an Associate of Arts Degree

Psychology Associate of Arts Degree

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 psychology department is small. Classes seldom have more than 25 students, and a more likely size is 10-15 students.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.

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.

Salish Kootenai College Psychology Degree
Degree Objectives

Psychology A.A. coursework includes core subject areas in psychology as well as basic competency in writing skills, math skills and research methods. Completion of the A.A. provides students with a foundation of essential knowledge in subject areas related to mental health fields.

The curriculum of the Psychology Associate of Arts degree program is intended to meet the following needs:

  • Provide basic competence in psychology subject areas for students seeking a degree in psychology or mental health fields
  • Provide a transfer program that includes core courses in psychology, math, science and liberal arts for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution
  • Encourage interest in psychology as a study of basic human experience and as a general background for other majors
  • Provide an awareness of the interface of psychology with different cultures and disciplines, such as sociology, anthropology, Native American studies and cross-cultural studies
  • Enable students to apply basic math and research skills to the scientific study of psychology
  • Provide support courses in psychology for other SKC degree programs
Student Learning Outcomes
Assessment Summary

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