CANs List Curriculum Action Notice

From: Academic Affairs Committee Date: April 15, 1999
This is a bulletin from the Academic Affairs Committee concerning proposed curriculum actions. Please forward any comments or concerns to Howard Iseri, Elliott Hall 213-B, ext.4701,
New Course: PSY 440 - Psychology & Law (3).

Catalog description: This course introduces the role of psychologists in the legal system. Assignments examine and evaluate assumptions made by the legal system about psychological and scientific issues. This approach serves as a framework for considering specific psycho-legal issues. Students study issues pertaining to jury trials, the insanity plea, punishment and sentencing issues, the rights of children, and other important questions.

Purpose and nature of course: The purpose of this course in psychology and the law is to fill in a gap that currently exists in our psychology course offerings. Since the mid-1980's many colleges/universities have started offering a course to cover this content area. Geoff, Tomkins, and Bersoff (1996) suggest that the increase in the number of textbooks devoted to psychology and laws reflect the growing number if courses. Brooks-Cole Publishing, which publishes 3 texts in legal Psychology, lists 213 schools that have adopted one of their titles for classroom use (APA 1996). This course should be valuable to most psychology majors, to students in the pre-law program, and to many criminal justice majors.

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