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Eye on Psi Chi: Spring 2012

Remember What You Want to ACHIEVE
Susan Amato-Henderson, PhD, Michigan Technological University

At this time of year, students at Michigan Technological University (MTU) are recovering from their Winter Carnival celebration. Winter Carnival is a fourday celebration that follows on the heels of a month-long snow statue building competition. Activities include a queen coronation, sporting events, student competitions (such as snow volleyball and human dog-sled racing), beard growing, broomball, and ice bowling. Winter Carnival is a time to celebrate winter in a community ranked as the "third snowiest city in America” by the Weather Channel.lp me?

Celebrations at universities are common—most schools have their own version of MTU’s Winter Carnival (although I’ll bet none utilize the snow as well as we do!). There are many good reasons to have such celebrations, including students bonding with their school (alumni offices love this!), stress relief, and celebration of what makes each school unique. However, the weeks preceding and following these celebrations can be just as challenging for faculty as they are for students! There are always some students who never seem to read or prepare for class and who always have another excuse for their lack of preparedness. In fact, sometimes I wonder if student preparation for courses is no longer an appropriate expectation for faculty to have!c

Hence the purpose of this column (finally!): to remind students of faculty expectations that they should consider when planning their weekly schedule. For every credit hour in which you register, you are expected to devote 3 hours of work outside of class. Thus, if you are enrolled in 15 credits of coursework, you have 15 hours of classroom instruction and 45 hours of out-of-class work each week. There are 168 hours in a week. You likely spend at least 50 hours per week devoted to sleeping (that is if you sleep less than 8 hours per night!). With only 58 hours remaining in our week, we still have to consider time to eat, shower, do laundry, be involved in sports and other campus organizations (Psi Chi should be high on your priority list!), Facebook, email, and text message. Assuming these things take up at least half of the remaining time, now you have less than 30 hours left in each week!

In case you didn’t notice, the above schedule did not include time to watch your favorite TV shows (Pretty Little Liars, Big Bang Theory, American Idol, or House, to name a few of mine), share some quality time with your significant other, or even meet a potential significant other. Nor does it include time to become ill, attend a funeral, work a job, plan your spring break trip, or read a novel.

Everybody is stressed, trying to pack too much into their day. Inevitably, some things fall by the wayside. I can understand why many students choose not to read their textbooks, but will their achievements be negatively impacted?

Versatility on your resume is good but not if it interferes with what you wish to achieve.

Education is the vehicle through which you arrive at your goals. Remember what you want to achieve and prioritize your educational responsibilities accordingly!


Susan Amato-Henderson, PhD, received her PhD in experimental psychology from the University of North Dakota in 1996. She joined the Psi Chi family as an undergraduate student, and served as the Rocky Mountain Regional Vice-President from 1999–2001 while a faculty member at Boise State University (ID). She is currently an associate professor in the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences and Psychology Program Director at Michigan Technological University (MTU). She has spent much of her time at MTU building and directing a major and minor in psychology. Dr. Amato continues to serve as a mentor to students through the MTU Psychology Club, whose submission for a Psi Chi Chapter was recently approved. Her recent research, funded by over $500,000 in NSF funds, has focused on the assessment of educational outcomes. Dr. Amato has received numerous awards and recognition for her teaching and service at both Boise State and Michigan Tech Universities.

Copyright 2012 (Volume 16, Issue 3) by Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology



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Eye on Psi Chi is a magazine designed to keep members and alumni up-to-date with all the latest information about Psi Chi’s programs, awards, and chapter activities. It features informative articles about careers, graduate school admission, chapter ideas, personal development, the various fields of psychology, and important issues related to our discipline.

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