Agenda for Action: Missouri Western State College

Quality Undergraduate Psychology Programs
July 25-28, 2001

Goal

To revise and modernize the curriculum for the general psychology major. • to build greater coherence into the curriculum • to base revisions on APA (2001) national standards and learning outcomes for undergraduates • to structure the curriculum to ensure both breadth and depth of coverage while allowing some flexibility for special topics • to incorporate more individual research, practice, and service learning experiences into the curriculum

Action Strategy & Timetable

  1. The department will hold discussions of the gaps and weaknesses in the current curriculum based on assessment data from last year's departmental review and the external review (Aug-Sept 2001, preliminary discussions to take place)

  2. Individual faculty members will use a departmental matrix approach to determine the knowledge, skills, values taught in each of their courses. Each will ask if, from a development perspective, each course is intended to be at the basic, developing, or integrative level. The matrices will be based on APA standards and skills (Sept 2001).

  3. The department curriculum committee (3 faculty & chair) will examine the individual faculty matrices and discuss ways to increase coherence, breadth/depth of coverage, gaps in the curriculum, etc. Questions to be asked include: "Are new courses needed? Should some be eliminated or revised? Can some topics be taught across the curriculum?" (Oct-Nov 2001).

  4. The department curriculum committee will report to the department with working model(s) of a restructured curriculum (end of fall semester 2001).

  5. The department, as a whole, continues discussions of the revised curriculum (considering resource issues, faculty workload, rotation, etc.) until plans are finalized (Jan-Mar 2002).

  6. College curriculum forms and format proposal are completed (April 2002).

  7. The curriculum proposal is submitted to the college curriculum committee and administration (June 2002).

  8. General debate and approval (we hope) of the curriculum will occur in the fall semester of 2002. The curriculum would become effective for the 2003-04 academic year.

Assessment

We have in place a departmental assessment plan where we regularly collect data from majors, alumni, etc. We keep a database on every student that includes GPA, exit exam scores, and a variety of other information. These multiple measures from multiple sources will be used to evaluate the new curriculum.