PSY 101 : General Psychology

This course provides an introduction to the field of psychology, including its history and controversies, its sub-fields and divisions, its major theorists and theoretical perspectives, and its current state and promise. The focus will be on how we develop across the life span, the biological basis of our behavior, the nature of intelligence and learning, personality, psychological disorders, and how we behave in social situations. The aim is for students to gain an appreciation for the science of psychology and how it can be applied to our own lives. Prerequisite: Passing scores on the College's writing and reading placement tests, or a C or better or concurrent enrollment in ENG 091 or ENG 092. Three lecture hours per week. Gen. Ed. Competencies Met: Multicultural and Social Perspectives.


Students who successfully complete this course will be able to: 1. Identify the core subfields of psychology and a sampling of the key figures and key terms associated with them. 2. Differentiate between the main theoretical perspectives within the field (psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, humanistic, and biological). 3. Define psychological research terminology. 4. Recognize research terms found in psychological studies that have supported the discipline. 5. Demonstrate an increased awareness of how psychological principles impact individual lives.

PSY 165 : Psychology of Learning, Motivation, and Achievement

This course examines the scholarly literature concerning nonintellectual factors related to student success in college and career. The facets covered include the literature on psychological factors, skills, and behaviors that have been found to be positively associated with Grade Point Average (GPA); graduation from college with a baccalaureate degree in a timely manner; and attaining fulfilling work in a professional job upon graduation from college. The relevance of these factors, skills, and behaviors to each student’s own success in college and selection of a college major and career is explored through critical analysis and evaluation of them. The primary focus is on factors affecting each student’s own learning, motivation, achievement, selection of a college major, and definition of a tentative career path. Another focus is on learning strategies for helping oneself and others become more successful students. Prerequisite: A passing score on the reading and writing and placement tests or C or better or concurrent enrollment in ENG 091 or ENG 092. Three lecture hours per week. Gen. Ed. Competencies Met: Critical Thinking.


For First Year Experience: 1. Identify college resources including technology resources and means of accessing them. 2. Identify student learning style preferences and their relationship to college success. 3. Formulate academic and career goals. 4. Apply proven strategies for changing negative beliefs to self-affirming ones.

PSY 230 : Statistics for Psychology

This course provides an introduction to statistical methods used in psychological research. The emphasis is on conceptual understanding of statistics within the context of research. It includes an introduction to the analysis of quantitative data in psychology, including descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, correlation, regression, probability, hypothesis testing, nonparametric procedures, and data analysis with SPSS. This course is also appropriate for students wanting to major in other Social Sciences. Pre-requisite(s): PSY 101 and MTH 119. Three lecture hours and one laboratory hour per week. Instructional Support Fee applies. Gen. Ed. Competencies Met: Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.


1. Define various research methods and statistics used in psychological research. 2. Identify and effectively apply descriptive and inferential statistics for specific research questions and sets of data. 3. Identify appropriate statistical analyses for various psychological research questions and explain why their choices are appropriate. 4. Perform statistical analyses of data using SPSS and explain/interpret the results.

PSY 232 : Research Methods in Psychology

The main purpose of this course is to help students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to become informed critics of psychological research reported in scholarly journals and in the media. Emphasis will be placed on using scientific reasoning to interpret, design, and critique research from diverse areas of psychology. Topics covered include: identifying and creating appropriate research hypotheses; examining ethical issues in psychological research; acquiring skills in the design of descriptive, correlational, and experimental research; developing familiarity with the psychological literature; and creating an original research proposal in American Psychological Association publication style. Pre-requisite: PSY 230 with a minimum grade of "C". Three lecture hours per week. Gen. Ed. Competencies Met: Critical Thinking, Information Literacy and Scientific Reasoning and Discovery.


