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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: EDUC501 Course ID: 2784 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course examines theories of child, adolescent, and young adult development and learning. It introduces a comprehensive view of human development across the lifespan, drawing on the application of major theoretical positions - both historical and current. Developmental themes are discussed in terms of their application to typical and atypical human development in children, adolescents, and young adults. Concepts related to the significant role that transitions play in development throughout the lifespan will be integrated throughout the course. Application of theory to the school setting in the areas of learner development, learner styles/differences, the nature of the learner, and learner motivation are discussed. Topics also include the impact of culture and diversity on learning.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
03/29/21 - 09/03/21 09/06/21 - 10/31/21 Summer 2021 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

Upon successful completion of this course, candidates will be able to:

  1. Explain the main concepts and theories of human development and wellness across the lifespan. (CACREP 3a)
  2. Critique current research in the field of human growth and development. (CACREP 8a)
  3. Analyze the effects of biological, neurological and physiological factors that affect human development, functioning, and behavior (CACREP 3e; WVDE 2D)
  4. Analyze the effects of systemic and environmental factors that affect human development, functioning, and behavior (CACREP 3f; WVDE 2D)
  5. Analyze the effects of crisis, disasters, and trauma across the lifespan (CACREP 3g; WVDE 2E)
  6. Summarize theories of learning and personality development. (CACREP 3e)
  7. Analyze ethically and culturally relevant strategies that promote resilience and wellness across the lifespan. (CACREP 3i)
  8. Evaluate the role that lifespan events and life transitions play in the lives of individuals and their families at each level of development. (CACREP 3f)
  9. Apply theories of learning and personality development, including current understandings of neurobiological behavior. (CACREP 3b, 3c)
  10. Examine roles in consultation with families, community agencies, and other systems. (CACREP 5-G 2b; WVDE 2F3)
  11. Use self-evaluation tool to examine personal wellness. (CACREP 1k)
  12. Develop self-care plan. (CACREP 1l)


Please join the forums. Responses must be posted in the week due. Responses after the end of the each week will not be graded. The Forums are for student interaction and input should be submitted before the week ends in order to fully participate in the discussions. Students should demonstrate their own knowledge in the forums and avoid copying and pasting from websites.


  • Post the initial response to each forum by 11:55pm, ET, Wednesday.
  • Initial responses should be no less than 300 words.
  • Initial responses are to be original in content and demonstrate a thorough analysis of the topic.
  • Reply to at least 2 of your classmates in each forum by 11:55pm, ET, Sunday.
  • Replies to classmates should be no less than 150 words.
  • Responses to classmates are significant to advance the forum.
  • All forums can be accessed in the Forums section of the course.

Forum Grading Rubric


Developmental Issue Blog

Select a developmental issue associated with children and adolescents. The topic should address an academic, career, or personal/social issue. Research the topic and create a blog on the topic with helpful suggestions for parents, students, and teachers. Include graphics, pictures, videos, etc. in your blog. Finally, provide some additional links to other reputable websites that discuss the topic or provide resources related to your chosen topic. This blog assignment will be graded on the following elements:

  1. Accurate information on topic supported by peer-reviewed research (CACREP 8a, WVDE 2B)
  2. Suggestions for parents, students, and teachers on dealing with the issue (CACREP 5-G 3g)
  3. Graphics, pictures, videos to add visual interest
  4. Links to other sites for more information related to the topic (be sure these links provide accurate information and are associated with reputable sources) (CACREP 1j)

Prevention Plan Presentation

Prepare a presentation on one of the following concerns: Substance Abuse, Bullying, Suicide, Child Abuse, etc. Select a topic of concern and research prevention programs related to that issue. Based on analysis of research, create a power point or similar media presentation on your plan to implement a new prevention program on that topic (school setting for school counseling students; community based if in another program). Do NOT simply copy/paste another program, you can identify best practices in those programs, but the end result needs to include your original ideas. The presentation should include the following:

  1. Overview of statistics and rationale for selecting topic (CACREP 8a; WVDE 4A)
  2. Overview of research that defines the problem (CACREP 8a; WVDE 2B)
  3. Discussion of prevention programs that address the problem and their effectiveness (CACREP 8b; WVDE 2f)
  4. Your original suggestions of ethically and culturally relevant strategies to promote resilience, optimum development and wellness. (CACREP 3i; WVDE 1B) OR community role in addressing the problem for non-school counseling students.
  5. Resources needed (include any materials you need, potential cost, community partnerships, community referrals, parent involvement, etc.) (CACREP 5-G 2b, WVDE 2F3)
  6. References

Self-care Plan

To care for others, you must take the time to care for yourself. The purpose of this assignment is for you to analyze how each self-care assessment area influences your daily living (CACREP 1k; WVDE 5A), and to plan how you will address each area to ensure your overall psychological health (CACREP 1l; WVDE 5A).

