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Angelo State University
Department of Psychology and Sociology

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Student Learning Outcomes and Measures

BA Psychology Program

  1. Access and Use Knowledge: Students will be able to access and use relevant psychological knowledge to solve comprehensive problems in different domains of the discipline.
  2. Measures: A local exit exam composed of 100 questions will be administered to students after they have completed major course requirements. The exam for undergraduates will cover 10 foundational areas in the discipline. The exam questions have been utilized for several years. Research substantiates their validity in discerning students’ mastery levels — scores are highly correlated with GPA in the major and scores in the “research methods” section are higher for students who take additional advanced courses in research methods
  3. Communication: PSY Students will be able to communicate effectively in a variety of formats.
  4. Measures: PSY students constructed a three-page written report that was divided into five parts. The communication was graded according to the clarity within each part, the smoothness of the transitions from one part to the next, and the coherence of the whole product.
  5. Integrative thinking: Students will use information from the different branches of psychology to analyze and improve human functioning in a variety of social contexts.
  6. Measures: PSY Students write an essay in which they discuss the influence of culture on psychological disorders. The topic requires them to think about concepts within multiple branches of psychology and organize them into a coherent discussion. The essays are graded for clarity of presentation, breadth of knowledge, use of illustrative examples, and plausibility.

BS Psychology Program

  1. Access and Use of Knowledge: Students will be able to access and use relevant psychological knowledge to solve comprehensive problems in different domains of the discipline.
  2. Measures: A local exit exam composed of 100 questions will be administered to students after they have completed major course requirements. The exam for undergraduates will cover 10 foundational areas in the discipline. The exam questions have been utilized for several years. Research substantiates their validity in discerning students’ mastery levels — scores are highly correlated with GPA in the major and scores in the “research methods” section are higher for students who take additional advanced courses in research methods.
  3. Communication: Students will communicate effectively in a variety of formats.
  4. Measures: PSY students construct and deliver a professional presentation, including PowerPoint slides. The presentation is a summary of their semester-long research project and includes four parts: introduction, method, results, and discussion. The presentation is scored for clarity, organization, thoroughness, and accuracy.
  5. Scientific Thinking: Students will use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and, when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
  6. Measures: Students will write a research report that summarizes their semester-long investigation of a question about human behavior and/or mental processes. The report will be graded for clarity, organization, accuracy, and scientific rigor.

BA and BS Sociology Programs

  1. Knowledge Competence: The primary objective of this program is to provide students with a base of knowledge in the field that they can take with them into graduate school, the job market, or other sectors of life where there exists a need to see the connection between individual life and larger social issues.
  2. Measures: Beginning in January 2017, seniors in the program who had not yet completed the capstone course must complete a 100-question comprehensive exit exam covering the key concepts of sociology, including major theories and theorists, research methods, and the application of sociology to various aspects of society (e.g., relationships, inequality, crime and punishment, education, religion, politics, employment, healthcare, ecology, and social change). This local exam is based on similar subject-based tests given by ETS and CLEP.
  3. Communication Competence: Students need to effectively engage in public discourse, be it to inform, persuade, or express themselves in various ways.
  4. Measures: Students in the program give oral presentations in various sociology courses, so the capstone course is used to synthesize that experience. Specifically, students must complete a two-part, 10-point exit interview. If they fail to complete both parts of the interview, they fail the course. During the interview, students discuss how they can use their knowledge and the papers they have written to participate in public discourse beyond the walls of ASU.
  5. Writing Competence: Students need to effectively communicate in written form.
  6. Measures: In preparation for the exit interview (2a), students are required to answer five open-ended questions about their experience in the program, including how the knowledge they gained from their courses can be turned into marketable skills.
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