WVU Tech’s Psychology program has small classes that strongly encourage student-professor interaction. WVU Tech is one of only two schools in the state with a full behavioral laboratory, giving students true hands-on experience. Students begin by taking traditional courses that teach the science and ethics of psychology and introduce the critical concepts, theories and problems of the field. Then they take a behavioral course designed to implement what they have learned in the full behavioral laboratory.
Students will also participate in supervised field placements and research opportunities with faculty to prepare them for careers.
This is a recommended major for pre-law students.
Jemma Cook, Ph.D.
Dr. Cook’s areas of expertise include behavior analysis and behavioral pharmacology. Her work focuses on reinforcement parameters, extinction, and relapse phenomena as related to behavior broadly with an emphasis on substance abuse. Dr. Cook encourages her students to understand how the behavior of humans and nonhuman animals interact with and are maintained by the environment. With this understanding, she helps her students design experiments to expand our knowledge about behavior and inform the development of potential behavioral or pharmacotherapies.
Cynthia R. Hall, Ph.D.
Professor Dr. Hall's areas of expertise are in social development, psychological assessment and quantitative analysis. Dr. Hall is an expert in helping students learn how to construct, implement and evaluate psychological tests for use in research, program evaluation and clinical settings. Her students also learn how disorders common in West Virginia and Appalachia are diagnosed and treated with both child and adult populations, including addictions, intellectual disabilities and personality disorders.
Graduates of the psychology program are prepared for a varied set of career paths that all have at their core the skills of effectively changing and managing behavior. These paths may be in the fields of mental health, business, social work, education, behavioral medicine/psychiatry and child care, to name a few. Graduates are prepared to work with a variety of clinical populations in community, hospital, educational and institutional settings.
The program also prepares students to continue their professional and
intellectual development in post-baccalaureate training. Many recent graduates
have been admitted into medical schools and into masters and doctoral programs
in psychology and related fields.
Our graduates are putting their skills to work as:
- Disability determination specialists
- Vocational rehabilitation counselors
- Social work consultants
- Elementary school teachers
Tax fraud specialists
- Behavioral therapists
- Day care administrators
Human resources specialists
- Psychological assistants in corrections facilities
Substance abuse counselors
- Psychiatric nurse practitioners
- Case managers
- Pet behavioral therapists
Behavioral LabA fully-equipped behavioral laboratory allows students to work hands-on with living experimental subjects to explore fundamental operant conditioning processes. Mastering the analysis of these learning processes gives students the tools necessary to get a strong foundation in experimental principles for the conduct of basic research, and lays the groundwork for the technology required to change individual human behavior. In the required course PSYC 302, students will work with a partner studying the behavior of their own laboratory rat for an entire semester. Students also have the opportunity to conduct independent research projects with the animals for upper-level research credit. The Facility is federally-approved under WVU Assurance #A3597-01.
THINGS YOU'LL LEARN
A background in the science and ethics of psychology and the tools you need to get to work in the field.
Biological Foundations of Behavior
This course is designed to help you understand the biological aspects of behavior drawing primarily on research from psychology but also from other disciplines such as biology, chemistry, and genetics. The focus will be on the relationships between behavior and the body, particularly the brain. Includes laboratory exercises and demonstrations.
Examine theoretical and empirical readings in a survey of major perspectives in personality theory, including dynamic, cognitive, humanistic and behavioral.
Applied Behavior Analysis
Learn the basic principles of behavior and their application to changing significant human behavior. Includes clinical, educational, parenting, industrial/organizational, community and other applications.