Syllabus for AOJ-303



White Collar Crime (AOJ-303) explores the nature and problems of crime committed by those in a position of trust, including its historic roots; causal factors in American life and society; activities, the problems of corruption and graft; the economic impact of criminal activities; and the development of strategies to control and prosecute those involved in this type of crime.


After completing this course, you should be able to: 

  1. Explain the criminal and sociological history of white collar crime.
  2. Identify basic characteristics and classifications of white collar crime, its causes, and what its consequences are for individuals and society at large.
  3. Discuss the various aspects of corporate, avocational, and occupational White Collar Crime.
  4. Define governmental White Collar Crime and discuss why it is difficult to obliterate.
  5. Discuss political White Collar crime and how it differs from state crime or state organized crime.
  6. Define and discuss, enterprise crime, contrepreneurial crime, and technocrime as they relate to White Collar Crime.
  7. Explain the main differences and similarities between civil and criminal law, and discuss the principal sources of lawmaking that pertain to White Collar Crime.
  8. Discuss the role of state and federal law enforcement agencies and the federal regulatory agencies that deal with White Collar Crime.
  9. Discuss how consciousness can be raised in society regarding White Collar Crime.
  10. Evaluate, critique, and rank the relative usefulness of some hypotheses for explaining certain case studies and how lessons learned can be applied in a preventative and investigative perspective.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

ISBN-13: 978-0495600824


White Collar Crime is a three-credit online course, consisting of eight modules. Modules include learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

The workload for a typical module involves reading one or two chapters in your textbook, participating in an online discussion, submitting a written assignment that consists of four essay questions, and for modules 6 and 8, reviewing a particular case (links are provided) and submitting a written analysis of that case.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in eight online discussion forums, complete eight written assignments, and complete two case analyses. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

During the course of your study for White Collar Crime you are required to participate in eight online discussions, one per module.  In addition, you have the opportunity during the first week of the course to introduce yourself online and get to know your fellow classmates.

Communication with your mentor and among your fellow classmates is a critical component of online learning.  Participation in online discussions involves two distinct assignments: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and subsequent comments on classmates' responses.

You will be evaluated both on the quality of your responses (i.e., your understanding of readings and concepts as demonstrated by well-articulated, critical thinking) and the quantity of your participation (i.e., the number of times you participate meaningfully in the assigned forums).  Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Meaningful participation in online discussion is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion.  Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation.  Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement.

Written Assignments

For each of the eight modules that make up  White Collar Crime, you are required to submit a written assignment that consists of answering four essay questions. 

For modules 6 and 8 your are required to produce a written analysis of a particular case.

For detailed information about these assignments and links to the individual cases, see the individual assignment Modules.

Prepare your written assignments using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.

Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.

Case Analysis

For Modules 6 and 8 you are required to produce and submit a detailed analysis of a particular case. 

For detailed information about what you should include in these assignments and links to Web sites containing the material you will need to produce your work, see the individual assignment modules.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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