Asbury Psych Students Shine in National Exam

Asbury University Psychology seniors excelled at the ACAT, a nationally normed test covering broad psychological knowledge.
Asbury's Psychology Department offers numerous research opportunities. Above, Jeanine Campbell '17 presents her award-winning research during Asbury's SEARCH Symposium.

For a second time during the 2016-17 academic year, Asbury University Psychology students earned excellent scores on the Area Concentration Achievement Test (ACAT), a nationally normed test covering broad psychological knowledge. 

All Asbury Psychology seniors take the test each year, either in the fall or spring semester. Students always excel at the ACAT, but this year’s seniors scored exceptionally well, with both groups — spring and fall — averaging in the 88thpercentile.

Students’ high scores are an important affirmation of their hard work and their excellent training. The breadth of the Asbury’s Psychology coursework goes far beyond test scores, though — it encompasses practical application, innovative research and vibrant community, all within the context of a Christian worldview.

“Asbury’s Psychology program is challenging, engaging, and incredibly integrative,” said Aubrey Charette ’17. “I honestly wish everyone could experience the type of education I had, no matter their field of choice. The psychology program not only prepares you for a career in psychology but also for life in general. I know how to communicate, ask questions, critique my thinking and reflect on the world around me because of the content of my classes and the character of my teachers. Plus, it’s all based on a foundational understanding of Scripture and on God’s will for his Kingdom. It’s wonderful.”

In addition to their regular coursework, students have many opportunities to build their knowledge through research. In Asbury’s recent SEARCH Symposium — an event featuring undergraduate research — Psychology students presented nearly a third of the total research, and Psychology major Jeanine Campbell ’17 won the overall award with a presentation and paper titled “Understanding Psychological Distress within the Christian Student Community: The Influence of Resilience and God Representations.”

“Doing undergraduate research at Asbury has given me a taste of what graduate school would be like and given me experience that will be helpful in applications,” Campbell said. “It’s also a great opportunity to choose my own topic and learn about something that I’m interested in — just to learn for the sake of learning.”

Dr. Paul Nesselroade ’89, chair of the Psychology Department, stresses the integrative nature of Asbury’s Psychology curriculum. It’s not only academically rigorous (as ACAT scores show) — it’s also grounded in Christian commitments.

“Asbury’s Psychology program prepares students by delivering an unquestionably rigorous psychological education, not within a vacuum, but within the context of a thoroughly Christian living and learning environment,” Nesselroade said. “It is not enough for our students simply to know the psychological content typical of an undergraduate experience. At Asbury, they can process, critique, and develop these facts and ideas while being grounded in a Christian understanding of reality.”

Consistently one of Asbury's largest undergraduate majors, Psychology offers eight concentrations: Clinical/Counseling Psychology, Christian Counseling Psychology, Child Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Biological Psychology, Social Psychology, Student Development Psychology and Equine Facilitated Mental Health.

Additionally, students have the opportunity to get involved in research and clinical practicums and take advantage of travel courses. One example is an academic tour of Central Europe studying human dignity and the psychology of the Holocaust. This year’s tour will be May 10-23 — stay tuned for updates on the 2017 tour, and read more about a previous trip.

 

To learn more about Asbury’s Psychology Department, visit: asbury.edu/Psychology.

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