A Long and Winding Road: College, Goals and Dreams
San Jose State University Fall 2010
MUSE/Psych 96Q Sec 1: 3 units 
10:30 am – 11:45 am
Clark Hall 133 Monday/Wednesday

Dr. Steve Del Chiaro                                                                                      Peer Mentor: Justin Hunter
Phone: (408) 924-5610                                                                                  Email:
Office: DMH 318                  
Tuesday and Thursday, 9:00 am till 10:00 am and by appointment.
Email: delchiaros@gmail.com, sdelchia@email.sjsu.edu
Web page: www.drdelchiaro.com

Note:  I generally respond very quickly to email. I answer over 200 emails every week, so try to keep the emails short and specific. Remember this is a college course, so write your emails more professionally and respectfully than you would write to a friend: check spelling and grammar. NEVER email an assignment.  If I do not respond to your email within 24 hours please resend it to me.

Link to Syllabus in Word Document

Course Description:

            What does college do to people? How do I “do” college? How do people “grow up”? When do I become a grown-up? What if I am not as smart as I thought I was? What am I doing here? How am I going to get from here to the rest of my life?

            These are common, but rarely voiced, questions of incoming students. All too often in college, students are expected to perform and behave as adults, when just a few weeks ago, they were in high school. They are told repeatedly in high school that college is different, but they are not informed as to the nature of these differences. College is full of challenges and choices, but they have had a lifetime of being told what to do. For the first time, they must make choices that may affect their life, when getting out of bed on time for class can be a challenge.

            This class addresses these issues at personal, interpersonal, physiological, and academic levels. We will investigate how people, particularly college students, develop, and how education affects this development. Students will learn about forming and achieving goals, making choices, and changing their behaviors to direct their development into adulthood. Along the way, you will learn about how to succeed in college. This is a course about meeting the challenges of adulthood and thriving as a person in college and beyond.

Introduction to MUSE

            University-level study is different from what you experienced in high school. The Metropolitan University Scholar’s Experience (MUSE) is designed to help make your transition into college a success by helping you develop the skills and attitude needed for the intellectual engagement and challenge of in-depth university-level study. Discovery, research, critical thinking, written work, attention to the rich cultural diversity of the campus, and active discussion will be key parts of this MUSE course. Enrollment in MUSE courses is limited to a small number of students because these courses are intended to be highly interactive and allow you to easily interact with your professor and fellow students. MUSE courses explore topics and issues from an interdisciplinary focus to show how interesting and important ideas can be viewed from different perspectives.

Learning Objectives and Activities for this Course

            This course qualifies as an Area E (Human Understanding and Development) course in your General Education requirements. It is designed to enable you to achieve the following learning outcomes:

1.      To recognize the physiological, social/cultural, and psychological influences on personal well being.

·        Students will read and reflect on essays concerning personal development in a variety of cultures.

·        Students will write a scholarly paper on physiological issues of well-being.

·        Students will complete a number of self assessment exercises regarding issues such as personality, learning styles, self esteem and study habits.

2.      To recognize the interrelation of the physiological, social/cultural, and psychological factors on their development across the lifespan.

·        Students will learn theories and the process of human development.

·        Students will understand how change and stress affect them.

·        Students will increase their coping ability with consequent stress reduction and understand the concept of wellness.

3.      To use appropriate social skills to enhance learning and develop positive interpersonal relationships with diverse groups and individuals.

·        Students will examine and challenge their beliefs, values, and attitudes, particularly with regard to education.

·        Students will openly examine their relationships with others through interaction and discussion.

4.      To recognize themselves as individuals undergoing a particular stage of human development and recognize how their well-being is affected by the university’s academic and social systems, and how they can facilitate their development within the university environment.

·        Students will experience the diverse campus intellectual and social activities and present their reflection on these activities to the class.

·        Students will become acclimated to both the intellectual and social activities of SJSU.

·        Students will think and write about their future, set long and short term goals and determine areas for future behavior change.

