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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 18-Jan-24

Spring 2024 | PSY-2280-VO01 - Positive Psychology

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: 01-23-2024 to 05-06-2024
Last day to drop without a grade: 02-11-2024 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 03-24-2024 - Refund Policy
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration


Patricia Cook
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Philip Crossman

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following CCV General Education Requirement(s) for the current catalog year:
VSCS 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 examines factors under which humans are best able to thrive, providing tools and practices for healthy living. Positive psychology focuses on positive human growth and potential. Students explore how the principles of Positive Psychology relate to the overall well-being of individuals and communities.

Essential Objectives

1. Examine the aim and scope of positive psychology, including its origins and relationship to the wider field of Psychology.
2. Discuss and analyze research topics in the field of Positive Psychology, including physical and mental health, resilience, well-being, and character.
3. Examine the value of work, family and community relationships and their impact on resilience, motivation, and wellbeing.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method and evaluate quantitative and qualitative data as applied to human behavior.
5. Apply evidence-based tools and intervention strategies found in the field of Positive Psychology.
6. Explore the career opportunities available in the field of Positive Psychology.
7. Examine the limitations of this field as they relate to social and personal inequities, including the ways those inequities may influence an individual’s ability to realize positive human growth and potential.

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.


Intro: Positive Psychology is not a spectator sport. It requires an active online community of supportive classmates.Students have called this class life changing. I hope it is for you. I hope at the end of the semester, you’ll be able to say what you learned helped develop and increase your sense of well-being, optimism, and flourishing. However, it is important to know that this is an upper-level psychology class, and I have high standards. This will not be an easy A where we talk about being happy (although we do learn about happiness research-grin).

This course examines the best factors under which humans can thrive, providing tools and practices for healthy living. Positive psychology focuses on helping people understand and enhance their strengths and virtues so that they may lead fulfilling lives. Rather than emphasizing mental disorders and problems, positive psychology focuses on how individuals cultivate positive well-being and life satisfaction.

Evaluation Criteria

Hi...welcome to Positive Psychology. Please reach out with any questions. Dr. Cook patricia.cook@ccv.edu

Here is video to give you a brief overview of class:


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

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments


Topic Calendar (may be modified):

WEEK 1: Introduction to our Class, Positive Psychology and Character Strengths

WEEK 2: What Positive Psychology Is & Isn’t AND Importance of APA Citation

WEEK 3: What Positive Psychology Is & Isn’t and Why it Matters AND More APA Citation

WEEK 4: Character Strengths and Positive Psychology Interventions

WEEK 5: Traveling to the Blue Zones

WEEK 6: Positive Psychology Research and Mindfulness

WEEK 7: Growth Mindset

WEEK 8: PERMA Theory of Well-Being, Part 1: PERMA and Positive Emotions

WEEK 9: PERMA Theory of Well-Being, Part 2: Engagement/Flow

WEEK 10: PERMA Theory of Well-Being, Part 3: Relationships

WEEK 11: PERMA Theory of Well-Being, Part 4: Meaning & Accomplishment & Grit

WEEK 12: Intro to Resilience

WEEK 13: Happiness

WEEK 14: Presentation of Individual Projects

WEEK15: Closing & The Future of Positive Psychology and Our Futures Too


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

Hi...welcome to Positive Psychology. Please reach out with any questions. Dr. Cook patricia.cook@ccv.edu

Here is video to give you a brief overview of class:



Books & Other Course Material Information: We have 2 primary textbooks for this class; both will be available through the Canvas site so you don’t have to buy them. However, I know some students like to have an actual book especially since we read all the books. I know students also buy them to have a break from screen time. You can find both books for a very reasonable price. If you do want to order, here is info:

· Positive Psychology in a Nutshell: The science of happiness (3rd edition) by Ilona Boniwell (McGraw Hill: Open University Press, 2012)

· The Strengths-Based Workbook for Stress Relief: A Character Strengths Approach to Finding Calm in the Chaos of Daily Life by Ryan Niemiec (New Harbinger Publications, 2019).

· One key element that's essential for this class to be fun, useful, and fulfilling for all of us: we must make connections. We must quickly become a trusting community of learners; a small group of people walking in the same direction to achieve a common goal: a more complete understanding of and approach to Positive Psychology and the science of well-being.

Flow & Organization of Class:

*For class to be a successful learning environment, it’s important to check-in on the Canvas site regularly throughout the week.

*Class runs Tuesday to Monday. I usually open the next week’s class on Monday afternoon, the day before the week starts. I do it this way because I include review and feedback audio and video messages (that I record early Monday morning!) in the week’s course materials. These messages highlight the key ideas from the week and transition us to the next week’s topics.

The flow of class is the same every week:

Tuesday through Friday: review week’s module, read, watch, listen to course materials, and work on assignments.

By Saturday at NOON: Post in Discussion Forum Assignment.

By Sunday and Early Monday: Engagement and at least 3-5+ responses in Discussion Forum.

By Monday at MIDNIGHT: Complete Variety assignment.


70% Discussion Forums / 20% Rotating Assignments / 10% Individual Project

Discussion Forums-Posts AND Responses: 70%

The Discussion Forum every week is based on exploring and applying what we’re learning about

that week through the readings, videos, and podcasts.

Variety Assignments: 30%

Most weeks there is what I call Variety assignments. These assignments include journals, choice assignments, mini-experiments, Positive Psychology Interventions, or other learning activities.

Individual Project: 10%

The individual project has a variety of formats to choose from.

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.