This document was created prior to the reorganization of the Psychology Division, at which time the divison was renamed the Behavioal Sciences Division. The study and teaching of psychology continues in the newly formed Psychological Sciences Department, which is now a department within the Behavioral Sciences Division.
This document is a sequel to previous plans, the first of which was initiated in 1980.
The Five Year Plan contains the following parts.
The Psychology Division’s 5-year plan was developed to support the overall mission of the University as a whole. Consequently, it is important to briefly review the mission and goals of Western Oregon University.
Western Oregon University is a comprehensive university that creates personalized learning opportunities, supports the advancement of knowledge for the public good and maximizes individual and professional development. Our environment is open to the exchange of ideas, where discovery, creativity and critical thinking flourish, and students succeed.
The Psychology Division's mission is to create lifelong learners in psychology. This means preparing graduates following the scientist-practitioner model: specifically, students in our program seeking professions within the field of psychology will recognize the scientific foundations of the discipline, will understand the core knowledge and concepts in the field, and will know how psychology can be used to solve human difficulties. Beyond using psychology in occupations, our students will be able to evaluate and apply psychological information to their lives. This application will occur at personal levels with self and others; and at a community level with the issues and problems that face us as a society, a nation, and a world.
Both mission statements emphasize strong teaching and learning of knowledge. Second both missions support the development of new knowledge as critical to the advancement of science and its application to human problems and concerns. Third, both missions support informed service to others.
Accomplishing our mission means that our majors and minors will be familiar with the basic principles of traditional psychological content areas as well as skills in using scientific methodology, critical thinking and skeptical inquiry to advance psychological knowledge. Our majors and minors will also be competent in their ability to access, evaluate, and summarize psychological literature through writing and oral communication following American Psychological Association style guidelines. Our majors and minors will apply psychological knowledge, skills, and values to solve human difficulties in their professional careers and they will be able to evaluate and apply psychological information to their lives and be sensitive to and respect sociocultural and international diversity. To accomplish this mission, the psychology division has established the following goals:
For this document, the Action Guidelines serve as goals for the division, and assessment components reflect the range of possible options for determining progress towards meeting divisional goal.
Action Guideline:All psychology and gerontology prefix courses will be taught by psychology faculty or faculty approved by the Psychology Division. The most logical way to insure high quality instruction and a cohesive program is to provide high quality instructors. In psychology, this means hiring instructors whose training and primary identification at WOU is with psychology and aging studies.
Assessment: Vitae’s for adjunct and tenure track faculty will be collected and stored in the Psychology Office. Evaluation of the background and training will be completed by the Division Chair with assistance from the PRC.
Assessment: All instructors will be reviewed and observed as stated in the collective bargaining agreement.
Action Guideline:The Psychology Division will continue to diversify its course offerings to meet the existing and anticipated needs of both majors and minors, as well as students in other programs we serve.
Assessment: A matrix of all courses offered by the Psychology Division will show the frequency that courses are offered. This matrix will be updated annually. Requests from specific programs outside the Division for Psychology courses will be collected and reviewed at Division meetings.
2. The Psychology Division will provide courses for our majors and minors that cover the basic principles of traditional psychological content areas, aging studies, as well as skills in the use of the scientific method as an approach to understanding research methodology and advancing knowledge through critical thinking and skeptical inquiry.
Action Guideline:The Psychology Division will periodically evaluate the acquisition of psychological knowledge by assessing students at the beginning of their major (in General Psychology) and reassessing students near the end of their undergraduate careers (in an upper division core class).
Assessment: The achievement test periodically given to all General Psychology students will be compared to results from Psychology majors at the end of their programs. The capstone course (Psy 468) will also provide evidence of an understanding of the research process. Projects from this class will be collected as evidence.
3. The Psychology Division will provide course offerings that will expose students to sociocultural and international contexts. Students will gain insight into individual differences and be sensitive to, respect, and interact effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and cultural perspectives.
Action Guideline:Courses will continue to be reviewed to assure adequate coverage of culturally diverse material.
Assessment: A count of sections with a “D” designation will be made for each year.
