Identify the target population. Regardless of the track and issue chosen, a target population must be identified for the proposal. Identify the target population associated with the chosen issue. Within the target population, choose the developmental stage that will act as the focus for the proposal.
The final assignment in this course is a written Program Proposal. A program proposal is a document demonstrating an intent to create a clinical, educational, or community project. The Program Proposal will define a contemporary problem or issue and propose a potential solution for a contemporary issue in a manner that will persuade experts and decision makers to support the proposal. Within the proposal, developmental theory and research will be applied to policy, community agency, and major themes of development. A specific program, intended to provide individual or group services to address an identified area of need, will be introduced and outlined.
Beginning the Proposal Process
Choose an area of interest. Students will choose a general track and define a specific issue within the track that is of interest to them and presents a contemporary problem to be solved. Please see the Program Proposal Tracks and Topics in Developmental Psychology document to view the tracks (Community, Clinical/Counseling, and Education) and suggested issues within each track for the proposal. Once the track and issue have been chosen, specific criteria will need to be identified.
Identify the target population. Regardless of the track and issue chosen, a target population must be identified for the proposal. Identify the target population associated with the chosen issue. Within the target population, choose the developmental stage that will act as the focus for the proposal. Many programs may directly and/or indirectly influence people in different stages; however, it is important to select the stage that is most applicable to the specific program being proposed. For example, in a program for adults who are caring for their elderly parents, the focus is on the adults (likely in middle adulthood) so a middle adulthood focus would be most appropriate for that program.
Identify the geographic location where the program will be deployed. Programming will be directly influenced by the location in which it will take place. For example, a child safety program in a rural farming community will likely have different objectives and needs than a child safety program in a large metropolitan city.
Research a minimum of five peer-reviewed articles on the chosen issue in the Ashford University Library. All sources utilized for the Program Proposal must have been published within the last 10 years.
Creating the Program Proposal
Program proposals take on many forms and styles. Creativity is encouraged because it not only tests the boundaries of what is possible for solutions to various issues, but also typically increases the chances for funding. Regardless of the issue being addressed, the Program Proposal must incorporate the following headings (noted in bold) and include the supporting information that is detailed beneath each heading.
Under this heading, provide a summary paragraph that presents the program, its objectives, and how the program will address an area of need in the identified geographic location and issue of interest.
• Identify the target population and developmental stage of the population, as well as the intended program track. (These will be elaborated upon further in the Program Narrative and Procedures section of the proposal.)
• Identify the geographic location for the program and the specific needs within that location. (These will be elaborated upon further in the Program Narrative and Procedures section of the proposal.)
• Create a purpose statement that applies developmental theory and research to policy and community.
• Conclude with a purpose statement in which the need for the program as well as the alignments with the support and findings are stated. (These will be elaborated upon in the Background section of the proposal.)
Organization Description and Qualifications
Under this heading, act as an individual representative and identify the community agency submitting this proposal.
• Explain what qualifies the agency to create this specific program (education, experience, history, etc.).
• Describe how the agency plans to promote the success of this program and what resources the agency has access to or can provide.
While this community agency will be a construct rather than a true community agency, the information and attributes described must align with the qualifications expected of a true agency of that nature and the qualifications should support the goals of the proposal.
Under this heading, explain human development in the context of both historical and current trends by presenting a brief summary of the relevant research published within the last 10 years. Within the summary:
• Identify other active programs in the geographic area to eliminate duplication of current programs.
• Evaluate the unique scholarly perspectives and research in the field of developmental psychology as they relate to the specific program being proposed.
• Address how the scholarly information collected illustrates a clear need for this program.
Program Narrative and Procedures
Under this heading, describe the program in detail. Include the overall vision, the intended target population, and geographical location, and specify how this program will be introduced to the community.
• Provide a step-by-step outline of what will be implemented and detail how each step of the outline will be accomplished.
o Within the outline, analyze any ethical considerations for the deployment of the program using elements of developmental psychology research and practice to support the suggested implementation.
Program Timeline and Cost/Benefit Assessment
Under this heading, provide a visual timeline for implementation of the program and for meeting expected milestones. How long will planning, preparation, hiring, and commencement of the program take? Once active, how long is the program expected to run, and/or how often?
• Address how the benefits to the target population and organization(s) will outweigh any potential costs to create and implement this program.
