My teaching responsibilities are focused on undergraduate education at New York City College of Technology (City Tech) in the Social Sciences department. While City Tech does not offer a major in Social Sciences, courses in the department fulfill degrees in a variety of departments as well as the core curriculum. I typically interact with student of all levels and all majors. Since I was appointed to the faculty in 2009, I have taught 3 different undergraduate courses centered on psychology: Introduction to Psychology, Child Psychology, and Psychology of Adjustment; and one interdisciplinary course in Research Methods in Social and Behavioral Sciences.
Both PSY 1101 Introduction to Psychologist and PSYC 2301 Child Psychology satisfy a core curriculum or fulfill a degree requirement. The average class size for PSY 1101 is 40, whereas the average class size for PSY 2301 is 30. PSY 1100 Psychology of Adjustment is used as an elective credit for students in Associate degree programs. Average class size for this elective course is 30. Typically students who are enrolled in Psychology of Adjustment are those who have not passed both the CUNY reading and writing exams. As an instructor for this “elementary” course, I encounter students who are first-generation college students, who may be unprepared for college, apathetic towards learning or apprehensive about their skills as a student. These students challenge me to present the course in which they can learn the materials and demonstrate proficiency in reading and writing. The course also has a social component of easing these students’ entry into City Tech’s academic environment, providing them with the self-confidence and motivation needed to succeed in college. Generally, full-time faculty in the department do not teach this demanding course, but I specifically request to teach Psychology of Adjustment because I enjoy the challenge in teaching this course and believe my own experiences as a first-generation college student allow me to form a closer connection with my students. Last SBS 2000, Research Methods in Social and Behavioral Sciences is an interdisciplinary course, team-taught with Economics professor, Sean MacDonald. The average class size for SBS 2000 is 25, and used as an elective credit for students, and a required course for senior student in Communication Design. Because, the course is diverse and interdisciplinary, I attempt the bridge these seemingly disparate realms through research methodology.
PSY 1100, Psychology of Adjustment
Remedial elective; includes students from various disciplines across the university at all levels of progress (Freshman-Senior). Enrollment is approximately 40 students per class. Content focus: Includes information regarding adjustment and coping, cognition, learning, motivation and self-regulation. Course goals: Include helping students develop awareness of current adjustment strategies, providing standards for reflecting on the results of those strategies in order to develop more strategic behaviors, and supporting students in becoming more self-regulated learners.
PSY 1101, Introduction to Psychology
Required and/or elective; includes students from various disciplines across the university at all levels of progress (Freshman-Senior). Enrollment is approximately 40 students per class. Content focus: A comprehensive introduction to psychology examining the history of psychology, research methods, the brain, sensation and perception, states of consciousness, human development, language, thinking (including critical thinking), learning, motivation, emotion, social psychology, personality, human diversity, and the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders. Course goals: Include helping students develop awareness of current theories and research strategies, providing content/assignments so students can be well versed in the topics of psychology and have a critical understanding of psychological phenomenon.
PSY 2301, Child Psychology
Required and/or elective; includes students from various disciplines across the university at upper levels of progress (Sophomore-Senior). Enrollment is approximately 30 (hybrid) and 40 (traditional) students per class. Course focus: Includes information regarding physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional development, with consideration of the cultural context, and focusing on empirical research examples. Major issues examined in this course include the relation of nature to nurture, of genes to environment, of the developing individual to the changing social context, and of mental health to school performance. Course goals: Include an understanding of the transactional/gene x environment approach, critical evaluation of research and conclusions drawn from research, and development of research skills necessary to complete an applied service learning project.
SBS 2000, Research Methods in Social Behavioral Science (Interdisciplinary, Fall 2015)
Required and/or elective; includes students from various disciplines across the university at upper levels of progress (Junior-Senior). Enrollment is approximately 25 (technology-enhanced) students per class. Course focus: An introduction to the research methodologies utilized in the social and behavioral sciences, beginning with the fundamentals of research design, through data collection, analysis, interpretation, and the final reporting of results. Both quantitative and qualitative designs are examined using software to aid in inquiry and analysis. Course goals: Include an understanding of the theoretical approaches underlying research methods in a historical, cultural, and ethical context; an introduction to the various types of research methods, critical evaluation of research and conclusions drawn from research, and development of research skills necessary to complete an applied service learning project.