The CAA to discuss course revisions in psych department

Samuel Nusbaum, Administration Reporter


The Council on Academic Affairs will cover several topics including a pair of course revisions and proposals in the psychology department at its first meeting at 2 p.m. Thursday in Booth Library, room 4440.

The psychology department put forth two new course proposals, which are PSY 3760 Judgment and Decision Making, and PSY 4810 Neuropsychopharmacology.

Psychology professor Jeffrey Stowell said PSY 3760 would run parallel to the Cognitive and Social Psychology courses and there would be some overlap in the subject matter. The course will focus on how humans make both good and bad decisions.

It would also draw from many related fields in psychology to explain and put into perspective why and how humans make decisions.

“In psych there are many sub-disciplines,” Stowell said.

PSY 4810 will focus on how drugs affect the brain, human behavior, sensations, the thought process and mood.

“A focus on first, normal function of neurons and neurotransmitters, and then how drugs alter those processes,” Stowell said.

It will also focus on how the brain is wired and how it is supposed to operate, compared to when drugs alter behavior.

The class will also require a prerequisite called Biological Psychology.

Students will see how all sorts of drugs, from recreational illegal substances, to everyday drugs like anti-depressants, alcohol and even caffeine affect the brain.

Other items on the agenda for the CAA include academic waiver reports from all of the colleges in the school throughout summer vacation, a committee appointment request for the Academic Technology Advisory Committee, and listening to reports on grade appeals and university learning goals.

Austin Cheney, the Chair of the School of Technology, said the proposed course revision of CTE 3000G Consumers in the Marketplace will be taken off of the agenda as a result of how much work it would take the professors to revise it.

Economics professor James Bruehler, who will be serving on the CAA for a second year, said it is healthy for someone to get out of his or her department and interact with the broader Eastern community.

“So it is good for me and it is healthy for the institution to have input and participation from a broad range of participants,” Bruehler said.

Bruehler said he sees himself as another set of eyes to look over proposals and revisions.

“Curriculum revisions initiate with the faculty,” Bruehler said. “Proposals go to the department curriculum committees, then the college committees and then CAA prior to being approved by the president (and) this process promotes quality curriculum.”


Samuel Nusbaum can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]