) may be given at the discretion of the instructor when 1) a student has satisfactorily completed most, but not all, course requirements, and 2) a student provides to the instructor evidence documenting the extenuating circumstances that prevent the completion of course requirements by the end of the semester. Candidates receive grades of incomplete (INC) only when a situation beyond their control prevents them from completing course work.

It is important to note that grades of INC will only be given if the instructor determines the grade is appropriate given the unusual extenuating circumstances and such circumstances are documented by the student. An incomplete grade in a course that is a prerequisite for another course must be cleared before the candidate can enter the next course. Final assignments not submitted on the due date at the end of the semester are given a grade of zero.

Course Evaluation

  • Class Participation: 15%
  • Quizzes: 25% (lowest two quiz scores dropped)
  • Annotated Bibliography: 20%
  • My Personal Development: 25%
  • Final Exam: 15%


Course Specific Policies

A Note on the Use of AI

The use of AI tools is NOT permitted for:

  • Reflective exercises (journal reflections or any experiential exercises)
  • Writing entire sentences/paragraphs for any of the assigned papers.

The use of AI tools (e.g., ChatGPT, etc.) is allowed for the following activities when writing course projects:

  • Brainstorming ideas and organizing thoughts for a project.
  • Refining research questions.
  • Exploratory research for a paper
  • Grammar/style/expository writing checks

NOTE: Any use of AI tools outside of the allowed parameters will be considered a violation of academic integrity and will be subject to penalties spelled out in the Policy on Academic Integrity.

Classroom Decorum

The following rules are intended to improve the quality of the classroom and enhance learning for all. These are expectations to be adhered to in every class:

  • No cell phone calls, call answering, texting in class. If you are expecting an URGENT phone call (e.g., significant family crisis or illness), put your phone on vibrate and leave the class to answer the call. DO NOT answer in the classroom. Turn off all ringers prior to entering the classroom, or even better, turn off the phone. If I hear your cell phone or see you texting, your class participation grade will be lowered.
  • When using email to contact the professor, use a professional writing style. Use an appropriate salutation, valediction, and signature line – since an email address like “” does not tell me who you are. Your email is considered professional communication, as it will be in the schools.
  • Please come to class prepared by completing assigned readings, arriving on time, and following class discussions attentively.

This course integrates theoretical and applied literature related to human development. Theories applicability to diverse cultures is explored. The content of this course directly relates to the school counselor’s work in schools including developing and implementing interventions for children and adolescents, and consulting and collaborating with school personnel and families.

The learning objectives for students are as follows (CACREP standards are in italics):

  1. School counselor candidates will apply their knowledge of human development theories by participating in classroom activities and engaging in assigned projects. (CACREP Core [CC] Standards 3a- c, e-f, h-i; 4a,i,j; 5b-c) (School Counseling Program Objectives: 3. Apply theories of human development; 12. Foster self-reflective capacities)
    • Assessed: Application activities; Annotated Bibliography; My Personal Development Paper; Quizzes.
  2. School counselor candidates will critically reflect on the course material, including readings, discussions, and project experiences. (CC 1k; CACREP School Counseling [CSC] Standard 3d,e,h) (School Counseling Program Objective: 12. Foster self-reflective capacities)
    • Assessed: Application activities; My Personal Development Paper.
  3. School counselor candidates will recognize student diversity as a strength to be valued and will develop multicultural counseling competencies through awareness and understanding of issues involved. (CC 2b-d)
    • Assessed: Application activities; My Personal Development Paper; Quizzes.
  4. School counselor candidates will enhance their own self-awareness by engaging in assigned activities and by participating in class discussions. (CC 5b,c) (School Counseling Program Objective: 12. Foster self-reflective capacities)
    • Assessed: Application activities; My Personal Development Paper.
  5. School counselor candidates will enhance their ability to critique research to inform counseling practice (CC 8a)
    • Assessed: Annotated Bibliography
  6. Demonstrate improved ability to work productively in a team. (CC 1k; 5b,c)
    • Assessed: Application activities; Peer Evaluation Forms

CUNY Policies

Brooklyn College's Diverse Center for Student Disability Services group smiling.

The Brooklyn College Center for Student Disability Services external link. is back to working in-person on campus, though you can still reach out via email and phone. Please email them at for assistance.

Location: 138 Roosevelt Hall
Phone: 718.951.5538
FAX: 718.951.4442
Department Office Hours:

  • Monday: 9 a.m.–4:45 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 9 a.m.–4:45 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 9 a.m.–6:45 p.m.
  • Thursday: 9 a.m.–6:45 p.m.
  • Friday: 9 a.m.–4:45 p.m.

Note: Office hours during summer and winter intersession breaks varies.

Students should inform the professor if they have a disability or any other situation that may require Section 504/ADA accommodations.  The faculty and staff will attempt to work out whatever arrangements are necessary.

Please provide your professor with your course accommodation form and discuss your specific accommodation with your professor as soon as possible to ensure accommodations are met in a timely fashion.