4. The Psychology Division will provide students with the ability to apply psychological knowledge, skills, and values in their continual personal and career development and evaluation, as well as in their professional pursuits in a variety of settings.
Action Guideline: The Psychology Division will maintain high standards for all Psychology courses, thereby ensuring that students have adequate foundational knowledge in psychology and the ability to apply this knowledge in a variety of personal and professional domains.
Action Guideline:The Psychology Division will continue its commitment to providing practicum and mentoring classes to aid students in gaining applied skills as well as providing valuable personal and career development opportunities through Introduction to the Psychology Major: Careers and Opportunities and the Professional Issues in Psychology class.
Assessment: Record the number of students who are involved in the Practicum and Mentoring classes, as well as the Intro to the Major and the Professional Issues classes. Use data on this question from the alumni survey.
5. The Psychology Division will provide students with opportunities to demonstrate information competence, as shown by their ability to access, evaluate, and summarize psychological literature through writing and oral communication following the American Psychological Association style guidelines. Students will also show competence in the area of computer literacy and other emerging technologies as related to psychology and aging studies.
Action Guideline:The Psychology Division will continue to provide students with coursework that requires the development of information competence and the learning and application of new technology and applications.
Assessment: Evidence of information competence and computer literacy can come from the capstone projects, the PSY 468 projects which involve literature review, analysis, and presentation of data utilizing computer technology, and presentations at conferences. These projects will also demonstrate communication competence through both written and oral presentation.
6. The Psychology Division will have full responsibility for planning, development, and instructor selection of all courses bearing the Psychology (Psy), Gerotonology (Gero) prefixes at WOU. The Psychology Division will also review content of courses in other disciplines which include significant amounts of content falling within the traditional boundaries of psychology. These boundaries are defined by the divisions of the American Psychological Association.
Action Guideline:The psychology faculty will continue to review newly developed courses or offerings (e.g. workshops) that bear Psychology prefixes and are offered on the WOU campus or off-campus through the Division of Extended Programs or other related entities.
Assessment: The Psychology Division will monitor and request from the Division of Extended Programs and other entities offering off-campus programs vitae for all faculty proposed to teach psychology-related classes and workshops. Before approval, these vitae will be reviewed by the Division Chair and the PRC.
7. The Psychology Division will continue to review current course offerings and develop new offerings to meet existing and anticipated instructional needs. This includes cooperation with developing and existing programs which may utilize specific course offerings or require development of new courses.
Action Guideline:The Psychology Division will develop and protect from cancellation course offerings which reflect the breadth of psychological knowledge and its applications including research methodology.
Assessment: Findings from senior surveys and alumni surveys will be utilized to assess the requirements and suggestions for programmatic changes.
Action Guideline:The Psychology Division will continue develop the Geropsychology Minor and the Gerontology Major. In doing so, the Division will review other similar programs at other institutions.
1. The Psychology Division will provide sufficient staffing to support a continued, high-quality psychology major, gerontology major, psychology minor and geropsychology minor at Western Oregon University.
Action Guideline: Consistent with the WOU Strategic Planning Goal of Academic Quality, the Psychology Division will seek to have all psychology course offerings taught by regular, tenure track faculty members.
Assessment: Calculate the percentage of classes taught by regular, tenure track faculty members.
Action Guideline: Consistent with the WOU Strategic Planning Goal on Academic Quality, the Psychology Division move toward faculty/student ratios at levels of 15 to 1 for upper division classes and 24:1 for all course offerings..
Assessment: Calculate the faculty/student ratios for upper division and lower division course offerings.
Action Guideline: The Division will continue to use a selective admission procedure to the Psychology Major to control enrollment and to insure that entering students will be capable of success in the program.
Action Guideline: When adjunct instructors must be used, these adjunct instructors will be qualified to teach the specific course(s) and will be given adequate office space and other support.
Action Guideline: The Division Chair will hold quarterly meetings with adjunct instructors to provide support and information.
Action Guideline: Adjunct instructors will receive a welcome packet and have access to division syllabi.
Action Guideline: Adjunct instructors will be invited to quarterly full division meetings at least two weeks in advance.