5.      To understand the learning process and your responsibility and role in it. (MUSE)

·        multiple critical writing assignments

·        group work

·        class discussions and group presentations

·        readings

·        library research

6.      To know what it means to be a member of a metropolitan university community. (MUSE)

·        Students will attend a minimum of 3 MUSE events/workshops to help them learn about university resources and activities and discuss them with the class.

·        Students will participate in group activities to facilitate active learning.

·        Students will attend a minimum of 2 on-campus, non-MUSE events to provide with a breadth of campus experiences.

Student Learning Objectives

            Students will:

        learn theories and the process of human development, particularly as it pertains to them.

        understand how stress affects physiology

        understand the neural mechanisms involved in attention, learning and memory

        recognize the specific biological and social systems which facilitate their well-being and personal growth

        increase their coping ability with consequent stress reduction

        understand how they as an individual learn, and how to apply specific strategies of learning styles to their college work

        explain and describe differences and similarities between their own life and others of different backgrounds

        become acclimated to both the intellectual and social activities of SJSU (MUSE).

Required Texts

            Note: Required means you are to purchase and use these books. Do not shoot yourself in the foot by putting off the purchase of these books or failing to use them.

Sellers, D., Dochen, C. W., & Hodges, R. (2005) Academic Transformation: The Road to College Success. Pearson Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, N.J.

Pick one of the following (whichever looks the most interesting and readable to you):

Gillan, M. M. and Gillan, J. (Eds.) (1999) Growing Up Ethnic in America: Contemporary Fiction About Learning to Be American. Penguin Books


O’Hearn, C. C. (Ed.) (1998) Half and Half: Writers on Growing up Biracial and Bicultural. Pantheon Pub.

Course Activities

            This is a seminar course in human development. At some class meetings, we will do activities to familiarize you with university life. At others we will discuss various readings. The schedule (tentative) lists the various assignments and course components. 

300 points – Text Exercises

In each chapter there are numerous exercises. I will assign various exercises for each chapter. You must complete all of the assigned exercises to receive points for the chapter. Each set/chapter of exercises is worth 25 points. These are due at the beginning of class in your folder.

100 points – Class Participation

Being in class, listening and asking questions are all important. Skipping class is the number one reason for failing a class. Points will be awarded for asking good questions, and participating in discussions. Class attendance alone will not be enough to earn these points. Speak up and be heard!

150 points - Reflection Papers

There will be 3 reflection papers on readings in either of the two books: Growing Up Ethnic in America: Contemporary Fiction About Learning to Be American or Half and Half: Writers on Growing Up Biracial and Bicultural. You may choose which book you want to read and which readings on which you wish to reflect. For each paper, select 3 of the essays/stories and discuss your ideas about them. Be sure to include similarities and differences among the readings and with yourself. Each paper is to be at least 250 words long. Completing all of these assignments on time (i.e. handing them in at the beginning of class) is worth 30 points of the total paper grade.

150 points – Scholarly paper

There will be one term paper based on scholarly material. You will investigate one of the following topics:

Physiological Effects of Stress on College Students

Memory and How it Works

Physiological Aspects of Attention and Learning

You will find and read at least 3 scholarly sources on one of the topics and write a report on your findings. We will visit the library early in the semester, so you will know how to find appropriate source material. The paper should be at least 750 words long. You may not quote material from any source. We will discuss writing the paper and citing sources in class.

A list of sources is due in class on 10/10; a complete rough draft of your paper is due 10/31. Completing these two assignments on time (i.e. handing them in at the beginning of class) is worth 50 points of the total paper grade.

100 points - Campus Event Reports, and MUSE Workshops:

You will attend 2 non-MUSE events on campus, and 3 MUSE workshops. Each event is worth 20 points

For MUSE workshops, you must attend with at least one other person in the class. At the beginning of the following class, each person attending the event will share with the rest of the class what they learned. If an exam is scheduled, the presentation will occur the class period after the exam.

For non–MUSE events, you can attend theater presentations, concerts, art exhibits, invited speakers, club meetings, sporting events, etc. (just no movies, please). They must be on campus events. After attending each event, simply turn in proof that you went.

