Spotlight on Student Learning
The true indication of learning must be demonstrated though more than temporary mastery of course material that permits a student to achieve high scores on course exams or a high GPA. Retention and synthesis of facts, ideas and skills should be carried into post-graduate life, whether that includes the pursuit of advanced degrees or immediate employment in an area for which the student has been prepared.
The Department of Psychology takes this philosophy very seriously and continuously seeks to improve the program to ensure students are indeed ready for their next steps in their careers. Students who intend to graduate with a degree in psychology must complete a senior exit exam that assesses mastery of coursework and application of material learned. These exams are based on the learning goals of the department program and include knowledge in the various areas of psychological science, ethics and statistical and research principles.
The department tests on sub-discipline areas every other year with nationally standardized tests. In the alternate years, it uses homegrown tests for mastery of ethical/professional standards and research design/statistics. Results of this testing indicate areas in which students may be performing under our standards and careful analyses of areas of weakness permit the department to develop coursework to continuously strengthen the program. In this way, the Department of Psychology helps insure that its students are truly equipped to be men and women for and with others.
Submitted by: Sara Morris, PhD, associate vice president, academic affairs