"I want students to become critical consumers of research information. I want to equip students will the necessary skills to decipher credible from non-credible results and correlations," states Lake Michigan College psychology instructor and program coordinator, Dr. Denise Scameheorn. "Media outlets have the ability to make numbers work in favor of their opinions. My goal is to have my students question the statistics and do their own research into the topic they choose."
Expectations and Skills Taught
"I expect my students to read and write at the collegiate level," says Dr. Scameheorn. She believes being prepared for class is the first step to success. "It is important for students to walk into the classroom with the assigned reading completed. This is the only way students will be able to be active participants in an open forum discussion. Psychology requires active thinking. It is not enough just to sit and take notes in class."
Psychology courses are set up as lecture and discussion classes. In the classroom, you will work in discussion groups where you can vocalize your thoughts and ideas. Along with discussions are quizzes, exams and written papers. Outside the classroom, there is a great deal of reading and studying required.
PSYC 201 is a prerequisite for all psychology courses. In 201 you will be introduced to the field. Topics will include: research methods, human behavior, classical and operant conditioning, perception, stress and coping, personality, abnormal behavior, and memory.
After completing PSYC 201, you are eligible to sign up for the remaining courses. Courses range from abnormal psychology to interpersonal relations.
Many four-year colleges require a course in human development. LMC offers a course in this area that studies change from conception to death. Cognitive and social/emotional development is the focus of study. You will learn the structure of research, gain understanding in cognitive, social and emotional principles, and recognize the different methods of research.
If research is of interest, LMC offers PSYC 206. This class offers the opportunity to design, test, analyze and report a topic of your choice. This 10 to 12 page report is a good activity to prepare you for higher education.
With a completed, edited report in hand, you have the option to be published in the annual Lake Michigan College Journal of Psychology. Your report may also be submitted to the Liberal Arts Network for Development (L.A.N.D.) competition. This community college competition will analyze your report. If chosen as a finalist, you will be offered the chance to read your report in front of a panel of judges, prepare a PowerPoint presentation and answer questions regarding your research. LMC has consistently done well at this competition. 2004 marked the fourth year in a row an LMC student won this competition.
"I'm pleased that the outstanding research work of these LMC students is being recognized at the state level," states LMC psychology instructor Judith Buchalski. "I think that shows the strength of our program as well as the caliber and commitment of the students involved."
Technology in the Classroom
A variety of technologies are used in conjunction with traditional lecture and group discussion activities. PowerPoint presentations, films, the Internet and materials available on Canvas - the College's instructional Intranet - play an important role in class.
Getting the Most from the Program
"For those students who want to go outside the assigned readings, I encourage them to join the American Psychology Association," says Dr. Scameheorn. This association distributes current research materials and updated field information. There is a small fee for the membership.
By working with your advisor, you can make sure you are on track and if necessary, your plan can be revised to adjust for any circumstances that may change your available time to complete the program.
Psychology National Honor Society - Psi Beta
You may qualify to be part of Psi Beta, the national honor society for psychology students at community and junior colleges. To qualify, you must have achieved at least a 3.0 in psychology courses and maintained at lest a 3.0 grade point average overall. For more information, contact Judy Buchalski at (269) 927-8100 ext. 5015.