Western University PsychologyFaculty of Social Science

Psychology 3317E-001

Community Psychology

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.


An introduction to Community Psychology, which focuses on person-environment interactions and on how society influences individual and community functioning. The course will include a community engaged learning (CEL) component whereby students apply their scholarship to help community-based organizations meet their identified needs. This will not necessarily involve direct client contact.


Prerequisites: Psychology 2820E or both Psychology 2800E and 2810. Registration is by special permission only and must be obtained from the course instructor in the spring/summer before the course begins in the fall term

2 seminar hours, 4-5 placement hours on community placement/project, 1.0 course

(This course has a service learning component)


Unless you have either the prerequisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enrol in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites.


       Instructor: Leora Swartzman                    

       Office and Phone Number:  Rm 312E Westminster Hall. 519-661-2111 ext. 84654    

       Office Hours: By appointment                  

       Email:       lswartzm@uwo.ca                   



Time and Location of Classes: Tuesdays 2:30-4:30. Westminster Hall Rm 20F

If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, there are several resources here at Western to assist you.  Please visit:  http://www.uwo.ca/uwocom/mentalhealth/ for more information on these resources and on mental health.

Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 519-661-2111 ext 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.


Required textbook:


Moritsugu, J, Vera, E., Wong, F.Y and Grover Duffy, K. (2014) Community Psychology (5th Edition) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson


Additional Required Readings:


Aubry, T (2012), Conducting research on homelessness in Canada from a community psychology perspective: Reflections on lessons learned.  Global Journal of Community Practice, 3(1), 78-86. Retrieved Feb. 12 2016,  http://www.gjcpp.org. 


Logan, D.E, and Marlatt, G.A. (2010). Harm reduction therapy: A practice-friendly review of research. Journal of Clinical Psychology 66(2), 201-214


There will 3-4 more readings, which will be posted on the OWL website.


Students will also assign readings in advance of their project proposals in the first term. While you will not be quizzed on these readings, your contributions to class discussions informed by the readings will influence your participation mark (worth 15% of the final grade).



Students will learn about a range of topics relevant to community psychology, including: its key principles and values; features and challenges of community-based research; types and models of prevention; stress, coping and social support; psychological sense of community; and strategies for social change. This learning largely will occur through independent reading in the first semester, and will be assessed through class quizzes.


By the end of this course, the successful student will be able to: 


Learning Outcome


Learning Activities



Knowledge and Understanding

1. Depth & Breadth of Knowledge

Memorize (M), describe(D) and apply (A)  main concepts and principles  of community psychology



Class discussion

Guest lectures

Community project  


Quizzes (MDA)

Contribution to Class Discussion (DA)

Final Report (DA)

Final Presentation (DA) 

Describe and analyze individual well-being from an ecological perspective.


Class discussion

Guest lectures

Community project 

Contribution to class discussion

Final Report

Initial and final class presentation


2. Knowledge and Application of Methodologies

Locate and critically evaluate scholarly research that pertains to a real world problem in community psychology.

Community project

Classroom activity

Final Report

Contribution to class activity

Initial and final class presentation

3. Application of Knowledge

Apply community psychology principles to the understanding of everyday problems.

Community-based project  

Classroom activities

Field trips

Guest lectures


Contribution to class discussion & activities

Final Report

Initial and final class presentation

As assessed by setting supervisor (in consultation with instructor)


4. Communication Skills

Communicate scientific findings and scholarly theories in language than is accessible to a non-expert population.

Community project

Classroom activities

Class Presentation

As assessed by setting supervisor

Contribution to class activity

Grades on two class presentations


6. Autonomy and Professional Capacity

Manage a project from start to end by using planning, coordination of efforts, prioritizing, time management and organizational strategies.

Community project

As assessed by setting supervisor (in consultation with course instructor) 




5. Awareness of Limits of Knowledge Practice reflective thinking to connect CEL experience with course content and personal values.

Community project


Class discussions 

Instructor ratings of journal entries

Contribution to class discussions

Final report and presentation

As assessed by setting supervisor,( in consultation with instructor).

6. Autonomy and Professional Capacity Recognize and develop own sense of commitment to civic engagement and social responsibility.

Community project

Field  trips


Class discussions  

Instructor ratings of journal entries.

Final report and presentation  








Learning will occur largely through project -related work and independent reading in the first semester, which will be assessed by class quizzes and contributions to class discussions.


Much of class time in the first half of the Fall semester is aimed at deepening students’ understanding of the material and ability to apply it. Most class time towards the end of the Fall term will be dedicated to student presentations in which they describe their community setting, their responsibilities in that setting, what they have learned to date and the scope of the project they are to deliver at the end of the winter term.

From the second part of the fall term through the entire winter term, students will apply the knowledge and skills acquired to date (i.e., engage in the practice of community psychology) through their work on the community partner projects. Working in pairs, students will spend an average of 4-5 hours per week on placement and on the project they will be conducting for the community partner. Course related activities in the Winter term will revolve around the community projects, with the possibility of 2-3 field trips.



Partners and Projects


The list of community partners and projects (as currently known) are as follows:


Project  #1: Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU).

