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The psychology faculty at KWU are invested in student education. We want to make sure that KWU’s program is producing students of the highest quality, the highest caliber. To that end, the department uses information from a variety of sources to measure student skill levels and knowledge.
- Obviously, class performance is important. We look at assignments, papers, presentations, debates, journals, test grades, or whatever else goes into students’ course grades.
- We also use data collected as part of the KWU Assessment Plan. Students must demonstrate English proficiency, preferably early in their collegiate career. As sophomores (or upon transferring), students take the nationally standardized test called the CAAP, which demonstrates their level of basic skills in reading, writing/grammar, mathematics, scientific reasoning, and critical thinking. We also use data from senior Exit Interviews and alumni surveys. See the catalog for more details.
- The KWU Assessment Plan also includes a senior level exam, usually taken the last semester before graduation. Psychology majors take the ETS Psychology Field Test, which is a nationally-normed, standardized test measuring basic knowledge of concepts, theories, and procedures in Psychology. It is similar in scope to the Psychology subject test of the GRE, but aimed at all seniors rather than just graduate-school-bound seniors. It allows us to compare the knowledge of our majors to the knowledge students acquire in other psychology programs across the country.
- Finally, the program asks graduates to submit a portfolio prior to graduation. In it, students provide a brief essay discussing their experiences with the program, as well as samples of their representative work (usually in the form of copies of term papers and major projects). Contact Dr. Steve Hoekstra for more information on portfolio expectations.
We encourage all our students to take assessment seriously. It allows us to shape and design the best education possible, both now and in years to come.