Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Course Content and Outcomes Guide for PSY 240 Effective Spring 2021

Course Number:
PSY 240
Course Title:
Personal Awareness and Growth
Credit Hours:
4
Lecture Hours:
40
Lecture/Lab Hours:
0
Lab Hours:
0
Special Fee:

Course Description

Explores multidimensional perspectives on personal growth and awareness, and how to apply this knowledge to healthy cognitive and behavioral practices in daily living. Covers dimensions of growth including physical, intrapersonal, interpersonal, cognitive, occupational/educational, communal/environmental, and spiritual. Introduces various aspects of personal growth including how childhood and adolescent development and experiences affect thinking, feelings, and behavior; differentiation; self-discipline and resilience; authentic happiness; love and relationships; 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.

Addendum to Course Description

This course is a “small group process class” taught by an instructor with a clinical background and/or experience in facilitating intrapersonal and interpersonal growth in individuals and small groups (see Instructor Qualifications for Psy 240).  Students will explore seven dimensions of personal growth through: intensive writing that requires personal reflection and application of text and class material; participation in dyad and small group exercises and activities; and individual presentations to the class on various topics such as “my integrated self,” “how I define and express myself creatively,” and “death and dying/eulogy.” Students must actively engage in the class through personal introspection and reflection, integrate those insights with assigned readings and class material, and individually present in ways that demonstrate that integration.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Describe seven dimensions of personal growth (physical, intrapersonal, interpersonal, cognitive, occupational/educational, communal/environmental, and spiritual) and specific indicators of awareness and growth in each of these dimensions.
  2. Apply current psychological research (in cognitive-behavioral therapy, positive psychology, neuroscience, environmental and community psychology, assertive communication, stress management, and resilience) with the intention of achieving more satisfying and constructive everyday thinking and behavior.
  3. Explain how the concept of personal growth varies cross-culturally and developmentally, and how one can, using critical thinking and personal reflection, effectively use this knowledge to be more flexible with differences in personal and professional relationships.

Course Activities and Design

This course is a small group process class designed to be highly interactive and participatory in nature. Please consult specified “Instructor Qualifications” before agreeing to teach this class (as an instructor) or before assigning this class to someone (as an administrator). Instructors are encouraged to consult with other faculty who are teaching/have taught this class before teaching this class for the first time. There is a fair amount of flexibility in teaching the class but our goal is to maintain some reasonable consistency district-wide when this course is being offered.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Any combination of the following:

  • Written assignments (in-class and more formal) designed to promote integration of class material and assigned reading with personal reflection, insight and experience.
  • Short answer and/or essay questions that require integration, application and critical examination of assigned material.  Multiple-choice exams are generally discouraged in this class as an assessment alternative; at the very least, their use should be minimized in favor of more extensive writing assignments. 
  • Participation in individual, dyad and group exercises and activities.
  • Individual or group presentations.
  • Class participation and discussion
  • A self-development project as outlined by the instructor.
  • Written, formal research paper that explores a personally relevant psychological topic.
  • Book reviews/critiques related to one of the seven dimensions of growth
  • Other creative assignments as designed by the instructor.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Seven dimensions of growth (physical, intrapersonal, interpersonal, cognitive, occupational/educational, communal/environmental, spiritual)
  • Models for personal growth, cultural and cross-cultural
  • Humanistic psychology and positive psychology
  • Subjective well-being vs. objective well-being
  • Multiple intelligences and learning styles
  • Growth vs. Fixed Mindsets
  • Choice and change
  • Stages of personality development in childhood and adolescence
  • Adult development and autonomy
  • Gender Identities and Sexual Orientations
  • Work (as higher education, job and/or career): process and choices
  • The place of recreation in your life
  • Body image and identity; wellness and life choices
  • Sources of stress in each of the seven dimensions and effective strategies to manage that stress
  • Love: authentic and inauthentic; links between love and attachment; barriers to loving and being loved; theories of love
  • Relationships: types of intimacy; anger and conflict in relationships; research that predicts relationship longevity and satisfaction
  • Differences between loneliness and solitude
  • Death and loss
  • Quest for purpose and meaning
  • Religion/spirituality and meaning in life
  • Finding meaning through growth; pathways for exploration