YOU is a youth-centered agency that provides a caring, active place for youth to build confidence, skills an independence. It offers a wide range of services, including housing, education, job search, on-the-job skills training, health and dental care and workshops. The project entails developing an interview guide to help staff and youth come to a joint decision about the best way for youth to navigate YOU resources to help youth achieve their ultimate goals. These goals will align with YOU’s organization goals, as agreed on by YOU managers.


Project #2  Center for Research in Health Equity and  Social Inclusion (CRHESI)

The "SI" in CRHESI stands for Social Inclusion. CRHESI staff/associates and community partners would benefit from a deeper understanding of Social Inclusion, what it looks (and feels) like, how you know whether or not your service is Socially Inclusive and how you would measure that. The deliverable likely would take of the form of a White Paper, including an environmental scan of the social inclusiveness of agencies in town, and ideally, something else - perhaps a presentation to community groups/agencies. Students could do their work in the Social Innovation space.

Project #3 Muslim Resource Centre for Support and Social Inclusion (MRCSSI)

The aim of the MRCSSI is to help establish social support networks for the diverse communities in London Ontario and to provide culturally integrative family safety services. The project entails developing a a behavioral observation measure of family interactions to be used in-session in the Journey Home Program to help therapists and evaluators determine whether families are becoming more proficient in communication skills and parenting skills, which is the focus of the Journey Home Program.

Project #4 Canadian Mental Health Foundation: London Middlesex (CMHA) 

For this project, students would do Research (lit review) to support the development of peer-led groups for anxiety and depression for individuals (often young adults) who have contacted the crisis service with issues related to situational stress. These individuals do not require clinical treatment but rather some counselling and support to help them manage anxiety and depression. The director of the crisis services has indicated that there are successful models of peer-led (or co-peer-led) groups in other jurisdictions. Students would research different models of peer-led (or co-peer-led) support, consult with staff and possibly potential users of the group, and develop a plan and guide for such groups

Project #5- Crouch Neighbourhood Resource Centre (CNRC).

Housed in the Crouch Library (550 Hamilton Road), the CNRC provides a range of outreach activities and partners with local citizen groups and organizations working to improve life in the Hamilton Road area of London. The project would be focused on helping CNRC recruit and train volunteers. It will involve a comprehensive literature review and interviewing current volunteers (to find out what they get out of volunteering). The project has two related goals.


Project #6  City Art Centre (CAC)

CAC’s mission is to provide a safe, respectful place for expression through various forms of art where peer support and encouragement facilitate recovery, foster self-esteem and improve quality of life. The project entails reviewing the literature on the value of peer support programs and art as a means of expression, for individuals experiencing mental health challenges. The research will contribute to grant applications by bolstering the value of the programming at City Arts Centre and highlighting the need for funding to sustain programming.


Project #7: Life*Spin (Project TBD)

LIFE*SPIN  provides information and support for individuals surviving on low-incomes, and to support the empowerment and self-development of these individuals in their efforts to attain self-sufficiency. It provides front-line services for mediation, referrals for services, homelessness prevention programs, and public legal educational resources, and recently launched a housing initiative. 



This course is exempt from the Senate requirement that students receive assessment of their work accounting for at least 15% of their final grade at least one week before the deadline for withdrawal from a course without academic penalty.


Because this is an essay course, in order to pass, the average grade on your written assignments must be 50% or higher.



% of Grade

Date (if applicable)

Quizzes (2 @5%)


Oct. 24 & Nov. 19

Critical Reflection Journals

 (2 @ 5%)



Dec. 5 (late penalty applies after Dec. 8)

April 10  (late penalty applies after April 17)



Over both terms. Students receive interim (formative) feedback from Instructor  ~ Jan. 9.

Evaluation by Setting/ Project Supervisors


Students receive interim (formative) feedback from supervisor(s) and submit to instructor by Dec. 12. Final feedback form due April 10. (late penalty applies after April 17)

Oral presentation of project proposal


Nov. 21, Nov. 28 or Dec. 5

Oral presentation of final project


March 20, March 27, April 3, April 10

Written project proposal (group)


Dec. 5 (late penalty applies after Dec. 8)

Final report  (group)


April 10 (late penalty applies after April 17)



March 27 (First draft) (Formative)

April 3 (Final draft)

April 4 or 5 (10 am-2 pm) Attending Poster session

**10% points to be deducted from all assignment grades for every day late.

2% will be deducted from final grade for each element of CEL- paperwork (CEL logs, Supervisor/Setting Agreement, Mid-year and final evaluation of student by supervisor) not handed in; 0.2% for every day late

NOTE: Details about these evaluation components will be provided on the course website.


