Master of Arts (M.A.) in Applied Psychology, Industrial-Organizational Psychology

2019-2020 Catalogue

Industrial-Organizational (I-O) psychology is a quickly growing area of psychology that applies psychology research to the workplace. This interface between psychology and business makes businesses, government organizations, non-profit agencies, and health-care settings more productive and profitable, and also improves the well-being of employees. Psychological knowledge resulting from research evidence can be applied to improve the functioning of workplaces in many ways. For example, findings can improve how organizations function, how jobs are defined and staffed, how teams work together, and can be used to increase employee health and satisfaction, and to reduce conflicts and problems. Wesleyan’s program has been developed according to recommendations of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), and is a terminal master’s degree program. This Master of Arts applied psychology degree is designed to equip you to work as a practitioner with a career in consulting, diversity education, or training in a variety of settings, including business, non-profit, and public agencies. The program will develop students to be good consumers of research and to understand how to apply it. As students are not expected to learn how to produce new research evidence, a master’s thesis is optional but not required.

Our program emphasizes justice in the workplace, which is embedded throughout the curriculum. The unique justice focus emerges out of the College’s valuing of justice and inclusion for all people and its roots in the United Methodist Church. As businesses are becoming more aware of the costs of failing to prioritize treating people justly, Wesleyan I-O graduates will offer expertise in issues such as embracing and sustaining workplace diversity, equitably treating people, and valuing worker well-being, as well as global issues, including humanitarian work psychology. This specialized curriculum will qualify students for a number of jobs, including consulting to or positions with companies that would like to improve their workplace culture. And Wesleyan’s proven track record at making connections around the world will introduce you to international opportunities in I-O psychology.

I-O psychology practitioners are increasingly in demand, and are paid well. Research the latest statistics on pay at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov); in 2017, the mean annual wage was $102,530. Wesleyan’s intensive 18-month fast-track program is a hybrid program, including some online courses to maximize flexibility for students. However, we include traditional classroom work as well, emphasizing Wesleyan’s signature seminar-style classroom experience, because we believe the skills you will develop in this setting are essential to success as a professional. Classes are scheduled in the evenings.

Learning Outcomes

Through course work and experiences in this program, the student will:

  • Develop a commitment to developing, expanding, and upholding justice in organizations, and be a leader in and model of ethical behavior, trustworthiness, and the highest levels of integrity.
  • Develop a sophisticated understanding of how identity, culture, economics, ability, and context intersect and influence people, and be fluent in understanding, respecting, and valuing all forms of human diversity, including those related to gender, ethnicity and race, sexuality, nationality, economic status, disability, and generation.
  • Demonstrate professional levels of competence in interpersonal interactions, team building, and conflict management.
  • Demonstrate professional levels of competence in formal and informal oral and written communication.
  • Understand research design, methods, sampling, statistical analysis using R programming language and statistical software, and research ethics. Demonstrate competence in planning, implementing, and interpreting research methods as is necessary in I-O practice.
  • Achieve fluency in the core content areas of I-O practice: attitude theory, measurement and change; career development; criterion theory and development; groups and teams; human performance; individual assessment; individual differences; job evaluation and compensation; job analysis, competency modeling, and classification; judgment and decision-making; occupational health and safety; organization theory and development; performance appraisal; personnel recruitment, selection, placement, and classification; training; and work motivation.
  • Develop an introductory knowledge of consumer behavior and human factors.


Program of Study

The M.A. program is designed to allow students flexibility in the work toward their graduate degree. The course is an intensive, 18-month program which students may enter in August or in January. The program requires a total of 34 credit hours and may be taken full- or part-time. Classes are scheduled in the evening and online to allow students to combine their coursework with full-time employment.

Suggested Course Schedule

Fall, Year 1 (9 hours)
PSY 504 Organizational Behavior and Theory (3 hours)
PSY 505 Human Resources (3 hours)
PSY 503 Applied Social Psychology (3 hours)

Spring, Year 1 (10 hours)
PSY 502 Applied Research Design and Statistics (4 hours)
PSY 603 Employee Development (3 hours)
PSY 604 Diversity, Justice, and Ethics in the Workplace (3 hours)

Summer, Year 1 (6 hours)
PSY 620 Senior Project/Practicum – Online (3 hours)
PSY 506 Health in the Community and Workplace – Online (3 hours)

Fall, Year 2 (9 hours)
PSY 610 Current Directions in I/O Psychology (3 hours)
PSY 601 Applied Testing and Assessment (3 hours)
PSY 602 Data Analytics (3 hours)

Total: 34 hours

The summer semester is designed to allow students flexibility in completing a practicum in any location to match their career goals. Students will work with the graduate advisor to plan activities that are tailored to their interests and goals.

