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                               Student Outcome Assessment Plan

Assessment Philosophy and Program Goals

A) Summary of Assessment Activity

The assessment plan for the psychology major is based on the collection of information for the
purposes of enhancing student learning and program development.

We have identified three goals for these majors. First, we would like to expose students to a
psychological perspective of human beings by objectively viewing the behavior of others and
oneself. Second, we want to present a diversity of methods and tools by which human and
sometimes animal behavior may be scientifically studied. Third, we want students to become
acquainted with a broad application of psychological knowledge and techniques for improving
the human condition, specifically performance. These goals define psychology as a discipline.

The curricular requirements in Psychology and Psychology for Teaching are identical because
they share the same goals. Beyond a set of core requirements we require a number of courses
from several categories. Our purpose here is to expose students to courses that emphasize the
more scientific bases of psychology as well as its diverse applications.

After an internal review the following outcomes and their corresponding competencies were
identified and relevant to the psychology major.

Student Outcomes and Competencies

Outcomes and Competencies:

Outcome 1.    Be a competent consumer and conductor of research.

              Competency Areas

              1a. Be able to understand the basic design and potential strengths and weaknesses
                  of research. This includes media presented results.

              1b. Be able to find a series of references in the library stacks.

              1c. Be able to form a clear alternative and null hypothesis.
Outcome 2.   Know the history of psychology.

             Competency Areas

             2a. Know the major schools of thought that have existed and exist today in the
                 field of psychology.

             2b. Know the names and basic ideas of the people involved with each of those

Outcome 3.   Have an understanding of the subfields of psychology such as social,
             developmental, abnormal and physiological.

             Competency Areas

             3a. Know the broad concepts and ideas in each field.

             3b Be able to describe what a psychologist in each field does.

Outcome 4.   Have an understanding of statistics.

             Competency Areas

             4a. Be able to know what statistical tests are appropriate in what situations.

             4b. Be able to understand the results of statistical significance testing.

Outcome 5.   Be computer literate.

             Competency Areas

             5a. B able to run basic statistical programs.

             5b. Be able to use a word processor.

             5c. Be able to do electronic database searches.

             5d. Be able to use internet services.
Outcome 6.    Be able to effectively communicate ideas in the field of psychology.

              Competency Areas

              6a. B able to generate a clearly written report in current APA style.

              6b. Be able to present a clear oral presentation.

Outcome 7.    Understand career possibilities in psychology.

              Competency Areas

              7a. Know the basic process involved in applying to graduate school.

Outcome 8.    Demonstrate some self-understanding as well as understanding of others and
              some acceptance of individual differences and new ideas.

Outcome 9.    Demonstrate changes in attitudes and beliefs regarding psychology.

              Competency Areas

              9a. More positive attitudes toward those who are undergoing psychological

              9b. More positive attitude toward psychological interventions.

              9c. The belief that psychology is a science.

Outcome 10. Have the belief that their educational experience in the psychology department
            has been a positive one.

Outcome 11. Be able to apply an understanding of psychology to real-world social concerns.

Assessment Methods

Methods and Frequency of Assessment

The Student Outcome Survey was originally developed to assess each of the outcomes listed
above. This Survey is given to all students who declare Psychology as their major. This same
survey is also given to all graduating seniors in Psychology so pre and post comparisons may be
The revised SOA will continue to provide information on the 11 competency areas previously
measured and, in addition, will provide additional information (e.g., knowledge of specialty
areas within psychology, APA report writing procedures, statistical knowledge and ability) about
student competencies within each of the proficiency areas outlined above (both at the time a
student declares psychology as their major and upon graduating). We will continue to use the
results of the SOA program to identify areas where we feel more improvement could be taking

Procedures for Implementing Program/Curricular Changes

Assessment Plan Review

This plan will be reviewed with the psychology department head and the findings will be
communicated, both verbally and in writing, to the entire departmental faculty. The continuing
problem with our response rate for graduating seniors will be noted. Over the past year, the
departmental secretaries have continued to routinely email reminders to graduating seniors to
come in to the departmental office and take the assessment at Time 2 (post-test). This seems to
be improving our response rate.

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