How can human behavior be explained? What are the contributing factors to a life of crime? How can the rehabilitation of an offender be achieved? These are just a few of the many intriguing issues forensic psychology addresses.
The Forensic Psychology program at Bay Path is designed for you to apply the principles and insights of psychology within the criminal justice system. You can become involved in working with gang members, adolescent and adult offenders, victims and perpetrators of crime including domestic violence, sexual assaults, families, court advocacy, substance abuse, individuals with chronic mental illness, and more.
Bay Path is one of the few women’s colleges in the United States to offer forensic psychology as a major! The demand for expertise in this field is rapidly increasing, with multiple career opportunities. As part of the program, guest speakers are scheduled in various classes to help students learn about the different opportunities in the field of forensic psychology.
A sampling of what you will learn:
- What motivates criminal behavior?
- How are the issues of female offenders different from the needs of male offenders?
- What role does mental illness play in relation to crime, and how do the criminal justice and legal systems address the issues?
- Are psychopaths driven by biological deficits or societal influences?
- How are families affected by incarceration?
- What contributes to offender rehabilitation and effective re-entry back into the community?
- What ethical considerations must be considered when the legal system, criminal justice system, and the mental health system are all involved with a case?
- What is the psychological impact on both perpetrators and victims of a crime, and how are they different
- What is meant by the school to prison pipeline?
Bay Path’s dedicated faculty bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the courses they teach, featuring the most relevant and up-to-date information in each field. Special projects and class assignments feature active learning and practical application of concepts, and engage you in an enhanced learning experience every step of the way.
A sampling of courses in the Forensic Psychology Program include:
- Survey of Forensic Psychology
- Psychology of Criminal Behavior
- Psychology of Female Offenders
- Advanced Seminar in Forensic Psychology
- Physiological Behavior
- Abnormal Psychology
- Introduction to the American Legal System
As a student in the Forensic Psychology program, you will have the opportunity to work with the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department and the Department of Youth Services as part of your required coursework. Additionally, students are required to complete an internship in their senior year, and there are also opportunities to complete a competitive Community Based Co-operative Experience and a sophomore level internship. Potential sites include battered women’s shelters, courts, male and female correctional facilities, probation, Department of Youth Services, working with gangs, law enforcement, and substance abuse agencies to name a few.
Cooperative Education Program
Our Co-Op Program is one of the many options for traditional students to benefit from experiential learning. Students gain credit for working 100 hours at a local human service organization. In addition, they take a seminar class to provide support and facilitate connections for theory and practice. This highly selective program is available to qualified students at the sophomore level, and is conducted during the spring semester. The Co-Op faculty advisor works closely with students to place them at sites that match their interests. The kinds of work responsibilities vary from site to site, but typically include: research projects, creating resource materials for staff and families, and direct care with clients in residential or after-school programs. Co-Op students are sponsored by our Community Partners.
The Psychology Program at Bay Path is proud to announce its Community Partners for 2013. These organizations are providing opportunities for experiential learning to our students from all programs - Traditional, One-Day, and Graduate. Through Co-Op, service-learning projects, research projects, fieldwork & internships, you will gain valuable experience and contacts with these notable and respected agencies. Click here, for more information on each of our Community Partners!
Our Community Partners
River Valley Counseling Center
Springfield Parent Academy
Springfield Jewish Community Center
Center for Human Development
Girls Inc of Holyoke
For more information on Co-ops, service-learning projects, research projects, fieldwork & internships contact:
Kathy Wiezbicki-Stevens, Ed.D.,
Chair of the Psychology Department
E-mail: Kathy Wiezbicki-Stevens
Graduate School Opportunities
You can specialize in fields ranging from mental health counseling to industrial-organizational behavior by continuing your education in graduate programs across the country or right here at Bay Path at one of convenient locations: Longmeadow Campus, Burlington, MA or Sturbridge, MA in our Master of Science in Developmental Psychology Program or MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.