Psychology - Student Resources
To help review and integrate her study of psychology, a major in psychology requires each student to compile a portfolio. In consultation with her faculty advisor, a student may use the portfolio to develop a resume and document her skills and experience when applying for employment or graduate study.
Each student is responsible for keeping copies of her own work and assembling it into a portfolio. It is best to work on the portfolio as part of each psychology class and to regularly consult with a faculty advisor regarding the progress. The portfolio is due in its entirety on Reading Day of the semester in which the student graduates. Students are strongly encouraged to present the portfolio approximately six weeks beforehand in order to allow for any omissions or revisions to be completed.
The portfolio must demonstrate competency in the following areas:
- knowledge base;
- information gathering;
- research and analytical methods;
- interpersonal skills; and
- practical application.
To demonstrate knowledge of basic terms and concepts in psychology, students must:
- Receive a passing grade in all courses required for a major in psychology.
- Attain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in psychology.
- Pass the Psychology Exit Exam.
Students will document oral communication skills by including:
1. At least one formal evaluation (Departmental Evaluation Form) of oral communication in a prepared setting.
2. Optional: Students may also include audio tapes, video tapes orevaluations of other presentations.
Students will complete four items for the portfolio, including:
3. A research report from PSY-300 designated by the instructor.
4. Two writing samples selected from different areas, such as papers or take home exams. (Items suitable for inclusion in the portfolio will be indicated with an asterisk (*) on course syllabi.)
5. One of the following:
- Senior Thesis
- Paper presented at a research conference (e.g., Carolinas Psychology Conference)
- Product(s) prepared as part of an internship or practicum
- Client History or Intake
- Projects approved by the departmental faculty
- Paper from a course outside the Psychology Department
Students will complete a library orientation session, offered each semester by the library staff. Students may attend orientation sessions in conjunction with assignments for specific courses. Certificates will be issued.
Students will document experiences in this area by:
A printout from Psychlit with a statement describing the purpose of the search.
One of the following:
- Annotated Bibliography
- Book Review
- Article Review
Evidence of familiarity with statistical concepts and software packages, such as homework assignments and computer printouts.
Demonstration of skill using experimental and quantitative methods, as shown by preparing one of the following:
- Research proposal
- Senior Thesis
- Survey, questionnaire or research instrument
- Program review or evaluation
- Other evidence of ability to set up a research study or experiment
Self-monitoring and Reflection (Written statement)
Monitoring one's behavior is a personal and private activity. In order to protect the student's privacy, the monitoring activity will be shared only with the supervising faculty member. In the portfolio, the student will include a reflective paper addressing the following questions:
- What I learned by monitoring my behavior;
- Skills or characteristics I have strengthened by monitoring my behavior; and
- Skills or characteristics I am aware of needing to strengthen.
There are many options for monitoring one's own behavior. These include, but are not limited to:
- A behavior modification project with the student as the subject
- A journal in conjunction with a course such as stress management
- A journal in conjunction with an internship or co-op
Sensitivity to differences and similarities among people (Essay)
While the subject of this essay may be yourself, it may also be someone in a helping role that you have observed in a practical experience, such as a teacher, counselor, therapist, manager or supervisor. The purpose of this essay is to examine the subject's responses to others.
Over a period of time, examine your subject's interactions with a group of others. For example, you might observe your interaction with a classroom of children, a treatment team manager's interaction with the therapists she supervises or a manager's interaction with his/her employees. Look for ways in which the subject treats individuals equally and without discrimination where appropriate. Similarly, be alert for situations where individual differences should be accommodated.
In a summary and reflective essay, describe how the subject demonstrates sensitivity or a lack of sensitivity to differences that existed within the group. Be sure that your essay identifies the differences that exist among the individuals, such as race, gender, ability, developmental level, etc.
Group work Reflection Statement
The student will include the results of a project in which she has worked with others. She will include a reflective statement describing her work with the group, including:
- What she contributed to the group and the project;
- How she benefited from the other members' contributions;
- Her awareness of the role in encouraging other members to contribute and valuing their contributions; and
- What behaviors she would try to strengthen and which behaviors she would try to minimize in her next group situation.
Students may complete reflections on group projects from psychology courses, capstone courses, courses in other departments, internships or co-ops.
