Archived Voice Articles

Psychology department makes changes to its major

Five years ago the psychology department moved from a one-track to a two-track major, one for those interested in going to graduate school and one for those who want to immediately work in human services. This year, following their five-year program review, they are moving back to a one-track major.

Dr. Danny Hitchcock

Dr. Danny Hitchcock

“We found that those who had taken the graduate school track were doing well in the workplace even if they decided to do that instead, while those who went into human services positions and later decided they wanted to go back to school wished they had taken some other courses,” says Dr. Danny Hitchcock, chair of the department. “We feel this change offers the best education to our students.”

The change comes as a result of what is known on campus as program review, a periodic assessment of each department’s program to make sure that it offers the best education it can to its students.

“It forced us to look back at what we were doing and why, as well as what we should be doing and how we could do things better,” says Hitchcock.

Although three new courses were added, they will not significantly increase the size of the major, says Hitchcock. After some credit adjustments to other courses, the new major will be three hours larger: an additional one-credit lab to accompany the statistics course which will focus on the specialized SPSS software program used for social science research; a one-credit ethics seminar that will look specifically on how Christian responsibility relates to accepted secular ethical standards; and a two-credit tests and measurement course that will help students be better able to administer and use psychological tests.