Department of Psychology
Azusa Pacific’s Department of Psychology is an energetic community of scholars equipping students to understand the field of psychology through academically rigorous coursework, hands-on laboratory research, internships with community agencies, and individual research projects. The department offers a Master of Science in Research Psychology and Data Analysis, a Master of Science in Child Life (including an Advanced Standing option), and a bachelor’s completion program in psychology.
PCLS 501, Advanced Child Development, 3 Units
This course is an in-depth examination of physical, cognitive, emotional, moral, and social development from infancy through adolescence. Content includes developmental theory and practice of early childhood education, as well as assessment of child development and impairments in developmental functioning.
PCLS 502, Applied Child Development and Medical Terminology, 3 Units
This course reviews psychosocial and clinical aspects of disease and injury for the hospitalized and medically fragile child. Course content includes medical terminology, charting, complementary medicine, and physiological, cognitive, social, and emotional impacts of disease and injury on the patient and family.
PCLS 511, Family Systems Theory and Applications, 3 Units
This course explores family systems and therapeutic models with a focus on family psychology. Emphasis is on family-centered care and the effects that terminal illnesses have on the family system. Course content covers parenting medically fragile children, parenting and family relationships with a seriously ill or terminal parent, diversity issues and children with special needs, therapeutic models in family psychology, and integration of Christian faith and theology with family psychology.
PCLS 512, Theories and Practices of Grief and Loss, 3 Units
Students develop understanding of the family-centered care model and explore therapeutic interventions and techniques aimed at benefitting patients and families affected by death and serious illness. This course focuses on death, grief, bereavement, and the effects on the family system. Each student learns hands-on interventions to guide patients and families through death, grief, loss, and healing.
Corequisite: PCLS 512L
PCLS 512L, From Grief to Healing: Strategies and Application Lab, 1 Unit
In this lab course, students apply understanding of grief theories and explore practical therapeutic interventions and approaches aimed at benefitting children and families effected by death or serious illness. Focus is on historical and current views on death, grief, bereavement, and the effects on family system. Each student learns hands-on interventions to guide children and families from grief to healing process.
Prerequisite: PCLS 521;
Corequisite: PCLS 512
PCLS 521, Introduction to Child Life, 3 Units
This course aids students in gaining a broad understanding of the field of Child Life and equips students with the knowledge of the history and trends of the child life profession. Course content includes: Scope of practice in Child Life, the Official Child Life documents, clinical assessment, child life theoretical foundations, development and hospital stressors, and introduction to exceptional and medically challenged children.
PCLS 522, Therapeutic Interventions and Play-Based Techniques, 3 Units
This course is designed for students to develop an understanding of the history and theories of play and play-based therapies. Students gain knowledge of therapeutic play techniques, and explore research and theories on the importance of psychosocial preparation for medical procedures. Post- and preprocedural coping techniques and therapeutic interventions are taught as well. Students create hands-on interventions to prepare patients of all developmental levels for a variety of procedures.
PCLS 523, Coping Strategies for Children Experiencing Stress and Trauma, 3 Units
This course is designed for students to explore the best evidence-based practices in play therapy, with an emphasis on psychosocial and therapeutic interventions for children with special needs (cognitive intellectual and/or pervasive developmental disabilities). This course focuses on the effects traumatic situations have on the patient/client and their family. Students explore a variety of play therapy techniques and therapeutic interventions to help patients and families work through trauma and PTSD.
PCLS 525, Assessment, Preparation, and Documentation, 3 Units
This course reviews historical and current perspectives on techniques and outcomes of preparing children for healthcare encounters and life-changing events. The emphasis is on students developing proficiency in setting goals during child life assessments to plan developmentally appropriate preparation interventions and gain competencies with documentation. This course also addresses coping strategies for pain management. Achievement of course objectives is addressed through experiential learning, lectures, readings, discussion, and reflection.
PCLS 531, Ethics, Diversity and Professional Issues, 3 Units
This course covers legal, ethical, moral, cultural, religious and gender issues within a family-centered context. Theories and concepts of culture and cultural diversity will be explored. This course will also examine issues related to parenting medically fragile children, including legal and ethical considerations. An integration of Christian faith and theology will be implemented in the course in regards to professional ethics and multicultural competence.
PCLS 532, Child Life Administration and Leadership, 3 Units
This course aids students in gaining an understanding of child life program development and equips students with the leadership skills to manage a child life program. Course content includes outreach and technology in the field of child life, child life administration, supervision and mentoring, group facilitation skills, leadership skills, and program evaluation.
PCLS 541, Pre Practicum in Child Life, 3 Units
This course is designed to further develop the therapeutic tools of students prior to child life practicum placement. Students focus on developing proficiency in the core goals during crisis assessment and interventions, gain competencies in therapeutic dynamics, gain competencies in communication and listening to be applied when working with a diverse population of patients, families, and members of the multidisciplinary team. Additionally, students are encouraged to begin developing a theoretical and conceptual understanding of working with hospitalized and medically fragile children. Students are also encouraged to address issues regarding the integration of their faith with the practice of child life. These goals are addressed through experiential learning, lecture, readings, discussion, and reflection.
PCLS 542, Practicum in Child Life, 3 Units
This is a field experience class which is taught by a certified child life specialist and is designed and evaluated according to the specific clinical and academic standards set forth by the child life council. According to the child life council "The Child Life Practicum is designed as an introductory experience for individuals interested in pursuing a career in child life. Through experiential learning and observation of certified Child Life Specialist, child life practicum students begin to increase their knowledge of basic child life skills related to play, developmental assessment, and integration of child life theory into interventions with infants, children, youth and families." All students are required to participate in weekly on campus mentor meeting with the instructor throughout the semester.
PCLS 543, Internship in Child Life, 3 Units
This is a field experience class which is taught by a certified child life specialist and is designed and evaluated according to the specific clinical and academic standards set forth by the child life council. According to the child life council "The Child Life Practicum is designed as an introductory experience for individuals interested in pursuing a career in child life. Through experiential learning and observation of certified Child Life Specialist, child life practicum students begin to increase their knowledge of basic child life skills related to play, developmental assessment, and integration of child life theory into interventions with infants, children, youth, and families." All students are required to participate in weekly on campus mentor meeting with the instructor throughout the semester.
PCLS 551, Research Methods and Statistical Analysis, 3 Units
This course surveys the major social science research methods, preparing students to read, understand, and evaluate psychological research. This course will provide students with the basic knowledge and experience of developing research proposals. Students will also learn to understand survey methods, data collection, and research analysis. This course is designed for students to identify his or her thesis topic and or project and prepare students for PCLS 552.
PCLS 552, Thesis/Project Seminar, 3 Units
This master's thesis seminar is intended to provide students with a theoretical and methodological foundation necessary for completing their MS thesis/project in Child Life Science within the Psychology Department. The main objective of this seminar course is to help students develop and implement the theoretical foundation and methodological procedures needed to complete a MS graduate thesis or clinical project. CR/NC grading.
PSYC 501, Theory, Research and Practice in Psychology, 3 Units
This course provides an intensive review of major historical and contemporary theories, research and practice approaches in the field of psychology. Emphasis is on examining the key questions, proposed models, methods, findings, ideological controversies, and issues within the field of psychology. The course covers the various grand and emergent theories to foster dialogue that evaluates the science across psychological sub-disciplines, spanning: general principles of human development, neurological bases of behavior, cognitive functioning, systemic socio-cultural factors, and individual health differences. Students engage in theoretical analyses of current trends in basic and applied theory, research, and practices of psychology across various sub-disciplines, as well as how individuals function with consideration of a Christian worldview.
Prerequisite: Must be first year student in the Master of Science in Research Psychology and Data Analysis program or instructor approval.
PSYC 511, Experimental Research Methods, 3 Units
This course will build on your knowledge of the information learned in your undergraduate research methods course with an emphasis on experimental methodology. This course will cover a variety of topics including the basics of conducting experimental designs, ethical guidelines for conducting experimental psychological research, validity issues associated with different experimental research designs, and various methods of both collecting and analyzing data, including psychometric issues associated with different psychological measures. This will be accomplished by combining traditional lectures with application of principles through application and demonstration.
PSYC 512, Non-Experimental Research Methods, 3 Units
This course provides an in-depth study of how to plan, conduct, and analyze studies that use non-experimental research designs, including correlational, survey and qualitative methods. This course will encourage students to identify core areas of descriptive psychological research and begin building a strong research concept about those areas - especially in regards to the application of non-experimental observational research designs.
PSYC 517, Program Evaluation, 3 Units
This course provides students with foundational knowledge and skills in the basic methods of evaluation research. Course topics include common methods of evaluation, including systematic needs assessments, formative research, program performance, and outcome effectiveness, using mixed-methods research approaches. Students also engage in discussions about ethical considerations and other challenges involved in good evaluation design and methods. Through class lectures, reading, and interactive skill-building applications, students apply course material in group and individual assignments.
PSYC 518, Analysis of Variance, 3 Units
Analysis of variance (ANOVA) is a common statistical technique used by research psychologists to analyze differences in their data. This course focuses on introductory and advanced ANOVA methods and ANOVA's relation to psychological research; advanced ANOVA methods covered in this course include repeated measure, mixed design, ANCOVA, and MANOVA. Students learn to implement these methods, analyze findings, and report the findings for APA-style journal publications. Use of multiple popular statistical software programs is emphasized.
Prerequisite: MATH 110 or equivalent;
Corequisite: PSYC 518L
PSYC 518L, Analysis of Variance Lab, 1 Unit
In this course, the lab component to PSYC 518, students apply the statistical analysis knowledge from PSYC 518 to computational procedures using popular social science statistical software. Additionally, this course can be used to fulfill requirements for the JMP/SAS certification.
Corequisite: PSYC 518
PSYC 519, Regression, 3 Units
This advanced statistics course covers introductory and advanced regression analyses utilized throughout psychological research. Some of the topics covered are correlation, multiple regression, hierarchical regression, mediation/moderation, and logistic regression. Students learn to identify the appropriate regression analysis for different types of research questions, practice interpreting the results of the analyses in popular statistical software, and learn how to clearly report regression findings for APA-style journal publications. Use of multiple popular statistical software programs is emphasized.
Prerequisite: B- or better in PSYC 518;
Corequisite: PSYC 519L
PSYC 519L, Regression Lab, 1 Unit
This is the lab component to PSYC 519. In this lab course, students apply the statistical analysis knowledge from PSYC 519 to computational procedures using popular social science statistical software. Additionally, this course can be used to fulfill requirements for the JMP/SAS certification.
Corequisite: PSYC 519
PSYC 520, Psychometrics: Assessment and Measurement, 3 Units
Students in this course learn to apply classical and modern psychometric theories to develop and validate psychological tests and scales for data collection. Some of the topics included are instrument construction, reliability, validity, factor analysis, and item response theory. Students gain hands-on experience in developing a psychological instrument and analyzing the psychometric properties of previously created scales. Use of multiple popular statistical software programs is emphasized.
Prerequisite: B- or better in PSYC 518;
Corequisite: PSYC 520L
PSYC 520L, Psychometrics: Assessment and Measurement Lab, 1 Unit
This is the lab component to PSYC 520. In this lab course, students apply the statistical analysis knowledge from PSYC 520 to computational procedures using popular social science statistical software. Additionally, this course can be used to fulfill requirements for the JMP/SAS certification.
Corequisite: PSYC 520
PSYC 521, Faith Integration and Research Seminar, 3 Units
This course explores the nature of integrating psychology and religion/faith. It considers the functions and skills, as well as the theoretical modes of thought necessary for understanding the relationship between psychological research and religion. Focus is placed on the skills of research, constructive dialogue and writing. The course is intended to provide students with resources for developing their own approach to integration while also helping students clarify their own faith, morals and values that intersect with psychological research.
PSYC 522, Seminar in Ethical, Professional, and Diversity Issues, 3 Units
This course introduces students to research and professional issues in psychology, with an emphasis on ethics and diversity. Students will learn to recognize the importance of ethical behavior in all aspects of science as well as how sociocultural factors and personal biases may shape the practice of psychology. Emphasis is given to the integration of the student's spiritual and sociocultural philosophy with professional ethics. Historical and contemporary issues in basic and applied psychological research and interventions are reviewed.
PSYC 595, Special Topics, 3 Units
This course engages students in focused study of particular topics of direct relevance or urgency in the field of psychology which are not already discussed in the curriculum. Topics vary from semester to semester and may reflect new practices, theories, or faculty research interests in the field. This course may be taken more than once as topics change.
PSYC 597, Introduction to Thesis Seminar, 3 Units
The main objective of this seminar course is to help students develop and implement the theoretical foundation and methodological procedures needed to complete a MS graduate thesis in the Department of Psychology by the end of the academic year. This class will provide students with information to guide the planning and execution of a Master's thesis, including topic selection/refinement, thesis planning, training in the responsible conduct in research and Human Subjects regulatory protocols, grant funding for student research, as well as thesis-driven data collection, data analysis and write up/dissemination in an organized and coherent form. In addition, a goal of the seminar is to help students develop their thesis into scholarly presentations and manuscripts suitable for publication. Students successfully complete their thesis when it has been defended and approved by a two-person committee constituted of the thesis faculty advisor and one full-time faculty second reader.
PSYC 598, Thesis Seminar, 1-3 Units
The main objective of this seminar course is to help students develop and implement the theoretical foundation and methodological procedures needed to complete a master's thesis in the Department of Psychology by the end of the academic year.
PSYC 599, Independent Study: Psychology Research, 1-6 Units
This course provides instruction in research and gives students experience in research processes related to their area of study. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class.
Kathryn Ecklund, Ph.D.
Brian Eck, Ph.D.
Brian Eck, Ph.D.
Kathryn Ecklund, Ph.D.
Alan Oda, Ph.D.
Annie Tsai, Ph.D.
Rachel Castaneda, Ph.D.
Stephen S. Lambert, Psy.D.
Scott J. Wood, Ph.D.
Chong Ho (Alex) Yu, Ph.D.
Tanya Barclay, M.S., CCLS
Brian Collisson, Ph.D.
Priscila Diaz-Castaneda, Ph.D.
Julianne Edwards, Ph.D.
Matthew Heller, Ph.D.
Curtis Lehmann, Ph.D.
Robert Linsalato, M.A.
Benjamin Marsh, Ph.D.
Gewnhi Park, Ph.D.
Teresa Pegors, Ph.D.
Charity Vasquez, M.S., CCLS
William Whitney, Ph.D.