Handbook for B.S. in Psychology

MISSION

The Counseling & Psychology Department at Texas A&M University-Central Texas (A&M-Central Texas) is located in the College of Education.

The mission of the College of Education is to provide students in professional education and other human services with a quality education through academic, cultural, and leadership experiences, and to provide leadership through scholarship and service to the extended community and profession. Programs in the College of Education prepare students for challenging, gratifying, and socially significant careers in education, counseling, and psychology. In additional to its teaching function, the program has a strong service commitment to public schools and human service agencies.

The faculty members in the Counseling & Psychology Department are committed to fulfilling this Mission and providing students high quality educational experiences in psychology.

OVERVIEW

COUNSELING & PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT

The Psychology program at A&M-Central Texas offers a variety of courses in clinical work, research, applied psychology, and psychological theory. Program faculty members are researchers who are also committed to excellence in education and have diverse backgrounds reflective of the broad scope of the field of psychology (e.g., abnormal psychology, cognitive psychology, social psychology, etc.).

Psychology majors have many opportunities to conduct research with faculty members in exploring a range of topics including program evaluation, intimate partner violence, exam anxiety, online learning and more.

While the majority of our graduates go on to further study in psychology and are accepted into a graduate program, others have found jobs or advanced in their existing careers at human services agencies within the Central Texas region.

Students can expect learning experiences aligned with program curriculum to equip them with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed by professionals in psychology and related fields.


PROGRAM LEVEL STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

  1. Demonstrate factual knowledge (terminology, classifications, methods, trends).
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental principles, generalizations, or theories.
  3. Apply course material to improve thinking, problem solving, and decisions, both in coursework and in real-life situations.
  4. Demonstrate skill in expressing oneself in oral presentations and in writing.
  5. Find and use resources for answering questions and solving problems.
  6. Analyze and critically evaluate ideas, arguments, and points of view.
  7. Practice skills in working with others as a member of a team.
  8. Demonstrate specific skills, competencies, and points of view needed by professionals in fields most closely related to specific courses.
  9. Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of intellectual/cultural/historical activity in psychology.
  10. Demonstrate a clear understanding of, and commitment to, ethics and personal values.

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES

Students have a responsibility for their learning.  Other responsibilities include the following:

  • Reading the A&M-Central Texas catalog each year to determine if changes impact them
  • Reading and adhering to professional ethical standards
  • Meeting registration and payment deadlines
  • Participating in activities and projects, internal or external to the University, that will enhance their learning experience
  • Following the degree plan outline as closely as possible and being aware of all course prerequisites
  • Preparing for courses by making arrangements to attend regularly scheduled classes, allowing for adequate study time, completing assignments on a timely basis, and taking the final exam as scheduled
  • Identifying skill strengths and working toward development of skills that need improvement
  • Asking questions to obtain information regarding topics they do not understand
  • Meeting graduation requirements and deadlines

ADMISSION

HOW tO APPLY

At Texas A&M University-Central Texas, we try to make the admission process easy. If you meet the general admission requirements below, you are assured admission into A&M-Central Texas.

General Admission Requirements
  1. Minimum 2.0 cumulative transfer GPA on a 4.0 scale
  2. Minimum 30 academic, college-level transferable semester hours
  3. Must be eligible to return to all previously attended institutions
Steps to Apply
  1. Submit Admission Application: Complete and submit the undergraduate application by visiting Apply Texas at ApplyTexas.org.
  2. Pay Application Fee: Pay the $30 non-refundable application fee via your electronic application or pay by cash, check, money order, or credit card in our Business Office.
  3. Submit Official Transcripts: Submit final official transcript(s) from ALL college level institutions previously attended. Transcripts must be received in a sealed envelope either from the issuing institution or hand delivered to Undergraduate Admissions. If your previous institution(s) participate in the sending of secure electronic transcripts (eScrip-Safe, National Student Clearinghouse, Parchment, or Credentials Solutions) transcripts can be sent electronically to the Undergraduate Admissions email address.
  4. Submit Evidence of Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination: If you are 21 years of age or younger, you are required to submit evidence that you have received the Bacterial Meningitis vaccination prior to registering for courses (must have received vaccination at least 10 days prior to the semester enrolled).
  5. Check the Admission Decision: After you submit your application, check the status of your admission application at any time, using your personalized A&M-Central Texas Application Station.
Additional Information

While applications for admission are accepted year round, adhering to the priority deadlines stated in the University Catalog will ensure an applicant’s ability to register for any available course(s) within the semester of entry.