By the end of the course students will be able to: 1. Articulate the value of the scientific method and evidence-based inquiry, as compared other forms of inquiry. 2. Use scientific reasoning to interpret, design, and critique basic psychological research, using concepts such as: research, design, reliability, validity and sampling. 3. Evaluate the appropriateness of statistical analyses used for various psychological research. 4. Demonstrate comprehension of the APA ethical guidelines and principles that guide psychological research. 5. Exhibit information literacy, including locating scholarly psychology sources, critiquing the quality of the sources, and summarizing the information that is accessed. 6. Demonstrate competence in writing using APA style, including ability to write a logical scientific argument and present information using a scientific approach.

PSY 252 : Child Development

A study of the development of human behavior from conception to adolescence with special emphasis on childhood. Special attention is given to the physical, social and cultural factors as well as the child's interpersonal relationships. Prerequisite: PSY 101. Three lecture hours per week.


  1. Explain how prenatal factors impact child development.
  2. Describe how research has shaped the field of child development.
  3. Give examples of how physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional factors impact the development of the child.
4. Discuss the impact of cultural, ethnic and socioeconomic factors influencing child development.

PSY 253 : Adolescent Psychology

This course focuses on the development of the adolescent. The major theories regarding adolescents, with emphasis on their attitudes, values, motives, and problems of adjustment are studied. Prerequisite: PSY 101. Three lecture hours per week.


  1. Demonstrate knowledge of how scientific methodology is applied to the study of adolescent psychology.
  2. Critically analyze major theories that explain adolescent behavior.
  3. Compare and contrast the impact of social settings on adolescent behavior.
  4. Describe the effects of cognitive development on adolescent behavior.
  5. Analyze psychosocial factors that influence adolescent behavior.

PSY 254 : Psychology of Personality

This course is an introduction to the study of personality. The course examines various theoretical explanations for understanding personality development and explores the strengths and weaknesses of each theory. This course also investigates how personality is assessed and explores the validity and reliability of several tools. Prerequisite: PSY 101. Three lecture hours per week.


  1. Identify the key concepts that are associated with the major personality theories.
  2. Evaluate the strengths and the weaknesses of the theories that have shaped the field.
  3. Explore how research and psychological testing apply to personality theories.
4. Assess theories of personality and how they relate to human behavior, experience and psychopathology.

PSY 255 : Abnormal Psychology

This course focuses on a wide range of ways in which personality may become disordered. Emphasis is placed on normal human development as highlighted by psychopathology and on problems of treatment. Prerequisite: PSY 101. Three lecture hours per week. Gen. Ed. Competencies Met: Critical Thinking.


  1. Demonstrate an increased awareness of how to discriminate between “normal” behavioral functioning from “maladaptive” functioning.
  2. Summarize methods that are used to classify and assess psychological disorders.
  3. Distinguish between the major psychological disorders and their diagnostic criteria.
  4. Differentiate between the main theoretical perspectives within the field and their approach to etiology and treatment.
6. Understand the unique problems facing individuals with various mental health issues and think critically about the sociological, economical and cultural ramifications of psychopathology.

PSY 257 : Social Psychology

This course examines the historical background of Social Psychology and the significance of various historical and current theoretical perspectives. Scientific research methods used in this field will be analyzed, including ethical concerns and legal issues. Topics to be studied in-depth include: social cognition and perception; attribution errors and biases; group processes and group relations; social attitudes and beliefs; stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination; prosocial and helping behaviors; and aggression and conflict. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101. Three lecture hours per week. Gen. Ed. Competencies Met: Ethical Dimensions and Multicultural and Social Perspectives.


1. Analyze and discuss the significance of historic and contemporary scientific research and methods used in this field, including ethical concerns and legal issues. 2. Describe and critically evaluate classic and recent social psychology experiments. 3. Discuss the enduring themes of social psychology. 4. Demonstrate an understanding of how various key social psychology themes, theories, and concepts apply to everyday living and current world problems.

PSY 258 : Introduction to Behavior Modification

This course is designed to help the student develop an understanding and appreciation of behaviorism in psychology. Emphasis is placed on the various techniques used in a clinical or hospital setting to modify patient behavior. Prerequisite: PSY 101. Three lecture hours per week.