Action Guideline: Non-tenure track faculty will be regularly evaluated with student evaluations and will be observed teaching by the Division Chair or designee.
Assessment: By the end of spring term, the Divison Chair will make sure evaluations have been done for all non-tenure track instructors.
Action Guideline: The Psychology Division will be responsible for the selection, hiring, and assignment of staff involved in teaching courses with a Psy or Gero prefix.
Action Guideline: The Psychology Division will maintain criteria for the selection and responsibilities of research and teaching assistants
2. The Psychology Division will identify essential areas of specialization required to support the Division majors and service areas and will insure that these core specialties are maintained in the event of staff turnover.
Action Guideline: The Psychology Division will seek to obtain the resources needed to maintain the areas of specialization necessary in our course offerings. This may require working to obtain commitments from the Division Chair, the Dean, and the Provost. Specialty areas include: experimental, learning, social, clinical, developmental, educational, industrial/organizational, neuropsychology, geropsychology and health.
3. The Psychology Division will provide sufficient staffing to maintain high-quality instruction in essential service courses (e.g. Psych 311, Psy 218, Psy 349, Psy 445 and Psych 415).
Action Guideline: The Psychology Division will maintain liaison with units served by psychology courses to insure unit as well as student satisfaction. Other educational units at WOU that utilize psychology course work include: early childhood and elementary education, special education, health, public policy and administration, criminal justice, and social policy.
4. The Psychology Division will continue to promote face to face, collegial contact within the Division.
Action Guideline: The Psychology Division will hold regular meetings and insist on close proximity of assigned offices, common rooms, laboratories, and support facilities.
Assessment: Calculate the number of weekly meetings.
5. The Psychology Division will continue to encourage creative teaching and will support faculty and laboratory development.
Action Guideline: Consistent with the WOU Strategic Planning Goal on the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Psychology Division will encourage its faculty to develop teaching laboratories and other curricular improvements. Innovations and developments will be demonstrated and discussed with regular and non-tenure track faculty on a regular basis.
Assessment: Tabulate the number of forums the Psychology Division holds each year that meet this need.
Action Guideline: Psychology will support faculty who develop non-traditional methods of course delivery such as online courses.
Assessment: Tabulate the number of online and non-traditional course offerings available for the year.
6. Consistent with the WOU Strategic Planning Goal on Improved Understanding and Awareness of Western, the Psychology Division will encourage research and service activities which bring visibility to the faculty member, the Division and the University.
Action Guideline: The Psychology Division will send relevant service related activities to the WOU Office of Public Relations and/or to the Dean’s office.
7. The Psychology Division will encourage and support faculty efforts to participate in sponsored research and development activities.
Action Guideline: The Psychology Division will help to create and maintain research laboratories necessary for individual faculty scholarship.
8. The Psychology Division will encourage and support a program of faculty professional development, including, when appropriate, retraining of present faculty to meet developing needs.
Action Guideline: The Psychology Division will continue to schedule regular meetings and forums whose primary function is the exchange of professional information.
Action Guideline: The Psychology Division will support sabbatical leaves and will work to facilitate such sabbaticals with minimal disruption to course offerings.
9. The Psychology Division will provide mentors and support for its members seeking tenure and promotion.
Action Guideline: Senior faculty members will actively assist newer faculty members in preparing for promotion and tenure.
10. The Psychology Division will endeavor to recruit faculty with diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds.
Action Guideline: Consistent with the WOU Strategic Planning Goal on Retention and Diversity, the Psychology Division will ensure that position opening announcements are distributed to sources examined by psychologists who may be ethnic or racial minorities.
Action Guideline: Encourage faculty/student research collaboration by providing research assistantships, sponsoring student participation in conferences/scholarly activities, providing students with information about ongoing faculty research, encouraging students to be active participants in research projects, ensuring quality experiences by developing policies outlining specific requirements for research and laboratory assistants.
Assessment: Document the number of students serving as RAs each year.
Assessment: Document the number of students participating in conferences each year.
Assessment: Document the number of students who serve as research participants each spring term.
Assessment: Document the number of collaborative faculty-student publications and presentations each year.
