The mission of the Department of Psychological Sciences is to engage in the discovery of knowledge about behavior, the biological and psychological processes that affect that behavior, and to share that knowledge and the processes for obtaining it with our students and the scholarly community. The Department integrates graduate and undergraduate education, teaching, research, and service activities to further the overall mission of the university.
Although separate aspects of the Departmental mission are outlined below, one must recognize that these goals are intricately related and overlapping. It has always been the philosophy of the Department to integrate its activities to provide students with the best possible education and training.
Undergraduate Teaching and Advising
Within the context of a broad liberal arts education in the College of Arts and Sciences, the mission of the Undergraduate Program in Psychology is to provide an educational environment in which our students can learn the basic concepts and principles of psychology and the methods of scientific inquiry into the behavior of individuals. The knowledge and skills that students obtain in our undergraduate program are useful in postgraduate education and in a wide variety of employment settings and careers.
- We facilitate our students' learning of the basic concepts and principles of psychology through classroom and non-classroom experiences (e.g., teaching practicums, research, internships, and field placements in various settings).
- We facilitate our students' learning of the methods of scientific inquiry into behavior, thought, and emotion through classes and opportunities in empirical research.
- We facilitate our students' abilities to evaluate claims and conclusions about psychological processes in a constructively critical manner. We want our students to become critical thinkers and consumers of information pertaining to behavior, thought, motivation, and emotion.
- A significant portion of the Psychological Science's teaching resources are devoted to undergraduate majors outside the department through numerous and popular "service courses" that we offer each semester.
Effective advising allows our undergraduate students to achieve their goals while enrolled at Kansas State University and after graduation. We facilitate our students' success by providing information about course selection to fulfill bachelor degree requirements, about career options available after graduation, and about opportunities available (on and off campus) for enhancing their success in gaining employment or admittance into a graduate or professional program.
Graduate Student Training
The mission of our graduate program is to provide students with the requisite knowledge, skills, and a record of experiences and accomplishments to be successful in pursuing their careers.
- Graduate students are trained to integrate a broad understanding of psychological principles and expertise into specific basic and applied domains.
- Graduate students develop skills in research methodologies, data analysis, scientific writing, and grant development and implementation.
- The graduate program provides students with academic and professional experiences through teaching, internships, research publications, and professional presentations.
Advancing the frontiers of knowledge through original scientific research is fundamental to all activities of the Department of Psychological Sciences at Kansas State University. Research is an integral component of our educational mission at all levels.
- Establishing and maintaining an active and productive research program is a key activity of our work as doctoral-level psychologists.
- The supervision and mentoring of research activities plays a vital role in the training of graduate students, the next generation of psychologists. In every step of our graduate program, the research skills and achievements of our students are a central concern, from the first-year project through the doctoral dissertation.
- Our undergraduate program encourages participation in active research as an important way of teaching about critical thinking in general and the scientific method in particular. Many upper-class psychology majors become involved in research under the supervision of faculty and/or graduate student mentors.
As faculty members within the Department of Psychological Sciences, we are committed to fulfilling our service responsibilities to the Department, the University, professional organizations, and the community.
- The faculty serve as members of numerous committees and as program coordinators within the Department to promote the efficient use of our resources so as to optimize student learning and faculty productivity.
- Faculty members within the Department support the overarching mission of Kansas State University by participating in various service activities within the University such as committees, councils, and task forces.
- Our faculty members serve on numerous committees affiliated with regional, national, and international organizations in an effort to promote psychology as a profession and as a scientific discipline.
- The members of our faculty, in their professional capacities, engage in service to a community that extends far beyond the boundaries of our campus. Service to the larger community includes speaking engagements, consultations, and professional service in government activities.
(Approved by the Faculty of the Department of Psychological Sciences, September 8, 2000.)