Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

Since graduating from LSSU's Communication program in 2008, Ben has enjoyed success in the insurance industry due in part to the skills he learned at LSSU. He currently is an Operations Supervisor for Farmers Insurance Group in Grand Rapids, MI and leads a team of 15 in a direct to customer contact center. The department plays a major role in Farmer's market strategy by supporting the local agent distribution channel with extended hours via phone and chat. "The interpersonal and organizational communication skills I learned at LSSU are used on a daily basis in insurance. Insurance is an intangible product that is more of an interpersonal relationship between the policy holder and the company", says Ben. "My primary job is coaching team members to effectively analyze and communicate complex situations in a way our customers understand using straightforward and proactive interaction models. The curriculum at LSSU not only prepared in my current job, but also prepared me to know how to transfer these skills to my team."

Ben Momber - BA Communication 2008

College of Arts, Letters and Social Sciences

School of Social Sciences

Psychology Department

In light of the University mission statement, the psychology discipline adopted a mission statement in January 1993, and as updated in 2011:

The Lake Superior State University (LSSU) Psychology program recognizes that interest in human behavior is universal. An understanding of human behavior is critical to successful living and to satisfying careers. Both nationally and locally, psychology electives are the most frequently electives on college campuses and the most frequently required outside-major courses.

As the program focusing on the scientific study of human behavior, LSSU Psychology has four relatively distinct audiences. The psychology program at LSSU is committed to providing a quality psychological education to its four audiences:

  • psychology majors
  • psychology minors
  • general education students
  • majors and minors in other fields with required psychology coursework

Psychology Program Mission Statement

The LSSU Psychology program believes that an educated adult should appreciate environmental and biological influences on the development of the individual. Psychology's emphasis on scientific study of human behavior can provide knowledge to students at various levels of discourse. As a research-based discipline with strong philosophical roots, it is both a liberal arts discipline and a science.

Psychology believes in the worth and dignity of the individual student. Through student-faculty relationships, peer relationships, and student groups, the discipline seeks to provide a supportive relationship for intellectual growth well as role models of committed professional life.

For psychology majors and minors, the discipline seeks to increase knowledge of the methodology of psychological inquiry and develop analytical, critical thinking. Psychology is not committed to a set of answers but to the continuing ability to generate ethical, socially responsible questions that can be empirically assessed.

The academic skills crucial to success in Psychology include writing, critical reading, quantitative analysis, problem solving, and oral communication. Students develop a sense of perspective from which to view their own behavior and to select better personal goals.

For the applied student, Psychology offers skill training in interpersonal interviewing and in conceptualizing personal and interpersonal dynamics.

Psychology promotes student efficacy through success in demanding course activities, personal self study, and learning experiences designed to challenge student assumptions.

The LSSU Mission Statement (in bold) and Related Psychology Mission Statements (in italics)

  1. Our principal mission at Lake Superior State University is to help students develop their full potential.
    The LSSU Psychology program believes that an educated adult should appreciate environmental and biological influences on the development of the individual. Psychology's emphasis on scientific study of human behavior can provide knowledge to students at various levels of discourse. As a research-based discipline with strong philosophical roots, it is both a liberal arts discipline and a science.
  2. We do this by providing high-quality, academically rigorous programs
    Psychology promotes student efficacy through success in demanding course activities, personal self study, and learning experiences designed to challenge student assumptions.
  3. in an engaged, personal and supportive environment.
    Through student-faculty relationships, peer relationships, and student groups, the discipline seeks to provide a supportive relationship for intellectual growth well as role models of committed professional life.

    This combination
  4. nurtures potential and sets students on paths to rewarding careers and productive, satisfying lives.
    An understanding of human behavior is critical to successful living and to satisfying careers.
  5. We also serve the regional, national and global communities by contributing to the growth, dissemination and application of knowledge.
    the discipline seeks to provide a supportive relationship for intellectual growth well as role models of committed professional life .

