The SKC Psychology department offers two degrees. The Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Psychology is a two-year degree that will prepare you to go on for a Bachelor’s degree psychology or transfer to another program or college. It provides courses in human behavior, communication skills, and general education subject areas. The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology can be earned in two different ways, or tracks. If you are interested in graduate school in psychology, counseling, research or other fields, the Research Track is for you. If your goal is to attain a Bachelor’s degree and work in a field that requires knowledge of human behavior, then you may want the General Track. Differences between these two tracks have to do with types of coursework you will take, but both require well-developed skills in writing and communication.
The Psychology degree program is grounded in the 4C’s: communication, cultural competency, citizenship, and critical (or clear) thinking. Coursework draws from both Western and Indigenous models of learning, and the program is designed to meet the unique needs of tribal students who live and work in their home communities.
The psychology department offers the Associate of Arts and the Bachelor of Arts programs in a 2-and-2-degree format. This means that students first complete the two-year Associate of Arts degree, and then go into the Bachelor of Arts program for two more years. A student may stop after earning the A.A. or may go on to a variety of other Bachelor’s programs, at SKC or elsewhere.
The psychology department is small. Classes seldom have more than 25 students, and a more likely size is 10-15 students. In the Bachelor of Arts program, classes are even smaller. This allows students to receive individualized attention throughout their education, and the relationships built through advising and mentoring are unique strengths of the program. Additionally, students have the opportunity to develop significant supportive relationships amongst themselves as they go through the psychology program at SKC.
Psychology students come from many different tribes, cultures and walks of life. You will have the opportunity to meet and learn about people of many ages, ethnic groups, experiences, backgrounds and abilities. Everyone in the program – faculty and students alike – lends their own perspectives, knowledge, cultural strengths and educational goals to the mix, and the result can be a life-changing experience. The study of human behavior is about all the different ways to be and function as a human being (meaning there are approximately seven billion different perspectives!) and you are invited to enter the program bringing an open mind and the gift of your own unique experiences.
A bachelor’s degree in Psychology leads to graduate school or to many different types of career options. Careers that require interpersonal, analytical, writing and research skills can be found in Administration, Management, PR, Human Resources, Law or Law Enforcement. Careers for psychology graduates in social services include Career Counseling, Allied Health, Community Advocacy, Coordination of Services, and Psychology Technician positions. A degree in psychology is an excellent background for certification in Chemical Dependency counseling.
At the Master’s or PhD level, psychology graduates specialize in areas such as Adult or Child Counseling, Clinical Psychology, Forensics, School Psychology, Research or Law. Entry into graduate programs is competitive, but because of the need for mental health practitioners in Indian Country, there are many opportunities for Native American students who get a degree in psychology.
Psychology or Psychology-related jobs advertised in rural areas of Montana show salary ranges of $11.23-18.00/hr at the Bachelor’s level, $19.54-29.04/hr at the Master’s level, and $59,000-61,000/yr at the PhD level. Training and experience requirements vary.