  1. Define, explain and illustrate the major concepts and principles of classical and operant conditioning.
  2. Demonstrate practical understanding of behavior modification through the design, implementation and evaluation of a behavior-change program.
  3. Understand the ethical ramifications in the use of behavioral principles to alter behavior.
  4. Recognize how research findings relate to behavioral change.
5. Explain how behavior modification skills are applied in a variety of settings.

PSY 259 : Psychology of Personal Adjustment

This course will provide an opportunity for students to gain insight into their own behavior as well as that of others. Goals for this course include: understanding personal adjustment and growth across the life span, dealing with life changes and developing adequate coping mechanisms for making self-affirming life choices, maintaining health, managing stress, relating to others in social environments, and developing effective interpersonal relationships. Strategies for exploring life options and making effective decisions are emphasized. Importance is placed on the role of beliefs and values in the decision-making process and the problems that arise out of value conflicts. Prerequisite: PSY 101. Three class hours a week.


  1. Compare and contrast psychological theories about the roots of beliefs and values and how they influence the decision-making process.
  2. Identify self-defeating beliefs, thoughts, habits, and behaviors and apply psychological strategies to change them into self-affirming ones.
  3. Discuss strategies for developing and maintaining effective interpersonal relationships.
4. Demonstrate ability to use creative visualization techniques for managing stress; identifying and achieving high priority life goals; and rehearsing desired behaviors.

PSY 260 : Topics in Psychology

A one-semester course on a specific topic in psychology. Topic to be announced each semester. Prerequisite: PSY 101. Three lecture hours per week.


1. Define terminology specific to the topics discussed 2. Apply course materials to real world scenarios 3. Identify key concepts connected to topic 4. Evaluate arguments about the course theme

PSY 262 : Introduction to Thanatology

This course is a survey of the numerous loss experiences in the human condition with special attention to dying issues, the demography of death, grief, funeralization and memorialization. Attention will be given to special types of grief, children's education and afterlife theories. Three lecture hours per week.


  1. Demonstrate personal knowledge of the current trends and over 100 glossary concepts utilized in thanatology.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to prepare and plan their own funeral arrangements and help others to do the same.
  3. Explain the death and grief process to children by knowing their awareness levels and expected grief manifestations.
  4. Understand trauma deaths such as suicide, SIDS, miscarriage and child’s death with specific attention to causes, prevention and grief reactions.
  5. Develop a comprehensive guide of resources and support groups for the dying and those who are grieving.
  6. Recognize and explain good health practices and statistical correlates for longevity.

PSY 264 : Psychology of Grief

The course is an in-depth experience into the myriad facets of the grieving process. It is designed to enlighten the student cognitively and affectively about the components, determinants, manifestations and specific reactions of various losses and the consequent grieving process. The differences between normal and unresolved grief, the tasks of grieving and the holistic impact will be addressed. Special attention will be given to traumatic death grief. Three lecture hours per week.


  1. Gain comprehensive knowledge of the causes, distinctions, manifestations of grief and the holistic impact with the attention to the candidacy and clues of unresolved grief.
  2. Distinguish between the avoidance patterns of grief and successful grieving.
  3. Examine and explain cultural differences and gender differences in the grieving process.
  4. Develop competency in the techniques of death notification and understand the impact of trauma death.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of specific trauma death such as homicide, military death, genocide, mega death as well as its consequences to the griever and society.

PSY 266 : Introduction to Grief Counseling

The course focuses on the qualities and skills as well as the functions and goals of the grief facilitator. Pre-need, at need, aftercare intervention and healing techniques will be addressed for a variety of loss experiences. An in-depth analysis of counseling theories will be presented, as well as resources for referral counseling. Three class hours a week.


  1. Develop best personal qualities required for a counseling relationship and the ability to employ those professional skills for effective counseling.
  2. Understand major goals of grief counseling and avoid pitfalls and problems.
  3. Define and explain major theories of psychotherapy to assist in the application of concepts for counseling advice and referral.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of crisis counseling, intervention, and interview techniques as well as aftercare guidance.
  5. Offer a multitude of choices and options available for the adjustment period of grief as well as techniques for motivational counseling that will give success in grief recovery.

PSY 267 : Introduction to Gerontology: The Study of Aging

Society as a whole is rapidly aging at an unprecedented rate. Using a multi-disciplinary approach, the aging process is examined from a variety of perspectives, including contemporary biological, psychological, and social theories. Various problems facing today's elders -- and those in caretaking roles for older adults -- are examined, including health, social, economic, political, and other age-related issues. Three lecture hours per week.


  1. Understand and utilize the vocabulary of Gerontology.
  2. Discuss the various aspects of the aging process which includes the biological, psychological, psychosocial, spiritual, chronological and financial.
  3. Define and discuss the ageist attitudes in our society and compare those with other cultures.
  4. Describe the impact of the aging process on family, friends, healthcare resources, the community and the available living environments, which include the Eden Alternative and the Greenhouse Project of Dr. Bill Thomas and culture change in extended care settings.
  5. Advocate for positive approaches to good nutrition, preventative healthcare programs, exercise and access to learning communities.
6. Understand the advance directive documents that promote autonomy and have an impact on the quality of life of our elders.

PSY 269 : Geropsychology

This course offers an in-depth, holistic examination of the biological, emotional, and mental components of the human person in the aging process and how they impact the health, lifestyle, and social life of elders. Special attending is given to Alzheimer's disease as well as emotional and personality disorders encountered by elders. Three lecture hours per week.


  1. Students will have a comprehensive knowledge of the Gerontology/Geriatric glossary of terms and theories, the holistic nature and problems encountered in the aging process, the myriad legislative benefits/advocacy/protections as well as social/health/agencies for support.
  2. The student will gain a skill and competency to explain clearly information required for seniors, to offer coping strategies and enlighten seniors to the challenges and choices amidst the social trends which are currently affecting their lifestyles.
  3. Because of the great deal of affective learning in the course, the student will have gained a sensitivity to all senior issues and concerns to better understand their role as facilitators.

PSY 271 : Global Leadership

This course provides students the opportunity to identify and develop some of the interpersonal competencies and skills that are important for success as a leader in a global workforce. Students assess their global leadership potential and identify strengths and areas in need of improvement. They learn needs assessment and project design skills, problem-solving strategies, and team-building skills and practice them while either serving at a non-profit organization in the community or leading peers on a community service project. Students reflect on their service experience and identify some possible projects for which they could apply their education to address social problems in their communities in the future. Three hours of lecture per week. Gen. Ed. Competencies Met: Ethical Dimensions, Global and Historic Awareness and Multicultural and Social Perspectives.


  1. Students will gain knowledge about the interpersonal competencies and skills that are important for success as a leader in a global workforce and assess their potential for global leadership.
  2. Students will gain knowledge about strategies for needs assessment, problem solving, effective team building, and project management skills.
  3. Students will gain practice in using these strategies and skills in face-to-face class discussions and by either engaging in a service-learning project or taking a leadership role in a community service project

PSY 280 : Disorders of Childhood: Development and Psychopathology

Maladaptive patterns of behavior, cognition and emotion may occur during childhood and adolescence, and the normal unfolding of maturational milestones may be disrupted and disordered. This course examines the various atypical responses that children experience when "normal development goes awry". The course content makes three assertions. First, that children develop within the contexts of home, school, and community and may be at risk for psychopathology when these environments do not support healthy growth. Second, that development is driven by the interplay of biology and the environment and psychopathology are not inevitable. Protective factors function in both the individual child and the child's environment. Third, children are vulnerable to the emergence of diverse disorders during particular times in development, and that one set of factors may or may not lead to maladaptive behavior, emotion or cognition. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 and PSY 252. Three lecture hours per week.


