Learning Outcomes

Departmental Mission

The mission of the psychology department at St. John Fisher College is to help students develop a knowledge base of concepts, theories, and methodology to serve as a schema for life-long learning. the program is designed to meet the varied needs of our majors and minors by preparing them for graduate training in psychology or related disciplines, and/or the world of work, family, and community. To this end, the curriculum presents psychology as the science of cognitions, emotions, and behavior, rooted in the liberal arts.

Departmental Values

The department strives to:

  • Create a student-centered educational experience around teaching, advising, research, and mentoring.
  • Support student development as life-long learners.
  • Stimulate intellectual curiosity.
  • Provide developmental opportunities for academic pursuits.
  • Facilitate a cohesive, collaborative environment that encourages the open exchange of ideas.
  • Maintain a safe and respectful environment both in and out of the classroom, where diversity of an individual's thoughts and behavior is embraced.

Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

Goal #1 Knowledge base of psychology: Students will demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.

  • Be able to identify and explain some of the reoccurring themes in psychology (e.g. nature/nurture and mind-body interactions, free will vs. determinism, variability and continuity of behavior within and across the species) and major historical theoretical perspectives.
  • Be able to contrast the major historical and theoretical perspectives in psychology (including behavioral, biological, cognitive, psychoanalytic, and sociocultural perspectives), differentiate them, and integrate them to produce comprehensive and multi-faceted explanations of various psychological phenomena.

Goal #2 Research methods in psychology: Students will understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation.

  • Be able to describe the different research methods used by psychologist, articulate their strengths and weaknesses, and their ability to conclude causality.
  • Be able utilize basic statistical technique, interpret statistical results, including significance and effect.
  • Be able to read and interpret psychological research with the appropriate appreciation for the effects of internal and external validity on the generalizability of the research results.
  • Be able to design and conduct basic research studies including the relevant literature search, formulate testable hypotheses, create appropriate operational definitions, collect and analyze data in accordance with the APA Code of Ethics for the treatment of human subjects and interpret the results.
  • Students will demonstrate an ability to prepare an APA style report in part and in whole.

Goal #3 Critical thinking skills in psychology: Students will understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation.

  • Be able to cite sources for their statements, and in doing, have the ability to distinguish between empirical and anecdotal evidence.
  • Be able to use metacognitive strategies in order to recognize and avoid common errors in thinking.

Goal #4 Application of psychology: Students will understand and then apply psychological principles to personal, social and organizational issues.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to apply the concepts, theories, and research to solve real world problems in areas such as health, mental health, work education, etc.
  • Recognize that ethical issues and sociocultural contexts influence the application of psychological principles in solving problems.

Goal #5 Values in psychology: Students will value empirical evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect other values that are underpinnings of psychology.

  • Seek and evaluate scientific evidence for psychological claims.
  • Demonstrate reasonable skepticism and intellectual curiosity by asking questions about causes of behavior.
  • Recognize and respect human diversity and understand that psychological; explanations may vary across populations and contexts.


For More Information

Melissa Ghera
Department Chair
(585) 385-8011

(585) 385-8064