Welcome to the SKC Psychology Department.

The SKC Psychology department offers two degrees, the Associate of Arts degree and the Bachelor of Arts degree. These programs are offered in a 2-and-2-degree format. This means that students first complete the two-year Associate of Arts degree, followed by 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 degree programs, at SKC or elsewhere.

The Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Psychology is a two-year degree that prepares 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 will prepare you for graduate school in psychology, counseling, research or other fields, if you want to continue your education. If you want to find work with your Bachelor’s degree, you may enter the Mental Health field or any other field that requires knowledge of human behavior. The Psychology program will challenge you to practice well-developed skills in writing and communication, and these are emphasized from the beginning.

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.

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 Native American students who live and work in rural reservation settings.

The long-term guiding principle of the program is to create a degree that balances indigenous ways of knowledge with western styles of education. To this end, the program is continually being reevaluated and adjusted. The psychology program at SKC follows APA guidelines for undergraduate psychology programs.


Associate of Arts Program

The Psychology Associate of Arts degree was developed in 2001 through the Mental Health Careers Opportunity Program (MHCOP), a collaboration of Montana Tribal Colleges with the University of Montana Psychology Department. Created in response to the need for tribal mental health workers, the goal of the Psychology A.A. is to train students in a manner consistent with traditional culture, while meeting requirements of structured degree programs in mental health.

The Psychology A.A. curriculum provides a foundation of essential knowledge in core subject areas of psychology as well as basic competency in writing, communication and math skills.

Students take a combination of General Education courses, Psychology courses and elective courses in the Psychology A.A. program.

You will be able to choose a variety of electives in Native American Studies, Expressive Arts, Health and Fitness, Math and Sciences and other subject areas as part of exploring your educational interests. You must receive a “C” or better in all required courses and maintain an overall GPA of 2.0 in order to graduate with the A.A. Completion of the A.A. program leads to junior-level entry into a four-year degree program.


Bachelor of Arts Program

The Psychology Bachelor of Arts degree, added in 2009, emphasizes development of communication and interpersonal skills, psychology subject knowledge, and integration of interdisciplinary and cultural content, particularly in Native American Studies.

The philosophy of the program is that psychology is an embedded discipline, not an isolated one. You will choose from a variety of elective courses based on your educational needs and career goals. The B.A. program requires electives in Psychology, Native American Studies, and Focus Courses, which are courses selected from various departments in consultation with your advisor. This allows the degree program to be individualized to some extent, while maintaining the overall degree requirements.

The psychology degree offers training in skills and knowledge needed for graduate study in psychology/counseling, as well as occupations based in human behavior such as public administration, allied health, public policy, public relations (PR), marketing, business, retail, education, or interpersonal relations.

See the Psychology A.A. and Psychology B.A. Program Descriptions for additional information.


Special Admissions Requirements

1) Students may need to strengthen math, English and writing skills with additional coursework prior to entering the Psychology program. Your Academic Advisor will help you plan coursework that meets your specific needs and goals.

2) Entry into the Junior Year of the Psychology Bachelor of Arts program includes submitting a Placement Application and completing two writing placement activities. See B.A. Application Link for more information.

3) Students may need to take psychology coursework in the A.A. program before entering the Junior Year of the B.A. Program

4)Students need to be aware that some careers in psychology require a Federal Background Check