Assessment Practices for Undergraduate Psychology: A Model Perspective

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More than one million students earned a bachelor's degree in psychology over the course of the past 13 years, and the popularity of psychology as an undergraduate degree continues to grow. If the number of students majoring in psychology continues to increase at comparable rates, an additional one million psychology majors will graduate over the course of the next decade (National Center for Education Statistics, 2011). In other words, our graduates, armed with scientific reasoning skills (Halonen, Bosack, Clay, & McCarthy, 2003) will be psychologically literate citizens positioned to convey the core elements of the discipline to the larger population. Psychological literacy is the capacity to apply psychology using critical thinking with sufficient depth to examine complex problems. Achieving psychological literacy requires a multi-layered developmental model in order to educate students to a level that allows them to possess and demonstrate these skills. A student graduating with an undergraduate degree in psychology should have the full set of scientific reasoning skills that are central to the discipline of psychology. These graduates, in effect, become our disciplinary ambassadors.

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