Assessment: Survey RAs each year regarding the quality of their experiences.
Action Guideline:Encourage student interest in teaching within their discipline by providing teaching assistantships, ensuring quality experiences by developing policies outlining specific requirements for teaching assistants.
Assessment: Document the number of students serving as TAs each year.
Assessment: Survey TAs each year regarding the quality of their experiences.
Action Guideline:Encourage tenure-track faculty to teach introductory level classes.
Assessment: Document the number introductory level classes that are taught by tenure track faculty each year.
Action Guideline:Support WOUPSA activities and events such as the Graduate School Review, various community service projects, social activities, and the WOU Academic Excellence Showcase.
Assessment: Provide list of WOUPSA activities
Assessment: Document the number of oral and poster presentations at the Psychology Research Conference.
Action Guideline: The Division of Psychology will continue to attract high quality students by maintaining rigorous academic standards for admission to psychology major, emphasizing recruitment of minority students, encouraging outstanding introductory Psychology students to consider majoring in psychology, and comprehensively advertising the Psychology and Gerontology majors.
Assessment: Document the number of applications to the major received, accepted, placed on probation, and denied each year.
Action Guideline: The Division of Psychology will continue to retain high quality students by surveying students about satisfaction with major/minor/advising/courses etc, tracking reasons for attrition, and mentoring students.
Assessment: Document the number of major and minor degree plans completed per year
Assessment: Document current student satisfaction with in house evaluation of graduating seniors each spring.
Assessment: Document alumni satisfaction through alumni survey every 5 years.
Action Guideline:Offer regularly scheduled advising sessions for all majors/minors, review the LACCs at regular intervals, systematically and fairly assign advisees to advisors.
Assessment: Document the number of group advising sessions each year and attendance.
Assessment: Document the number of advisees per faculty member.
Action Guideline:Encourage student participation in internships, practicum, and mentoring experiences.
Assessment: Document the number of students who participate in internships, practicum and mentoring each year.
Action Guideline:Sponsor informational sessions on graduate school admissions
Assessment: Document the number of guest speakers at WOUPSA and graduate school panel.
Action Guideline:Survey psychology graduates about their career paths
Assessment: Survey graduating seniors about career paths each spring.
Assessment: Conduct alumni survey every 5 years.
Action Guideline: Provide current students with information from graduating seniors and alumni.
Action Guideline:Provide guest speakers from the community
Assessment: Document number of guest speakers in classes each year.
Action Guideline:Continue to offer Psy 398 Professional Issues in Psychology
Action Guideline:Offer Psy 298 Introduction to the Psychology Major: Careers and Opportunities
Action Guideline:Offer resume workshops.
Action Guideline:Continue to develop and support psychCareers website in Moodle.
6. The Psychology Division will maintain excellent student/faculty relationships.
Action Guideline:Collaborate on professional endeavors with students.
Assessment: Document the number of faculty-student collaborative publications and presentations each year.
Action Guideline:Maintain contact with students through the use of office hours
Action Guideline: Provide opportunities for informal gatherings with faculty and students
Assessment: Document the number of WOUPSA events each year.7. The Psychology Division will support student participation in service learning opportunities.
Action Guideline: Faculty will support programming activities that support service learning8. The Psychology Division will provide students with opportunities to explore diverse populations.
Action Guideline:Continue to offer practicum and mentoring.
Action Guideline:Provide each faculty member an office, up-to-date networked computer and soft-ware, wireless access, and phone.
Action Guideline: Provide each faculty member laboratory space large enough to accommodate work with research assistants. Laboratory spaces should include facilities for the storage of research materials, a networked computer, and a phone.
Assessment: Maintain a record listing appropriate office and laboratory resources for each faculty member. Calculate the percentage of appropriate resources provided.
Action Guideline: Providefaculty and their students easy access to common rooms for meetings (WOUPSA, mentoring), seminars, practicum, data collection, etc.
Assessment: List rooms by their locations that are controlled by the Psychology Division for the purpose of Psychology faculty members’ activities and interactions with students. Identify barriers for ease of access and use. Keep a record of use including faculty member’s name and nature of activity.
