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 Analytics, a Master of Science in Child Life, and a bachelor’s completion program in psychology.

PCLS 501, Infant to Adolescent Development in the Healthcare Setting: Assessment, Planning, and Interventions, 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, Pediatric Clinical Diagnoses and Medical Terminology for the Child Life Professional, 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 and Family-Centered Care, 3 Units

This course explores family systems and therapeutic models with a focus in family psychology. Emphasis is on family-centered care and the effects that terminal illnesses have on the family system. Course content includes 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, Innovative Practices: Utilizing Technology in the Child Life Field, 2 Units

This course is designed for students to further explore innovative evidence-based practices used beyond play-based therapeutic interventions to address psychosocial needs of medically fragile children, focusing on application of technology. Focus is on researching a variety of innovative uses of technology in child life practices assessed as effective intervention tools to enhance children's coping and adjustment to stressful healthcare encounters. The emphasis is on students developing proficiency in setting goals during child life assessments to plan developmentally appropriate interventions and gain competencies in therapeutic use of technology to alleviate stress and anxiety, enabling a platform of education, diversion, and escape and thus maximizing children's coping. Achievement of course objectives is addressed through experiential learning, lecture, 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 Master's in Psychology 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 513, Psychometrics: Assessment and Measurement, 3 Units

This course is designed to teach students about applying classical and modern psychometric theories to develop and validate psychological tests and scales for data collection. Students gain hands-on experience in using JMP and SAS, software applications developed by SAS Institute, the world's largest software company in data analysis. Students work on several projects using complicated data sets that resemble real-world scenarios.

Prerequisite: MATH 110 or equivalent;

corequisite: PSYC 513L

PSYC 513L, Statistics Lab I, 1 Unit

This is the lab component of PSYC 513. In this course, students apply statistical analysis knowledge to computational procedures using JMP and SAS software. Additionally, this course aims to fulfill requirements for the JMP/SAS certification. SAS Institute is the world's largest vendor of statistical software, and its products are widely used in industry and top universities.

Corequisite: PSYC 513

PSYC 514, Statistical Modeling, 3 Units

This is an elementary course in basic statistical concepts. Students are introduced to the understanding and use of necessary computational procedures to attain the basic skills in the following: frequency distributions, graphs, central tendency, variability, normal curve, probabilities, correlation, hypothesis testing, and chi-square. Understanding and use of the above statistics are stressed over mathematical development. Additionally, the course aims to help learners prepare for the SAS certification exam. SAS Institute is the world's larger vendor of statistical software, and its products are widely used in industry and top universities.

Prerequisite: MATH 110 or equivalent;

corequisite: PSYC 514L

PSYC 514L, Statistics Lab II, 1 Unit

This is the lab component of PSYC 514. In this course, students apply statistical analysis knowledge to computational procedures using JMP and SAS software. Additionally, this course aims to fulfill requirements for the JMP/SAS certification. SAS Institute is the world's largest vendor of statistical software, and its products are widely used in industry and top universities.

Corequisite: PSYC 514

PSYC 515, Applied Statistical Methodologies, 3 Units

This course covers alternate research methods (e.g., exploratory data analysis, data visualization, resampling, and data mining) and philosophical concepts of quantitative research methodology. It also equips students for graduate study, enabling them to carry out a professional-level research study independently and write a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation in less time. In addition, the skill set acquired from this course can open doors to a graduate assistantship and enhance the portfolio/vita (e.g., conference presentations or peer-reviewed journal papers). Further, students are well-prepared for taking the SAS certification exam to be a professional data analyst and statistical software programmer.

Prerequisite: PSYC 513;

corequisite: PSYC 515L

PSYC 515L, Statistics Lab III, 1 Unit

This is the lab component of PSYC 515. In this course, students apply statistical analysis knowledge to computational procedures using JMP and SAS software. Additionally, this course aims to fulfill requirements for the JMP/SAS certification. SAS Institute is the world's largest vendor of statistical software, and its products are widely used in industry and top universities.

Corequisite: PSYC 515

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 598, Thesis 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 in 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 in the department of Psychology by the end of the academic year. Pass/Fail grading.

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.

Faculty

Department Chair

Kathryn Ecklund, Ph.D.

Chair Emeritus

Brian Eck, Ph.D.

Professors

Brian Eck, Ph.D.

Kathryn Ecklund, Ph.D.

Alan Oda, Ph.D.

Annie Tsai, Ph.D.

Associate Professors

Rachel Castaneda, Ph.D.

Stephen S. Lambert, Psy.D.

Scott J. Wood, Ph.D.

Chong Ho (Alex) Yu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professors

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.