Please Note: Texas A&M University-Central Texas offers a variety of course scheduling options by using multiple parts of term within an academic semester. Each long semester contains three parts of term, including a session of 16-week courses and two 8-week sessions of courses (one of which begins in the middle of the semester). If you apply and/or are admitted after the priority deadline, 2nd 8-week courses only may be available.


FACULTY ADVISEMENT

Students are required to seek advising by an assigned faculty advisor in the Counseling & Psychology Department regarding coursework and assistance with other educational or career needs. 

  • A faculty advisor is assigned to each student upon admission to the program. Students may consult with any faculty member but are urged to work with their assigned advisor as much as possible.
  • Advising is a continuous process, and faculty advisors are assigned many students to advise in addition to their other workload requirements such as teaching, service, and research. Students should demonstrate respect for the faculty advisor's time by setting appointments and being prepared for their appointments.

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS

Students in selected psychology courses (i.e., PSYC 3307, PSYC 3309, PSYC 3330, PSYC 3312, PSYC 4320) are required to engage in research experience activities as part of the coursework. The research experience activity includes either participating in research studies directly related to psychology (i.e., projects sponsored by the Counseling & Psychology Department faculty) or reading and writing summaries of peer-reviewed, empirical research articles in psychology related to each course (or a combination of both).

Sign Up

To receive credit for a research experience activity, students must sign up to participate in a research study or write a research summary through the Counseling & Psychology Research Sign-Up System hosted by SONA.

Students will receive an email from the research administrator with their username and password for logging into the sign-up system. When students receive this email, they should follow the link to the sign-up system at https://tamuct.sona-systems.com and request an account using their TAMUCT email account. Students must verify their account requests before being granted access to the system. Once the account is verified, students will be able to sign-up for research experience activities. For additional information, see the Participant Tutorial at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1OnT2ZU6QQ

If a student must cancel a scheduled appointment, s/he may do so via the “My Schedule/Credits” tab in the sign-up system. If the cancel option does not appear next to the study information, it is too late to cancel participation via the sign-up system, so students must contact the researcher directly via email. Students must include their identity code in all correspondence with researchers. Students should be advised that late cancellation of an appointment may be counted as a no show. Researchers reserve the right not to accept late cancellations when sufficient time is not available to reschedule the cancelled slot. Students who accrue three (3) no-shows for research participation will be blocked from participating in research studies and must read and summarize peer-reviewed, empirical research articles to earn the remaining research experience credits.

Credits

Students are required to complete 3 research credits in each course with the research experience credit. Credit is allotted as follows and is determined by the researcher (not the course instructor) based on estimated participation time:

  • 1 credit for each hour (60 minutes) of research participation (in-person or online)
  • ½ credit for each ½ hour (30 minutes) of research participation (in-person or online)
  • 1 credit for each summary of a peer-reviewed, empirical research article (NOTE: Research articles summarized for a course assignment cannot be counted towards the research experience requirement.)

Any student who has not earned the required number credits prior to the opening of the final exam period for the course will receive an Incomplete (I) for the course. If the incomplete is not made up by the end of the following semester, it will automatically convert to an F. Students who drop a class after having earned research experience credit cannot apply any accumulated credit from that class towards the next time they take the course.


ACADEMIC APPEALS POLICY

The College of Education Grade Appeal Policy was designed to protect students from biased or inaccurate evaluation procedures without unfairly impinging on the academic freedoms of the faculty. Consistent with this, it is recognized that:

Students have the right for their work to be evaluated fairly and accurately using a method consistent with professional academic standards.

Faculty members have the right to evaluate students’ work using any method that is professionally acceptable, submitted in writing to all students, and applied consistently to all students.

