The Psychology Majors at St. Scholastica:
An Overview for Prospective Students
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Those who go on to become professional psychologists work in a variety of settings. A recent survey gave the following proportions for major career tracks of psychologists: The mental health field, including private practice, hospitals, clinics, counseling centers, and guidance centers accounts for 44 percent. Twenty-nine percent are involved in teaching and research at the college level, while 15 percent are involved in elementary and high schools. Thirteen percent work in business or government.
Developmental psychologists study patterns of change from infancy through old age, including physical, cognitive, social, and moral development. Clinical psychologists generally focus on abnormal behavior in an effort to understand, diagnose, and change such behavior. Counseling psychologists also treat abnormal behavior but usually focus on normal problems of living (e.g., marriage and educational counseling). Industrial psychologists usually work for a business enterprise applying psychological knowledge to such areas as personnel policies, working conditions, production efficiency, and decision making.
Experimental psychologists use scientific methods to carry out experiments designed to develop a basic understanding of such processes as learning, memory, motivation, sensation, and perception in human beings and lower animals. Physiological and comparative psychologists study the contributions of biological factors - such as heredity, the sensory and nervous system, drugs, and species differences - to various kinds of behavior. Social psychologists use a variety of scientific methods to study the behavior of people in social situations, from couples and small groups to crowds. The emerging field of health psychology uses psychological principles in health maintenance.
This list provides a good overview, but keep in mind that the field is constantly growing as new research is completed and as new ways to apply psychological knowledge are discovered.
Laurie Anderson, M.A., University of Minnesota, Duluth, Instructor. I teach Lifespan Developmental Psychology and Social Psychology. Prior to counseling and teaching at CSS, I ran an alternative learning program for high risk adolescents and worked with inmates at several institiutions within the Federal Bureau of Prisons. My areas of interest include lifespan development, personal wellness, and issues of grief and loss.
William Battinich, Ph.D., Assistant Professor. I am trained as an experimental psychologist and have research interests in language comprehension, learning, and memory. I teach courses such as statistics, research methods, and cognition. I enjoy teaching and interacting with students and look forward to collaborating with them on research projects.
Mary Alice Carlson, M.A., University of Minnesota, Duluth, Instructor. I teach Introduction to Counseling, Abnormal Psychology, Group Dynamics, and Lifespan Development. My areas of expertise include facilitating a variety of support groups and educating professional and family caregivers. I have also dedicated myself to working closely with families in providing my expertise as a counselor and advocate. I am interested in research dealing with emotions, grief and bereavement.
Darryl Dietrich, Ph.D., Syracuse University, Professor and Director of General Education. I graduated from Franklin & Marshall College with a B.A. degree in Psychology. I went on to receive my M.A. and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Syracuse University after serving in the U.S. Army in Vietnam as a preventive medicine specialist. Courses I teach include Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Statistics, and Psychology of Religion and Belief (an Honors Program course). My current research interests include cross-cultural attitudes toward the family bed (co-sleeping) and the psychology of religion. I have held several administrative duties throughout my career at CSS since 1975, including past chair of the Psychology Department, and currently serve as the Director of General Education.
Angela Rosenberg Hauger, Ph.D., Washington University, Associate Professor, licensed psychologist, and coordinator of the Gerontology Program. I am trained as a teacher, researcher, and clinician with specialties in clinical psychology and geropsychology. I teach courses such as Abnormal Psychology, Research Methods, Psychosocial Aspects of Aging, and Mental Health and Aging. I supervise the DAPPs (Directed Applied Projects in Psychology) and enjoy mentoring student research and consulting with community agencies about aging-related topics.
Gerald Henkel-Johnson, Psy.D., University of St. Thomas, Associate Professor, Interim Dean of the School of Sciences, Chair of the Psychology/Sociology Department, and coordinator of the Humans Services Concentration. I am a licensed psychologist with specialty areas in clinical and counseling psychology. I also specialize in health psychology/behavioral medicine and in forensic psychology. My applied and research foci are on the psychological effects of trauma, dynamics of psychopathy, and violence risk assessment for sexual and nonsexual offenders, competency to stand trial, and insanity defense. I have taught Counseling, Organizational Behavior, Biological Psychology, Group Dynamics, Health Psychology, and Behavior Management.
Robert Hensley, Ph.D., Iowa State University, Associate Professor. I come to The College of Saint Scholastica from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, joining the Psychology Department faculty in August 2007. My research interest is in human relationships, especially how college students adapt to ended relationships. I am also interested in studying close relationships in late adulthood, as well as predictors of mortality in the oldest old. I teach General Psychology, Lifespan Developmental Psychology and History & Systems of Psychology.
