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Strategic Plan for Psychology

Context For Planning

GVSU's department of psychology offers a popular psychology major and a growing behavioral neuroscience major. We also teach courses that are taken by many students in other programs. We have a masters program in school psychology and a graduate certification program in applied behavior analysis. Our faculty members contribute substantially to advancing our discipline through research publications and conference presentations, often in collaboration with undergraduate students.

Mission

GVSUs Psychology Department seeks to educate students in the broad field of psychological science through teaching, research, and service. Students learn to engage with the empirical findings, theoretical perspectives, research methods, and practical applications of psychological science. Through these processes we seek to engender critical thought, informed judgment, workforce preparation, and life-long learning.

Vision

The psychology department seeks to achieve a balance among its teaching, research, and service activities that advances psychological science while preparing our students to be responsible citizens, lifelong learners, and to have productive careers. We aspire to develop and maintain an intellectually rich department culture that fosters sustained inquiry, multicultural perspectives, critical thinking, impassioned discourse, creative discovery, ethical action, clear communication, extensive collaboration, high achievement, and thoughtful reflection. We see ourselves as key contributors to liberal education, and we see psychological science as a discipline that embodies the values of liberal education.

Value Statement

The Psychology Department faculty members represent a diverse and eclectic set of specialized interests within the discipline of psychology. Across our faculty members, we seek to represent the discipline of psychology broadly. People within the department work at different levels of analysis, with different methodologies, and from different theoretical perspectives. We have high expectations for both faculty and students. In teaching, research, and service we value rigorous scientific and ethical reasoning, academic freedom, integrity, collaboration, and collegiality.

Strategic Priorities, outcomes, and key objectives

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 1.A.1

The psychology department will evaluate our survey for assessing academic advising, and revise the survey as needed.

Baseline

Current baseline is that the psychology department has a student survey to assess the quality of academic advising.

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
Various initiatives have been developed and implemented based upon our analysis of the 2017 advising survey data. The majority of these initiatives are aimed at enhancing our our students' success while working within the major (tutoring) and their professional development ( providing extensive career information).

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
The advising survey was not updated in 2018.

Objective 1.A.2

Psychology majors are afforded the opportunity to engage in research, workplace experience, or other professional development activities.

Baseline

Current levels of participation in professional development activities.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
One hundred and thirty-two students collaborated with faculty members on research. Nine students co-authored a published manuscript and forty students co-authored presentations at regional, national, or international conferences. Fifteen students presented research at the Psychology Department Colloquium series and 31 students presented research at Student Scholars Day. Furthermore, the department's practicum course (PSY 490) has been approved and will be offered in the fall of 2020.

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
190 students collaborated with faculty members on research in some capacity. 23 students co-authored a manuscript, and 57 co-authored presentations at regional, national, or international conferences. At GVSU, 20 students presented at the psychology department student research colloquium, and 47 presented at student scholars day.

Objective 1.A.3

We will conduct an analysis of prerequisite courses to see how student performance in prerequisites predicts performance in courses that follow prerequisites. We will use these data to empirically guide decisions about course prerequisites. One type of question we will address is how students do in a particular class if they received a prerequisite grade below a particular level, such as a C.

Baseline

Prerequisite decisions are currently made by using the best judgment of faculty members. We have gathered a set of data on student grades over several years, as well as other performance measures such as high school GPA, and ACT scores. We also have ETS Major Field Test in Psychology data for students from one year. We are about to begin analyses.

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
Our analyses of these data show that the better students do in prerequisite classes, the better they tend to do in later classes, even after accounting for other student factors. These analyses suggest that students get value from prerequisite classes. These findings have guided curricular decisions during the 2019 academic year.

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
In 2018, we did not collect new data and conduct new analyses because we did not think new data at this point would change our analyses at all.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 1.E.1

Funds will be maintained for as many students as possible to travel to academic conferences to present research.

Baseline

Current amount of money allocated to student conference travel.

Progress

2019 Status
Minimal Progress
While the department values funding as many students as possible to travel to academic conferences to present research, budget cuts make this objective extremely difficult to achieve.

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
Money allocated to student travel was about the same as in 2017, however this was less than in 2015 or 2016.

Strategic Priority Area 2: Further develop exceptional personnel.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 2.B.1

The psychology department will review and evaluate our existing diversity plan for faculty and staff hiring whenever we have a new position available. We will revise the plan as needed.

Baseline

The psychology department currently has a diversity plan for faculty and staff hiring.

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
In 2019 we utilized our diversity plan during the hiring of a new staff member. No need to revise the plan was identified.

2018 Status
Achieved
We did not evaluate the diversity plan in 2018.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 2.D.1

Increase laboratory support for faculty and student research in terms of space, resources, and personnel.

