DE Psychology: A Great Introduction to the Field

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DE Psychology: A Great Introduction to the Field

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After the 2017-2018 school year, Mrs. Olivia Grugan was designated to teach a full year Dual Enrollment Introduction to Psychology course beginning in the 2018-2019 school year.

The course material/textbooks is provided by the college that offers the DE credits, and in the case of Mrs. Grugan’s DE Intro to Psychology course, credit is provided by Mount Aloysius College.

Grugan organizes the year long course schedule into three segments: the first semester is focused on gaining a broad understanding of psychological concepts by use of the course textbook. Much of this half of the class is discussion, independent reading work, lectures and small projects to develop a solid background  of the many concepts of psychology.

The second semester of the course begins the more hands-on application of psychology, utilizing all of the topics and lessons learned in the first semester in order to conduct research and studies of your own. Once the third marking period is under way, students are expected to come up with a study or experiment to conduct for the duration of the quarter. The students create or replicate a scientific study dealing with psychology and through this experimentation, use the data and all information gathered in order to publish a collaborative psychological journal. This research takes place through the entirety of the third marking period and assignments dealing with each individuals’ experiment will primarily take the place of the first semester’s regular tasks.

The final marking period consists of research and independent study in the realm of abnormal psychology. Students will choose an element of mental health or illness and conduct as much research as possible on that topic in order to become a student “expert” on the topic.This will translate to a student-led TED Talk style symposium for other high school classes.

My personal thoughts on the course hold it in quite high regard. As an individual very interested in psychology, Mrs. Grugan’s class is virtually a perfect starting point.

“First, I want to help students discern in high school if psychology is actually of an interest to them in the future. I feel like if you have the opportunity in high school to try out psychology, it can either affirm that you would like to continue it or, equally as important, it can help you eliminate that… it helps you make that decision in high school instead of finding out freshman or sophomore year of college,” said Grugan.

“The second goal that I have is about college readiness. I want this class to be as challenging as a freshman psychology course…so that you feel like you’ve ‘passed that test’ so to speak, and if you do this, that you’re able to go on and enter that next step… The difference between this class and a college class is that while I want the material to be as difficult if not more so than your average college class, I want the support and help that I give to be more than what people get in college.”

Mrs. Grugan wants to set the bar on the same playing field as college level psychology, while at the same time giving students the necessary support to eventually reach that bar to the best of their ability.

Students interested in taking DE Intro to Psych, should schedule the course during class scheduling for the next school year. Those with psychology in mind or anyone who think they may enjoy learning a new field of study are all encouraged to sign up.

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