Karen Petersen, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, Associate Professor. I am a bio-psychologist who teaches Statistics, Biopsychology, Research Methods and Empirical Research. My area of research focus is psychosocial correlates of cardiovascular disease, including SES effects on immune parameters. My interests include psychophysiological research and diverse behavioral and biological phenotypes.
Debra S. Schroeder, Ph.D., Bowling Green State University, Professor, and Honors Program Director. I am a social psychologist who teaches courses in General Psychology, Social Psychology, Research Methods, Psychology of Gender, and Statistics. I have conducted social psychology-related research with students in the areas of the role of faculty and student gender in advising/mentoring interactions and relationships between perfectionism types and short-term physical illness complaints. Research related to honors, which I have presented at conferences of the National Collegiate Honors Council and/or published in their journal, has involved outcomes of honors education, evaluation of honors courses, and activities of honors directors.
Teresa Aldach, LICSW, Adjunct Instructor. I have both a bachelor's and master's degree in Social Work, with an emphasis in Clinical Socialwork/Mental Health. I am the Asst. Dir./Counselor for the Student Center for Health and Wellbeing at CSS where I also teach Intro to Counseling and a variety of other courses for the College.
Brenda Bergman, Ph.D., Adjunct Instructor. I completed my B.S. at the University of Iowa and my M.A. and Ph.D. at University of Missouri, Columbia. I have a private practice of psychology working with children, adults and families. I teach Lifespan Development for CSS.
Chris Cherry, Ph.D., Adjunct Instructor. I received my B.A. and M.A. in cultural anthropology and his Ph.D. in sociology at Texas A&M University. I am the director of the Center for Academic Advising and the Student Success Center at UW-Superior. I teach PSY 3331 - Statistics at CSS.
Dina Clabaugh, Adjunct Instructor. I earned my M.S. in College Counseling and Student Development and Rehabilitation Counseling from St. Cloud State University. I also have a B.A. in Health Education from the University of Minnesota Duluth. I am a career counselor at St. Scholastica and teach Introduction to Counseling.
Scott G. Lucas, Ph.D., Adjunct Instructor. I earned my B.A. in Psychology at Concordia College and my Ph.D. in Clinical Psych from the University of North Texas. I am self-employed as a consultant and expert speaker in the field of Traumatic Brain Injury. I have been an adjunct faculty member since Spring 2006 and currently teach Introduction to Counseling at CSS.
Barbara Montee, Adjunct Instructor. I completed my B.S. and M.S. degrees at North Dakota State University. I am self-employed as a landlord of college rentals in Duluth. I teach Introduction to Counseling at CSS.
John Paul, Ph.D., Adjunct Instructor. I earned a Ph.D. at University of South Dakota. I am originally from South Dakota and my wife is from Northern MN. I have four daughters and a set of twins. I teach General Psychology at CSS.
Dory Pohl, Adjunct Instructor. I am a graduate of CSS with a B.A. in Psychology and an M.S. Ed. degree from University of WI-Superior. I am the Director of Student Support Services at CSS where I teach 2 courses in addition to Lifespan Development.
Gina Seppo, Adjunct Instructor. I have both my B.S. and her M.S. Ed. from the University of WI-Superior. I work at CSS as a Counselor in the Student Center for Health and Well-Being. I also teach a course at CSS-Lifespan Development.
Like medicine, law, and most sciences, professional employment as a psychologist requires graduate study. There are, however, a variety of jobs the psychology major may pursue without graduate study. We provide a broad-based program that prepares psychology majors for advanced study toward higher degrees in psychology and curriculum fosters learning in several areas targeted by liberal arts and career education: how to learn, how to obtain and/or evaluate different kinds of information, how to think critically, how to solve problems systematically, and how to write effectively.
In addition, our courses provide an excellent educational background for a variety of career choices. By combining the psychology major with another field of study, for example, the student may increase employment possibilities and be better prepared to undertake graduate study in other fields. Secondary education, management, and English are common double majors with psychology. A minor in psychology can strengthen the background of students majoring in other fields.
