Goal 1 - Theory and Content Knowledge:
Students will become familiar with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology. They will also understand and appreciate the breadth of the field including the sub-disciplines, the connections among those sub-disciplines, and cultural variation in the application of psychological principles.
Objective 1: Demonstrate an understanding of the major sub-disciplines in Psychology.
Assessment plan: The requirements for psychology majors include a breadth requirement. All majors are required to take at least one course from five different sub-disciplines within psychology. The successful completion of this breadth requirement will provide one source of evidence that this objective has been met. In addition, a sampling of selected students’ work across the classes representing the five sub-disciplines of psychology will be evaluated. Within-student analyses will be conducted to determine how well students understand the information within the various sub-disciplines.
Objective 2: Make connections among sub-disciplines and recognize different levels of analysis [e.g., biological, behavioral, sociocultural].
Assessment plan: Students are introduced to the different sub-disciplines of psychology in our introductory courses and then asked to pull the pieces together in some of our capstone courses (e.g., History and Systems, Research Practica). Syllabi, assignments, and student work products (e.g., papers, exams) will be sampled from these courses and evaluated.
Objective 3: Students will recognize that psychological principles and research are embedded within cultural and historical contexts.
Assessment plan: A number of faculty indicated that they meet this objective in their classes. A sampling of the upper division classes will be selected and the syllabi, assignments, and student work will be examined to determine how, and how well, we are meeting this objective.
Goal 2 - Research Methods, Critical Thinking, and Ethics:
Students will develop an understanding of the research methods used in psychological research and use this understanding to think critically about psychological issues and research encountered in both the scientific literature and the mass media. Critical thinking includes a willingness to tolerate the ambiguity and complexity of human behavior and thought and a consideration of the ethical issues in psychological research and practice.
Objective 1: [skills objective] Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how to conduct psychological research using the appropriate techniques in a manner that is consistent with the ethical guidelines of the profession.
Assessment plan: This objective will be assessed primarily by examining the products of three types of classes: Psychology 43 (research methods courses), ethics in psychology, and senior capstone classes. In these classes students are taught research methods and expected to produce research products. A sampling of these products will be evaluated for technical and ethical appropriateness.
Objective 2: [analytic objective] Students will demonstrate the ability to apply their knowledge of how psychological research is conducted to thinking critically about psychological information they encounter.
Assessment plan: Using our alignment matrix we have identified a number of classes in which faculty have stated students are asked to demonstrate competence for this objective. A sampling of faculty assignments and student products (e.g., tests, papers) will be collected and analyzed for evidence of critical thinking about psychological information.
Goal 3 - Application:
Students will develop the ability to thoughtfully consider how psychological research and principles can be applied to personal, social, and organizational issues in an ethical manner and with a sensitivity to the needs of marginalized individuals and groups.
Objective 1: Students will demonstrate the ability to think about how psychological principles can be applied to real issues among individuals, families, and/or institutions such as schools, health-care organizations, and the workplace.
Assessment plan: This objective will be assessed with a combination of course products (e.g., papers, exams) and experiential learning through Arruppe placements and internships. In several courses students are asked to apply psychological principles to real-world problems. A sampling of student products from these classes will be analyzed. In addition, reports from students regarding their field experiences will be analyzed. Focus-group discussions may also be used to gain students’ perceptions of their application of psychological principles in their experiential learning placements.
Goal 4 - Information Literacy:
Students will learn and understand how to gain information about psychology and psychological research using such sources as libraries, printed reference material, and technological aids.
Objective 1: Students will demonstrate the ability to locate relevant and appropriate source materials.
Assessment plan: This objective will be assessed both by examining a sampling of student papers that require the use of psychological references and by assignments in our methods courses that require students to gain information from the library and other appropriate reference sources.
Goal 5 - Communication Skills:
Students will learn to effectively communicate in a variety of forms commonly used in the discipline including written and oral communication.
Objective 1: Students will demonstrate effective writing skills within the conventions of the discipline.
Assessment plan: In many of our classes, ranging from the introductory level to the capstone, faculty ask students to write about psychological phenomenon using APA style. A sampling of these assignments and the student work from lower and upper division classes will allow us to assess the development of these skills over time as well as the final level of mastery that students possess upon graduating from the program.
Goal 6 - Career and Graduate School Planning and Development:
Students will have access to information about practica opportunities available to current students and to information about professional and academic post-graduate options.
Objective 1: Students will demonstrate an awareness of the opportunities to obtain information about professional and academic post-graduate options.
Assessment plan: Every graduating senior must complete an exit survey. In the survey we will ask seniors about their awareness of opportunities to gain information about post-graduate options for psychology majors. We will also ask whether they participated in any of the programs designed to inform students about post-graduate options (e.g., whether they attended any of our annual presentations regarding graduate school or careers, whether they used our library of information about graduate schools, etc.)
Objective 2: Students will demonstrate an awareness of practica and collaborative research opportunities available to undergraduate psychology majors.
Assessment plan: This objective will be assessed in two ways. First, we will ask students about their awareness of these opportunities in our exit survey. Second, we will keep track, using faculty reports, of the number of students who participated in research with faculty while at SCU. This information can be gained from faculty activity reports (FARs).