Goals and Objectives

LSSU's Psychology Program has adopted as the foundation of its objectives the 10 learning goals of the American Psychological Association's “ Guidelines For The Undergraduate Psychology Major as Presented By The American Psychological Association” (2007) http://www.apa.org/ed/precollege/about/psymajor-guidelines.pdf

The first five of these goals focus on specific outcomes for the psychology major, and the second five on psychology's contribution to general education.

Knowledge, Skills, and Values Consistent With the Science and Application of Psychology

Learning Goals

Goal 1: Knowledge Base of Psychology
Students will demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.

Goal 2: Research Methods in Psychology
Students will understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation.

Goal 3: Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology
Students will respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and, when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.

Goal 4: Application of Psychology
Students will understand and apply psychological principles to personal, social, and organizational issues.

Goal 5: Values in Psychology
Students will be able to weigh evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect other values that are the underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.

Knowledge, Skills, and Values Consistent With Liberal Arts Education That Are Further Developed in Psychology

Goal 6: Information and Technological Literacy
Students will demonstrate information competence and the ability to use computers and other technology for many purposes.

Goal 7: Communication Skills
Students will be able to communicate effectively in a variety of formats.

Goal 8: Sociocultural and International Awareness
Students will recognize, understand, and respect the complexity of sociocultural and international diversity.

Goal 9: Personal Development
Students will develop insight into their own and others' behavior and mental processes and apply effective strategies for self-management and self-improvement.

Goal 10: Career Planning and Development
Students will emerge from the major with realistic ideas about how to implement their psychological knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.

These ten goals are linked to specific sample learning outcomes for psychology courses in a separate Excel document, Psychology_major_outcomes_Feb_2011.

The Psychology Program has used a wide variety of techniques to evaluate the outcomes of these objectives, including some, but not all, of those suggested by the American Psychological Association:

Task Force on Learning Goals & Outcomes    
Board of Educational Affairs, American Psychological Association (2002)    
     
Assessment Method LSSU comments
Classroom/Course Data    
Objective Tests Yes Almost all classes
Essay Tests Yes Most classes
Embedded Questions and/or Assignment Yes Some classes
Classroom Assessment Techniques (cf. Cross & Angelo)  Yes Some classes
Individual Projects/Performance Assessment    
Written Products (e.g, term papers, lab reports, critiques) Yes Some classes
New Oral Presentations (e.g., speeches, role plays) Yes Some classes
Graphic Tests and Displays Yes Some classes
Poster Presentations Yes Some classes
Structural/Situational Assessments  No  
Summative Performance Assessment    
Standardized Tests MFAT, GRE, GRE Psych Not every year
Locally-Developed Exams No  
Capstone Experiences PSYC498/495/499 Required for all majors
Internships Some classes  
Portfolios No  
Assessment Center Methods (e.g, in-baskets) No  
Case or Longitudinal Studies  No  
Self-Assessment/Reflection    
Student Journals Some classes  
Self-Critiques  Some classes  
Collaboration    
Research Teams    
Group Projects (e.g., written and oral) Some  
On-Line Group Activities (e.g., chat room traffic)  Few  
Interviews and Surveys    
Satisfaction Measures (e.g., alumni, seniors, employers, etc.)    
Alumni Not recently  
Seniors Almost yearly  
Employers No  
Performance Reviews No  
Exit Interviews Yes  
External Examiner Interviews Not recently  
Focus Groups Not yearly  
Follow-up Alumni Interviews  No  
Archival Measures    
Transcript Analysis No  
Analysis of Transfer Patterns Yes  
Syllabus Audit No  
Demographic Data Analysis No  
Alumni Database No  
Library Use Statistics No  

History with minor in Geography

Jacqueline Sytsma Novi & Cedarville, MI

Being such a small campus, it gives you the opportunity to be part of school activities without being intimidated. Plus, the campus being so small enables you to make good friends with students and professors. [ more ]

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