The Psychology Program at Emory & Henry provides students with a scientific understanding of human thought and behavior and encourages them to make practical applications to the challenges of everyday living. Building on the principles of effective instruction, students are taught in small classes with frequent opportunities for discussion and hands-on experiences. Drawing from their research and clinical experiences, professors provide practical examples of the principles being taught in the classroom. In turn, students participate in learning experiences that allow application of their classroom instruction.
For example, students conduct simulated clinical interviews and counseling sessions in therapy-related courses. Additionally, other courses provide our majors with the opportunity to work with children at various developmental levels, train animals to conduct tasks using different learning principles, and even visit other countries to explore the influence of culture on human behavior. Furthermore, all students design, conduct, and present their own research projects, increasing confidence in their professional development. Our emphasis on the application of psychological skills prepares students for graduate school and employment.
The ultimate goal of our program is to provide a strong educational foundation to prepare students for a wide variety of career options. We offer both B.A. and B.S. degrees. While the required psychology course work does not differ significantly between the degree options, the supporting course work for each degree option is designed to facilitate a different set of career objectives. In the tradition of a liberal arts degree, the B.A. offers students a wider course selection which better prepares them to enter the workforce or to pursue graduate level training. On the other hand, the supporting course work for the B.S.is more heavily weighted in the natural sciences and is designed more specifically to prepare students for graduate study in experimental psychology or medical school.
Students have many opportunities to enhance their understanding of psychology and to focus their career interests. First, the psychology faculty encourages students to assist with ongoing faculty research projects. For students who participate, this opportunity offers firsthand experience with the research process early in their academic careers and helps them to identify their research preferences.
Among the more tangible benefits is the potential to gain regional and national exposure as an up-and-coming scientist by presenting data at professional meetings and publishing the data in scientific journals.
Some recent publications by faculty and/or students include the following:
Many students conduct independent research projects during their junior or senior years. Most of these projects lead to professional presentations at regional, national, or international conferences. Some recent senior projects have led to the following conferences presentations: The Role of Corporal Punishment and Family Dynamics in College Students’ Academic Integrity, presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association in New Orleans; Predicting Early School Success: An Assessment of Two New Scales, presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association; and Sexual Prejudice and Physiological Responses to Viewing Male Homosexual Couples as Measured by Mood and Cardiovascular Responsivity, presented to the annual meeting of the Society of Southeastern Social Psychologists at Duke University.
Additionally, internships give students professional experience in the field. Internship locations include centers for domestic violence, child development centers, crisis centers, local schools, and a psychiatric hospital.
The department also sponsors a chapter of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology, and many students are active in the Psychology Club.
Many of Emory & Henry’s Psychology Department graduates work in a variety of mental health and human services professions. Others have gone on to careers in related fields such as criminal justice, law, and business. The ability of students to move quickly into employment or graduate school attests to the strength of our program. Here we have highlighted the achievements of some of our recent alumni.