Instructions: Complete Part A of the Self-care Plan by filling in each assessment question. Then, in Part B, analyze your self-care assessment responses and incorporate strategies to address each self-care area. Be sure to follow the Self-care Plan Grading Rubric to ensure that you fulfill each assignment criterion.

Case Study

Based on theoretical evidence, develop a case study of an individual who has experienced a crisis or trauma-related situation. Analyze the following associated with the case study presented:

(a) biological, neurological and physiological factors that affect human development, functioning, and behavior (CACREP 3e; WVDE 2D)

(b) systemic and environmental factors that affect human development, functioning, and behavior (CACREP 3f; WVDE 2D)

(c) effects of crisis, disasters, and trauma across the lifespan (CACREP 3g; WVDE 2E)

(d) ethical and culturally relevant strategies for promoting resilience and optimum development and wellness across the lifespan (CACREP 3i; WVDE 5B)

Include at least 5 peer-reviewed research articles in your discussion. Please refer to the Case Study rubric for further understanding of how this assignment will be graded.

Special note for School Counseling students: This assignment is identified as an artifact for your e-portfolio and should also be uploaded into your e-portfolio. The e-portfolio is a culminating project that will be a work in progress throughout your program and graded during your Internship course.

NameGrade %
Discussion Forums 20.00 %
Forum 1: Introductions Timeline 2.50 %
Forum 2: Theories of Cognitive Development 2.50 %
Forum 3: Social Skills 2.50 %
Forum 4: Healthy Development Strategies Presentation 2.50 %
Forum 5: Transitions 2.50 %
Forum 6: Middle Adulthood 2.50 %
Forum 7: Influences on Development 2.50 %
Forum 8: Trauma & Development 2.50 %
Developmental Issue Blog 10.00 %
Developmental Issue Blog 10.00 %
Prevention Plan Presentation 20.00 %
Prevention Plan Presentation 20.00 %
Case Study 25.00 %
Case Study 25.00 %
Self-care Plan 5.00 %
Self-care Plan 5.00 %
Quizzes 20.00 %
Quiz 4 5.00 %
Quiz 3 5.00 %
Quiz 2 5.00 %
Quiz 1 5.00 %

Additional Resources

Assouline, S. G., Nicpon, M. F., & Huber, D. H. (2006). The impact of vulnerabilities and strengths on the academic experiences of twice-exceptional students: A message to school counselors. Professional School Counseling, 10(1), 14-24.

Botvin, G. J., & Griffin, K. W. (2007). School-based programmes to prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. International Review of Psychiatry, 19(6), 607-615.

Granello, P. F. (2001). A comparison of wellness and social support networks in different age groups. Adultspan, 3(1), 12-23.

Hatfield, T., & Hatfield, S. R. (1992). As if your life depended on it: Promoting cognitive development to promote wellness. Journal of Counseling and Development, 71(2).

Laszloffy, T. A. (2002). Rethinking family development theory: Teaching with the Systemic Family Development (SFD) models. Family Relations, 51(3), 206-215.

Masten, A. S. et al. (2008). Promoting competence and resilience in the school context. Professional School Counseling, 12(2), 76-84.

Pears, K. C., Kim, H., & Fisher, P. A. (2008). Psychosocial and cognitive functioning of children with specific profiles of maltreatment. Child Abuse and Neglect, 32(10), 958-971.

Shepis, T. S., Adinoff, B., & Rao, U. (2008). Neurobiological processes in adolescent addictive disorders. American Journal on Addictions, 17(1), 6-23.

Suldo, S. M., & Shaffer, E. J. (2008). Looking beyond psychopathology: The dual-factor model of mental health in youth. School Psychology Review, 37(1), 52-68.

Weber, S. (2009). Treatment of trauma- and abuse-related dissociative symptom disorders in children and adolescents. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 22(1), 2-6.

Optional Reading

Collins, M. E., Paris, R., & Ward, R. L. (2008). The permanence of family ties: Implications for youth transitioning from foster care. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 78(1), 54-62.

Assigned Reading & Resources:

In addition to the Required Reading, additional resources may be provided to offer you background information or further understanding the terminology as well as the material for the week. Each week you will be expected to read the Required Reading and review the additional resources.

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.