Action Guideline:Provide easy access to equipment and supplies shared by members of the Psychology faculty (e.g., copying machine, scantron, printers, instructional, advising, and recruitment materials and equipment, and research materials and equipment).
Assessment: Generate a list of equipment and supplies needed to support the instructional, advising, recruitment, and research duties of the Psychology faculty. Make an inventory of this equipment and these supplies. Rate their quality including ease of access.
Action Guideline:Maintain a faculty and student computer lab with hardware and software designed to facilitate instructional and research activities.
Assessment: Make an inventory of equipment and a record of services available in the computer lab housed in the Psychology Division.
Action Guideline:All allotted office, lab, and conference space will be adequately used or made available for use in order to support space issues on campus.
Assessment: Record use of all spaces controlled by the Psychology Division in terms of number of activities, hours of use, and head counts.
2. The Psychology Division will collect and arrange use of instructional, advising, and recruitment materials and laboratory equipment.
Action Guideline:The Psychology Division will arrange for the systematic secure storage and access of instructional advising, and recruitment equipment and materials. This includes cameras and other equipment that facilitates development of on-line courses, a catalogued source of videos, compact disks, DVDs tests and surveys, reference materials and manuals, as well as related equipment (lap tops and projectors). This also includes materials for advising and recruiting students, such as a portable presentation board. This source will include a check-out system. Potentially, this source will be supported by a teaching assistant or other employed individual.
Action Guideline:The Psychology Division will arrange for the systematic secure storage of equipment and materials for psychology laboratories. This includes computer software and peripherals. Potentially, these will be supported by a laboratory assistant or other employed individual.
Assessment: List procedures in place for secure storage of instructional, advising, and research equipment and materials. List the titles of individuals supporting these procedures. Keep a record of hours dedicated to the design and implementation of these procedures.
3. The Psychology Division will provide its faculty with administrative and other support for all relevant instructional and non-instructional professional activities.
Action Guideline:The Psychology Division will have a full-time administrative assistant who can support the development of on-line instruction and other on-line faculty materials and who can type in APA style. The administrative assistant will be consistent over the years, available for reception and phone coverage, and easily accessible for faculty. In addition, the administrative assistant will be computer oriented in order to enter rough drafts and data into computer based information processing programs. (The administrative assistant will aid faculty in providing some student services such as communicating initial advising information, cataloging and displaying relevant student materials (school and job opportunities), and facilitating exchanges of information between faculty and students.)
Assessment: Keep an annul record of the job description of the administrative assistant in the Psychology Division that indicates the number and nature of duties performed in support of the Psychology faculty. Maintain a record across the years of the number of people (and their qualifications) filling the administrative assistant position in the Psychology Division.
4. The Psychology Division will promote physical conditions, such as proximity of office space, which increases collegial interactions.
Action Guideline:Allow easy access of faculty to one another—close proximity to allow daily face-to-face contact.
Assessment:List full time members and adjunct members of Psychology Division that are housed in 3rd floor Todd Hall and elsewhere. Identify barriers, such as double doors, that are physically separating faculty members.
Action Guideline:The Psychology Division will arrange the physical environment of its space to encourage faculty to interact with each other and their students. A warm and welcoming physical arrangement will facilitate such faculty interchanges. Therefore, rugs, pictures, furniture, books, magazines, coffeepot, refrigerator, and other amenities need to be acquired and arranged to meet this goal.
Assessment: Make a list of appropriate amenities for various rooms controlled by the Psychology Division. Inventory these amenities and keep a record of new acquisitions.
5. The Psychology Division will promote development of on-campus and off-campus sources of support for instructional, advising, and research activities within the Division.
Action Guideline: The Psychology Division as part of its Forum will systematically invite representatives of various support sources to Division Meeting for information and communication.
Action Guideline:The Psychology Division will maintain relations with campus agencies and programs that monitor state and federal grant programs in areas relevant to psychology. Faculty will be encouraged to pursue external sources of support.
Action Guideline: The Psychology Division will pursue campus and off-campus resources that offer faculty training in innovative teaching methods, including on-line course offerings.
