New APA Guidelines for the Psychology Major

apa logo2The APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major 2.0 (hereinafter referred to as Guidelines 2.0) represents a national effort to describe and develop high-quality undergraduate programs in psychology. Guidelines 2.0 grew out of an expectation expressed in the first iteration of the Guidelines that policy documents on curricular matters should be living documents, meaning that the recommendations must be systematically revised over time to ensure their relevance. The task force charged with the revision of Guidelines 2.0 examined the success of implementing the original document and made changes to reflect emerging best practices and to integrate psychology’s work with benchmarking scholarship in higher education.

Guidelines 2.0 abandoned the original distinction drawn between psychology-focused skills and psychology skills that enhance liberal arts development. Instead, the new Guidelines describe five inclusive goals for the undergraduate major that represent more robust learning and assessment activities. Developmental levels of student learning outcomes capture expectations at both a Foundation level, which represents the completion of approximately the first four courses in the major; and a Baccalaureate level, which corresponds to the indicators in the original Guidelines. Although in most cases foundation and baccalaureate developmental changes occur across courses in the curriculum, some changes can occur within specific courses (e.g., scientific reasoning and critical-thinking skills developed in research methods and statistics courses). Another major change in Guidelines 2.0 is the emphasis on the advantages of studying psychology as a strong liberal arts preparation for attaining a position in the professional workforce. A final improvement in Guidelines 2.0 includes a carefully designed infusion approach to the important goals related to the development of cultural competence and diversity skills development.

The full guidelines may be found here

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