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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


  1. Students will demonstrate sufficient communication skills by a) communicating thoughts, arguments, and research work in writing using the tone, grammar, and organization appropriate to professional work in psychology and b) demonstrating effective oral communication skills in group discussions and class presentations.
  2. Students will demonstrate effective collaboration with team members in group activities such as projects, recruiting research subjects, collecting data, presenting research findings and/or working in research labs.
  3. Students will demonstrate competence in electronic and information technologies by a) using computational and statistical software, b) using computers to review abstracts appearing in relevant databases and obtaining full-text versions of the literature relevant to a research topic,  c) paraphrasing, quoting, and citing appropriate sources to avoid plagiarism and d) sufficient use of the American Psychological Association (APA) Style Manual.
  4. Students will demonstrate critical thinking skills and skeptical inquiry by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of current research literature and/or their own research using psychological research methodology.
  5. Students will demonstrate sufficient use of statistical analysis, interpretation, and presentation of psychological data.
  6. Students will demonstrate appropriate and ethical use of subjects by going through the process of subject recruitment and debriefing the human subjects involved in psychological research.
  7. Students will demonstrate knowledge of the theories, concepts, and empirical approaches from diverse perspectives of psychology, including biological processes, developmental processes, individual and social processes, learning and cognitive processes.
  8. Students will demonstrate personal, sociocultural and international awareness.