In order to receive academic accommodations students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services. Students who have a documented disability or who suspect that they might have a disability are invited to set up an appointment with the Director of the Center for Student Disability Services, Ms. Valerie Stewart-Lovell or the Assistant Director, Josephine Patterson or their general email

Center for Student Disability Services (CSDS) Mission:
It is the mission of the Center for Student Disability Services (CSDS) to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to all campus facilities, curricula, and activities. The program’s objective focuses on providing students with reasonable disability-related accommodations and the opportunity to maximize their academic success at Brooklyn College. The goal is to ensure an inclusive environment while maintaining and enhancing the college’s academic excellence by providing students with disabilities the opportunity to achieve their highest possible academic potential.

Academic dishonesty of any type, including cheating and plagiarism, is unacceptable at Brooklyn College. Cheating is any misrepresentation in academic work. Plagiarism is the representation of another person’s work, words, or ideas as your own. Students should consult the Brooklyn College Student Handbook for a fuller, more specific discussion of related academic integrity standards.

Academic dishonesty is punishable by failure of the “…test, examination, term paper or other assignment on which cheating occurred” (Faculty Council, May 18, 1954).

In addition, disciplinary proceedings in cases of academic dishonesty may result in penalties of admonition, warning, censure, disciplinary probation, restitution, suspension, expulsion, complaint to civil authorities, or ejection (Adopted by Policy Council, May 8, 1991).

NOTE: If you have a question about how to cite correctly ask your teacher BEFORE submitting your work.

  • The faculty and administration of Brooklyn College support an environment free from cheating and plagiarism.
  • Each student is responsible for being aware of what constitutes cheating and plagiarism and for avoiding both.
  • View complete text of CUNY Academic Integrity Policy and Brooklyn College procedure for policy implementation.
  • If a faculty member suspects a violation of academic integrity and, upon investigation, confirms that violation, or if the student admits the violation, the faculty member must report the violation.
  • Please read the section entitled “Academic Regulations and Procedures” in the Brooklyn College Undergraduate Bulletin or Graduate Bulletin for a complete listing of academic regulations of the College.

Bereavement Policy:

  • Students who experience the death of a loved one must contact the Division of Student Affairs, 2113 Boylan Hall, if they wish to implement either the Standard Bereavement Procedure or the Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure. The Division of Student Affairs has the right to request a document that verifies the death (e.g., a funeral program or death notice). Contact Email:
  • Typically, this death involves that of a family member, in parallel to the bereavement policy for faculty and staff. However, it is up to the discretion of the Division of Student Affairs to determine if a death outside of the immediate family warrants implementation of the student bereavement policy.
  •  As an option, and in consultation with the Division of Student Affairs, students may take the Leave of Absence Bereavement after the Standard Bereavement.
  • Reference to the Student Bereavement Policies will be noted on course syllabi.
  • Students requesting a religious accommodation should contact the Division of Student Affairs as well. The chief student affairs officer, or a designee, and the student will engage in an interactive process with the goal of finding an acceptable accommodation.

Bereavement Procedure:

  • Upon approval from the Division of Student Affairs, the student is allowed one week, commencing from the day of notification to the Division of Student Affairs, of excused absence.
  • Should the student feel that he/she needs additional days, these should be discussed with individual course instructors and/or the Division of Student Affairs.
  • The Division of Student Affairs will contact the student’s faculty and academic staff of the student’s courses.
  • Faculty and academic staff will be advised that extensions must be granted to the student for the period of one week of excused absence.
  • Further extensions may be negotiated with the student when he or she returns to campus.
  • Students are encouraged to discuss options with their instructors.

Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure:

  • Students may be allowed to withdraw from the semester in which the death occurs.
  • The Bereavement Leave of Absence is for one semester only.
  • Students who have opted to take the Bereavement Leave of Absence and have already attended classes for the semester of the leave will be allowed to re-enter the following semester without having to reapply to the college.
  • Students who wish to take the leave of absence prior to the beginning of the semester will be required to reapply for the following semester.
  • Students who are in good academic standing will be given the opportunity to successfully complete the credits for the semester in which they return.
  • Students will consult with the Division of Student Affairs, on a case-by-case basis, as to whether they should withdraw from their courses during this leave of absence or to request incompletes from the faculty member.
  •  Given that there may be a potential impact on financial aid, students who receive financial aid and who take the Bereavement Leave of Absence, upon arrangement with the Division of Student Affairs, will meet with a financial aid adviser prior to taking this option.
  • The New York State Education Law provides that no student shall be expelled or refused admission to an institution of higher education because he or she is unable to attend classes or participate in examinations or study or work requirements on any particular day or days because of religious beliefs.
  • Students who are unable to attend classes on a particular day or days because of religious beliefs will be excused from any examination or study or work requirements.
  • Faculty must make good-faith efforts to provide students absent from class because of religious beliefs equivalent opportunities to make up the work missed; no additional fees may be charged for this consideration.
  • If classes, examinations, or study or work requirements occur on Friday after 4 p.m. or on Saturday, similar or makeup classes, examinations, or study or work requirements will be made available on other days, where possible and practical.
  • The faculty and the administration will not allow any adverse or prejudicial effects to accrue to students availing themselves of this regulation.
  • If students have complaints about the application of this policy, they are entitled to bring action or a proceeding for enforcement of their rights in the Supreme Court of Kings County

