Valencia Community College- East Campus

Valencia Community College- East Campus



Abnormal Psychology: CLP 2140 (Summer 2007)

Course Syllabus

Professor: Dr. Purvi Gandhi

Office Hours: 15 minutes. before or after class or by appointment

Contact information:  or

Course Material can also be found on Faculty Frontdoor:

Credit: 3 credit hours

Textbook: Durand & Barlow (2006), Essentials of Abnormal Psychology

Study Guide is optional but recommended

Course Description: Prerequisite: PSY 1012. Psychological abnormality discussed with reference to symptom patterns, causation and treatment approaches.

Course Objectives: Upon completion of this class, the student should be able to demonstrate knowledge regarding:

1. The definition of abnormal behavior

2. Factors that affect an individual:

a. Biological perspective (i.e. brain and body functioning)

b. Psychological factors (i.e. traits and attributes)

c. Social factors (i.e. environment)

3. Major psychological disorders and symptoms

4. Diagnostic process

5. Treatment interventions for various disorders

Teaching Approach: The material covered in class will be a combination of the text material, along with class discussions. The concepts will be taught in class, with an emphasis on application to daily life. The course consists of lectures, discussions, and group activities.

Important Dates:

October 3: Fall Flex-classes begin

October 16: Withdrawal deadline for “W” grade (no refund)

November 21-23: Thanksgiving Holiday (No Class)

December 15: Final Withdrawal deadline

December 10-16: Final Exams Week

December 12: Abnormal Psychology Final Exam Scheduled (7:00am-9:30am)

Attendance and Participation: Attendance AND participation are a significant portion of your grade. In order to receive full credit for daily attendance and participation, students must be ON TIME and be PRESENT for the duration of the ENTIRE class time. Participation includes involvement in class activities including discussions, note taking, and attentiveness. Sleeping during class will be considered an absence for that day. Excessive absences (more than 3 classes) will result in your removal from class. You will be notified by email if you will be withdrawn from class. (See Attendance Policy).

No Show Status: Class attendance is required beginning the first week of the term. If you do not attend class during the first week, you may be withdrawn from the class as a ‘no show’. In this event you will be billed for the class and a “W” will appear on your transcript for the course.

Evaluations: There will also be 5 quizzes throughout the class. Each quiz is worth 25 points. You will be able to drop your lowest quiz grade. Therefore, if you miss a quiz, you will be unable to make it up; it will become your dropped quiz. There also will be a Final Exam, scheduled during Final Exam week, on December 12 from 7am-9:30am, worth 100 points. Quizzes and tests will cover information presented in class and textbook material. They may be in the format of multiple guess, true/false, matching and/or short-essay.

All tests must be taken on or before dates assigned. Make-up exams are available only by the explicit consent of the professor which will only be granted in extreme emergency cases. Documentation of extreme emergencies will be required and is up to the discretion of the professor. The final exam must be taken on the date published for final exams.

Note: If you miss an exam or deadline date for an assignment, you have only 24 hours from the time of class to contact me regarding a make-up. I can be reached via my atlas email account or yahoo email account. If a make-up is granted (only in cases with a documented, valid reason), you have up to 3 days (from the due date) to complete the make-up. Even with an approved make-up, there will still be a 10% PENALTY on the assignment or exam

Papers: You will also be required to write one research paper covering the most recent treatment strategies for a disorder. You may look at various treatment modalities, including therapy or medication treatments. There are several books in the library called The Annual Editions, on reserve in the library. Annual Editions cover many different areas of psychology including educational, human development and general psychology. You may choose your topic out of these books or you may be able to find another journal article of interest to you that will meet the criteria. Please have your research topic approved by the professor to ensure that it meets the criteria. Your paper must be APA formatted with a works cited page. You must have your name and class time on the title page. Research papers should be a minimum of 3-5 pages in length and at least one of your three references must be after 2000. The paper will be worth 100 points. This paper is due on November 19, 2007. Your paper is due on your normal class meeting day or can be turned in early. Points will be deducted if the paper is not in this format or is turned in late! If you have questions about the paper, please see me.


Quizzes: 100 points (25 points each)

Final Exam: 100 points

Research Paper:100 points

TOTAL POINTS: 300 pts.

Your grade will be computed on a total-points system. To find your average, simply add up your total points earned and divide by the total number of possible points (300 points).

Grading System:

A = 90% - 100 %

B = 80% - 89%

C = 70% - 79%

D = 60% - 69%

F = Below 60%

Classroom Courtesy: Please remember to turn off your cell phones, pages, and Ipods and remove any earphones before class starts. Ball caps are to be removed during quizzes and exams. Treat others, their property, and their opinions with respect. Text messaging in class is against classroom policies. If you are in violation of any of the policies, you may be asked to leave the class for the day. Repeat violations can lead to withdrawal from the class.

