Desired Outcomes of an Undergraduate Education in Psychology From Departmental, Student, and Societal Perspectives

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Book Chapter

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What are the desired outcomes of an undergraduate education in psychology? It is vital to identify the desired outcomes that benefit departments, students, and society, because the pursuit of these goals helps psychology educators achieve the best possible learning experience for their students. We purposely take a different approach to what might be expected of an outcomes chapter in a review of undergraduate psychology education. We address methods that departments and educational institutions use to assess the outcomes of psychology education from the standpoint of departmental performance and student achievement. We identify goals of the undergraduate experience held by psychology faculty, employers, and students and we examine current indicators of postbaccalaureate success through educational outcomes. We then place our students' achievements in a broader context of societal demands and global expectations. We conclude this chapter with specific recommendations and a call to action.