Baseline

Current laboratory space, resources, and personnel.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
During the fall of 2019 a laboratory use and needs survey was developed and administered to all faculty in the Psychology Department. These data will be used to submit a proposal for a renovation/redesign of our current space.

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
Laboratory space and personnel hours were the same as in 2017. The amount of money spent on laboratory equipment was down somewhat from 2017, but still higher than 2016.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 2.E.1

Maintain funding opportunities for faculty members to travel to academic conferences or for other professional development opportunities.

Baseline

Current level of financial support for faculty travel for academic travel.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
The level of funding for faculty members to travel to academic conferences or for other professional development opportunities was just slightly higher than the 2018 levels.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
The amount of money spent on faculty travel was down in 2018 compared to the last three years. This decrease may be due to decreased demand, however.

Objective 2.E.2

We will implement a transition plan for a new department chair to take over in 2019.

Baseline

A tentative plan has been approved by the department.

Progress

2017 Status
Achieved
The transition plan is being implemented in the 2017-2018 academic year. The state of the department meeting was held, and nominations for a new department chair were collected.

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
We have voted in a transition plan, and it is in place. We are collecting data for the department self study, which will be useful in helping the new department chair transition into that position.

Objective 2.E.3

Psychology staff members will maintain current levels of engagement in professional development opportunities available at GVSU.

Baseline

Current frequency of staff participation in professional development.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
The number of professional development activities completed by Psychology Department staff remained steady relative to the past 2 years.

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
The number of professional development activities completed in 2018 was 17.

Strategic Priority Area 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 3.A.1

Ensure that psychology course availability is such that students can fulfill major requirements in a timely manner.

Baseline

Current number of courses that close at capacity. The number of students who request closed class permits that are not granted.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
Psychology Department courses filled to capacity: 54% in Winter 2019, 21% in Spring 2019, and 78% in Fall 2019. Denied closed class permits: 191 in Winter 2019, 37 in Spring 2019, and 221 in Fall of 2019.

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
Courses closed at capacity: In Winter, 82 out of 122, in Spring 8 out of 34, in Fall 89 out of 140. The number of closed class permits denied was 417 in Winter, 32 in Spring, and 171 in Fall.

Objective 3.A.2

We will seek accreditation for the school psychology masters program from the National Association of School Psychologists. The earliest that this accreditation can be pursued is 2018.

Baseline

The school psychology masters program is currently not NASP accredited because our program is new, and the NASP accreditation process requires data from outcomes will be complete only after our program has existed longer.

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
The school psychology program received accreditation from the National Association of School Psychologists. The accreditation runs through 2025.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 3.D.1

Technology is available to faculty members who wish to incorporate it into their courses. Examples are computers for class demonstrations, projects, or assessments, and availability of educational software.

Baseline

Current level of technology availability to psychology instructors for courses.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
Thirty-nine out of 40 faculty members indicated that they access to the technology they needed for their courses.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
39 out of 41 faculty members reported on our faculty survey that they have the technology needs the require to teach effectively.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 3.E.1

We will complete a department self study in the 2016-2017 academic year that is useful to our department.

Baseline

We have a previous self study that will serve as our baseline.

Progress

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
Due to a change in scheduling, we did not conduct a department self study in 2017.

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
The dates for self study submission have changed, so this goal was not specifically focused on in 2016. Nevertheless, we completed tasks that will be relevant to the self study when it comes up in 2020. Two of these tasks were the creation of the strategic plan and the unit head transition plan.

Strategic Priority Area 4: Enhance the institution's image and reputation.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 4.C.1

Faculty members will maintain current level of engagement with professional societies and community organizations. Involvement includes regular membership and participation as well as leadership positions.

Baseline

Current levels of faculty participation and leadership in professional societies and community organizations.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
Faculty members report a total of 106 memberships in professional societies with 12 in leadership positions.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
Faculty members report a total of 106 memberships in professional societies, with 7 in leadership positions.

Objective 4.C.2

Faculty members will maintain current level of annual publications of manuscripts in peer reviewed journals and professional books. To the extent possible, given a changing funding environment, maintain the current level of external grants awarded to faculty members.

Baseline

Current number of annual publications per faculty member.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
In 2019, Psychology Department faculty published 33 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 8 book chapters. Seven GVSU students co-authored papers with faculty members.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
In 2018, faculty members published 31 papers in peer reviewed journals and 9 book chapters.

Objective 4.C.3

Maintain the number of annual faculty presentations of research at professional conferences.

Baseline

Current number of annual faculty presentations of research at professional conferences.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
In 2019, Psychology Department faculty made 54 presentations of their research at professional conferences.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
Faculty members presented research at a total of 66 conferences in 2018.

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