9. Practical Application
Students will document their usage of skills and knowledge in applied settings. Documentation may include written reports and/or oral presentations. Students may choose from a variety of settings, including but not limited to:
- Required activities for class, including observation or interaction
- Volunteer activities in professionally related areas (e.g., MCA Outreach projects)
- Student teaching
- Cooperative education
- Senior Thesis
- Independent study/research
10. Resume or Vita
In preparing a vita or resume, students are encouraged to take advantage of the workshops and consultation offered by the Career Center.
The portfolio also requires the successful completion of an Exit Exam.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of exam is it?
The Psychology Exit Exam consists of five broadly integrative essay questions covering five parts: a section on ethics, and a section on each of the four areas in the psychology curriculum: required courses, social, clinical and experimental psychology. Students are required to complete their exam using word-processing software in the computer laboratories. Disks will be provided.
Why is there an Exit Exam?
The Psychology Exit Exam helps both students and faculty. The study of behavior in humans and animals is complex and influenced by many factors. As students of behavior, we find it helpful to study one aspect at a time, such as personality or perceptual processes, but we must be mindful of the fact that all aspects of behavior are connected. However, before we can connect aspects of behavior, we must be able to remember the various facts, theories and principals that we have learned. This means that we must periodically review and practice recalling what we have learned and make a deliberate effort to relate material learned in one course to material learned in other courses. As students, the strategies that help us prepare for the Exit Exam should be part of every course and will help lead to mastery of course content.
The Psychology Exit Exam is helpful to the faculty in the psychology department in showing how well students have mastered basic terms, concepts and principles in psychology, and how well they are able to apply them to real-world settings. This information is used to help the faculty improve course offerings and instructional methods.
When should I take the Exit Exam in Psychology?
Students should allow adequate preparation for the exam. At a minimum, you should have completed 24 hours in psychology, including PSY-100, 200 and 300, and at least one course in each of the three areas of social, clinical and experimental psychology. Students who are enrolled in a course should not necessarily expect to be prepared on that topic until the completion of the semester.
You may take the Exit Exam no earlier than the semester before graduation and you should take it no later than the semester of graduation. You must complete an application form and have it signed by your faculty advisor. Return the form to the Department Office (108 Ledford) at least one week prior to the exam date.
When is the Exit Exam given?
The exam is given during the first few weeks of fall and spring semesters, near the beginning of September or February, on a Saturday morning from 9 am to 1 pm. Exact dates for the Exit Exam for the school year are posted on the Department of Psychology bulletin board just outside of 108 Ledford.
How should I prepare for the Psychology Exit Exam?
The best preparation is to make the most out of each learning opportunity in every psychology course. Think about how the principles and concepts learned in psychology courses can be used to explain the behaviors of classmates, shoppers at the mall, children you baby-sit for, your pets, the crowd at the football game, drivers on the interstate or many other situations. It is also helpful to think about how the information learned in one psychology course relates to the material in other courses. Finally, it also helps to ask the course instructor to give examples in class and opportunities to practice writing and evaluating answers similar to Exit Exam questions. Thinking through the questions and mentally preparing your responses are helpful. You are not allowed to bring prepared answers with you to the exam.
Can I take all or part of the exam for "practice?"
No, students should not take the Exit Exam just to practice. Taking the Exit Exam in Psychology is an important part of your educational program. Your Exit Exam scores do "count." Students who take the Exit Exam are required to complete the entire exam. Incomplete exams will not be scored and will receive a failing grade.
How is the Exit Exam graded?
Each question on the Psychology Exit Exam is scored by at least three readers from the psychology faculty. Each question is assigned a grade by each reader. These grades range from High Pass, Pass, Pass Low to Fail. Students must earn a passing grade from the majority of readers on the ethics question, and on at least three of the four area questions, in order to "pass" the Psychology Exit Exam.
How do I find out the results of the exam?
Each student should make an appointment with her faculty advisor. The advisor will inform the student of the results.
What happens if I don't pass the Exit Exam?
Students may retake the exam once in a given semester and if necessary, repeat the exam the following semester. Students retaking the exam will only retake the questions on which they were unsuccessful.
Psychology majors and minors may complete up to five credit hours in Community Field Experience. Field placements range from introductory level settings where the student explores a field or career to intensive pre-professional level where the student completes a field placement over two or more semesters.
During the field placement, the student will demonstrate the ability to
- Apply the knowledge and skills gained in her psychology classes to a practical setting;
- Gain exposure and experience in at least one aspect of the profession of psychology;
- Discuss the application of the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association to her particular field setting; and
- Demonstrate development of interpersonal awareness, sensitivity and self-knowledge.
