Psychology Major Overview
The psychology major at Bluefield College supports the mission of the College to transform students’ hearts, minds, and lives as it engages them in the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Students develop a broad based appreciation for the multiple perspectives currently active in the discipline, develop the intellectual ability to evaluate the potential of psychological constructs to inform real life decisions, and prepare to pursue graduate study if they so choose. In short, the psychology major at Bluefield College “… enables students to pursue their dreams through the behavioral sciences.”
Students that successfully complete the major are able to:
- Identify and describe the predominant schools of thought or perspectives found in the modern and historical activities of the discipline. In effect, students become broadly knowledgeable of the major concepts and perspectives in the very rich discipline that seeks to understand behavior and thought.
- Apply appropriate research methods and principles of statistical analysis to problems found in the discipline’s environment. Psychology has taken its seat at the table of science and as such commands the respect due all sciences and requires from its practitioners an adequate command of scientific principles of investigation and evaluation.
- Demonstrate the ability and the disposition to think critically about any academic or social issue and an ability to participate in public discourse. Students become well versed in the application of the tools developed in the classroom as they frequently rehearse the application of theory in the resolution of personal and social problems encountered outside the classroom.
- Articulate their personal understanding of psychology and its integration into a personal system of beliefs. Students in the psychology department develop a personal mission statement that guides decision making and the formation of goals throughout their lives.
Psychology Major Internships
Internships are available to all majors. Each internship is uniquely tailored to the academic needs and the professional interest of the student. Recent internships have included:
- The investigation of high rates of turnover in a local service industry.
- Shadowing school guidance counselors.
- Assisting a local licensed play therapist.
- Shadowing local professional clinical and counseling psychologists.
- Assisting local case workers in family and children service agencies.
- Assisting faculty in the development of a new stage theory of spiritual development.
Common Sites for Internships
- Local Industry
- Local School Systems
- Local Health Care Professionals
Psychology Major Outcomes
A substantial number of vocations in the field require graduate level degrees. The department has been very successful in placing its graduates in graduate programs. A recent survey of twelve 2011 graduates indicated that nine were enrolled in graduate school. The remainder were employed in related fields.
- Case Workers for the Division of Family and Children Services
- Certified Child Care Specialists
- Clinical or Counseling Psychologist
- School Psychologist
- Industrial/Organizational Psychologist
- Substance Abuse Counseling
- Marriage and Family Counseling
- Pastoral Counseling
A psychologist well versed in the causes and influence of human behavior are in demand in any area where this skill is in demand. Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s, was a psychology major. Other majors include Dr. James Dobson and Herb Brooks (1980 Gold Medal winning coach).
Positions Held by Alumni
- Bland County Health and Human Services – Case Worker
- Board of Education – Instructional Specialist
- Tazewell Sheriff’s Office – 911 Operator
- Arkansas Children’s Hospital – Certified Child Care Specialist
- State of West Virginia Department of Corrections – Corrections Officer
Graduate Schools Attended
- Tulane University
- Gardner-Webb University
- Marshall University
- Radford University
- California State University at San Bernardino
- Liberty University
- Lindsey Wilson College
Clubs and Organizations
Psi Chi: This is the undergraduate national honor society in psychology. Members must have an overall GPA that places them in the top 35% of their class and a GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale. Bluefield College has an active chapter.
Not Alone, an effort of BC's Psi Chi chapter, exists to advocate for the safety and mental health of all Bluefield College students. For more information, visit www.bluefield.edu/notalone.
Dr. Robert K. Boozer
Professor of Psychology; Chair, Department of Psychology; Director, General Education; Director, Center for Vocation and Calling
Class of 2012
“The three and a half years I spent at Bluefield College were some of the most memorable and also the most challenging years. I was pushed to excel and taught to not settle for anything less than my absolute best. My professors cared about me academically but also outside of class and taught me to grow not only academically, but spiritually and emotionally." Read More...
Class of 2011
“Being a member of the Bluefield College Psychology Department changed my life. Not only did my spiritual life grow tremendously through the inspiration of my professors, I was able to find my purpose in life. The professors care about you more than just on an academic level, they take the time to know and understand you on a personal level." Read More...