Master of Arts (M.A.) in Industrial-Organizational Psychology | Course Catalogue

2021-2022 Catalogue

Industrial-Organizational (I-O) psychology is a quickly growing area of psychology that applies psychology theory and research to the workplace. This interface between psychology and the workplace makes businesses, government organizations, non-profit agencies, and health-care settings more rewarding for employees and more productive for organizations. Wesleyans I-O psychology program will guide you to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities important to applying psychological science in modern organizations. A Master of Arts in I-O psychology will equip you to work as a manager with a people oriented career in consulting firms, private corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. The program prepares you to design, conduct and communicate applied research that guides organizational leaders. Wesleyan’s program has been developed according to recommendations of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) and the content of the program focuses on job design, performance management, employee training, work motivation, group/team processes, leadership, organizational behavior, and organizational development. Additionally, the program focuses on psychological research methods, applied assessment/testing, people analytics, and organizational research.

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 organizations 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, managing multicultural work teams, and humanitarian work psychology. And Wesleyan’s proven track record at making connections around the world will introduce you to international opportunities in I-O psychology.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Achieve fluency in the core content areas of I-O practice:
    • job analysis, competency modeling, and job evaluation,
    • criterion theory, performance appraisal, and performance management,
    • applicant recruitment, personnel selection, and job placement,
    • individual assessment, individual differences, and human performance,
    • training needs analysis, employee training, and career development,
    • job attitudes, attitude theory, judgment and decision-making,
    • organizational behavior, groups processes, teamwork, leadership,
    • work motivation, occupational health and safety,
    • organization theory and development
  2. Demonstrate competence in research methods, statistical analysis, and people analytics:
    • examine experimental, quasi-experimental, and correlational research designs
    • evaluate internal validity, external validity, and other threats to experimental validity
    • build knowledge of planning and implementing research in practical contexts
    • Apply skills for statistical modeling and predictive analytics using R software
    • develop ability to interpret and communicate research to organizational leaders
  3. Develop an understanding of all forms (age, gender, race, culture, etc.) of human diversity and be knowledgeable of the impact diversity has on identity, ability, economic status, culture, and society at the individual, group, and organization level.
  4. Develop ability to apply justice concepts in organizational settings and lead projects that uphold and expand ethical behavior, trustworthiness, and the highest levels of integrity.
  5. Acquire key communication skills for work in professional and team settings.
  6. Build key communications skills for professional oral presentations and written reports.

Program of Study

Wesleyan’s intensive 18-month fast-track program is a hybrid program with on ground and online courses to maximize flexibility for students. The program includes ample face-to-face interaction that emphasizes Wesleyan’s signature seminar-style classroom experience. This focus allows students to develop professional skills through peer interactions and faculty guidance. All on ground classes are scheduled in the evenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The evening schedule allows for full time work during the day and completion of course work during the evening. Students are encouraged to pursue professional work opportunities while in the program. The summer semester is designed for maximum flexibility with two online, eight week courses and no on ground component.

The program includes an applied practicum/internship capstone project tailored to students level of professional development. Those with prior professional experience or working in a current professional job can complete a practicum project with their employer. Students who are looking for entry level professional work can complete and internship while also completing a professional project. Practicum projects must focus on organizations and the employee experience in the workplace. Students will work with a faculty, graduate advisor to develop a practicum/internship capstone project that is tailored to their career interests and professional goals.

Start dates for the program are in August and January and the coursework is designed for an intensive, 18-month program of study. The program requires a total of 34 credit hours and may be completed as a full or part-time student.

Suggested Course Schedule

Fall, Year 1 (9 hours)

PSY 504 Organizational Behavior and Theory (3 hours)

PSY 505 Human Resources and Personnel Management (3 hours)

PSY 503 Social Psychology in the Workplace (3 hours)

Spring, Year 1 (10 hours)

PSY 502 Applied Research Design and Statistics (4 hours)

PSY 603 Employee Training and Development (3 hours)

PSY 604 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace (3 hours)

Summer, Year 1 (6 hours)

PSY 608: Organizational Development and Consulting (3 hours)

PSY 506 Work Motivation and Occupational Health Psychology (3 hours)

Fall, Year 2 (9 hours)

PSY 620 Practicum/Internship Capstone Project (3 hours)

PSY 601 Applied Testing and Assessment (3 hours)

PSY 602 People Analytics (3 hours)

