At Risk Youth

Course Number: COUNSPSY 7130
Course Name: At Risk Youth (Online)
Course Description:    At risk youth present many challenges to society, families, and the educational system. Further, the issues that put youth at risk interfere with their ability to be successful in many areas of their lives. Consequently, in many cases, they find themselves "in trouble" with the law. This course is intended to assist the educator, counselor, and/ or police officer in understanding the factors that put a child at risk, as well as presenting a model of intervention and remediation to decrease and/ or eliminate the risk. Practical strategies will be discussed.
Prerequisites:    None
Level: Graduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online
Program: Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Registration Instructions

NOTE: The information below is representative of the course and is subject to change.  The specific details of the course will be available in the Desire2Learn course instance for the course in which a student registers.

Additional Information

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to have literature-based discussions on all topics presented in the course.
  • Students will be able to reflect on course material by writing a summary of new learning acquisition and framing how this is relevant to one's area of study and/or profession.
  • Students will write a research paper focusing on one or more strategies that eliminate or decrease risk factors present in youth.
  • Students will be able to conceptualize a case using the case conceptualization model taught in the course.

Unit Descriptions

Unit 1
Lesson 1: Introduction, environmental, social and family factors
Lesson 2: Family problems
Lesson 3: School Issues
Lesson 4: Individual characteristics of high risk and low risk youth, Resiliency

Unit 2
Lesson 5: Drop outs
Lesson 6: Chemical addictions
Lesson 7: Sexual issues
Lesson 8: Delinquency and violence
Lesson 9: Suicide

Unit 3
Lesson 10: Framework and Case Conceptualization model
Lesson 11: Core components
Lesson 12: Peer intervention
Lesson 13: Family intervention
Lesson 14: Legal and ethical issues

Grading Information

Grading of each assignment will be based on a rubric. Each assignment will have a set number of total points possible. For each week any given assignment is late, the number of points possible is reduced by 25% (exceptions may be made by instructor for emergency situations). The following outlines assignments and highest points possible for each. The grading scale defines the ranges for the respective grades.

Profile 6 points
Reflection Papers (8) 24 points
Research Paper 20 points
Case Conceptualization 40 points
Discussions (9) 90 points
Total: 180 points

Grading Scale
A 93% - 100%
B 85% - 92%
C 77% - 84%
D 69% - 76%
F 0% - 68%


Create a profile to share with other class members. You may use the instructor profile for an example.

Reflection paper
After reading course materials, there will be eight required written reflections approximately one every two weeks) summarizing what you have learned and framing how the material is relevant to your area of study and/or profession.

Research paper
Research at least one intervention strategy that has been suggested to contribute to the decrease and/or elimination of one or more risk factors present in youth. The research may indicate combinations of strategies for effectiveness. If this is the case, frame your paper from this perspective. You must include a minimum of five empirical studies in your paper. APA is the required writing style. Your paper should include: abstract, introduction, research question, hypothesis, literature review, conclusion (summarizing evidence that supports or does not support your hypothesis) and recommendations. You will share your abstract and a brief summary of your findings with your classmates, so that they may potentially use this information for their respective case conceptualizations.

Case Conceptualization and intervention plan
Research a problem that potentially puts children/teens at risk for negative developmental outcomes, e.g. ADHD, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, special needs issues, child abuse, children of alcoholics, children of divorce, children experiencing grief, children of violent homes. Present information regarding the issue by creating a fictitious case, the responding with a case conceptualization (supported by the research). In this conceptualization, you will need to include history (family, medical, educational, psychological), formulation , cycle of change stage, resiliencies, intervention(s), and predicted outcomes. Share with the class.

Questions will be posed in several of the lessons. Quality responses will be expected, based on your reading and related assignments.

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