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  • Students from Dr. Otten's Lab

Mission Statement and Learning Outcomes

Mission Statement

The vision of the Department of Psychology is summed up in one word: “Relevance”. The Department of Psychology, housed in a college serving one of the world’s most diverse urban regions, is committed to excellence in teaching, research, and service to the community. Our program is designed to provide students with a strong academic background in psychology, as well as to help them develop professional competence. Our students are encouraged to develop critical thinking skills, creative abilities, interpersonal skills, ethical values, and integrity in an inclusive community in which teaching and mentoring of students is valued. Our courses encourage scholarship, intellectual inquiry, professional achievement, and service to the community. Our students acquire many skills through fieldwork and service learning as well as involvement in research projects guided by our faculty. We encourage students to gain knowledge and comprehension of the theories, concepts, and empirical approaches used in psychology and their application to the human condition. Our program offers a broad spectrum of theoretical approaches including biological, developmental, individual and social systems as well as learning and cognitive processes.  As part of their academic training, our students gain knowledge and understanding of research methodology and the statistical analysis of empirical data in our core laboratory courses.  Through the Department’s commitment to applied social science research, our students obtain the critical core skills necessary to meet the needs of the region, as well as to be competitive in the multicultural market place as either members of the workforce, or as graduate students.

Psychology Major Student Learning Outcomes

  • Goal 1. Knowledge Base of Psychology: Students will demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings and historical trends in psychology.
  • Goal 2. Research Methods in Psychology: Students will understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis and interpretation.
  • Goal 3. Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology: Students will respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry and, when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
  • Goal 4. Application of Psychology: Students will understand and apply psychological principles to personal, social and organizational issues.
  • Goal 5. Values in Psychology: Students will be able to weigh evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically and reflect other values that are the underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.

Knowledge, Skills and Values Consistent with Liberal Arts Education that are Further Developed in Psychology

  • Goal 6. Information and Technological Literacy: Students will demonstrate information competence and the ability to use computers and other technology for many purposes.
  • Goal 7. Communication Skills: Students will be able to communicate effectively in a variety of formats.
  • Goal 8. Sociocultural and International Awareness: Students will recognize, understand and respect the complexity of sociocultural and international diversity.
  • Goal 9. Personal Development: Students will develop insight into their own and others’ behavior and mental processes and apply effective strategies for self-management and self-improvement.
  • Goal 10. Career Planning and Development: Students will emerge from the major with realistic ideas about how to implement their psychological knowledge, skills and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.