Psychology degree program offered online

May 21, 2010

Students interested in pursuing a degree in psychology may earn a Bachelor of Arts degree entirely online through Arizona State University’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. The new online degree program, which begins classes this fall, offers the same academic rigor as the program offered through face-to-face classes on ASU’s West campus.

“Unlike online offerings from other schools that involve ‘facilitated’ instruction by part-time instructors, courses in our program are taught by full-time faculty members who are experts in their field and who have been directly involved in developing the course material,” said Barbara Tinsley, professor of psychology in New College’s Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences and director of the online degree program. Download Full Image

“Graduates from New College’s on-campus psychology degree program routinely go on to successful careers in social services, counseling, human resources, criminal justice, teaching, law, and public administration, while others choose to pursue graduate and doctoral degrees,” Tinsley said. “We are committed to providing an online program that provides those same opportunities for graduates.”

The program offers a range of courses that reflect diverse perspectives on individual and group behavior, including clinical, cognitive systems/behavioral neuroscience, cross-cultural, developmental, organizational, and social psychology, as well as interdisciplinary fields such as health psychology and law and psychology. Students also take courses in statistics and research methods.

“Along with students from Arizona, we have students applying from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and even France,” said Haley Chapman, academic success specialist. “The online program is appealing to a wide range of people, from working adults to traditional-age college students who want to travel while still earning an Arizona State University degree.”

Courses for the online psychology degree have been developed within the guidelines of Quality Matters, a national collegial review process in which reviewers provide substantial, constructive feedback about course design.

“Students in the program will enjoy the convenience of online courses while also earning a rigorous degree from a major research university,” Tinsley said. “The psychology faculty members teaching in the online program are members of New College’s OLEg, the Online Education Group. They have built their courses to the most rigorous standards possible, with the assistance of a specialist ASU course design team. The resulting classes are guaranteed to be of the highest quality, often exceeding the standards of comparable face-to-face classes.”

In both the online and on-campus programs, courses are presented in the context of cultural, socio-historical and transnational issues, enabling students to understand the relationships among psychology and other social and behavioral sciences. Undergraduate students may add practical experiences to enrich their program of study through service learning, internships, and research conducted under the guidance of individual faculty members. The B.A. program in psychology places a strong emphasis on developing skills in critical thinking and reasoning, quantitative and qualitative research methods, and writing to round out students’ preparation for careers or graduate studies.

The psychology degree is an offering of New College’s Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, which also offers bachelor’s degrees in communication studies, sociology, political science, and social and behavioral sciences. Additional New College degree programs are offered on ASU’s West campus through the college’s two other divisions: Mathematical and Natural Sciences; and Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies. More information about New College offerings may be found at


For details about the new online psychology program, call (602) 543-6443 or 1-877-395-2961, or email psyonline">">

ASU gathers experts for urban sustainability workshop

May 21, 2010

Guided by the principle that today’s cities are laboratories and their leaders are researchers in the new science of urban sustainability, Arizona State University’s (ASU) Jonathan Fink, along with two British colleagues, will lead Comparative Urban Genetics: Towards a Common Methodology for Pragmatic Analysis of Cities. The workshop event takes place this weekend, May 21-23, at University College London (UCL) in London, England.

Fink, who is the Director of the Center for Sustainability Science Applications within the Global Institute of Sustainability, Foundation Professor for the School of Sustainability, and Foundation Professor of Geological Sciences for the School of Earth and Space Exploration, will bring together government and business representatives, researchers, and urban experts to contrast the experiences of two cities: London and Phoenix. From a comprehensive perspective, the group will consider new ways to collect complex data streams that feed information into models, help envision the future and, ultimately, translate those visions into improved urban policies. Download Full Image

“No matter how different urban environments may look on their surface, they typically share innumerable points of similarity,” said Fink. “When we uncover these shared paths and patterns--the "genetic code" of cities--we move significantly closer to curing urban ills and putting our successful practices to the highest and best use.”

Guided by experts in their fields, and funded in part by the British Consulate in Los Angeles, workshop participants will address four key questions:

• How can urban decision-making be transformed by new datasets and analysis tools?

• Can cataloguing and classifying urban traits help city leaders learn from each other?

• Which tools are most appropriate and useful for which stages of urban development?

• How can we build multi-sector (corporate, government, NGO, academic) urban partnerships?

These questions build on a long series of applied urban research projects, including a recently-published Tyndall Centre report that studied Greater London’s vulnerability to climate change and a U.S. National Science Foundation project at ASU titled “Decision Center for a Desert City,” which evaluates ways that arid region water managers allocate their scarce resource in the face of uncertainty due to the heat island effect, population growth, and climate change.

Co-convenors Mike Batty from UCL and Jim Hall from Newcastle University have both spent the past few years working with ASU researchers and a global network of collaborators to develop a common urban methodology that can help all cities address their long-term sustainability.

“Cities are where most people live and work; most innovation takes place; most pollution and wealth are generated; and most vulnerability to climate change occurs,” said Batty. “We need to study these phenomena and make a more common practice of compiling, publishing and comparing this critical information."

Along with leaders from American and European public and private sectors, key workshop speakers and panelists from ASU include Philip Christensen, Regents Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration; Matthew Fraser, co-director of research development, Global Institute of Sustainability and associate professor, School of Sustainability; Subhajit Guhathakurta, Professor, School of Sustainability and Professor, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning; Rob Pahle, Assistant Professor of Research, Decision Theater; and Lela Prashad, Director, 100 Cities Project

More information on Comparative Urban Genetics workshop is available at

About">"> the Center for Sustainability Science Applications
The Center for Sustainability Science Applications promotes research that reconciles the needs of society and nature through projects involving urban systems, climate change, and sustainable technologies. The Center leverages collaborations between faculty of Arizona State University and global partners. Its programs combine a systems approach with new technologies relevant to arid cities, such as solar power and water conservation and aims to enhance conflict resolution, decision-making, scenario exploration, and stakeholder engagement. The Center for Sustainability Science Applications is affiliated with ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability and the School of Earth and Space Exploration (">"> For more information about the Center for Sustainability Science Applications visit:


About ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability
The Global Institute of Sustainability is the hub of ASU’s sustainability initiatives. The Institute advances research, education, and business practices for an urbanizing world. Its School of Sustainability, the first of its kind in the U.S., offers integrated degree programs that advance practical solutions to environmental, economic, and social challenges. ASU has a vision to be a New American University, blurring the boundaries that traditionally separate academic disciplines, promoting excellence among its students and faculty, conducting cutting-edge interdisciplinary research inspired by real world application, and leveraging its competitive advantage through strategic global engagement.">">

Michelle Schwartz

Senior Program Manager, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory