Master of Science in General Psychology with an Emphasis is Teaching of Psychology

Program Director - Dr. Janett Naylor-Tincknell

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The MS in General Psychology with an emphasis in teaching of psychology would help prepare instructors for community colleges or for adjunct positions. The goal of the program is to provide both content knowledge to teach a variety of community college courses and skills related to pedagogy, adult learning needs, and the community college environment. This program would be valuable for people who want to teach at community colleges or high schools, people currently teaching but need to expand their teaching repertoire to include psychology, or people who wish to transition from an applied field to adjunct teaching. Requirements for the program are 30 credits of coursework, teaching apprenticeship, and comprehensive exams. Coursework will be available online. Students will take classes part-time; 6 credits in the Fall and Spring semesters and 3 credits in the summer for 2 years.

Course Requirements:

Teaching of Psychology MS Foundation Courses (18 credits):  

Because most teaching positions require a minimum of 18 credits in the field of instruction, the foundation courses are 18 credits. The foundation courses were selected to meet noted demands in community college instruction, including General Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Developmental Psychology and statistics/methodology.

The foundation courses are designed to provide students with content and delivery. Half of the course will focus on providing students with the knowledge in the subject to teach the material to others. The other half of the course will focus on helping students develop the skills to deliver that content in the classroom. Students with previous graduate training in these areas may test out of the content half of the foundation courses but will still get the benefit of the pedagogy content in the delivery half of the course.

Assignments in these courses will link how material is developed and taught in community college courses, such as developing course goals and objects, course materials, and activities to highlight subject content. Additionally, students will be given the opportunity to gain skills in service areas typical of community college faculty. For example, community colleges may lack faculty with human subjects research training to review research projects involving their students. As part of the PSY 845 course, students will serve as reviewers for FHSU Psychology Department and will learn how to ethically conduct human subjects research.

Foundation Courses:

  • PSY 668 Neuropsychology (3 credits)
  • PSY 800 Advanced Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)
  • PSY 810 Developmental (3 credits)
  • PSY 820 Advanced Learning and Motivation (3 credits)
  • PSY 845 Experimental Methods (3 credits)
  • PSY 850 Inferential Statistics (3 credits)

Electives (6 credits):

Elective courses can be chosen to meet the specific needs of the student. These credits may be transferred in from other graduate courses or selected from FHSU courses such as:

  • PSY 685 Behavior Therapy
  • PSY 830 Ethics
  • PSY 812 Advanced Child Psychopathology

Course on Community Colleges (taught by an experienced Community College faculty member) about structure and processes of Community Colleges, working with Adult Learners, Advising Students, and integration of technology into the classroom

Apprenticeship (6 hours):

The teaching apprenticeship will provide students with the opportunity to put into practice the pedagogy and delivery skills learned in the foundation courses. The apprenticeship is divided into two parts (PSY 876 C) over two semesters. The first part of the apprenticeship requires students to develop a teaching portfolio to demonstrate their obtained skills as teachers. The teaching portfolio will include observing established instructors, developing a teaching philosophy, developing course materials (e.g., exams, assignments, and lectures), demonstrating professional correspondence skills with students and colleagues, lecturing to other students and FHSU faculty, and reviewing fellow students on lectures and course materials. The second part of the apprenticeship will provide students with classroom experience as a community college instructor (student procured) or as a virtual college teaching assistant for FHSU.

Comprehensive Exams:

Near the end of their training, students will take the Subject GRE to demonstrate their grasp of the field of psychology. Students must pass with a score at or above the determined cut-off. Students will have three opportunities to take the Subject GRE (Sept, Oct, and April). Students can take the Subject GRE at any ETS approved site. Students are responsible for the testing fee.

Testing Out of Content:

Students will be able to test out of course content by taking an online exam (for a fee to be paid by the student). The online exam will cover all 6 foundation courses. Students will receive individual subject area scores. If students’ subject scores meet or exceed the determined cut-off for the subject, students are exempt from taking the content half of the course but must take the teaching component of each course.

Dr. Janett Naylor-Tincknell, Director of the Experimental Psychology
Department of Psychology
Fort Hays State University

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