Jul 24, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]


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Professors-Ashbrook, Fournier, Karkowski, McDonald
Associate Professors-Bell, Wilson
Assistant Professor-Van Horn
Adjunct Instructors-Butter, Fatten, Jackson, Morton, Parsons, Quinones, Sainsbury, Sasser, Soloninka, Somers, Steinberg, Tilley

Psychology is the science of behavior and mental processes, encompassing both research, through which we learn about human and animal behavior, and practice, through which knowledge is applied in helping to solve problems. Psychologists traditionally study both normal and abnormal functioning. Opportunities for work in psychology are expanding in number and scope as evidenced by psychology’s sub-fields bio psychology, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, engineering psychology, environmental psychology, forensic psychology, health psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, neuropsychology, rehabilitation, social psychology and sport psychology.

Psychology Mission/Goals Statement

A strong liberal arts curriculum is an integral element of an undergraduate major in psychology, a vital component to professional practice and lifelong learning. In addition to individual major requirements, students fulfill the undergraduate General Education goals and develop an individual degree plan of liberal arts and preprofessional electives.

The fundamental goal of an undergraduate education in psychology is to teach students to think as scientists about individual and social behavior. Students who graduate with a degree in psychology will be able to:

  • Identify and describe psychological principles and theoretical perspectives;
  • Recognize and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation including the use of technology for these purposes;
  • Communicate effectively in a variety of formats and to a variety of audiences;
  • Relate the social and natural science aspects of psychology to personal, social, and professional issues and situations;
  • Analyze how ethnic, cultural, social, and gender diversity affects individuals and social situations;
  • Demonstrate scientific thinking that was gained through practical research, laboratory, or field experience;
  • Identify, assess, and explain the ethical implications of issues and situations and act ethically; and
  • Formulate realistic ideas about how to implement their psychological knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.

The Faculty-Teachers, Scholars, Practitioners

All Psychology full-time faculty hold terminal degrees in Psychology.  The faculty are dedicated teachers who as researchers or scientist-practitioners blend real world experience with scholarship and service to the community. Adjunct instructors, who are leading practitioners and researchers in their fields, compliment the full-time faculty by providing special expertise and valuable networks to the work worlds of science and practice.

The Curriculum-Careers for the Twenty-First Century

Each course of study in Psychology is designed to provide a preprofessional foundation for careers and graduate study. Students in all required, upper-level departmental courses are assigned primary source reading (e.g., journal articles, research reports, or historically significant monographs). Approximately forty percent of our graduates go on to graduate study and earn advanced degrees. Baccalaureate graduates find employment in a variety of human services, research, technical and related occupations. They work as employment counselors, corrections & law enforcement officers, probation officers, teachers, policy analysts, behavioral management technicians, psychiatric aides and counselors, youth workers, child development specialists, managers, personnel analysts, laboratory technicians, sales personnel, interviewers, health care workers, case managers and data analysts.

World Languages and Cultures Requirement

Both the American Psychological Association and the Psychology Department recognize the importance of preparing students for a diverse, international community. As part of this preparation, psychology majors are required to complete a world languages and cultures experience. Students can fulfill this requirement in multiple ways:

  1. Students who earned an AP language test score of 3 or better have fulfilled the requirement.
  2. Students who live in a bilingual or multilingual family and are fluent in a second language can take a test to demonstrate their proficiency (defined as having second language skills that are equivalent to or greater than placement into the second year of a college language course.)
  3. Students with second language learning experiences in high school can take a test to demonstrate their proficiency (defined as having second language skills that are equivalent to or greater than placement into the second year of a college language course).
  4. Students can complete two semesters of a world language at the college level (students with prior world language experience may test out of the first semester.)
  5. Students can complete a semester-long study abroad experience in a non-English speaking country.

Students in the Adult and Continuing Education program are exempt from the world languages and cultures requirement.

A Community of Undergraduate Scholars

Psychology students join an active community of undergraduate scholars through participation in curricular and extracurricular activities. The department Lecture Series features local, state and national authorities. An active national honor society in psychology (Psi Chi) hosts colloquia and sponsors service projects. The Seminar Series introduces students to their major, supplies the foundation for professional ethics, and helps students develop career and graduate study plans. Students may complete an Undergraduate Thesis (an independent research project), pursue special topics through one-to-one Independent Studies with faculty mentors, or construct Multidisciplinary Majors by proposing courses of study from other departments (e.g., Neuroscience, Animal Behavior).

The Clinical Psychology Laboratory

The Clinical Psychology Laboratory at Capital University conducts research investigating interpersonal violence, trauma, addictions, emotion regulation, and other topics relevant to the study of clinical psychology. Undergraduate students participate in regular lab meetings, conduct independent and collaborative research projects, and present research findings at local and national conferences.

The Psychology Eye-tracking Laboratory

Located in the basement of Renner Hall (Room 030) and made possible through the generous support of an alumna and matching university funds, the Psychology Eye-tracking Laboratory allows student and faculty researchers to monitor the eye movements of participants as they are presented with materials on a computer screen.  The eye-tracker allows researchers to measure where participants look and for how long.  The eye-tracker has been used to monitor eye movements while reading stories that contain misleading information, while looking at Facebook pages and while reading and playing music on a keyboard.

The McCrystal Laboratory for Behavioral Research

Students learn the significance of basic psychological research in the McCrystal Laboratory, a teaching facility that houses up to 60 animals (rats) and is equipped with a foraging arena, a radial arm maze, a running wheel, and operant chambers. Students assist faculty with research and conduct their own independent studies on learning, memory, decision making and choice behavior.

Community Partnerships for Education

Students are encouraged to combine theory and practice through participation in supervised internships, volunteer experiences and service-based learning. Student interns gain valuable clinical training and acquire technical and research skills relevant to careers in psychology. The Psychology Department builds community partnerships with private and public agencies, local and state government, business and industry, and a variety of health care and research settings. For example, students may acquire experience in the following settings:

  • psychiatric hospitals and outpatient mental health clinics
  • adult and adolescent substance abuse treatment centers
  • adult and juvenile correctional sites (jails, prisons, detention centers)
  • facilities for the treatment of autism, mental retardation and developmental disabilities
  • personnel and human resource departments in local companies
  • law enforcement agencies (police & sheriff’s departments)
  • private and corporate security agencies (private detective agencies, security companies specializing in white-collar crime, loss prevention)
  • probation, parole, and diversion programs
  • vocational and industrial rehabilitation centers
  • nursing homes, elder-care programs & Alzheimer’s treatment units
  • research laboratories (centers for sleep medicine, neuropsychology, & traumatic brain injury)
  • day-care centers and early intervention programs for at-risk children and families
  • advocacy groups, law practices and local & state government agencies

Program Requirements

  • There are no entrance requirements to declare a psychology minor.
  • Psychology majors need a “C” or better in PSYCH 110, SoSci 210, and SoSci 220 in order for the course to be counted for the major.

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