Psychology B.A. Assessment Plan

Mission Statement

The Department of Psychology is a center for scholarship and learning in the discipline of psychology, with responsibilities that extend regionally, nationally, and internationally. The Department seeks not only to teach undergraduate students what is known, but also to expose them to developing knowledge. In doing so, the Department also seeks to instill and develop the methods of creative, critical, scientific inquiry in our students. In all of its actions, the Department seeks to create a safe and supportive learning environment for students that respects diversity, avoids prejudice, maintains an attitude of open and free inquiry, and builds a sense of intellectual community and mutual respect. The Department recognizes the distinction between undergraduates who are pursuing an education in psychology as the basis for a solid liberal arts education poised for success in life beyond UNR and undergraduates who in addition to gaining a solid liberal arts education, are also interested in pursuing advanced professional degrees in psychology or a related field. The Department emphasizes quality instruction that leads to desired learning outcomes for our students, and works to refine and apply new educational technologies within its curriculum in order to produce such outcomes. Thus, the overall mission of the program is to provide a high quality educational experience that prepares students personally and professionally to interpret and use scientific psychological knowledge in a variety of domains, so that they continue to learn and apply psychological perspectives throughout their lifespan. In addition, we seek to prepare students for both post-graduate clinical training and for our graduates to be competitive when pursuing postgraduate research degrees.

Program Outcomes

1. Students will demonstrate preparation for careers as scholar-scientists by their preparedness to enter graduate school.

Student Performance Indicators

  • Honors students will complete and defend a thesis project.
  • Students will present case conferences locally as well as workshops at regional and national conferences.
  • Students will complete the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission to graduate programs in psychology.
  • Graduating students will complete exit interviews.

Assessment Method

  • Faculty will evaluate theses with regard to written and oral quality.
  • Evaluated by number of applied presentations in case conferences, national or regional conferences, and workshops. Performance in professional presentations will be evaluated by faculty supervisor and reported to the assessment committee. Additionally, for those students in the honors program, the thesis will be evaluated in terms of written and oral quality.
  • Advisers will collect and maintain records of GRE scores.
  • Data regarding student success in their pursuit of advanced educational opportunity will be collected and maintained by the department.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students will be able to demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings and historic trends in psychology.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Students will complete exams and assignments in General Psychology (Psy 101 or 103) and additional foundations courses.
Assessment Method
  • Pre- and post-exams will enable a direct comparison of learning during the course of the initial exposure to psychology. Students will be evaluated by traditional methods, such as successful completion of the course as demonstrated through examination, essay assignments, and class participation.

2. Students will be able to demonstrate an appreciation for the relevance of psychology to human affairs, and an ability to think critically and analytically about how psychological matters relate to day-to-day human affairs.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Students will complete practica in psychology and have hands on experiences in clinical and/or research settings. Supervisors in all direct learning courses will be surveyed to evaluate students' ability to apply psychological knowledge in applied clinical or research settings
Assessment Method
  • Survey results will be reviewed by the department's executive committee

3. Students will be able to display effective written and oral communicative skills.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Students demonstrate such skills through written assignments and presentations in foundation and upper division courses. Instructors of 400-level courses will rate student written and oral skills via a program-wide instrument.
Assessment Method
  • Survey results will be reviewed by the department's executive committee

4. Students will be able to show diversity awareness by clearly demonstrating that they recognize, understand, and respect community diversity.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Students will achieve diversity awareness via small group assignments in General Psychology and foundations courses.-Additional diversity awareness will be realized through psychological relevant diversity courses offered within the College of Liberal Arts, including Psychology 431. Faculty surveys will include questions to evaluate students' diversity awareness,.
Assessment Method
  • The executive committee will review these data