Syllabus for SOC-322



Cultural Diversity in the United States investigates and explains the cultural, racial, and ethnic diversities in the United States through the lens of sociological investigation. Using fundamental tools of sociological inquiry and cultural learning, students engage in a socio-historical discovery of various waves of immigration, amalgamation, and assimilation to the United States. Political and policy initiatives that have affected diversity movements and the development of civil society in the United States are also examined.



After completing this course, you should be able to:

CO1        Analyze issues surrounding race, ethnicity, ethnocentrism, racism, majority/minority groups, intergroup relations, immigration, prejudice, and discrimination.

CO2        Examine the American and global implications of race, ethnicity, and diversity and their influence on social groups.

CO3        Compare the historical and contemporary experiences of various minority groups in the United States.

CO4        Evaluate the impact of laws and public policies in the United States on dominant group/subordinate group relations and the sociological implications of those policies.

CO5        Evaluate and create strategies to promote intercultural awareness and respect for diversity.

CO6        Assess arguments on controversial issues relating to minority groups.

CO7        Apply the use sociological theories and tools in the examination and interpretation of American society as it relates to diversity, multiculturalism, and culture.


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: 978-0134737621


[NOTE: Many of these videos are available through online streaming, video rental services, and local libraries, meaning that purchasing of the videos may not be necessary. If you have difficulty obtaining any of the videos, contact the course mentor.]


Cultural Diversity in the United States is a three-credit online course, consisting of ten modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, take a proctored midterm examination, and complete a final project. See below for details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Promoting Originality

One or more of your course activities may utilize a tool designed to promote original work and evaluate your submissions for plagiarism. More information about this tool is available in About SafeAssign.

Discussion Forums

You are to make one main posting in each of the 10 module discussions incorporating the content of the course along with your view. Make sure to carefully read the questions and answer fully. You are to respond to at least two other posters with an antithesis response or engagement with what they stated that moves the topic further.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete five written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.


At the conclusion of each module is an open book online quiz consisting of multiple choice questions. You may take each quiz multiple times if you wish, but just be aware that the grade of your most recent attempt will be the one entered into the gradebook.

Final Project

You are required to complete a final project. See the Final Project section of the course for details.


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.).

Lateness Policy

The University's late assignment policy states that written assignments should be submitted no later than the due date unless prior arrangements are made with the mentor and a new due date is established. If you submit an assignment after the due date without having made arrangements with the mentor, a minimum of 5 points (based on an assignment grading scale of 100 points) or 5 percent of the total points will be deducted for each week, or part thereof, that the assignment is late. To receive credit for discussion forum assignments, you must actively participate during the assigned discussion period. Also, unless you have registered for an extension, assignments submitted after the semester ends (or after the extension date expires) will be returned to you ungraded.

Active duty military students in receipt of Temporary Additional Duty orders (TDY) may be exempted from point deductions if their orders prescribe a return-to-class date that allows for sufficient time to complete the remaining course requirements, which is generally defined as allowing the student to miss no more than 1/3 of the total semester.


Military students with TDY orders shall follow the procedures, found on the OMVE website to establish new due dates without penalty for written assignments and discussion boards.


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 Thomas Edison State University.

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, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

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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