• Assess how time, employee experience, volunteer base, and space utilization will figure into the cost/benefit analysis.
Program Evaluation and Expected Outcomes
Under this heading, evaluate the proposal and describe potential outcomes considering what might happen if the program exceeds expectations, meets expectations, or does not meet expectations.
• Address accountability measures including performance reviews and milestones to be met.
• Describe how this program will meet accreditation standards in the short and/or long term.
Attention Students: The Masters of Arts in Psychology program is utilizing the Pathbrite portfolio tool as a repository for student scholarly work in the form of signature assignments completed within the program. After receiving feedback for this Program Proposal, please implement any changes recommended by the instructor, visit the Pathbrite website and upload the revised Program Proposal to the portfolio. (Use the Pathbrite Quick-Start Guide to create an account if you do not already have one.) The upload of signature assignments will take place after completing each course. Remember to upload revised signature assignments throughout the program as the portfolio and its contents will be used in other courses and may be used by you as a professional resource tool upon graduation from the program. The Pathbrite website also provides information and further instructions on using this portfolio tool.
Writing the Program Proposal
The Program Proposal:
• Must be 12 double-spaced pages in length and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
• Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
• Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
• Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
• Must use at least five peer-reviewed sources, including a minimum of five from the Ashford University Library.
• Must document all sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
• Must include a separate reference page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
Psychodynamic perspective is the approach based on the view that behavior is motivated by unconscious inner forces over which the individual has little control. The psychodynamic perspective originated with the work of Sigmund Freud. This view of psychology and human behavior emphasizes the role of the unconscious mind, early childhood experiences, and interpersonal relationships to explain human behavior and to treat people suffering from mental illnesses.
Personality theories emphasize continuity based on temperament and early experiences. Genes, parental practices, culture, and adult circumstances all contribute to personality. Personality traits also affect lifestyle choices. Many researchers who study personality find that people tend to adapt their traits to the culture in which they live, expressing them differently (Berger, 2011).
Humanistic psychology is the psychological view that human beings possess an innate tendency to improve and determine their lives by the decisions they make. During the 1950s, a school of thought known as humanistic psychology emerged. This perspective emphasizes the role of motivation on thought and behavior. Concepts such as self-actualization are an essential part of this perspective.
Cognitive theory is a grand theory of human development that focuses on changes in how people think over time. According to this theory, our thoughts shape our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Cognitive theory holds that thoughts and values determine a person’s perspective. Early experiences are important because beliefs, perceptions, and memories make them so, not because they are buried in the unconscious (psychoanalytic theory) or burned into the brain patterns. According to cognitive theory, it is not necessarily a child’s early experiences themselves that are crucial but rather the child’s interpretation of them (Berger, 2011). Social cognitive theory based on Bandura’s assumption that personality is modeled by an interaction of behavior, personal factors, and one’s environment.
Children and adolescents around the world are physically, sexually, or emotionally bullied by their peers. Bullying involves intentional harm (physically or psychologically), repetition (the victim is targeted a number of times), and a power imbalance (the bully abuses his or her power over the victim) (Kassin, Fein, & Markus, 2014 p.439). According to Wicks-Nelson and Israel (2009), “Bullying: characterized by an imbalance of power and involves actions intended to cause fear, distress, or harm” (p.200). Berger (2011) believes that bullying is the “repeated, systematic efforts to inflict harm through physical, verbal, or social attack on a weaker person” (p.366).
Victims of bullying endure shameful experiences again and again. Victims are chosen because of their emotional vulnerability and social isolation, not their appearances. The bully-victim is someone who attacks others and who is attacked as well.
So what can be done? We know what does not work: Increasing students’ awareness, instituting zero tolerance for fighting, or putting troubled students together in a therapy group or a classroom. Whole school strategy must be employed: everyone in the school must change, intervention is more effective in the earlier grades, evaluation is critical (Berger, 2011 p.368). The best way to stop a bully is for the bystanders to take action, defending the victim and isolating the bully.
Berger, K.S. (2011). The developing person through the life span. 8th Ed. Worth Publishers.
Kassin, S., Fein, S., & Markus, H.R. (2014). Social Psychology (9th Ed). Wadsworth Inc.
Wicks-Nelson, R. & Israel, A.C. (2009). Abnormal child and adolescent psychology (7th ed.) Pearson: Prentice Hall.
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