Serve as you learn at NDSU

At NDSU, you’ll conduct in-depth experiential learning projects that often help the people around you.

For example, the Experimental Social Psychology course recently completed a semester-long research effort that raised about $1,800 in cash, checks and food items for the NDSU Food Pantry.

“I want to develop students' self-efficacy and confidence to really interact with information at a high level, and use that information in their futures,” said Katherine Duggan, assistant professor of social and health psychology, who teaches the course.

The students went out into the community seeking monetary and food contributions. As they collected donations, they also gathered data about social psychology compliance principles, who gave and why.

“Rather than reading about social psychology, students actually got to be social psychologists. Students selected two variables they wanted to study, provided background on those variables and proposed methods of testing them,” Duggan said. “That is, students knew they were going to go door-to-door and evaluate whether particular social psychological factors are related to donation amounts.”

Students were surprised to find so many neighbors willing to help – they said it brought a sense of hope to the project.

“I have learned how to better conduct experimental field research, how to present the evidence and how to conduct collaborative research. All of these are highly relevant and applicable to graduate school pursuits,” said Colin Delisi, a graduating senior in psychology and business from Marine on Saint Croix, Minnesota. “I also saw firsthand how supportive the Fargo community is – it was astonishing to witness how many people gladly donated.”

The experiential learning project helps prepare students for graduate school, clinical or field work, and full-time positions in customer retention, sales or consumer satisfaction.

The research element to the project sets NDSU apart.

“The opportunity to conduct a research project and present its findings during my undergraduate studies is extremely unique and beneficial,” said Delisi, who plans to pursue a doctorate for a career as a mental health and addiction counselor. “It was a fantastic experience for data collection, and I am glad it was for a good cause.”

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