Learning is encouraged through three components of what the Psychology Department calls the "coherent curriculum": (a) Course Requirements and Options: Our required courses are structured and sequenced to allow for gradual increases in understanding rather than giant steps that can leave students feeling lost, and our optional courses allow students to emphasize their own interests within the major; (b) Cocurricular Activities: Our formal courses are supplemented by activities designed to allow the student foster relationships with peers and faculty in psychology and to meet and learn from those in the community in psychology-related careers; and (c) Career Development Assistance: Our faculty provide assistance in helping students determine what they would like to do when they graduate and what experiences they will need to pursue those career goals. See the next few paragraphs for more information about these three components of the "coherent curriculum" and the illustration below for a summary.
The Psychology Department offers more than 30 undergraduate courses, of which 12 form the core requirements. Elective courses such as counseling, health psychology, psychology of gender, organizational behavior, and behavior problems of children allow students to explore special interests and shape their own programs.
Further customization of the major occurs in one of the required courses, the Directed Applied Project in Psychology (DAPP). The DAPP takes students outside the classroom during the junior or senior year, where they become involved in half-time employment in the community. During the DAPP, students get the chance to apply what they learned in the classroom to real-life problems. Popular placements include work with mental health patients, apprenticeships in residential child treatment programs, and research assistantships. Field placements have been very valuable to our psychology majors, giving them needed exposure before applying for jobs or graduate schools; it is not unusual for volunteer placements to develop into jobs. For freshman and sophomores, less extensive volunteer placements are encouraged to help in exploring career interests.
A Human Services Concentration (HSC) within the psychology major is available for students who wish to focus their preparation toward applied services following the B.A., as well as for graduate studies. Choosing the HSC during the spring semester of the sophomore year will make it possible to complete the requirements within the usual four years. Careful planning also will allow psychology majors interested in working with older adults to fulfill the requirements for the Gerontology Certificate and/or minor at St. Scholastica.
Because we think that combining in and out of class activities best promotes student learning, the Psychology Department offers a number of non-required, but recommended cocurricular activities. Some, such as the Psychology Association of St. Scholastica (PASS), are designed to encourage interactions with peers who are also pursuing careers in psychology. Major activities of PASS include meeting regularly, going on field trips to various community agencies to increase knowledge about available positions, attending conferences, sponsoring social events, and holding fund raisers. Others, such as department colloquia, allow students to interact with guest speakers from the College and community, and to learn about available psychology careers and cutting -edge research. Finally, faculty-student gatherings, some of which are social in nature (our Halloween Potluck) and some of which are educational in nature (research groups), provide settings in which students get to know faculty members. Such interactions can be beneficial in any number of ways, from increasing the likelihood that faculty know students well when it comes time to write letters of recommendation for jobs or graduate school to learning about topics and processes that are difficult to address/practice in the classroom.
Students often enter psychology programs with a general interest in "helping people" but are unaware of what courses to take, what cocurricular experiences will help, what other career goals are available ("helping people" is only one goal of many possible), and what their strengths and areas for improvement are, all of which are important in making the best career choices. This information is provided in several contexts. First, each student receives individual advisement from a faculty member of his/her choice every quarter before signing up for classes (and at any other time that it is requested). Second, in various courses students learn about careers in psychology, what careers might best suit them and how to prepare for those careers (for example, advice on how to get into graduate school). Third, every year, faculty conducts a developmental review in which each student's professional progress toward career goals is monitored and feedback is provided.
1. Coherence of the major:
The three components of the major - courses, cocurricular activities, and career development - are structured to allow for a student experience that is well-rounded. The course sequence allows for gradual mastery of material, cocurricular activities encourage socializing with professionals and students in the field, and career development activities foster preparation for the future.
2. Strong emphasis on life span developmental psychology:
Helping professions, such as counseling, nursing, social work, and physical therapy, rely on knowledge of normal development and behavior emphasized in our program--to identify dysfunction, restore normal functioning, or help with chronic problems.
3. Small class size:
The largest psychology classes have approximately 40-60 students, but most have far fewer, and some have as few as ten.
4. Opportunity to focus on individual interests:
For example, while those interested in pursuing careers in human services may choose the Human Services Concentration within the psychology major, those wanting to work with older individuals may opt for the Gerontology Certificate program or Gerontology Minor. Those who wish to pursue graduate work are supported in activities that enhance graduate school applications.
5. Strong emphasis on research and evaluation:
Wherever you work, you are likely to be asked to make decisions based on research. For example, you might be asked to determine whether a program should be continued based on research on its effectiveness. Our program provides the basic skills you will need to read the research of others and do your own research.
6. Opportunities to receive mentoring:
Faculty with background in both research and applied fields are available to work closely with students in progressing through the major. Mentoring can be received in the form of paid and volunteer research and teaching assistantships, research groups, independent studies, and formal and informal career advising.
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology