Psychology  
A Word From Our Students...

“The Psychology program at OCU provides students with the opportunity for personal learning and growth. The class sizes are small enough that there are opportunities to have one-on-one relationships with professors. The professors have challenged me, enabling me to reach goals that I never knew I could accomplish, such as creating and presenting my own research. I am challenged by my classes, and I am continually encouraged by this community.”

- Laura Sabolich, Previous OCU Student


"I wanted to let you know about grad schools. I ended up getting in everywhere I applied, and I've accepted at the University of Denver for their MA in forensic psych. I have to thank you because you told me about that program when they developed it my freshman year, and I've wanted to go there since then. This was such a difficult decision but I'm really excited about it.

Thanks again for your help with all of this. You really got me on the path to grad school while I was at OCU and I'm so thankful for your guidance."

- Miranda B., OCU Student Graduate


"I just wanted to thank you for all you did when I was an undergraduate working in your program. When I took statistics I thought that my life was going to end and you were evil for being so tough. Now that I am finished with undergraduate work and in a graduate program, I completely understand why you were so hard on all of us. I am working on my masters thesis and taking 9 hours in a graduate program. Often I feel very prepared for much of the readings and research for my papers because of stats. Also, I worked for one year on my undergraduate senior paper. I wondered why you were so hard on all of us- now I see why! The things I learned in that class have been invaluable in both my graduate work, as well as my professional world. That class was much more than writing a paper- it was time management and stress management, as well as the skills you would expect to learn while dedicating a year of your life to one paper.

In conclusion, THANK YOU..... you did more than I expected, taught me more than I dreamed and showed me that a caring and dedicated teacher is not always your buddy, for a reason."

- Katrina C., OCU Student Graduate


"I graduated from OCU in May 1995 with a major in Psychology and a minor in Computer Science. While this may sound like an odd combination, I found that the two actually merge together well in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). While I was an undergraduate, my advisor, Dr. XXX, wanted me to learn how to program so that I could tweak a computer program the Psychology department was using. This led me into computer science and before long, I learned that I enjoyed programming and several of my classmates encouraged me to pursue it further. I still loved psychology though so I didn't want to switch majors. At the time, I didn't realize all the different opportunities available to psychologists and found that what I thought was the typical psychology major career - counseling - didn't appeal to me.

Thus, after graduating from my undergraduate degree, I decided to get a job in computer programming for a year to make sure I liked that well enough to go on to get a master's degree in Computer Science. While searching for graduate schools to apply to, I came across the field of Human-Computer Interaction - the perfect marriage between psychology and computer science. I then attended Virginia Tech which has an excellent program in HCI. It was there that my psychology degree for OCU served me well.

Many of the concepts I learned from what I consider two of the best psychology courses at OCU (Introduction to Psychology and Learning) were particularly useful when studying how to design the best user interfaces. It was the base understanding I got at OCU that helped me understand the needs and abilities of typical computer users and how important it is to take these things into account when designing a user-interface. The field of HCI allows you to focus on different areas - those that are more theoretical in nature and thus more along the lines of research in psychology (with no technical skills needed) and those that involve directly designing and implementing a user interface yourself. Due to my technical skills, I chose to pursue the latter course.

After graduating with an M.S. in Computer Science with an emphasis in Human-Computer Interaction, I've worked as a contractor for both the Navy and the FAA involved in implementing displays for sonar on submarines and long range, air traffic control radars.

While at OCU, I found most of the classes to be challenging and yet not overwhelming (I had been a straight A student in high school). The small class size was particularly important to me because it facilitated discussions and allowed and encouraged (sometimes required) everyone to participate. Many times, in larger classes, it's easy to disappear into the crowd unless you make an effort to stand out. At OCU, you are generally always known by name by all your professors and are often drawn out into participation in class. This helps you get the most benefit from each of your classes.

Dr. XXX was an attentive advisor and my favorite instructor. XXX was always very interested in my success and making sure that I was challenged and involved in projects that peaked my interest. In class, XXX made the lectures interesting and applicable to every day life. That was important to me since my interest in psychology has always been along the lines of "How can what we learn from human and animal psychology make every day life better or more understandable?" As I mentioned before, two of my favorite classes were "Introduction to Psychology" and "Learning" for this very same reason - they applied so well to everyday life. Overall, I found my experience in the OCU Psychology Department to be rewarding and enriching and I feel that the things I learned while there have benefited me academically, professionally and personally."

- Natasha G., OCU Student Graduate