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Child Psychology

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

The child psychology program at Bay Path is designed for those students primarily interested in working with children, whatever the age: infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-age, or adolescents. All aspects of development are studied, including physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and moral. As the family plays a key role in a child’s development, students will explore the areas of parenting and family dynamics. In addition, the powerful impact of the educational system is addressed.

A Sampling of What Will be Learned: 

  • Stages of development and important milestones in a child’s life
  • Childhood mental illnesses, including autism and ADHD
  • Fundamentals of early intervention programs for infants and toddlers
  • Behavioral observations
  • Essentials of family communication
  • Cultural influences shaping identity

Special projects and class assignments feature active learning and practical application of concepts, and engage students in an enhanced learning experience every step of the way. Bay Path values experiential learning, requiring an internship during senior year, in which students can apply the theories and communication skills learned in class to an actual setting. Students will gain valuable experience at various sites including: state social service departments, early intervention programs, youth development programs, family support outreach programs, and adolescent residential-treatment programs. 

Accelerated Degree Options:

  • 3-Year Bachelor's Degree. Students with a record of strong academic achievement and a desire to fast track their education are encouraged to apply to the accelerated degree program. The program allows students to earn their degree in three years of year-round study, enabling them to save on tuition costs and enter the workforce sooner. Click here to learn more. 
  • 3+1 Bachelor's to Master's Degree. Bay Path offers a fantastic opportunity to continue on to one of our many graduate degree programs. Known as our 3 +1 program, you can earn your bachelor's and master's degree in four years. Click here to learn more. 
  • 3+2 Bachelor's to Master's Degree. Bay Path also offers an opportunity to continue on to our Clinical Mental Health Counseling or Applied Behavior Analysis programs. Known as our 3 +2 program, you can earn your bachelor's and master's degree in five years. 

My psychology courses help me understand different personalities and adolescent development theories, which will provide a background to help me relate, understand, and work with students later in my career. Whenever I need extra help or even just a soundboard to bounce ideas off of, the faculty has always stepped up and been there for me. I interned as a volunteer coordinator for a Boston nonprofit organization called Cradles to Crayons. Its mission is to provide children from birth through age 12, who may be living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive. This experience has provided me with a solid understanding of the effects of poverty on children’s mental and physical health, ultimately aiding my future career in child psychology." - Cat, Child Psychology Major 

Community Partners with the Psychology Program for 2017: 

  • Berkshire Hills Music Academy - BHMA uses music to help individuals with intellectual disabilities develop skills for communication, independence, and employment. They do this by: integrating music programming through a comprehensive curriculum that engages the entire brain, empowering students to advocate for themselves effectively through productive communication and interaction with peers, teaching pre-vocational and vocational skills within a community setting, with job-related support for successful employment, encouraging students to achieve increasing levels of independence through involvement in the local community.
  • Educational Resources for Children - Educational Resources for Children is an after-school support service for students from grades kindergarten through eighth. The organization works with kids, communities, schools and families, offering community collaborations to help kids learn, achieve academic goals, and contribute to their respective communities. Academic support and recreational activities are also offered.
  • Gandara - Gandara Center provides residential, mental health, substance abuse and preventive services to individuals in Springfield and the Pioneer Valley. They value cultural diversity and strive to provide culturally competent, innovative services to our community. They focus on the Latino/Hispanic community, but their services are available to people from all walks of life. Gandara’s Partnership with Bay Path is with their Adolescent and Family Services.
  • Girls Inc. of Holyoke - Girls Inc. of Holyoke's mission is to: inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold by providing them the opportunity to develop and achieve their full potential. They provide girls ages 5-18 with engaging and educational youth development programs that are cutting edge, research driven and designed to meet the specific needs of girls. Girls are at the center of everything they do; their priority is listening to girls, responding to their needs and providing them with the opportunity to make positive change in both their community and in their own lives. Tailored in response to the many challenges facing youth in the Holyoke community, and with the Girls' Bill of Rights as the philosophical framework in which to design their programs, they offer programs and services that are unquestionably transformative for girls and young women
  • River Valley Counseling Center - River Valley Counseling Center provides a community-based behavioral health, support and healthcare service to individuals and families. Their culturally competent, skilled and compassionate staff is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people in the community through services delivered with respect and dignity.
  • Service Net Inc. - The mission of Service Net is to enhance the quality of life of adults, children and families, through the provision of effective and responsive clinical, residential, rehabilitative, recovery and support services. ServiceNet provides a wide range of human services for people in the Pioneer Valley. Service Net’s Partnership with Bay Path is with their division for Developmental Disabilities and Brain Trauma Services.
  • Springfield Jewish Community Center - The Springfield JCC is both a recreational and learning facility serving the Jewish and general communities of the Pioneer Valley. Everyone, including the general public, is welcome at the Springfield JCC. Programs range from early childhood, adolescent, adult, and elderly populations. It is conveniently located 5 minutes from the Bay Path campus. 
  • Veritas Prep Charter School - At Veritas Prep, the mission is rooted in meeting the needs of community. Veritas believes that a fifty-fifty graduation rate is not good enough for Springfield’s children, and is working to ensure that scholars are able to compete, achieve, and succeed in high school, college, and beyond. Veritas provides a rigorous college preparatory curriculum and character education within a structured learning environment. Veritas utilizes an extended school day, school year, and data-driven instruction to drive dramatic gains in scholar achievement.
  • YWCA of Western Massachusetts - The YWCA of Western Massachusetts is one of 300 local Associations in the United States. For over 145 years, the YWCA has served our region, guided by its founding principle: to provide shelter, support services, and tools for self-sufficiency for women and girls in our community. Today, the YWCA provides safe places for women and children in crisis. It offers women counseling, job training, child-care, and health and fitness. The YWCA also offers job training to people ages 16-21 who are out of school.

