Bringing Educational Psychology to Undergraduate Programs at Texas State University: Needs Assessment and Course Development
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Educational psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on the use of psychological methods to understand education. At Texas State University, we do not offer a traditional educational psychology undergraduate course. This thesis introduces educational psychology to the Honors College to propose a course in this field. In order to determine the need for this course, I conducted a needs assessment survey with a total of 131 students who self-identified as honor’s students and/or psychology majors or minors. This survey investigated students’ interest in and familiarity with multiple branches of psychology using a Likert scale. The survey also included a course description of the proposed introductory educational psychology course and a question asking about students’ interest in enrolling in the course if it counted (e.g., as an elective) under their degree plan. Results suggested that students were less familiar with educational psychology, as well as other domain-specific branches of psychology compared to domain-general branches of psychology. Moreover, bivariate correlation results yielded a significant positive correlation between students’ familiarity with educational psychology as a discipline and their interest in taking the proposed introductory educational psychology course. Over 54% of respondents indicated that they were either fairly (26%) or very (28.2%) interested in taking the proposed course. These results provided evidence suggesting the potential need for offering undergraduate students at Texas State University the opportunity to become more familiar with and take courses in educational psychology. In addition to conducting a needs assessment, I also completed the Honors College Course Proposal Form for the creation of an undergraduate introductory educational psychology course This includes an outline of the course calendar, supplemental articles, and assignments to ensure the quality of an Honors College course. An honors course in educational psychology will introduce students to viable careers, research opportunities, and personalize classroom learning.