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Competencies

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Program Competencies

The undergraduate competencies are central to the BA/MA in Psychology and Counseling program: every activity serves to advance and reinforce these skill sets.  Undergraduate competencies will be demonstrated as you progress through the program.  The competencies are degree requirements that reflect your ability to put your learning into practice, and reflect the common needs of typical employers of psychology BA graduates and of graduate programs of psychology and related fields evaluating candidates. 

These skill sets are also aligned with the guidelines for undergraduate programs of the American Psychological Association.

Communication:  

Written and presentation skills effectively used to convey varied and complex information to a variety of audiences.  

  • Oral and written products demonstrate the ability to construct coherent and organized expression that applies the basic mechanics of language (syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling).
  • Oral and written products demonstrate clear goals and support those goals appropriately (e.g., evidence from literature in the field, etc.).
  • Oral and written products demonstrate an awareness of and sensitivity towards the intended audience.
  • Written products demonstrate appropriate use of the APA Style.

Information Literacy and Computer Usage:  

Contemporary technology is effectively used to find pertinent information which is then appropriately used to communicate.

  • Judge relevance and authority of sources of information.
  • Discriminate between germane and irrelevant data.
  • Appropriately record information for proper citation in original work.
  • Navigate a variety of information systems (electronically supported and otherwise) effectively and use internet resources in completing course work, projects, and in communicating with others.  (Other specific technology may be used as relevant to specific projects.)

Ethical and Professional Behavior:  

Ethical standards in psychology are understood in the context of one’s own values system and our shared responsibilities to each other and the public good.

  • Demonstrate an awareness of one’s professional strengths and weaknesses, as scholars and citizens.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the personal issues related to one’s strengths and weaknesses, and improvement in areas of challenge.
  • Demonstrate the ability to make changes in one’s life and communicate reflections on such evolution.  (This should involve evidence of the ability to work with others.)
  • Apply current standards of academic integrity to one’s own work and that of others.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the history of social justice advocacy in psychology and one’s relation to it.

Critical and Creative Thinking:  

Evaluate and interpret information from varied sources to synthesize complementary and conflicting perspectives, in service of an original argument.  

  • Demonstrate awareness of and improvement in their academic skills over the course of the program.
  • Demonstrates an understanding and appropriate use of basic math and statistical applications appropriate to evaluating the work of others and to explaining one’s own work.
  • Demonstrates the ability to find, cull, and organize information, from a variety of relevant sources, and then use the information in an exploration of questions of personal and professional importance.  
  • Demonstrates the ability to evaluate different evidence-based perspectives in the formulation and analysis of a problem or question, and support a position with appropriate evidence.  
  • Demonstrates the ability to apply a creative process to explore an issue using imagination, intuition, and analytical methods, integrating one’s own ideas with those of others to address an issue.  
  • Demonstrates an awareness of appropriate methodological strategies for problem solving in general and for research in psychology.

Interdisciplinary Action:  

Apply knowledge in and across different fields of study, using multiple perspectives, paradigms, and frameworks to problems, topics, and issues.

  • Demonstrates the ability to identify the scope and goals of a project in relation to the most relevant fields of knowledge and sources of experience.  
  • Demonstrates the ability to plan necessary steps and progress-monitoring functions.  
  • Demonstrates the ability to gather and organize resources necessary to execute, involve and collaborate with others as appropriate.  
  • Demonstrates the ability to follow a plan of execution with appropriate flexibility and to evaluate concurrent results.
  • Demonstrates the ability to use ongoing evaluation to make adaptations during the execution of a project.
  • Demonstrates the ability to report the outcomes of a project from the perspectives appropriate to the origins of and participants in the project.