Asbury psychology seniors earn top national scores

Published 4:36 pm Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Asbury University

The results are in: Asbury University’s Psychology seniors are – again – among the best in the nation.

In two tests during the 2016-17 academic year, Psychology students earned excellent scores on the Area Concentration Achievement Test (ACAT), a nationally normed test covering broad psychological knowledge. Students always excel at the ACAT, but this year’s numbers are especially high, with the senior class scoring, collectively, in the 90th percentile. Additionally, 17 out of 18 students scored above the 50th percentile, and 10 out of 18 scored in the 91st percentile or higher.

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“It is tremendously gratifying to get scores such as these on this well-regarded nationally-normed test of basic psychological knowledge,” said Dr. Paul Nesselroade, chair of Asbury’s Psychology Department. “Our team of professors work very hard to not only help our students think Christianly about the field of psychology and understand how a Christian worldview affects the value structure needed for Christ-honoring psychological practice, but to also be students of excellence.”

Students’ high scores are a testament to the well-rounded education Asbury offers, integrating both faith and learning in a formative Christian community. 

“We do not want to replace academic excellence with spiritual vitality — we want to do both,” Nesselroade said. “So, the consistently strong performance of our students on content assessments such as the ACAT is both affirming of our current departmental methods and practices but also an incentive to keep working to improve our student’s curricular experience.”

Consistently one of Asbury’s largest undergraduate majors, Psychology offers eight concentrations: Clinical/Counseling Psychology, Christian Counseling Psychology, Child Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Biological Psychology, Social Psychology, Student Development Psychology, and Equine Facilitated Mental Health. 

Psychology students have many opportunities to participate in undergraduate research. During Asbury’s SEARCH Scholarship Symposium, Psychology students accounted for nearly a third of presented research, with topics ranging from “Right-Wing Authoritarianism and Cultural Ideologies” (Rachel Winger ‘17) to “Medical Family Therapy: Immersing Family Therapy in a Healthcare Context” (Claire Webb ‘17).

Students have many additional opportunities to get involved in clinical practicums and take advantage of travel courses. One example is an academic tour of Central Europe studying human dignity and the psychology of the Holocaust. Read more about a previous Central Europe Study Tour.