This partnership entails sponsoring a student from our Co-Op Program, paying her $1000 for 100 hours of work during the semester. The Partners also agree to supervise a Psychology intern during the year.  


Course Requirements

Code Course Name Credits
EDU130 Education, Schools & Culture 3

The course presents a comprehensive examination of the field of education. Students will be exposed to the major historical, philosophical, economic, societal and cultural, professional, and accountability issues that continue to shape education within a complex, changing society. Required observations at public schools will augment classroom activities.

ENG114 Critical Reading & Response 3

This course introduces the integration of communication skills essential for effective reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college level. In this writing intensive course, students develop composition skills to produce collegiate-level papers modeling rhetorical modes and thematic content in addition to strategies for reading complex texts; presentation skills for personal introductions, verbal summaries of readings and response writings, and peer review of papers; and basic technological skills for word processing, e-mail, and introductory-level online research.

ENG124 Research & Writing in the Disciplines 3

In this course students will apply the practices for effective reading and writing introduced in ENG 114 to the distinctive language and forms of various disciplines. This course lays the foundation for academic and professional research and stresses the use of appropriate and effective information sources. Readings for a variety of academic audiences will provide students with strategies to communicate in the sciences, business and technology, psychology, liberal studies, and the social sciences. Research and documentation skills appropriate to the disciplines are stressed. In addition to leading students through the research process from start to finish, this course will examine the many ramifications of academic honesty. Prerequisite: ENG 114

ENG134 Literary Genres 3

Selected readings in fiction, poetry, and drama introduce the student to literary types and techniques. These readings provide a basis for collegiate-level discussion, analysis, and the development of critical judgment. Building on the communications and research skills from earlier courses in the sequence, this course emphasizes continued practice in writing, and students complete a documented research paper using primary and secondary sources as one of the course writing assignments. Discussions and oral presentations based on assigned literature support the overall goal of the sequence: to enhance the advancement of the students, first academically and then professionally. Prerequisite: ENG 114

INT250 Research Methods in Social Sciences 3

Students will develop and understanding of the basic principles of research in the Social Sciences, grasp the importance of Scientific Research, and comprehend research methodologies. Reaserch ethics, data collection techniques and analysis, sampling, and inferential statistics will be studied. Students will be required to produce a scholarly proposal. Prerequisites: MAT120 and ENG124

MAT112 Applied College Mathematics 3

This course is designed for diverse students to acquire a solid foundation in non-calculus mathematics. It uses practical mathematics to develop problem solving and analytical skills. Topics include linear equations, linear inequalities, matrix and its application, linear programming, and the simplex method. Prerequisite: MAT 104 or appropriate placement test score

MAT120 Statistics 3

This is an introduction to the basic descriptive and inferential statistics for students from all disciplines. It emphasizes the development of statistical literacy and the use of computer for analyzing data. Topics include principles of experimental design; graphical and numerical methods for summarizing, describing, exploring and analyzing data; binomial and normal probability distributions; point and interval estimates for means and proportions; hypothesis testing; and correlation and regression. Offered both semesters

PSY101 Introduction to Psychology 1 3

This course provides a basic foundation in psychology by introducing numerous psychological perspectives as explanations for human behavior and mental processes. Basic neurophysiology, consciousness, learning, personality theories, psychological disorders, and current interventions are discussed. This course is a prerequisite for all other psychology courses

PSY205 Child Development 3

This course is a study of developmental changes from birth through 12 years old. Prenatal and neonatal issues are also discussed. Physical, emotional, social, and cognitive growth are explored at each age. The dominant theories of development are examined, as well as contemporary issues relating to childhood and parenting. Prerequisite: PSY 101 Offered in the spring semester only

PSY206 Adolescent & Adult Development 3

This course surveys how people develop and change from the onset of adolescence through late adulthood. Different theoretical perspectives and contemporary information relating to the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive realms are examined. Prerequisite: PSY 101 Offered in the fall semester only

PSY240 Abnormal Psychology 3

This course explores a wide range of personality, behavioral, and cognitive disorders. The symptoms, etiology, and dynamics of various disorders are studied, and a variety of therapeutic theories and techniques are discussed. Prerequisite: PSY 101 Offered in the spring semester only

PSY300 Childhood Psychopathology 3

This course presents the etiology of childhood disorders (emotional, social, and cognitive), as well as intervention techniques. Prerequisite: PSY 205

PSY321 Theories of Personality 3

This course investigates the major personality theorists from Freud to more recent and contemporary theorists like May and Rogers. Emphasis is placed on the critical evaluation and practical application of each theory reviewed. Prerequisite: PSY 101 and junior or senior status Offered in the spring semester only

PSY340 Physiological Psychology 3

This course provides the student with a knowledge of the biological components of behavior. Basic neuroanatomy and neurochemistry are discussed with respect to a variety of topics such as emotions, sensation, aggression, sleep, memory, reproductive behaviors, eating disorders, and certain forms of psychopathology. Prerequisites: PSY 101 and junior or senior status Offered in the fall semester only

PSY347 Early Inter w/Infants/Toddlers 3

This course, especially offered to those interested in careers in Child Psychology, surveys current and classic research in infant and toddler development. Typical and atypical development issues of children from birth to three years are studied with a focus on early intervention theories, programs, services, and techniques currently in use. Prerequisites: PSY 205 Offered in the fall semester only

PSY370 Social Psychology 3

Social behavior is studied from a psychological perspective. Topics addressed typically include: small group behavior, personal perception, attitude acquisition and change, leadership, conformity, and prejudice. Prerequisites: PSY 101 and junior or senior status Offered in the fall semester only

PSY380 Interviewing & Counseling 3

This course introduces fundamental skills used in the helping profession including, interviewing, developing rapport, and elements of the counseling process. The multicultural, ethical and legal considerations, non-verbal behavior, and self-care will also be addressed. Prerequisites: PSY101, Jr/Sr status

PSY425 Parenting 3

This course will focus on the role of the parent as it relates to the childs healthy development at each stage. The importance of providing a proper role model, communication, discipline, attachment, and sibling relationships are discussed with consideration of varying cultural and family configurations. Issues such as the role of the father, as well as situations involving abuse, neglect, and stress will be included. Prerequisites: PSY 205 and junior or senior status Offered in the fall semester

PSY430 Clinical Psychology 3

This course explores some the key areas within the field of clinical psychology, with particular emphasis on assessment (cognitive, personality, and diagnostic) and treatment (crisis intervention and psychotherapy). Various forms of phychotherapy, including psychodynamic, cogvitive, and humanistic/experiential therapy, will also be examined. Prerequisties: PSY101, PSY240, and Jr/Sr status

PSY499 Psychology Internship 6

(This course is graded Pass/Fail.) Students receive supervised training from practicing professionals normally during the final semester of the fourth year. Learning is achieved through observation and/or direct participation. Students are placed appropriately in settings that relate to their individual and educational career objectives. Sites may include public educational facilities, human services agencies, mental health clinics, and law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. Prerequisites: A minimum cgpa of 2.0, senior status, and approval of department chair. Open only to psychology majors

WEL100 Women as Empowered Learners & Leaders 3

Women as Empowered Learners and Leaders is an interdisciplinary course, designed to give all students entering Bay Path University a common experience and foundation for their education. This course is an introduction to the University, to academic study, and to various approaches to thinking about personal potential, to understand the process of becoming a learner, and a leader, and composing a life, to appreciate beauty, and work actively toward establishing community and justice in the context of being a woman at the beginning of the 21st century.

WEL310 Strategies for Career and Personal Growth 1

(This course is graded Pass/Fail.) In their junior year before the opening of the spring semester, baccalaureate degree students will be offered a special opportunity to learn up-to-date information about the current work world in an intensive two-and-a-half-day workshop format. Students will meet successful professionals who will discuss the challenges and opportunities of their respective fields and help students prepare for interviews as well as learn how to navigate the early stages of their new careers.