Although the Psychology Department does not require instructors to adjust their course grades to conform to specific targets, the expectation is that course marks will be distributed around the following averages:

70%     1000-level and 2000-level courses
72%     2190-2990 level courses
75%     3000-level courses
80%     4000-level courses
The Psychology Department follows the University of Western Ontario grading guidelines, which are as follows (see http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/academic_policies/general/grades_undergrad.pdf ):

A+  90-100      One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level
A    80-89        Superior work that is clearly above average
B    70-79        Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory
C    60-69        Competent work, meeting requirements
D    50-59        Fair work, minimally acceptable
F    below 50    Fail





Material covered:

Quiz #1 (5%)

Oct. 24

 ½ hour MC, True/False, matching

Sept. 19 - Oct. 17

Quiz #2 (5%)

Nov. 21

½ hour MC, True/False, matching

Oct. 24 - Nov. 14






Sept. 12

Introductions; Overview of course and Community projects;

CEL presentation(?)


Sept. 19

Community CEL presentation (if not done on Sept. 12)

Community Partner Fair.  

Moritsugu text (M).


M Ch1 (pp. 1-18)

M Ch5


Sept. 26

Presentation/Class exercises on Active Listening and Professional Ethics. (With students in Dr. Hinson’s Addictions: Theory and Research course (3315E), to be held in WH20F).

Oct. 3

Min-lecture by Instructor on some key constructs in Community Psychology. In-class exercises on main elements of a research article.

Oct. 10

No class. Fall Reading Week


Oct. 17

Guest Speaker. Topic: Harm Reduction. (With students in Dr. Hinson’s Addictions: Theory and Research course (3315E), to be held in WH20F).

M Ch 1 (18-33 )

M Ch 11 (238-248, 260-262)

Logan and Marlatt (2010)

Quiz # 1 based on Sept. 19-Oct 17 readings

Oct. 24

Quiz #1 (5%).  (On-line via class OWL site; Bring electronic device to class). In-class exercise on how to read and interpret results sections of primary research articles.

Due: Contact between student and placement/project supervisors.*


M Ch 2

M Ch 3

M Ch 4


Oct. 31

No class. Instructor meets with groups individually to review status of projects.

Nov. 7

Class exercise: Reading and interpreting Results sections in primary research articles.

Nov. 14

Panel Presentation/Class discussion on Homelessness or no class. Students work on projects

M  Ch 1 (re-read 26-27)

 M Ch 7 166-171  +

 Aubry (2012) On OWL site +

One reading (TBD) from http://homelesshub.ca/

Quiz #2 based on Oct. 24-Nov. 14 readings

Nov. 21

Quiz #2 (5%) (On-line via Class OWL site; Bring electronic device to class) Students share aspects of what they plan to include in their Fall term Critical Reflection journals.

Presentation of Project Proposal (one group)  (5%)

Group provides class discussion questions (cleared with Instructor) in advance

One reading assigned by the presenting group (or part of the M not previously assigned) (Not on Quiz #2)

Nov. 28

Presentation of Project Proposal (three groups)  (5%)

Groups provide class discussion questions Group provides class discussion questions (cleared with Instructor) in advance.

Due:  Interim Feedback from placement supervisors (co-signed by student and supervisor).*

Three readings; one assigned by each group.(or part of M not previously assigned)

Dec. 5

Presentation of Project Proposal (three groups) (5%).

Due: Written proposals (10%)

Critical reflection logs (5%)

(Note: Late penalties (10% deduction per day) will be applied to anything submitted after 11:59 pm on Dec. 8).

Three readings; one assigned by each group (or part of M not previously assigned)


* 2.0% deducted from final grade if not submitted; 0.2% of final grade will be deducted for every day late.






Note: The schedule for 8 weeks (Jan 9-Feb 6 and Feb 27-Mar 13) has not yet been set.


There likely will be 2-3 classes (students to provide input on topics/ focus) and 2-3 field trips. For the remaining 2-4 weeks, students continue to work on their projects, consulting with the instructor as need be.




No assigned readings  (in all likelihood)

Jan. 9



Jan. 16



Jan. 23



Jan. 30



Feb. 6



Feb. 13

No Class. Instructor meets with groups individually to discuss projects.


Feb. 20

No Class. Winter Reading Week 


Feb. 27



Mar. 6



Mar. 13



Mar. 20

Group Project Presentations  (10%)


Mar. 27

Group Project Presentations

First draft of poster due


Apr. 3

Group Project Presentations

Final draft of poster due (10%)  


Apr. 10

Group Project Presentations

Due (late penalties apply starting April 17)

Final reports (25%)

Critical Reflections (5%)

Supervisor evaluation of student  (5%)






Poster session

(Sometime between April 4-13)



Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offenses. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offenses because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offense are described at the following link:  http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/academic_policies/appeals/scholastic_discipline_undergrad.pdf

As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offenses. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and Turnitin.com http://www.turnitin.com

Possible penalties for a scholastic offense include failure of the assignment, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University.


Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at:

Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation:


Office of the Registrar web site:  http://registrar.uwo.ca

Student Development Services web site: http://www.sdc.uwo.ca

Please see the Psychology Undergraduate web site for information on the following:


- Policy on Cheating and Academic Misconduct
- Procedures for Appealing Academic Evaluations
- Policy on Attendance
- Policy Regarding Makeup Exams and Extensions of Deadlines
- Policy for Assignments
- Short Absences
- Extended Absences
- Documentation
- Academic Concerns
- 2017 Calendar References

No electronic devices, including cell phones and smart watches, will be allowed during exams.