Students are required to take PSY-100 and gain permission from the instructor before beginning the field placement. Students are also required to attend a biweekly seminar and complete a written project.
One credit hour of a field placement is equivalent to 45 hours of work in the community. Students usually work three to four hours per week, per credit.
Pychology students gain practical experience in all kinds of settings. Some examples of recent field placements completed by Meredith Psychology majors include:
- Duke University Medical Center -- Child Life Program
- Environmental Protection Agency -- Research in the Behavioral Neurotoxicology Program
- Hilburn Drive and Root Elementary Schools – Guidance Office, School Psychology Office
- Interact -- Domestic Violence Shelter, Counseling, Hotline
- Jefferies Grove Elementary School – Accelerated Learning Program
- Life Experiences, Inc. -- Adult Day Facility for Developmental Disabilities
- Martin Middle School – Guidance Office
- NC Correctional Institute for Women -- Day Treatment Program
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Eating Disorders Clinic
- Raleigh Rescue Mission -- Child Development Center for Homeless Children
- Tammy Lynn Center -- Residential Center for Children with Severe Developmental Disabilities
For information on current and upcoming Field Placement opportunities, contact Dr. Edwards or consult the Psychology Majors Blackboard site.
The Department of Psychology has offered research opportunities for students since 1976. Students who are interested in conducting research may enroll in courses PSY-299, PSY-498 or PSY-499. Students should talk to faculty members about their ideas and select a faculty member to supervise the research. After obtaining a "Special Studies Form" from the Registrar's Office, the student should complete the form with the supervising faculty.
Psychology students who wish to conduct research with human participants must obtain consent from the Psychology Review Board. For an application form and directions, click here.
Examples of past research projects are listed below.
Austin, Caroline R. (2000, April). Year-round vs. Traditional Calendar Elementary School Teachers' Perceptions of School Psychologists. Paper presented at the Carolinas Psychology Conference, Raleigh, NC.
Bogedain, Kristen; Fuson, Amy, & Hornak, R. T. (2000, April). Sensation-Seeking and Tattoos in College Women. Paper presented at the Carolinas Psychology Conference, Raleigh, NC.
Brown, April & Aubrecht, L. (2000, April). No Relationship Found Between the Reading Ability of College Freshmen and Academic Success. Paper presented at the Carolinas Psychology Conference, Raleigh, NC.
Christmas, Hillary & Heining-Boynton, D. H. (2000, April). Effect of Commercial Advertising on Attitude Toward Smoking and Evaluation of Characters. Paper presented at the Carolinas Psychology Conference, Raleigh, NC.
Fuson, Amy; Bogedain, Kristen & Hornak, R. T. (2000, April). Attitudes toward Body Piercing in College Women. Paper presented at the Carolinas Psychology Conference, Raleigh, NC.
Leeper, Amy & Thompson, Heather. (2000, April). The Relationship between Selective Attention Behavior and Social Interest: A Correlational Study. Paper presented at the Carolinas Psychology Conference, Raleigh, NC.
The Psychology Club welcomes all students interested in psychology. There are no prerequisites or requirements to join. Each autumn Psych Club sponsors Psychology Week, a week-long series of activities every night with interesting panels, speakers, activities, and maybe even a meal on Friday night to end the week. Psych Week is open to everyone; bring someone special with you. Each year Psych Club also sponsors the Special Populations Dance, something of a "prom" for adults with special characteristics from throughout the Research Triangle area. It is a BIG event. We need everyone's help to make it a success. Psychology Club also sends a representative to Psychology Department faculty meetings to represent the student viewpoint on college-wide and departmental matters. Finally, Psych Club members also help with the Carolinas Psychology Conference. If you are interested in psychology and want to get more involved, then membership in the Psychology Club is a great choice for you.
The National Honor Society in Psychology
Psi Chi is the National Honor Society open to graduate and undergraduate students who major or minor in psychology and can meet challenging selection requirements. In addition to being recognized for your accomplishments by being selected for membership, Psi Chi members encourage and support the quality of the psychology program at Meredith through their sponsorship of a variety of special events and activities. To be invited to become a member of the Meredith Chapter of Psi Chi, a student must:
- Have completed at least 3 semesters of college courses
- Have completed at least 9 semester hours of psychology
- Be registered with psychology as major/minor
- Have an overall GPA of 3.0 and a min. GPA of 3.0 in psychology courses
- Be in the top 35% of her class