0 points –  Course Folder

            You went will need to put all your assignments in your course folder.  This is to be a paper folder.  No hard cover folders will be accepted.  This is so you can keep everything in one place, and it allows me to grade it more efficiently.  You will have your sections tabbed and labeled.  Failure to place your assignments in the course folder will result in a 0 for the assignment.

150 points - Exams

            There are 2 midterms and a final. Each is worth 50 points. The final is comprehensive and will include questions from both the course material and MUSE related course objectives. Questions will be both multiple choice and essay. Bring a Scantron (882 ES or EZ), a number 2 pencil, good eraser, pen, whiteout tape and several sheets of 8 ½ x 11 inch binder paper.

0 points – Library Tutorials Required

            You need to earn 80% or more on 2 library tutorials to pass this class: Library basics and Plagiarism. These must be completed by 10/24. Go on line to

http://www.sjlibrary.org/gateways/academic/ and click on online tutorials in the left margin. Follow the directions carefully.

Course Grades (Assuming 80% each on the 2 Library Tutorials)

A = 920 – 1000 points
B = 820 – 910 points
C = 720 – 810 points,    

D = 620 – 710 points

F = below 610 points

Course grades of C- and below will not meet GE requirements.

Unlike high school, I do not give extra credit to raise your grade. 

In general, the following criteria and philosophy will be used when grading student work.




A = 4

Excellent, scholarly, advanced college level, perfect grammar, original, creative ideas and delivery, impressive; excellent proofreading

B = 3

Very good college level work exceeds requirement, creative, thought provoking, grammar and proofreading acceptable.

C = 2

Met requirement could improve in grammar, depth, consistency, and originality of thought.

D = 1

Needs attention to grammar, content, sentence structure and syntax, and assignment objectives.

F = 0

What on earth happened? Failed to meet assignment requirements. Talk to instructor about improving.

Academic Integrity

             Academic integrity is essential to the mission of San José State University.  As such, students are expected to perform their own work (except when collaboration is expressly permitted by the course instructor). Students are not permitted to use old tests or quizzes when preparing for exams, nor may they consult with students who have already taken the exam. When practiced, academic integrity ensures that all students are fairly graded. Violations to the Academic Integrity Policy undermine the educational process and will not be tolerated.  It also demonstrates a lack of respect for oneself, fellow students and the course instructor and can ruin the university’s reputation and the value of the degrees it offers.


We all share the obligation to maintain an environment which practices academic integrity.  Violators of the Academic Integrity Policy will be subject to failing this course and being


reported to the Office of Judicial Affairs for disciplinary action which could result in suspension or expulsion from San José State University.


The policy on academic integrity can be found at (http://sa.sjsu.edu/student_conduct)

CHEATING:At SJSU, cheating is the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain credit for academic work through the use of any dishonest, deceptive, or fraudulent means. Cheating at SJSU includes but is not limited to:

Copying in part or in whole, from another’s test or other evaluation instrument; Submitting work previously graded in another course unless this has been approved by the course instructor or by departmental policy. Submitting work simultaneously presented in two courses, unless this has been approved by both course instructors or by departmental policy.  Altering or interfering with grading or grading instructions; Sitting for an examination by a surrogate, or as a surrogate; any other act committed by a student in the course of his or her academic work which defrauds or misrepresents, including aiding or abetting in any of the actions defined above.

At SJSU plagiarism is the act of representing the work of another as one’s own (without giving appropriate credit) regardless of how that work was obtained, and submitting it to fulfill academic requirements. Plagiarism at SJSU includes but is not limited to:

The act of incorporating the ideas, words, sentences, paragraphs, or parts thereof, or the specific substances of another’s work, without giving appropriate credit, and representing the product as one’s own work; and representing another’s artistic/scholarly works such as musical compositions, computer programs, photographs, painting, drawing, sculptures, or similar works as one’s own.
 Finally, if you are not thoroughly familiar with the Academic Integrity Policy at SJSU, please read it online at http://www2.sjsu.edu/senate/S04-12.pdf. In brief:

If you have any questions regarding this policy, please ask!

