Psychology emphasizes the fundamental importance of understanding human behavior and thought. It is a wide‐ranging discipline, encompassing diverse fields of study. It is also, by its history and nature, an activist, applied discipline. Students focus on such diverse topics as human development, prejudice, aggression, abnormal psychology, health, and social interaction, not solely to acquire knowledge, but also with the intent of using this knowledge to better their community and their world.
At New England College, it is the goal of the faculty to merge practical skills with theoretical content and critical thinking abilities. One aim of the program is to prepare students for continued study at the graduate level. Another goal is to prepare students for careers in counseling and human services, business, education, community health, and political and social service. In combination with other programs of study (e.g., art, international business, communication, drama, environmental science, women’s studies, philosophy), a psychology major provides students with a variety of career options upon graduation. In all courses, students are challenged to move beyond their common sense and personal history and to acquire an understanding of how questions about human functioning are answered via the scientific method of systematic investigation and hypothesis testing. Moreover, the faculty make psychology meaningful and relevant to students so that what they learn can be applied to real life skills such as parenting, interpersonal relationships, health, conflict resolution, motivational and emotional difficulties, and personal development.
As one of the social sciences, psychology relates well to programs in business, economics, education, communication, political science, and sociology. As a health science, psychology is concerned with individual and collective well‐being and, therefore, encourages important connections to medicine, law and environmental studies. Additionally, psychology is becoming more attentive to cross‐cultural and international issues. The Psychology Department is part of the Natural and Social Sciences Division.
Faculty members in psychology have a wide range of research interests, including such areas as health, prosocial behavior, human sexuality, violence, attachment theories and environmental influences on childhood learning abilities and behaviors, life‐span developmental issues, clinical psychology, and contemplative approaches to psychology, multicultural and cross‐cultural considerations, and community mental health. The members of the psychology faculty work closely with students and are committed to assisting students in their efforts to realize their individual educational goals.
Two concentrations are offered in psychology: general psychology and human services.
Students completing the Psychology Program should possess the following:
- Knowledge Base of Psychology ‐ Demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.
- Research Methods in Psychology ‐ Understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation.
- Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology ‐ Respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and, when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
- Application of Psychology ‐ Understand and apply psychological principles to personal, social, and organizational issues.
- Values in Psychology ‐ Value empirical evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect other values that are the underpinnings of psychology as a science.
- Information and Technological Literacy ‐ Demonstrate information competence and the ability to use computers and other technology for many purposes.
- Communication Skills ‐ Communicate effectively in a variety of formats.
- Multicultural Awareness ‐ Recognize, understand, and respect the complexity of multicultural communities.
- Personal Development ‐ Develop insight into their own and other’s behavior and mental processes and apply effective strategies for self‐management and self-improvement.
- Career Planning and Development ‐ Pursue realistic ideas about how to implement their psychological knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.
Experiential Learning Component
Most courses contain engaging demonstrations, field trips, and in‐class guest presentations. Many classes also include service‐learning components. All students are required to complete a novel research study. Qualified students are also encouraged to further pursue in‐depth exploration of areas of personal interest, to present research at regional and national conferences and to collaborate with faculty on manuscripts and other aspects of research. Numerous practica opportunities are available and internship are required.
All undergraduate courses are 4 credits unless otherwise noted.