Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
PSY 240
Course Title:
Personal Awareness and Growth
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Explores multidimensional perspectives on personal growth and awareness. Includes how childhood and adolescent development and experience affect thinking, feelings and behavior; differentiation; self-discipline and resilience; applying the principles derived from psychological research to everyday living; stress management; creative expression; body image and awareness; education and job/career pursuits; loneliness and solitude; death and loss. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:
1. Apply knowledge regarding various dimensions of personal growth (physical, intrapersonal, interpersonal, occupational/educational,
communal and spiritual) to more conscious, constructive living and decision-making on a day-to-day basis.
2. Live more constructively through the conscious awareness of past history, current thought patterns, emotional reactions and behaviors.
3. Apply current research on positive psychology, effective communication, stress management, resilience and self-discipline to everyday living
and relationships.
4. Apply research in neuroscience to cultivate skills that are transformational at the physical level of the brain.
5. Use an understanding of how the concept of personal growth varies cross-culturally to constructively address issues that arise from these differences in personal and professional relationships.
6. Assess, examine and reflect on one€™s own personal growth in various dimensions and throughout different life stages of development.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will demonstrate intended outcomes by any combination of the following as determined by the instructor:

  1. Written and/or oral assignments designed to promote integration of class material with personal reflection and experience
  2. Multiple choice, short answer and/or essay questions that require integration, application and critical examination of material covered in the class
  3. Participation in individual, dyad and group exercises and activities
  4. Individual or group presentations
  5. A self-development project as outlined by the instructor
  6. Written, formal research paper that explores a personally relevant psychological topic

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Course Content: Themes, Concepts, Issues

  1. Models for personal growth €“ cultural and cross-cultural
  2. Choice and change
  3. Reviewing childhood and adolescence
  4. Adult development and autonomy
  5. Gender issues
  6. Work and leisure
  7. Body image; wellness and life choices
  8. Managing stress
  9. Love
  10. Sexuality
  11. Relationships
  12. Loneliness and solitude
  13. Death and loss
  14. Quest for purpose and meaning
  15. Subjective well-being
  16. Positive psychology and the science of happiness

Competencies and Skills:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the concept of personal choice and responsibility and how that manifests itself in everyday living.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of a humanistic approach to personal growth.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of various cultural and cross-cultural approaches to personal growth.
  4. Develop and demonstrate an understanding of how the research on the science of happiness in the field of positive psychology informs personal growth and awareness.
  5. Identify and assess areas of personal growth and development.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of subjective well-being, including the influence of personality, experience, resources, strivings/goals and social support.
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of stages of personality development in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood and apply this knowledge to reflect on personal experiences related to these developmental states that affect who we are now.
  8. Demonstrate an understanding of factors that influence the development of personal autonomy and apply this to personal background and experience.
  9. Explore sex role socialization in this culture and apply this knowledge on a personal level to its effects on intrapersonal as well as interpersonal growth.
  10. Apply information on self-concept, motivation and achievement, attitudes about occupations, abilities, interests, values, and personality types in analyzing personal decisions related to vocational or career pursuits.
  11. Apply information on body identity and wellness in analyzing the degree of personal responsibility assumed for development in these areas. Analyze how body image may be related to other critical life choices.
  12. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of various sources of stress, effects of stress, destructive and constructive responses to stress, and apply this knowledge to personal life situations.
  13. Demonstrate an understanding of self-love as the basis for being in love with another person. Identify specific criteria that can be used to assess the degree of self-love as well as ways in which to pursue these goals.
  14. Identify myths and misconceptions about love, barriers to loving and being loved, the differences between authentic and inauthentic love, and various styles of loving. Analyze this information as it relates to personal relationships and experience.
  15. Examine myths and misconceptions concerning sexuality, personal values on a range of sexual topics, typical concerns that men and women express concerning their sexuality, and the role of personal responsibility in sexual pleasure and intimacy. Apply this information to personal relationships and experience.
  16. Identify types of intimacy, qualities that best characterize intimate relationships, components of effective communication, how to deal with communication blocks, and how to help determine when divorce or separation may be the best alternative. Apply this information to personal relationships and experience.
  17. Distinguish between loneliness and solitude; identify ways in which people may attempt to escape from their loneliness and how they may learn to confront it; relate this to personal experience as a means to further intrapersonal awareness and growth.
  18. Demonstrate an understanding of different ways in which loneliness may be experienced in different stages of development throughout the life cycle, and apply this information to personal life experience.
  19. Identify fears associated with your own death as well as those of people close to you.
  20. Identify stages of death and loss.
  21. Give examples of being "dead" psychologically, socially, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually and relate this to personal life experience to date.
  22. Reflect upon and demonstrate how your personal search for identity, meaning and purpose has evolved over time.