Mission Statements

The School of Education at Brooklyn College prepares teachers, administrators, counselors, and school psychologists to serve, lead and thrive in the schools and agencies of this city and beyond. Through collaborative action, teaching and research, we develop our students' capacities to create socially just, intellectually vital, aesthetically rich and compassionate communities that value equity and excellence, access and rigor. We design our programs in cooperation with Liberal Arts and Sciences faculties and in consultation with local schools in order to provide our students with the opportunity to develop the knowledge, proficiencies and understandings needed to work with New York City's racially, ethnically and linguistically diverse populations. We believe that teaching is an art that incorporates critical self-reflection, openness to new ideas, practices and technologies, and that focuses on the individual learner's needs and promotes growth. Our collective work is shaped by scholarship and is animated by a commitment to educate our students to the highest standards of professional competence.

This course addresses the four areas described in the Brooklyn College School of Education’s Conceptual Framework as follows:

  • Collaboration: Through the readings, class discussions, and practicum experiences, activities school psychologist candidates are prepared to involve themselves in students’ lives by communicating assessment findings and counseling goals to families, teachers, administrators, and other support staff. 
  • Critical Self-Reflection and Reflective Practice: School psychologist candidates are expected to critically reflect on readings, class discussions and practicum activities. Over the course of the semester, students will reflect on their own assumptions about their practices, the students and families with whom they work, the communities in which they work, and their own development as professionals.  Critical self-reflection is a section in the daily logs written by school psychologist candidates.
  • Social Justice: Over the course of the semester, the school psychologist candidates develop a deeper understanding of the quest for social justice. Through the understanding of the emotional lives of the children at their practicum site, they can be caring advocates and change agents for all their students and their families in pursuit of academic excellence and social equality.
  • Diversity: School psychologist candidates demonstrate a capacity to understand students’ special populations, cultures and families at their practicum site and use this information as a basis for connecting professional practices to students’ experiences.

See the School of Education website for the complete conceptual framework

The content of this course as well as methodologies used are consistent with the mission of the Graduate Program in School Counseling at Brooklyn College. The mission of the School Counseling Program is to prepare school counselors to advocate for a high-quality education for all students in schools in this city and beyond, and to nurture the holistic development of every student – i.e., his or her academic competence, and emotional, social and spiritual well-being.

The full text of the mission is as follows:

The Brooklyn College Guidance and Counseling Program prepares school counselors to advocate for a high- quality education for all students in schools in this city and beyond, and to nurture the holistic development of every student- his or her academic competence, and emotional, social and spiritual well-being. Our program enables counselors to accomplish these aims within complex educational bureaucracies by developing their capacities for critical self-reflection, collaborative leadership, empathy, and imagination. In our classrooms, at field sites in urban schools, and in communities, we strive to model an approach to learning that is democratic and experiential. In preparing our students for their role in creating humane and just environments, we foster sensitivity to diversity, and the courage and skills to challenge harmful biases and stereotypes, while promoting greater understanding and respect. Our graduates are equipped to encourage and guide children and youth in their aspirations, and to collaborate with their families and with other educators to prepare them well for postsecondary education, meaningful life work and citizenship.

The material in this course is designed to meet with Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) curriculum standards for counselor education core areas and school counselor programs. The specific standards relevant for this course are: human growth and development; counseling and helping relationships; professional counseling orientation and ethical practice; practice for school counseling; and social and cultural diversity.

The Graduate Program in School Counseling at Brooklyn College prepares students to become professional school counselors and to assume positions of leadership in the field. To fulfill these responsibilities, faculty must evaluate students based on their academic, professional, and personal qualities. Our program works to establish a learning community where students can develop professionally. We do this by providing an environment in which students’ rights and responsibilities are respected and by the dignity and worth of each student.

However, a student’s progress in the program may be interrupted for failure to meet academic standards or if a student’s interpersonal emotional status interferes with education/training related requirements for self or others. For example, in order to ensure proper training and client care, a counselor-in-training must abide by relevant ethical codes and demonstrate professional knowledge, technical and interpersonal skills, professional attitudes, and professional character. These factors are evaluated based on one’s academic performance and one’s ability to convey warmth, genuineness, respect and empathy in interactions with P-12 students and their families, classmates, staff, and faculty. Student also should be able to demonstrate the ability to accept and integrate feedback, be aware of their impact on others, accept personal responsibility, and be able to express feelings appropriately.

Faculty will meet with the student and discuss any relevant concerns and make a plan for improvement. After an established timeframe, dismissal from the school counseling program can occur if program faculty has determined that personal or professional limitations will prohibit a student from becoming a successful professional school counselor. Faculty is bound by ethical code to insure the quality of professionals entering the field remains high and must act to prevent unqualified students from gaining entrance to the field.