How to Succeed in This Course & Class Etiquette

*    You must come to class prepared. “Prepared” means that you read the assignment for that class (and it was reading to understand, rather than just to finish it), completed the homework before class starts, and written down any questions you had from the assignment. You should be as prepared as you expect your professor to be.

*    Class begins on time. Please be respectful of each other in class. It is rude and disruptive to the entire class if people are coming and going during class time. Please take care of your business prior to the start of class and if you need to leave early or come late, inform me in advance. I deduct discussion points if your cell phones/pages/timers/any beeping devices ring during class time, so please turn them off. I will personally answer any phones that ring during class. Independent discussions should not be happening when someone is addressing the class. 

*    “Discussions” in this seminar are not “just lazing around and talking” sessions. I expect you to be guided by your readings and any questions I may present before and during discussions. You are thoughtful people and I expect you to use your brains!

*    Unlike high school, your teacher should not necessarily be viewed as your “instructor,” but instead as a facilitator and advisor to help you in your learning process. Particularly as a university student, you must take responsibility to learn, through your attitude, time commitment, eagerness to learn, open-mindedness to new ideas, participation in class, and willingness to explore a subject matter beyond the 3 hours per week of in-class work. Learning means not only expanding your knowledge and understanding of a subject matter, but also developing the skills to be able to further explore a subject matter (and related subjects) on your own.

*    Educated people are expected to know generally what is going on in the world. Please read the newspaper (San Jose Mercury News or the San Francisco Chronicle, not just the Spartan Daily) on a daily basis, or listen to National Public Radio (KQED 88.5) on your way to and from campus. You will be amazed at how much you learn!

*    Educated people are expected to read books that have not been assigned for a class. Please do so every day, even if it is only for a few minutes. The more you read, the better you will write, and the more you will learn. I have a large collection of novels of every description in my office; come in and borrow one if you need something to read.

*    Finally, word-processing is required for all homework exercises that require a written response, and ALL papers: 12 point font, with 1” margins. I will not accept hand-written work or emailed homework. For checklist type exercises, copy the page and use black pen. Neatness and legibility count.

*    All homework must be handed in on time to receive full credit.

*    During class, cell phones must be in a purse or backpack and turned off (NOT to vibrate). If you use a cell phone during a test, test review,  or in class writing, you will be referred to Judicial Affairs and receive a course grade of NC.

 Regarding Students with Disabilities

            If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities register with DRC to establish a record of their disability.

 Regarding Green Sheets

            In college, the green sheet (or syllabus) is considered an agreement between the professor and the student regarding all the necessary and important information pertaining to the course. The green sheet informs you about class policies, grading procedures, assignments, due dates, etc. It is your responsibility as the student to read and be aware of all information contained in your green sheet. In some cases, instructors will not answer any questions, provide reminders, or give examples if something has been covered in the green sheet.

            Given its importance, many students still fail to read and/or pay attention to their green sheet, and often throw it away immediately or cram it in the back of a notebook to wrinkle and tear. They then proceed through the semester completely unaware of what is expected of them, where their grade is coming from, and important information necessary for them to do well in their class. Every green sheet you receive should be read fully and carefully and kept available for regular reference. A green sheet is a tool required for college survival.


Regarding H1N1 Virus

Unless you have been living in a cave without any information from the outside world,  you know the World Health Organization anticipates a major pandemic of the H1N1 flu.  Please observe the following precautions:

    * Cover your cough with a tissue, then discard the tissue.

    * Wash your hands frequently with soap or hand sanitizer.

    * Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

    * Stay home if you feel sick. DO NOT COME TO CLASS.  Call the campus Health Center for advice: (408) 924-6120 General Info, *(408)924-6122 Appointments.*

    * Stay away from class for at least 24 hours after any fever has subsided.

    * Take special precautions if you are pregnant.

    * Contact your healthcare provider for vaccine information.

    * Keep in mind that regular exercise, a balanced diet, and a good night's sleep will strengthen    your resistance to cold and flu viruses and reduce the severity of illnesses.