E-MAIL: Check your Atlas account regularly. I will send e-mails to the entire class and to individuals if I need to notify you of changes between class meetings. Be advised that some providers are not compatible with Atlas and forwarded e-mails may be blocked or treated as SPAM.

Competencies Addressed:

Valencia Student Competencies: This course seeks to reinforce the following Valencia Student Competencies: Think, clearly, critically, and creatively by analyzing, synthesizing, integrating, and evaluating symbolic works and truth claims. Reflect on your own and others’ values from the individual, cultural, and global perspectives. Communicate by reading, listening, writing, and speaking effectively. Act purposefully, reflectively, and responsibly by implementing effective problem solving and decision making strategies.

CLAST Competencies: Certain CLAST competencies are required in this course.

Please see additional policies and procedures for more information.


Department Website:



/ The College has initiated withdrawal procedures and timelines in response to legislation/rules adopted by the state legislature and State Board of Community Colleges. The deadline to withdrawal from this course is in the current catalog, and is also available online at After that date, if you withdraw or are withdrawn from the course, you will be assigned either a “WP” (withdrawn passing) or a “WF” (withdrawn failing). Additional information is available in the College Catalog (
Competencies / Valencia faculty have defined four interrelating competencies (Think, Value, Communicate, Act) that prepare students to succeed in the world community. These competencies are outlined in the College Catalog. In this course, through classroom lecture and discussion, group work, and other learning activities, you will further your mastery of those core competencies. Additional information is available in the College Catalog (
Competencies / The College-Level Academic Skills Test (CLAST) measures the following: reading skills, essay skill, English language skills, and mathematics skills. To the extent possible, you will be encouraged to develop these skills as part of you work in this course. Additional information is available in the College Catalog (



/ All forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited at Valencia. Academic dishonesty included, but is not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, furnishing false information, forgery, alteration or misuse of documents, misconduct during a testing situation, and misuse of identification with intent to defraud or deceive. Sanctions available to the professor should a violation occur are described in the Valencia Student Handbook or online at

Student Code of

Classroom Conduct / Valencia is dedicated not only to the advancement of knowledge and learning, but is concerned with the development of responsible personal and social conduct. By enrolling at Valencia, a student assumes the responsibility for becoming familiar with and abiding by the general rules of conduct. The primary responsibility for managing the classroom environment rests with the professor. Students who engage in any prohibited or unlawful acts that result in disruption of a class may be directed by the professor to leave the class. Violation of any Valencia policies/procedures or classroom rules may lead to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the College. Disciplinary action could include being withdrawn from the class, disciplinary warning, probation, suspension, expulsion, or other appropriate and authorized actions. Valencia’s Student Code of Classroom Conduct (Policy 10-18) can be found in the current Student handbook, or online at

Students with Disabilities

/ "Students with disabilities who qualify for academic accommodations must provide a notification from the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) and discuss specific needs with the instructor, preferably during the first two weeks of class. The Office for Students with Disabilities determines accommodations based on appropriate documentation of disabilities. The East Campus Office is located in Building 5, Room 216."

Final Exam

/ All professors are required to give final examinations to all credit students (except those taking course work for audit) during the scheduled final examination period. The type and nature of the final examination rests with the supervising administrator and the individual professor and the final examination for this course is December 12, 2007. Students wishing to take the final examination on a date or at time different from the posted final examination schedule must receive approval from the faculty and dean prior to the final examination period available at
Valencia’s Final Exam (Policy 05-12) can be found online at

Cell Phones

/ Students are required to turn off all cell phones and pagers before the beginning of class. If a cell phone or pager vibrates or is audible, the student may be asked to turn it off or leave for the remainder of the class. If there is an emergency situation warranting the use of a cell phone or pager during class time, the student must notify the professor in writing prior to the beginning of class. During a testing situation, if a cell phone or pager vibrates or is audible, the student’s quiz, test, or examination will be collected and the student will be asked to leave without an option for completion.
Internet Research / Because of the variety of sources, ease of publication, lack of central control and proliferation of commercial information on the free Internet, it is often hard to tell if the information is reliable. Many sites contain research and information of high quality. However, unlike traditional print publications or library-based electronic resources, there is usually no process of peer review, nor is there an editor verifying the accuracy of information presented on the Internet. There are an increasing number of sites containing information that may be incomplete, anonymously written, out-of-date, biased, fraudulent, or whose content may not be factual. Students should, therefore, use caution in use of the free Internet for their research needs. For academic topics that are addressed in scholarly literature, use of electronic databases or visiting the library may better meet your needs. However, each professor makes the final determination of what is or is not accepted as a valid source so review the syllabus for specific guidelines from your professor.
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****This outline may be altered, at the professor’s discretion, during the course of the term. It is the responsibility of the student to make any adjustments as announced.****