Total: 34 hours

Course Descriptions

PSY502 Applied Research Design and Statistics
Goal: To develop the students’ ability to design research studies and conduct statistical analysis in applied psychology settings.
Content: A survey of research designs (experimental, quasi-experimental, correlational, etc) and statistical analyses (descriptive and inferential) in psychology. Students will learn how to conduct laboratory and field research with various data collection strategies (experiment, survey, simulation, case study, etc.). Students will utilize statistical analyses (t-test, ANOVA, correlation, regression, factorial ANOVA, multiple regression, etc.) to establish relationships between variables, test effect sizes, and develop quantitative, evidence-based conclusions. Students will also learn how to evaluate the quality of published research studies and how to communicate research findings to a lay audience. A computer lab component is included.
Taught: Spring, Full Term, Class Lecture/Combined Online Lab
Prerequisites: Admission into the graduate program
Credits: 4 hours

PSY503: Social Psychology in the Workplace
Goal: To build student knowledge of social psychology theories and how they apply to job attitudes, group dynamics, and effective leadership in the workplace.
Content: An examination of social psychology research, theories, and applications that explain employee judgement, decision making, and attitudes toward work. Students will use established theories of group dynamics to explain team effectiveness and how group member interactions impact employee motivations, attitudes and behavior. Students will evaluate the role of leadership and how influence is used to motivate employees and optimize teamwork at all levels of the organization.
Taught: Fall, Full Term, Hybrid
Prerequisites: Admission into the graduate program
Credits: 3 hours

PSY504: Organizational Behavior and Theory
Goal: To advance student understanding of organizational psychology theory, research and practices and how organizational dynamics impact human work behavior, motivation, attitudes, teamwork, and guide the employee work experience.
Content: A survey of organizational theory and scientific research on human behavior in the context of work organizations. Students will assess established work motivation theories and evaluate how organizational processes and structures impact the employee work experience. Students will analyze work attitudes, group dynamics, leadership, and team climate to understand management practices that foster a healthy and effective organizational culture. Students will explore the relationships between employee performance, team performance and organizational success.
Taught: Fall, Full Term, Combined Online
Prerequisites: Admission into the graduate program
Credits: 3 hours

PSY505: Human Resources and Personnel Management
Goal: To develop student ability to use industrial psychology theory, research, and practices that drive the human resource management function within work organizations.
Content: A survey of industrial psychology theory, research, and practices and how they impact recruitment, selection, development, and management of personnel in work organizations. Students will utilize job analysis methods to describe critical job tasks, design performance assessments, and identify empirically valid predictors of performance. Also, students will determine how worker oriented analysis methods can be used to identify employee knowledge, skills, and abilities as well as guide future employee performance and development. Students will investigate how competency models are used to develop talented personnel throughout the organization and drive organizational success.
Taught: Fall, Full Term, Hybrid
Prerequisites: Admission into the graduate program
Credits: 3 hours

PSY506: Work Motivation and Occupational Health Psychology
Goal: To build student understanding of human motivation in the workplace and how organizational processes impact the health, safety, and well-being of employees.
Content: An examination of employee motivation and how concepts of direction, strength, and persistence explain motivated work behaviors. Students will compare psychological perspectives on motivation and examine how job design, work processes, goal setting, incentives, and participative decision making are important to improving motivation. Students will explore organizational processes to understand how difficult work conditions impact physiological and psychological health. Students will evaluate work policies and practices that effectively mitigate the impact of hazardous materials, demanding schedules, workforce restructuring, harassment, incivility, and other demands of the modern workplace. Students will also explore concepts of positive stress, work-life balance, and professional growth to understand how work can improve cognitive and affective well-being.
Taught: Summer, Eight Week Term, Combined Online
Prerequisites: Admission into the graduate program
Credits: 3 hours

PSY601: Applied Testing and Assessment
Goal: Develop student skills and knowledge on the design, development and administration of assessments in the workplace.
Content: A review of individual differences theory and psychological assessments as they are used in personnel selection, performance appraisal, employee development, and other human resource processes. Students will analyze criterion development process and instruments used to assess the effectiveness and well being of employees, teams, and organizations. Explore the types of testing instruments and appraisal methods for evaluating knowledge, skills, abilities, personality, aptitude, and interest characteristics. Apply forms of measurement validity (face, content, criterion, construct) to identify, develop, and select tests and assessment in the workplace. Interpret and communicate assessment results in to professional audience in a work context.
Taught: Fall, Full Term, Combined Online
Prerequisites: Admission into the graduate program
Credits: 3 hours

