Cal Poly Pomona

P&R Responses for recommendation 81

Recommendation 81
Department Psychology and Sociology
Consensus Opinion 22 out of 23 faculty/staff : Con
Consensus Explanation
Psychology & Sociology Department Response to the
Prioritization and Recovery Committee Recommendation for the Psychology Program (Undergraduate)

The Department appreciates the work the committee has done and the recognition of the many strengths in the undergraduate Psychology Program. The committee has identified the program as "essential to a polytechnic-liberal arts mission," and noted that the program has "significant involvement in service learning, teacher education, and the honors program." In addition, the recommendation noted that the program has a diverse faculty, supports substantial activities for students, has advising practices that "appear to be effective in addressing the needs of the students in the program," and that the graduation rates for our transfer and Freshmen students are "high compared to other programs on campus."

There appear to be concerns primarily regarding the number of students below 2.2 GPA, with concerns about effective advising for them, concerns about the high major-to-faculty ratio and the number of "upper-division FTES taught by tenured/tenure-track faculty," and the lack of external funding generated. Thus, the recommendation was for "stable funding pending development of an enrollment management plan."

We agree that the university should be concerned about students with lower GPAs and that advising for them is crucial. However, we believe that it is unfair to criticize our program for the number of students "at risk" given the timely graduation rate success we have in the program. Rather than encouraging these students to leave the university, or to enter another major, we see it as part of our mission to help these students who struggle develop successful academic plans and graduate in a timely manner, something we are doing successfully, as noted in your report. We believe that with enhanced funding we would be able to do this even more effectively.

We agree heartily with concerns about the very high major-to-faculty ratio. Our program simply does not have the number of faculty available to our students that are available to other students in the university. This makes it challenging to provide our students with the quality experience they deserve, with adequate classes taught by tenured/tenure-track faculty, and with the more active advising and mentoring they deserve. We use registration holds and have designated at-risk advisors but would like to be able to do more to help at-risk students. Our MFR has an impact on a large number of students on campus. The size of our program has recently been recognized as a concern. The Program had already been actively developing an enrollment management plan prior to the release of the P & R recommendations, and we will have our finalized plan to the Dean of C.L.A.S.S. for approval by the end of the academic year. We have already asked that no late admissions be allowed into the major. However, even with the best plan it will take time for the results to be seen, and the Program requests that funding be enhanced once our enrollment plan has been approved.

The Psychology Program has been effective in generating external funding in recent years, although beyond the timeframe covered in this report. We have faculty members who have been awarded very large external grants that have generated funds to support student research assistants and that have brought funds both to the Program and to the university.

Given the success of the Psychology Program with its limited resources, and the ability and desire of the Program to better serve students with additional funds, we request that the Committee reconsider its recommendation and support increased funding for the Psychology Program at this time and no later than when the enrollment management plan has been approved.
Minority Opinion NA out of NA faculty/staff : NA
Minority Explanation

There were no votes against the departmental response to the recommendation. One faculty member chose to abstain during the vote. Thus, there is no minority opinion from our department.

Recommendations not submitted through the forms are available in this folder. They mainly consist of Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat documents. If none were submitted for this recommendation, the folder will be empty.