It is assumed that A&M-Central Texas faculty members appropriately evaluate students’ work, so the burden of proof for a grade appeal lies with the student.

The process for appealing a professor’s determination that a student has engaged in academic dishonesty is separate from the process for determining if a grade was determined fairly/accurately. If a student wishes to appeal a grade that was influenced by the faculty member’s belief that the student violated the university’s academic integrity policy and the student denies these allegations, the student must complete the university appeal process for accusations of violating the academic integrity policy prior to initiating a grade appeal.

Justification for an Appeal

Grade appeals may only be initiated if the grade was influenced by one of the following:

  • Error: A clerical/computational error was made in calculating/reporting the grade.
  • Prejudice: The faculty member’s evaluation of the student’s work was influenced by the faculty member’s negative attitude toward the student.
  • Arbitrary method: The grading procedure employed departed substantially from accepted academic norms in a manner that indicated a failure to exercise professional judgment (e.g., no explanation given regarding the basis for assigning point values to assignments; grading procedure deviated substantially from what was stated in the syllabus without notifying students in advance of this change).
  • Inconsistent application: The student’s grade was not determined using the same process applied to other students in the course.
  • Unsubstantiated charge of dishonesty: The grade was based on a charge of academic dishonesty by the student which has been determined by the university to be unsubstantiated by the evidence presented.

Insufficient reasons upon which to base an appeal include:

  • Disagreement with course policies that are clearly communicated in writing to all students.
  • Differences in policies among sections of the same course or across faculty members.
  • Potential negative impact on the student (e.g., loss of financial aid).
  • Dissatisfaction with instructional style and/or methods (Note: Students who have complaints regarding the instruction they receive should address these directly with their instructor or that faculty member’s supervisor).
Appeal Process

A student who wishes to appeal a decision of a faculty member must request a review by that person within 30 calendar days of the originating event using the Grade Appeal Form (https://www.tamuct.edu/departments/education/).

  • The faculty member is required to give the student a written response within 15 calendar days.
  • The response by the faculty member (or his or her immediate supervisor) should be made using the Appeal Response Form (located on the website for the College of Education).
  • For an appeal of a course grade, the originating event shall be considered to be the posting of the grade to the university record. For an appeal of an assignment/exam grade, the originating event shall be considered to be the posting of the grade by the faculty member.

If the faculty member is not available, a response is not made within the specified timeframe, or if the student is dissatisfied with the response, the student should submit a written appeal to the Department Chair (or his or her designated proxy; the Chair must designate a proxy if he or she is the faculty member who assigned the grade to be appealed) within 60 calendar days of the originating event.

  • This submission should include a copy of the original Grade Appeal Form, a copy of the Appeal Response Form from the faculty member, and a written explanation from the student addressing why he or she believes the faculty member’s response was inadequate/unsatisfactory.
  • The Chair (or proxy) then has 15 calendar days to respond to the written appeal.

If the student is unsatisfied with the decision of the Department Chair, the student may appeal in writing to the College’s Academic Appeals Committee within 15 calendar days of notification of the decision from the Department Chair. The Committee will review the student’s appeal and after hearing both sides of the incident, the committee may decide that no further review is justified or may render a recommendation to the College Dean within 30 calendar days of receiving the student’s appeal.

  • The Committee will consist of a minimum of three faculty members appointed by the College Dean and two student representatives.
  • The student representatives will be the president of the university’s Counseling & Psychology student organization and the president of the university’s student chapter of the Association of Texas Professional Educators. If these students are not available to participate, they may appoint a replacement from within their respective organizations.
  • The Committee may request additional information from the parties involved (e.g., course syllabus, work samples, testimony).
  • The Committee will notify the student and faculty member that the appeal is under committee review.
  • If the student or faculty member wishes to provide the Committee with additional materials explaining their position, this should be done within 7 calendar days of the time the committee is asked to review the appeal.
  • The student and faculty member both have the right to present evidence in person to the committee, but the committee may deliberate in private.

The decision of the College Dean is final and will be communicated to the student in writing.