CAA approves new psychology courses

Samuel Nusbaum , Administration Reporter

The Council on Academic Affairs voted to approve two new psychology courses Thursday.

The two courses are psychology 3760, Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making, and psychology 4810, Neuropsychopharmacology.

The CAA heard arguments about why these courses should take place from psychology professors Dr. Caridad Brito and Dr. Jeffrey Stowell.

Brito said the judgment and decision-making class is a standard and cognitive course and will cover theories about decisions people make.

“It is not so much a practical course where you can take it and say ‘Well, what can I do to make the best decisions?’” Brito said. “It really is about conceptual models of the decision process that individuals engage in.”

In the course proposal, the CAA found an error under “enrollment restrictions” which accidentally said no one could attend the course, instead of saying that everyone could take it. When they voted, the CAA made a correction to the proposal to fix this.

The vote was then passed unanimously.

The CAA then moved onto the second course proposal, which was for Neuropsychopharmacology.

Stowell described it as a course with a prerequisite that will be part of a neuroscience major, which the psychology and biological sciences department are working on together.

The prerequisite course is biological psychology. The course covers a book chapter about neurotransmitters in the brain, and how drugs alter them.

“Students seem to get excited when you talk about drugs and how they affect the brain,” Stowell said.

Stowell said other classes touch on how drugs affect people on a cultural and behavioral level, but this class will go deeper than that.

This course will go to the receptor and neurotransmitter level, so it needs biological psychology as a prerequisite.

The committee found a pair of typos in the proposal saying the class can be used as an elective, and the course number was listed incorrectly.

The CAA corrected this and voted to unanimously pass the course.

CAA Chair Dr. Marita Gronnvoll said the meeting went smoothly. She saw no problems with the courses outside of a couple of typos in the course proposals themselves.

Gronnvoll said she liked how when it comes to creating courses or revising existing ones, departments are usually practical.

“What I have noticed is how hard departments are working to accommodate students,” Gronnvoll said.

Gronnvoll said next week’s meeting may be canceled because of a lack of subjects to cover.

“Right now we have nothing in the pipeline,” Gronnvoll said.

She said the CAA cancels its meetings every now and then, especially at the beginning of the semester and after deadlines. Gronnvoll said she would make a decision about whether or not to cancel the next meeting when this week’s minutes go up online.

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