Student Learning Outcomes

At Hood College, we are committed to teaching excellence. Program goals and learning outcomes identify what we expect students to learn, think critically about and accomplish in their courses and programs of study at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. We believe an integrated learning approach that combines a strong grounding in the liberal arts with advanced study in the major and opportunities for internships and research initiatives is the best way to prepare students for lives of purpose and civic engagement.

Graduates earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hood College:

  1. Demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology through:
    • Explaining why psychology is a science;
    • Identifying and explaining the primary objectives of psychology: describing, understanding, predicting, and controlling behavior and mental processes;
    • Comparing and contrasting the assumptions and methods of psychology with those of other disciplines;
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the history of psychology, including the methods of psychology, theoretical perspectives and historical contexts;
    • Identify relevant ethical issues, including a general understanding of the APA Ethics Code;
    • Use the concepts, language, major theories and perspectives of the discipline to analyze specific psychological concepts.
  2. Understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation through:
    • Explaining different research methods used by psychologists;
    • Describing how various research designs address different types of questions and hypotheses;
    • Articulating strengths and limitations of various research designs, including distinguishing between qualitative and quantitative methods;
    • Distinguishing the nature of designs that permit causal inferences from those that do not;
    • Evaluating the appropriateness of conclusions derived from psychological research;
    • Interpreting basic statistical results;
    • Distinguishing between statistical significance and practical significance;
    • Designing and conducting basic studies to address psychological questions using appropriate research methods;
    • Following the APA Ethics Code in the treatment of human and nonhuman participants in the design, data collection, interpretation and reporting of psychological research.
  3. Use the scientific method to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes through:
    • Evaluating the quality of information, including differentiating empirical evidence from speculation;
    • Identifying and evaluating the source, context, and credibility of behavioral claims.
  4. Understand and apply psychological findings to clinical, social, and organizational issues through:
    • Describing major applied areas (e.g., clinical, counseling, industrial/organizational, school, etc.) and their applications.
  5. Introduce realistic ideas about how to implement psychological knowledge, skills and values in occupational pursuits through:
    • Identifying the types of academic experience and performance in psychology and the liberal arts that will facilitate entry into the workforce, graduate school, or both;
    • Describing preferred career paths based on accurate self-assessment;
    • Identifying skills and experiences relevant to achieving selected career goals.

The curriculum is designed to conform to standards set by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) and, for students in the School Counseling specialty, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).

Upon completion of the Hood College Master of Science in Counseling program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Articulate knowledge of the counseling profession and ethical practice.
  2. Integrate social and cultural diversity competencies into counseling practice.
  3. Apply theories of human development across the lifespan to counseling practice.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of theories and strategies for addressing career development.
  5. Apply knowledge of evidence-based prevention and treatment theory and techniques to assist clients achieve their mental health goals.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge and expertise in group counseling theory and practice.
  7. Integrate knowledge of test theory with the practice of assessment in counseling.
  8. Demonstrate the ability to apply scholarly and research literature to counseling practice and program evaluation.

Upon completion of the Counseling, M.S., School Counseling Specialty, graduates will be able to:

  1. Articulate foundational knowledge of the school counseling specialty, including the history of school counseling, models of school counseling programs, and models of school-based collaboration and consultation.
  2. Articulate a grasp of the contextual dimensions of school counseling, emphasizing the responsibilities of school counselors as leaders, advocates, consultants, and multidisciplinary team members across a wide variety of practice situations.
  3. Apply school counseling strategies, interventions, and techniques to promote the academic, career, and personal/social development of all P-12 students.

Upon completion of the Counseling, M.S., Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialty, graduates will be able to:

  1. Articulate foundational knowledge of the clinical mental health counseling specialty, including the history of clinical mental health counseling, models of clinical mental health counseling, the medical basis for mental health issues, and assessment.
  2. Articulate a grasp of the contextual dimensions of clinical mental health counseling, emphasizing the responsibilities of professional clinical mental health counselors as leaders, advocates, consultants, and multidisciplinary team members to maintain client continuity of care across a wide variety of contexts (legal, community, managed care, hospital systems, etc.).
  3. Apply clinical mental health counseling practices including prevention, intervention, and specific techniques including intake interviews, mental status examination, basic counseling skills, systems-based case conceptualization, and assessment.

Graduates earning a master's degree in interdisciplinary studies in human behavior from Hood College:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the complexity of human nature through:
    • Conveying an understanding of how psychological ideas relate to life outcomes;
    • Conveying an understanding of how psychological ideas relate to real-world experience; and
    • Conveying an understanding of the connection(s) between different psychological ideas.
  2. Build and further develop critical thinking skills in understanding human behavior through:
    • Assessing data or information by asking relevant questions relating to its validity;
    • Assessing data or information by asking relevant questions relating to its generalizability; and
    • Understanding the potential biases or stigmas that may arise in interpreting human behavior.
  3. Demonstrating effective communication skills through:
    • Conveying information learned during the program in a clear and concise manner;
    • Citing scientific sources using the proper style format; and
    • Conveying clearly the connections between program content and real-world experiences.

Graduates earning a certificate in thanatology from Hood College:

Explore the field of Thanatology (Death, Dying and Bereavement) through:

  • Explaining the ethical and legal issues of thanatology relative to end-of-life decision- making and end-of-life care;
  • Examining personal attitudes toward dying, dying and grief, and developing increased personal coping skills; and
  • Researching, writing and presenting the understanding and complexity of grief as a way to further the field and education of thanatology across communities and the profession.

Understand the cultural, social, religious, spiritual, and lifespan developmental factors that influence the experiences of grief, death and bereavement through:

  • Distinguishing among different cultural traditions and their death rituals and comparing to the neurological basis for this diversity; and
  • Analyzing the historical context and evolution of each tradition.

Study the dying process and contributing roles of palliative care and hospice through:

  • Demonstrating knowledge of trajectories and theories of dying and of awareness contexts; and
  • Illustrating and evaluating dying trajectories and likely awareness contexts.

Communicate in writing and oral presentations an understanding of the complexity of grief (including types of complicated bereavement, and disenfranchised grief)to facilitate further education across communities and the profession through:

  • Designing a training/brochure/poster on death at various levels of development; and
  • Demonstrating types of grief and bereavement from a cultural and/or developmental point of view.



OIRA- 10/16/19