The faculty of the Department of Psychology are dedicated to pursuing
the following objectives:
A. To present a working picture of modern psychology, its corpus of knowledge
and its methods. Emphasis is placed on a core curriculum of basic, broad courses rather than on many specialized ones.
B. To prepare students either to secure employment immediately following Hanover or to continue on to pursue graduate studies. About 30% of our graduates go into graduate or professional education without interruption; about 80% of our students extend their education after some five years following graduation. It should be emphasized that a psychology major at the undergraduate level does not make one a psychologist. Entry into professional psychology is limited to the masters level and, in many cases, the doctoral level. What one does obtain at Hanover, however, is a
liberal arts education first and foremost, with secondary, special expertise in psychological science and methods.
C. To present the body of psychology to persons who have a genuine, but limited interest in the field. Much is to be gained from adding a limited specialization in psychology to a major concentration in another field. We attempt to coordinate psychology courses with courses in other departments; we try to accommodate students from other departments; and we try to provide knowledge to students who have only a personal interest in psychological matters.
The faculty of the Department of Psychology endorses the following
goals for undergraduate education in psychology suggested by the American
Psychological Association (A.P.A. Monitor, June, 1990, p.50):
Knowledge base. The goal is to help students develop a conceptual
framework embracing relevant facts and concepts rather than isolated bits of
knowledge, a basis for lifelong learning and not static, encyclopedic knowledge of
the current state of the field.
Thinking skills. We want our students to develop skills in learning,
critical thinking and reasoning. They should be able to refine and enhance their
curiosity about human behavior and experience, becoming amiable skeptics about most of what they encounter. This includes the capacity to think critically about
themselves and their differences from and similarities to others who differ from
themselves in gender, race, ethnicity, culture or class.
Language skills. We believe that the psychology major should be able to comprehend the discourse of the discipline and to write effectively in the language of the discipline.
Information-gathering and synthesis skills. The undergraduate should be
able to gather information from many sources to present a persuasive argument on
Research methods and statistical skills. Through learning quantitative
and qualitative methods of the discipline, students should become
increasingly independent in posing questions and pursuing answers through several
Interpersonal skills. Interpersonal awareness, sensitivity and
expanding self-knowledge should accompany the traditional cognitive outcomes of the study in the major.
History of psychology. Through history, students may better appreciate
the evolution of our methods, the discipline's theoretical conflicts, its sociopolitical issues and its place within the broader intellectual traditions of the sciences and humanities.
Ethics and values. Through study in our discipline, students should
learn the ethical principles of psychologists, use them to understand conflicts
and to generate alternative responses, and be able to act on their judgements.
The Department of Psychology endorses APA's "Principles for Quality Undergraduate Psychology Programs."1 The Department agrees that:
"Quality undergraduate programs set clear and high standards for their
students, promote their active learning, and give students systematic assessment
and feedback on their progress;"
"Quality undergraduate programs recognize that students learn about
psychology in multiple settings--classroom, laboratory, field experiences,
co-curricular programs (e.g., psychology clubs and science fairs), and through formal
and informal contacts with faculty, student, and peers;"
"Quality undergraduate programs are enriched by the diverse
characteristics of their students, drawing on and responding to their differences in age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability,
and socioeconomic status;"
"Quality undergraduate programs foster effective student advising which
goes beyond providing information about institutional procedures and policies
by motivating students:
to explore and develop their values, interests, abilities, career
and life goals;
to become increasingly independent in their decision making;
to play an active role in shaping advising policies and procedures;"
"Quality undergraduate programs support effective student advising by
unequivocal administrative support for the activity;
continuing education opportunities in innovative advising methods;
tangible rewards for those who are excellent;"
"In quality education programs, the curriculum is based on clear and
rigorous goals, including:
to synthesize the natural science and social science aspects of the discipline, requiring students to take courses in both knowledge bases;
to evaluate research methods (quantitative, qualitative, archival),
research designs (experimental, correlational, case study), statistics, and psychometric principles;
to appreciate the ethical practice of scientific inquiry;
to think scientifically, distinguishing observations from
conclusions and distinguishing theories and findings based on evidence from those
without such support;
to speak and to write effectively in the discourse of the
to respect the diversity of human behavior and experience and to appreciate the rich opportunities for science and social relationships that such differences provide;
to understand how the study of psychology enables individuals to
contribute to making their community a better place;"
"In quality undergraduate programs, faculty determine the best structure
of a curriculum to achieve the goals they identify. A common structure for
the baccalaureate curriculum includes:
required introductory courses;
advanced content courses;
integrating capstone experience;"
"In quality undergraduate programs, faculty determine the essential
elements of a curriculum to achieve the goals they identify. Common elements of a
multiple opportunities for students to be active and collaborative
research projects to learn the science of psychology;
fieldwork, practicums, and community service experiences to learn
the applications of psychology;
learning across the curriculum about ethical issues and values;
multiple courses emphasizing the diversity of human behavior;"
"In quality undergraduate programs, faculty establish mechanisms to
assess the curriculum. Essential elements of an assessment program include:
clearly stated and achievable outcomes for the curriculum and other program related experiences;
multiple measures of students' learning;
planned opportunities for systematic feedback to students on their
specific plan to use the data from assessment to improve individual
course instruction and the overall curriculum;
opportunities to communicate assessment results to the multiple
constituencies of undergraduate psychology."