Course Descriptions

PSY 502: Applied Research Design and Statistics.
Hybrid course. Half of class work is face-to-face. Half is online.
Understanding and interpreting statistical analyses and research design; developing hypotheses; sampling and methodology; measurement; evaluating the quality of the research methods of published research evidence; descriptive and inferential statistics; parametric and nonparametric methods; interval estimates, ANOVA, regression, path analysis, structural equation modeling, meta-analysis; computer lab component included.
Prerequisite: Admission to M.A. program, or permission of program director.
Credit: 4 hours.

PSY 503 Applied Social Psychology.
Hybrid course. Half of class work is face-to-face. Half is online.
Judgment and decision-making; attitude theory, measurement, and change; group processes; social influence and persuasion; judgments of equity; understanding and applying the results of published research evidence; communicating research findings accurately and accessibly, historical use of human subjects in research and related ethical issues.
Prerequisite: Admission to M.A. program, or permission of program director.
Credit: 3 hours.

PSY 504 Organizational Behavior and Theory.
Online course.
Organizational theory and development; groups and teams (interpersonal behavior in small groups, theory and team processes); leadership and management theory, strategy, and change; coaching; planning and implementing research projects in I-O practice; analyzing data in I-O practice.
Prerequisite: Admission to M.A. program, or permission of program director.
Credit: 3 hours.

PSY 505 Human Resources.
Hybrid course. Half of class work is face-to-face. Half is online.
Criterion theory, development, and measurement as it applies to recruitment, selection, and placement; job analysis; predictors; human resources planning, leadership, performance appraisal, organization design, and training; business professional writing and interactions.
Prerequisite: Admission to M.A. program, or permission of program director.
Credit: 3 hours.

PSY 506 Health in the Community and Workplace.
Online course.
Motivation; theories of adult lifespan development; stress and well-being; work-life balance; workplace wellness; occupational health and safety; managing changes within the workplace; workplace aggression, bullying, and violence.
Prerequisite: Admission to M.A. program, or permission of program director.
Credit: 3 hours.

PSY 601 Applied Testing and Assessment.
Hybrid course. Half of class work is face-to-face. Half is online.
Developing and measuring criteria; individual assessment for selection and development; job attitudes (engagement, satisfaction, involvement, organizational commitment); human performance (problem solving, decision making, use of tools, error); history of applied assessment.
Prerequisite: PSY 502; Admission to M.A. program, or permission of program director.
Credit: 3 hours.

PSY 602 Data Analytics.
Online course.
Clean and work with large data sets; analyze data from large sets to inform decisions in applied fields; ethical concerns regarding data storage and decision-making; use of R, SQL, Hadoop.
Prerequisite: PSY 502; admission to M.A. program, or permission of program director.
Credit: 3 hours.

PSY 603 Employee Development.
Online course.
Training theory, delivery, design, and evaluation; job evaluation and compensation; individual differences in work behavior and its ethical and accurate assessment; career development; professional presentation skills.
Prerequisite: Admission to M.A. program, or permission of program director.
Credit: 3 hours.

PSY 604 Diversity, Justice, and Ethics in the Workplace.
Hybrid course. Half of class work is face-to-face. Half is online.
Ethics; justice related to diversity; justice related to international issues; justice in employee treatment; managing downsizing; professional norms and standards; drawing the line between coaching and counseling; legal regulations and issues; humanitarian work psychology; collecting and analyzing qualitative data.
Prerequisite: Admission to M.A. program, or permission of program director.
Credit: 3 hours.

PSY 610 Current Directions in I/O Psychology.
May be an online or hybrid course.
Seminar-based course exploring a variety of topics in the field of I-O psychology; selected topics may vary by student interest and need, along with current events and published research relevant to the field.
Prerequisite: Admission to M.A. program, or permission of program director.
Credit: 3 hours.

PSY 620 Senior Project/Practicum.
Hybrid course. Involves professional activity while working in an organization. Supervision and reflection is online.
At an organization tailored to student interests, supervised by Wesleyan faculty in an online supervisory role; involves project development, management, and reporting.
Prerequisite: Admission to M.A. program, or permission of program director.
Credit: 3 hours.
 

Master of Arts Graduate Faculty

L. Brooke Bennett-Day, Professor of Psychology. B.S., Valdosta State University; M.S., Ph.D., Florida State University.

Holly Cole, Assistant Professor of Psychology. B.A., University of Oklahoma; M.A., Ph.D., University of Arkansas.

Michele Tuer Martin, Professor of Psychology. B.A., Michigan State University; M.Ed., Ph.D., University of Virginia.

James Donald Rowan, Professor of Psychology. B.A., Malone College; M.A., Ph.D., Kent State University.
 

Master of Arts Graduate Adjunct Faculty

John Christopher, Adjunct Instructor of Psychology. B.S., University of Maryland; M.A., Ph.D., Wayne State University.

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