Action Guideline:The Psychology Division will pursue campus and off-campus resources that support effective advising of psychology students.
Action Guideline:The Psychology Division will pursue campus and off-campus resources to acquire library materials and services that promote the study of psychology.
Action Guideline:The Psychology Division will pursue campus and off-campus resources to obtain access to innovative educational technologies and media materials in the area of psychology.
Action Guideline:The Psychology Division will pursue campus resources to ensure adequate classroom conditions. This includes classrooms that are clean, appropriate for the size of the class, and supplied with current and reliable technological instructional equipment.
Assessment: On and off-campus support for duties of Psychology faculty members can be measured by the number of available materials that give resources and information for their duties. Number of and hours of programs that provide contact with on campus and off campus personnel that offer support to faculty duties can be recorded. Number and hours of meeting that provide an exchange of strategies for and encouragement and support of duties can also be recorded.
6. The Psychology Division will support reduced and flexible teaching load for faculty.
Action Guideline:We will support flexible teaching loads in terms of supporting reduced load whenever possible and supporting flexible course offerings and scheduling.
Action Guideline: The Psychology Division will maintain membership on campus organizations that facilitate reasonable load and working conditions for faculty. The division representatives will facilitate communication between these organizations and members of the Division.
Assessment: Keep a record of schedules and loads taught by each faculty member. Assess these for modifications in the number of courses taught or scheduling of courses that reduce faculty instructional time or duties.
1. The Psychology Division will share its psychological expertise with the WOU community and beyond.
Action Guideline:The Psychology Division will exert its influence effectively on the WOU community through strong representation on the Faculty Senate and important committees. Such membership will ensure that the Division has the information necessary for it to continue to thrive, as well as being in a position to influence the direction the campus takes in the future. In addition, this action guideline contributes to the WOU Strategic Planning Goal of Internal Cohesion.
Assessment: Provide list of committee memberships each year.
Action Guideline:The Chair of the Psychology Division (or other faculty member so designated) will continue to serve as liaison for interdepartmental program development. The Psychology Division must be actively involved as other instructional programs are developed and/or revised which include psychology courses or content.
Assessment: Maintain a list of membership in curriculum committee, graduate studies committee, faculty senate, and other committees.
Action Guideline:The Psychology Division will maintain or increase advisory and advocacy activities with regard to psychologically relevant programs, policies, and populations on campus and in the larger community. The psychology faculty has an ethical responsibility to use its psychological knowledge positively. This responsibility may be fulfilled by advising others concerning the psychological implications of their programs.
Assessment: Document the number of faculty presentations on campus and within the larger community each year and include that data in the Division’s Annual Report.
Action Guideline: The Psychology Division will maintain a website that includes links to psychology faculty websites, advising materials, career-related information, and helpful links for students and community members.
Assessment: Divisional faculty and staff will occasionally review the state of the website.
2. The Psychology Division will encourage its faculty to participate in formal and informal professional groups and to maintain contact with professional colleagues to further its influence in the professional community.
Action Guideline:The Psychology Division will support and assist its members to interact with the community by encouraging a) membership in professional organizations, b) consulting and advisory functions, c) attendance at conferences, trainings and workshops, and d) continuing education. Such activities place the faculty in contact with professional colleagues and potential consumers. WOU can support this by way of released time, administrative assistant service, use of WOU facilities, as well as travel and training funds.
Assessment: Document the number of Psychology division grant requests and amount funded each year.
Assessment: Document the number of professional memberships supported through the Psychology division faculty development each year.
3. The Psychology Division will foster relationships with the greater community for practicum and job placement opportunities.
Action Guideline: The Psychology Division will continue to have tenure or tenure-track faculty facilitate and supervise practicum experiences for students. The Division will seek to have the above responsibilities compensated by having them incorporated into the faculty member(s) normal teaching load.
Assessment: The Psychology Division will track the number of practicum students who received Psy 409 (practicum) credit each year.
Action Guideline: The Psychology Division will attempt to hold regular career-related programming.
Assessment: The Psychology Division will track the number of career-related programming events each year.
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