The Professional School of Psychology has a tradition of innovation that is reflected in the diverse models used to deliver instruction. Any one of these venues is engaged for course instruction depending on the nature of the program being delivered, the specific interests of the students enrolled in the program and the number of students who need a specific psychology course.
Distance Education Model
Most of the courses being delivered by The Professional School of Psychology are provided through a blending of three modes of instruction. With these three modes, the school is able to meet the need of students throughout the world to interact in an intensive manner with not only their instructor, but also the other students enrolled in the course. In this way, PSP students can truly participate in a “global classroom.”
Mode One: highly interactive synchronistic education provided through Zoom in 1 ½ hour segments involving all students enrolled in a course, facilitated by the course instructor. Each of these sessions is recorded (on the cloud) for later review and further discussion in Mode Two. [A typically four-unit course would require seven meetings during a quarter—a total of 10 ½ contact hours.]
Mode Two: blending of highly interactive synchronistic education and multi-media asynchronistic education through convening of small study groups, facilitated by the principal instructor and/or co-instructor. The study groups would consist of students from specific time zones that can meet at a convenient time for 2-hour sessions. Typically, Mode Two will consist of the review of and discussions about the Mode One recordings, additional recorded mini-lectures provided by the instructor, video products from both commercial sources (such as the American Psychological Association and Teaching Company) and open access sources (such as edX or Coursera). The video viewing will often involve 2 or more students simultaneously viewing a video and interrupting it periodically for inter-active dialogue. In many cases, a service-learning project will be assigned during Mode Two, involving the student’s application of course concepts and strategies in a local community project. [A typical 4-unit course would require a total of 29 ½ hours in Mode Two. Together with the Mode One instruction, there would be a total of 40 hours of synchronistic and asynchronistic instruction required in a 4-unit course.]
Mode Three: fully asynchronistic education, based in requirements associated with reading of assigned books and articles, preparation of course presentations (usually during the Mode One sessions), and preparation of written course assignments. [A typical 4-unit course would require 56 hours of Mode Three activities, producing a total of 96 hours required of each student enrolled in this course.]
A traditional, although intense, instructional model where faculty meet with students at scheduled time using the guideline ratio of 2 hours of student preparation for every hour with the faculty, or 64 student hours to 32 faculty contact hours (96 total hours). While not always the case, Residential cohort groups usually meet in one of the classrooms at the Professional School of Psychology.
The assumption of this model is that students benefit from faculty contact and interaction with other students in their cohort group to achieve learning objectives in the least amount of time. Courses are usually scheduled over two weekends, with at least a month between weekends.
Cohort Group Model
Educational programs at PSP based on the unique Cohort Group Model are built around a group of 3-8 students. All or most of the students in a specific cohort group take the same psychology courses and build their own distinctive and highly supportive learning community. In most cases, a single faculty member or several faculty members teach a substantial portion of the program and are available for individual consultation with each student, thus providing further continuity.
Senior Tutorial Model
The tutorial model requires more student preparation outside of class so that time with faculty and classmates is intense and focused. Students spend 6 hours preparing for every hour with faculty, or 96 student hours for 16 faculty contact hours (112 total hours). This model allows students more time absorbing material, and greater flexibility of when to schedule those hours, but increases the overall time commitment. A much fuller description of the Senior Tutorial Model — a truly unique mode of educational delivery — is available on this website. While the tutorial model is usually based on work with an individual student, PSP does offer some tutorial-based programs that are built around a cohort group. Furthermore, some students blend their tutorial-based courses with some courses that are offered in a traditional residential format.
Independent Study Model
Independent Study is used when students miss a psychology course, or are interested in taking a highly individualized course. Faculty members usually work one-on-one with students and students are required to work independently. For this reason, the Independent Study model requires the most total hours (128 hours) for a student to complete four units.