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    Undergraduate Learning Goals and Associated Outcomes - Psychology

    APA guidelines graphic

    The UW-L Psychology Department endorses the American Psychological Association's (APA) Learning Goals and Outcomes (2.0) as the student learning outcomes for the psychology undergraduate major. The outcomes detail the types of knowledge and skills you should expect to acquire during your completion of a bachelor's degree in Psychology. Your mastery of the learning objectives described in the guidelines should come as a consequence of courses taken both in and outside of psychology and through research and professionally-related experiences. Each of the five goals is associated with specific learning outcomes.

    Goal 1: Knowledge Base in Psychology

    Students should demonstrate fundamental knowledge and comprehension of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, historical trends, and empirical findings to discuss how psychological principles apply to behavioral problems. Students completing Foundation courses should demonstrate breadth of their knowledge and application of psychological ideas to simple problems; students completing a baccalaureate degree should show depth in their knowledge and application of psychological concepts and frameworks to problems of greater complexity.
    • 1.1 Describe key concepts, principles, and overarching themes in psychology
    • 1.2 Develop a working knowledge of psychology’s content domains
    • 1.3 Describe applications of psychology

    Goal 2: Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking

    The skills in this domain involve the development of scientific reasoning and problem solving, including effective research methods. Students completing Foundation courses should learn basic skills and concepts in interpreting behavior, studying research, and applying research design principles to drawing conclusions about psychological phenomena; students completing a baccalaureate degree should focus on theory use as well as designing and executing research plans.
    • 2.1 Use scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena
    • 2.2 Demonstrate psychology information literacy
    • 2.3 Engage in innovative and integrative thinking and problem solving
    • 2.4 Interpret, design, and conduct basic psychological research
    • 2.5 Incorporate sociocultural factors in scientific inquiry

    Goal 3: Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World

    The skills in this domain involve the development of ethically and socially responsible behaviors for professional and personal settings in a landscape that involves increasing diversity. Students completing Foundation courses should become familiar with the formal regulations that govern professional ethics in psychology and begin to embrace the values that will contribute to positive outcomes in work settings and in building a society responsive to multicultural and global concerns. Students completing a baccalaureate degree should have more direct opportunities to demonstrate adherence to professional values that will help them optimize their contributions and work effectively, even with those who don’t share their heritage and traditions. This domain also promotes the adoption of personal and professional values that can strengthen community relationships and contributions.
    • 3.1 Apply ethical standards to evaluate psychological science and practice
    • 3.2 Build and enhance interpersonal relationships
    • 3.3 Adopt values that build community at local, national, and global levels

    Goal 4: Communication

    Students should demonstrate competence in writing, oral, and interpersonal communication skills. Students completing Foundation courses should write a cogent scientific argument, present information using a scientific approach, engage in discussion of psychological concepts, explain the ideas of others, and express their own ideas with clarity. Students completing a baccalaureate degree should produce a research study or other psychological project, explain scientific results, and present information to a professional audience. They should also develop flexible interpersonal approaches that optimize information exchange and relationship development.
    • 4.1 Demonstrate effective writing for different purposes
    • 4.2 Exhibit effective presentation skills for different purposes
    • 4.3 Interact effectively with others

    Goal 5: Professional Development

    The emphasis in this goal is on application of psychology-specific content and skills, effective self- reflection, project-management skills, teamwork skills, and career preparation. Foundation outcomes concentrate on the development of work habits and ethics to succeed in academic settings. The skills in this goal at the Baccalaureate level refer to abilities that sharpen student readiness for postbaccalaureate employment, graduate school, or professional school. These skills can be developed and refined both in traditional academic settings and extracurricular involvement. In addition, career professionals can be enlisted to support occupational planning and pursuit. This emerging emphasis should not be construed as obligating psychology programs to obtain employment for their graduates, but instead encourages programs to optimize the competitiveness of their graduates for securing places in the workforce.
    • 5.1 Apply psychological content and skills to career goals
    • 5.2 Exhibit self-efficacy and self-regulation
    • 5.3 Refine project-management skills
    • 5.4 Enhance teamwork capacity
    • 5.5 Develop meaningful professional direction for life after graduation