  1. Understand the developmental course, etiology, assessment, diagnosis and intervention of various psychological disorders beginning in childhood and adolescence.
  2. Explain the biopsychosocial model of human development.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the complexity of the many pathways toward child psychopathology.
4. Challenge stigmas assigned to children and families who suffer from psychological disorders.

PSY 281 : The Effects of Drugs on the Body & Mind

This course is designed to help students gain knowledge of alcohol and other drugs in the context of individual use. The primary goal is to understand how drugs alter the brain and have an impact on thoughts, feelings and behaviors. There will be an emphasis on drug induced changes in neurological functioning. Etiology of addiction from a biological perspective will be explored. This course serves as a prerequisite for many of the courses in the Substance Abuse Counseling Certificate Program. Three lecture hours per week.


Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to: 1. Define and discriminate between the categories of drugs of abuse. 2. Describe current trends in drug use and abuse in the United States. 3. Analyze and explain how drugs affect the nervous system and how they are processed by the body. 4. Demonstrate an understanding of the psychological, sociological, and physiological effects of mood altering substances. 5. Recognize the signs and symptoms of addiction. 6. Identify the biological perspective of drug addiction.

PSY 287 : Introdcution to Addiction Studies

This course is designed to help students gain an understanding of addiction from a psychological, sociological, biological and spiritual perspective with a strong focus on diversity in addicted populations. The concept if addiction as a disease will be examined. Consequences of addiction as they related to the individual regarding intervention, treatment, education, and relapse prevention are introduced. This course requires that the student attend at least 3 AA/NA meetings outside of the classroom hours. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101 and PSY 281. Three lecture hours per week.


Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to: 1. Discriminate between drug used, abuse, dependency, and addictions. 2. Demonstrate an understanding of the psychological, sociological, behavioral and physiological effects of mood altering substances. 3. Compare and contrast the etiology of addiction including the biopsychosocial model, disease model, behavioral model, social model, and family systems model. 4. Discuss treatment models for drug intervention and prevention strategies in the United States. 5. Identify family dynamics of chemical abuse, including co-dependency. 6. Differentiate the effects of addictions on special populations, including diversity in age, ethnicity, sexual orientation/gender.

PSY 290 : Psychology of Learning

This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of experimental approaches to the study of animal behavior. The key concepts and principles related to different theories of learning will be covered, including biological, behaviorist, cognitive, and socio-cultural perspectives. Within the context of both cognitive and behavioral models of learning, attention will be given to the concepts of reinforcement and shaping of behavior, approach and avoidance learning, student motivation and learning, and metacognitive and self-regulation skills. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101. Three lecture hours per week.


1. Differentiate between the major perspectives and theories associated with learning theory. 2. Describe and analyze experimental research on human and animal learning, 3. Identify key terminology and principles of he varied learning theories. 4. Utilize and apply the principles of psychology of learning in theirs own learning and everyday life. 5. analyze how learning theories impact many aspects of life. 6. Identify various disorders and their impact on learning.

PSY 295 : Honors Seminar in Community Leadership

In this interdisciplinary course, students review the scholarly literature on leadership to gain a concise grounding in major leadership concepts and theories, including a contemporary approach for leadership in groups, communities, and organizations. Working in groups, students practice problem-solving strategies and leadership skills by developing a project plan to help a nonprofit organization provide a service needed in the community, leading service-learning students to implement it, and assessing the project and their personal growth using guided-reflection techniques. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Commonwealth Honors Program or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture per week.


  1. Discuss the characteristics and roles of leaders and followers according to historical and contemporary leadership theories.
  2. Explain why and how the relational approach is helpful for providing leadership in groups, communities, and organizations in our contemporary society.
  3. Explain why civic engagement and community leadership are important in our contemporary society.
  4. Complete a service project that identifies a service needed in the community; reflect on the root causes; implement the project; and assess the outcomes with a discussion including potential solutions.
5. Assess their strengths and potential for community leadership and give examples of some ways they could apply their personal interests, strengths, and knowledge of community leadership principals to address a problem in the community.