The health center told me this summer that it will have vaccine for the students, but I am not sure if that is still the case, given the anticipated delays in production.  It may only cover those in the residence halls.  Additionally, make sure your provider knows that you work on a college campus.  We are apparently at higher risk than the "person on the street".

Peer Mentor

The Peer Mentor Program was designed to help ease the transition to SJSU by empowering students to help each other and themselves. Peer Mentors are among the best, brightest, and most diverse SJSU students. Peer Mentors are in the MUSE classrooms as well as available in the Peer Mentor Center located in the Success Center in Clark Hall.

Phone:  (408) 924-2198

Hours:  Monday-Thursday, 10:00am-4:00pm

Peer Mentors are linked to and attend individual MUSE seminars and work in the Peer Mentor Center. In the MUSE classroom or at the Peer Mentor Center, Peer Mentors facilitate discussions on academic coping skills (e.g., how to approach assignments, talk to a professor, use technology, or pick a major) and other student concerns (e.g., stress and time management, living in the residence halls, dealing with parents, food, exercise, gaming and the internet, finding resources on campus, making friends, and dating).

Peer Mentors are supervised by university faculty and serve as role models in the MUSE classroom, help with a variety of workshops, and work in the Peer Mentor Center.


Peer Course Calendar







August 25

Introduction to class and each other





August 30

Chap 1 Gearing Up for College Learning: What Type of Learner Are YOU?

Due: Exercises 1.1 and 1.3

September 1

Muse Activity - Getting to know you





September 6



September 8

Ch 2 Leaving High School Behind – Self Esteem Revisited.

Due: Exercises 2.1 and 2.5




September 13

Muse Campus Search pt 1


September 15

Muse Library Tour in King library 

Complete: Five Ways To Find Articles And Books Library Tutorial




September 20

Ch.3  What’s it All About? Study, Study Study: Efficient Studying

Due: Exercises 3.5, 3.6 and 3.7*

September 22

Campus Search pt 2

Bring what you found during campus search pt 1




September 27

What’s on the Test?  How to know without asking the professor.

Due: Exercises 4.2 and 4.5

September 29

Visit peer mentor center





October 4

Ch 5 Committing Yourself to College: Good Goal Setting for College and Beyond

Due: Exercises 5.1, and 5.4 Reflection Paper 1 due

October 6

Presentation on interacting with your professor inside and outside of the classroom.

4 year plans due today





October 11

Peer Mentor Activity

List of sources for scholarly paper due today




October 13

Exam Ch 1-5

Reflection Paper 2 due




October 18

Muse: Getting involved on campus: Student Activities


October 20

Ch 6 How did everyone else grow up

Due: Exercises 6.1, and 6.6




October 25

Muse: Peer Mentor presentation on Time Management

Due: Both Library Tutorials

October 27

Ch 7: Who Am I? Who are They?

Due: Exercises 7.1, 7.3, and 7.6

Rough Draft of Scholarly paper due today.





November 1

Ch 8: What will happen after college: Changing Goals into Behaviors

Due: Exercises 8.1, 8.3 and 8.4

November 3

Exam Ch 6-8





November 8

Ch 9: The Balancing Act: Out with the bad, in with the good.

Due: Exercises 9.1, 9.4 and 9.7

November 10

Surprise Outing

Scholarly Paper due




November 15

Ch 10: Stress: What it is, and how to manage it – The Psychology of Life

Due: Exercises 10.1 and 10.7; Do Exercise 10.4

November 17

Ch 11: The Brain?  What does that have to do with learning?

Due: Exercises 11.1 and 11.4




November 22

Ch 12: Your Personal Self Contained Scrapbook:  How to remember stuff.


November 24

Exam Ch 9-12





November 29



December 1

Ch 12: Your Personal Self Contained Scrapbook:  How to remember stuff.

Due: Exercises 12.1 and 12.2/ Journal Due




December 6

Pre-Final Activity


December 8

Wrap up and prepare for final exam





Thursday, December 16

9:45 am-12:00 pm


*Note: 3.5 and 3.6 involve taking notes in 2 different classes. Don’t leave it until the last minute.  Make copies of these notes.