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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 12-Nov-22

Spring 2023 | PSY-2060-VO01 - Psychopathology

Online Class

Online courses take place 100% online via Canvas, without required in-person or Zoom meetings.

Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 01-24-2023 to 05-08-2023
Last day to drop without a grade: 02-12-2023 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 03-26-2023 - Refund Policy
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration


Robert Mandatta
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Kate Hughes

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following VSC General Education Requirement(s) for Catalog Year 21-22 and later:
Social Sciences
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program catalog year page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the study of psychopathology which explores the description, classification, and treatment of mental disorders. Topics will include anxiety disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia, and childhood disorders.

Essential Objectives

1. Analyze the shifting concept of maladaptive behavior within the cross-cultural spectrum of human conduct.
2. Describe the development of psychopathology as a scientific discipline.
3. Compare and contrast the major paradigms in psychopathology including biological, psychoanalytic, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, and sociocultural models.
4. Describe common symptoms and treatments of mental disorders including anxiety, mood, somatic, dissociative, sexual, and psychotic disorders.
5. Identify and analyze several legal and ethical issues surrounding the research and treatment of mental disorders.
6. Distinguish between fact and opinion, recognize unstated assumptions, and evaluate arguments according to the quality of supporting evidence in the literature.
7. Locate, select, and effectively use research materials that address specific problems in psychopathology.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

This course only uses free Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials. For details, see the Canvas Site for this class.


No prior experience with online learning is required for this course, just a willingness to learn and the self-discipline to stay focused for this rich, multimedia immersion into the fascinating world of psychopathology.

It also doesn't matter where you begin the course in terms of academic skill -- advanced or new to college level learning, all are welcome!

This course does not use Zoom or require you to be online at a specific time. Nor is it a conventional course with a textbook, quizzes, and papers that are privately submitted to the course instructor. It differs from such traditional college courses, both in person and online, in several key ways, including the following:

-- The learning is interactive and peer-based, which means that all of your work will be posted at our class Discussion forums where you must interact with your colleagues in weekly Q&A sessions.

-- Instead of reading a textbook you'll be using a variety of free online sources in different types of media (scholarly text articles, videos, podcasts, etc.).

-- You'll focus on case studies, primarily of real-life Vermonters, as well as on your own experience and those you know best.

-- You'll learn how to find your own valid online sources and mixed media to use in your posts.

-- You'll identify a current leader for diagnosed Vermonters and create a mixed media presentation about their leadership style and vision.

-- You'll assess your learning at the end of this course after exploring professional options.

Evaluation Criteria

1. I assess how well you identify and explain behaviors, thoughts, opinions, beliefs, and feelings, especially when analyzing your own experience and our weekly case studies. What evidence or expert opinion do you rely upon?

(See, e.g., "Distinguishing Fact, Opinion, Belief and Prejudice" @https://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/co300man/pop12d.cfm)

2. I encourage clarity of thought and cleverness of expression, as well as sound academic writing, citing, and posting with mixed media at Canvas. While I welcome brief tangents, I expect you to have addressed the point of each assignment.

3. Naturally, I prefer posts that are interesting, thoughtful, and thought-provoking, the kind that invite serious discussion with your course colleagues about the week's overall topic and related issues.

4. I gauge your interest and note how well you participate in the Discussion Q&A -- are you engaged and helping to build an online learning community with your course colleagues?

5. I ultimately evaluate the extent to which you have demonstrated growth of academic and professional skills in our field of study, as well as their application to your personal life and career goals.

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Participation Expectations

Due to the interactive nature of online learning, your work must be posted to count, and you cannot make up missed work after the week has ended. You must post at least once during the 24/7 class week to be marked Present.

I offer one Free Week of five points for anynon-examDiscussion in case of a conflict (such as personal illness, family emergency, or bereavement).

If you encounter technical problems with your computer or server--which happens to all of us periodically--please post from your nearest CCV academic center, your local public library, a wifi cafe, or by using a public wifi hotspot (https://publicservice.vermont.gov/content/public-wifi-hotspots-vermont).

Please note that attendance is not the same as participation, and 100% of your final grade is earned by participating in the class meetings held at our weekly Discussions (see "Methods" above).

If you miss three or more weeks, you cannot earn academic credit for the course, although you are welcome to participate for learning's sake.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.