PSY602: People Analytics
Goal: Examine the role of statistical methods, workforce analytics, and research in evaluating individual, team, and organizational effectiveness.
Content: A survey of workforce analytics, statistical methods, and organizational research using R statistical software. Explore the application of data collection, cleaning, and management processes to large data sets. Test analysis of variance, linear regression, factor analysis as statistical models for analyzing individual, team, and organizational effectiveness. Review practices for interpreting, deploying, and communicating analytics to support data driven decision making in organizations.
Taught: Fall, Full Term, Hybrid
Prerequisites: Admission into the graduate program
Credits: 3 hours

PSY603: Employee Training and Development
Goal: Investigate training as an organizational process for employee learning and development in the workplace.
Content: Employee training and development is a process of meeting both organizational and employee needs for learning in the workplace. Review training needs analysis from task, person, and organizational perspectives. Evaluate learning theories and methods of instructional design that ensure transfer of training. Compare traditional, technology based and blended training methods as optimal approaches to training program delivery. Apply training evaluation criteria to evaluate employee learning, program effectiveness, and organizational results. Consider career development and how informal learning supports employee development and organizational planning.
Taught: Spring, Full Term, Hybrid
Prerequisites: Admission into the graduate program
Credits: 3 hours

PSY604: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace
Goal: Assess diversity, equity, and inclusion as a set of ethical best practices for leading multicultural organizations.
Content: Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are concepts that express the value of humans in the workplace. DEI programs are quickly emerging as an optimal approach to addressing implicit biases in the workplace and society. DEI concepts can be utilized along with traditional human resource practices to create supportive team climates and organizational cultures. The course will examine how I-O psychology practices can be designed to enhance the well-being of individuals, human rights, and working conditions in organizations worldwide. Following the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, students will examine ethical interpersonal skills and human resource practices needed for effective leadership in multicultural, global work environments.
Taught: Spring, Full Term, Hybrid
Prerequisites: Admission into the graduate program
Credits: 3 hours

PSY608: Organizational Development and Consulting
Goal: Evaluate organizational development theory, concepts, and practices used to manage the change process and the consultant role in designing change interventions.
Content: Growth and change within organizations can present unique challenges to individual employees, large groups, and the entire organization. Organizational development integrates theories, concepts, and practices from many areas of industrial organizational psychology to design and manage change interventions. These interventions utilize training, socialization, attitude change, team building, survey feedback, job redesign, restructuring, and system changes to help organizations address positive and negative forces for change. Consultants can work internally or externally to the organization to build supportive relationships with key leaders. They utilize problem solving, decision making, and communication skills to diagnose challenges, design survey instruments, manage change intervention processes, and evaluate intervention effectiveness. Students will utilize the ‘Top 10 Work Trends’ survey from the Society of Industrial Organizational Psychology to analyze organizational development intervention designs.
Taught: Summer, Eight Week Term, Combined Online
Prerequisites: Admission into the graduate program
Credits: 3 hours

PSY620: Practicum/Internship Capstone Project
Goal: Integrate knowledge, skills, and abilities from prior classes to develop a project proposal that diagnoses an organizational problem and provides potential solutions through an organizational intervention.
Content: Students will work on a capstone project that integrates the knowledge, skills, and abilities they gained from prior courses in the MAIOP program. Students identify an organization willing to support their project and deliver an applied project proposal. The proposal will diagnose a human resources problem and provide detailed plan for solving the problem. Specifically, students will develop an applied consulting project proposal that utilizes industrial organizational psychology theories, concepts, and practices to diagnose an organizational problem/challenge, identify potential solutions, design an intervention process, and plan a program evaluation. The capstone course can be completed as a practicum for those with prior professional work experience or as an internship for those seeking their first professional experience. Project proposals will be provided to the organization as a pro bono (no fee), external or internal consulting service.
Taught: Fall, Full Term, Combined Online
Prerequisites: Admission into the graduate program
Credits: 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.

John Christopher, Assistant Professor of Psychology. B.S., University of Maryland; M.A., Ph.D., Wayne 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

Barbara Rowan, Adjunct Instructor of Business. B.A., Malone College; M.S., Georgia College & State University; Ph.D., James Madison University.

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