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Course Materials

Course Prerequisites

There are no particular prerequisites for this course. However, you will be required to read, understand, and evaluate articles and speeches. You will also be asked to openly explore your own background, feelings, and experiences which you will then share with me. Finally, as this is a college course, you will be expected to produce high quality work with few, if any errors, which demonstrates thoughtfulness, effort, and understanding of the material and ideas presented. Your mastery of the concepts and ideas will also be assessed through a final examination.

BYU Course Outcomes

  1. Understand developmental theories as they relate to young adult development, and evaluate your individual progress within the scope of these theories.
  2. Learn the main components of decision making and come to a better understanding of your personal decision making style and ways in which you may want/need to adapt it to better suit your needs.
  3. Become familiar with basic concepts of personality development and be able to identify your individual personality strengths and challenges.
  4. Learn the components of goal setting and accomplishment and be able to set attainable goals for yourself.
  5. Learn the principles of time management and how it applies to decision making and life planning.

Course Objectives

This course is designed to allow college students to learn about and focus attention on important life tasks related to the young adult and adult life stages. It is heavily focused on the development of identity, self-awareness, and self-understanding as they serve as a basis for life planning and making important life decisions.

By the end of this course, I want you to:

Course Materials

For this course, you will need a copy of My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok. This novel is available at most bookstores and online retailers. Any copy of the publication will do.

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This section provides you with an overview of the lessons required for the course. I have also provided a checklist to help you track your progress. This course will consist of eleven lessons and a comprehensive final exam. Each lesson is briefly described below. Most lessons consist of a short reading, followed by an activity, self-assessment, or short reaction paper which will be submitted to the instructor.

**The assignments begun in Lessons 1 and 2 will be completed over the entire course and will be turned in just prior to the final exam. They will require at least 3 weeks to complete.

Lessons 3–7 focus on those developmental tasks and themes that are specific to young adults.

Philosophy of Life Paper

After finishing all of the coursework, you will create your own philosophy of life. This project is described in greater detail in Lesson 1.

Capstone Project

You will turn in your capstone project just prior to your final exam. This project is explained in detail in Lesson 2.

Progress and Completion

Below is a table to facilitate tracking of your progress and completion of assignments. The point value is also included.

Lesson Description Assignment Point Value
#1 Developing a Meaningful Philosophy of Life Philosophy of Life Paper (submit part A, 10 pts., during lesson 1 and part B, 40 pts., at the end of the course) 50
#2 And Men Are That They Might Have Joy - 2 Nephi 2:25 Capstone Project (submit at the end of the course) 180
  Readings Reflection Reflections on Happiness 10
#3 Life Span Development Life Cycle Worksheet (10 pts.) and Erickson Self-Assessment (40 pts.) 50
#4 Young Adult Development Chickering Self-Assessment 50
#5 Developing Identity, the Story of Asher Lev Asher Lev Questions and Response Paper 50
#6 The Influence of Culture, Ethnicity, and Gender on Identity Identity Activity/Paper 10
    Identity Self-Assessment 40
#7 Cognitive Development Self-Assessment of Cognitive Development 50
#8 Exploring Your Personal Values Values Exercises 75
#9 Career Decision Making Career Decision Making Self-Assessment 50
#10 Spiritual Aspects of Decision Making Article Reaction Paper 50
#11 Integration and Application Interview Questions 20
    Self-Assessment Exercise 50
Exam Final Exam   225
  Total Points   960

Saving and Submitting Assignments

You will submit your completed paper and/or work to Independent Study electronically throughout your course. To make sure that I can open and read your paper, please save it as an .RTF (rich text format) file.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Type your paper in a word-processing program (such as Microsoft Word).
  2. When you save the file, click the Save as type: drop-down list.
  3. Select Rich Text Format (*.rtf).
  4. Use the course number, your first and last name, and the assignment name for the filename. For example, “STDEV140_TylerPedersen_ReactionPaper.rtf.”
  5. Click Save.
  6. Submit the lesson’s .RTF file through the Lesson/Assignment Title assignment for grading.

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The final exam will assess the degree of mastery you have obtained over the material. It will assess whether or not you’ve understood the concepts discussed as well as your ability to apply your knowledge to specific situations.

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Your work in this course will be based on the following criteria:

Did you follow the directions and complete each assignment as instructed?

Does your work indicate a high level of self-exploration, effort, and reflection? This course is about your own thoughts, feelings, experiences, and your responses to the material presented. You need to read and understand the ideas presented, then reflect upon them, and attempt to apply them to your own life and experiences. You will then share your thoughts with me via response papers. Simply demonstrating that you’ve read and understood the material will not suffice for a good grade. Application to your own life is required.

This is a college level course; hence, proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation will be expected in your work. All response papers must be typed. Poor writing, multiple errors, and generally poor quality work will not receive high marks.

Your total score will be compared to the grading scale below in order to obtain your final grade.

A 100–94% C 76–73%
A− 93–91% C− 72–70%
B+ 90–87% D+ 69–67%
B 86–83% D 66–65%
B− 82–80% D− 64–63%
C+ 79–77% E (fail) 62% and below

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


15 instructor-graded assignments, may resubmit once for a fee.

Resubmit an assignment for a fee.


1 proctored, computer-graded exam, may retake once for a fee, must pass to earn credit for the course.

Retake an exam for a fee.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.

Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.

Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
120 MORC
Provo, Utah 84602-1514