School of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Our students benefit from the rich and diverse backgrounds of our faculty. We have a unique blend of full-time faculty with doctorates from prestigious institutions and part-time faculty who are active in their fields (e.g., lawyers, judges, counselors, social workers, teachers, and psychologists). This critical mix allows our students to examine their fields through the guidance of classroom scholars, as well as successful practitioners. Moreover, our scholars represent great diversity within each of the four departments. For example, our psychology faculty have doctorates in such domains as clinical, developmental, social, cognitive, experimental, school, and counseling psychology. The same can be said of the criminal justice, education, and social work faculty.
All of our departments provide a variety of internship opportunities. Nearly all of our majors engage in internship experiences. These experiences not only serve to shape career goals, but can sometimes result in job offers upon graduation. Our student teachers are offered opportunities to be placed in underprivileged areas, and all of our teacher candidates complete two student teaching assignments, including one with a special education population. Our psychology students choose from about 100 sites, which include psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment centers, research institutes, occupational therapy programs, substance abuse programs, US Military Academy West Point, Anderson Center for Autism, and many more. Our criminal justice students complete local internships with jails, prisons, judges, police, and courts, but also have completed national internships with the US Secret Service, US Marshalls, FBI, and NCIS. Our social work students are in an accelerated program that allows them to enter Master’s in Social Work programs at other schools with advanced standing – such that they need to complete only one year of graduate work instead of two years. Thus, their senior year with us requires intense involvement with a variety of internship placements to secure the hours needed for graduate school. These experiences include domains such as aging, child and family services, domestic violence, homelessness, substance abuse, developmental disabilities, and many more.
For students who are interested in careers that focus on research, or who aim to further their education in master’s level and doctoral programs, we understand that they need to be engaged in research projects. Sometimes students will assist faculty with their ongoing scholarship, and sometimes they propose their own projects for development. Students have the opportunity to have 1:1 mentorship with faculty as they engage in independent research. Our students regularly present their work at local and regional conferences, including the Eastern Psychological Association, American Society of Criminology, New York State Social Work Education Association Conference, and the Council for Exceptional Children. These are wonderful opportunities for students to immerse themselves in the field, learn the cutting edge developments, and meet prospective colleagues and employers.
In addition to the many opportunities for internships and independent research, our students are engaged in community service. You will find our students everywhere! Recently, they hosted an evening to raise awareness of homelessness that required students to sleep on the campus green overnight; the event also raised funds and supplies for the homeless. They volunteer to support local students struggling with literacy and math. They create STEM fairs at local schools for parents and children to engage in real-world “puzzles” that they are challenged to solve. They design “discovery boxes” for our local children’s museum to engage young learners. They bring local middle school students to campus for a day of diversity awareness that includes exercises to make them more aware of what it is like to engage with the world with a variety of disabilities. They create support groups at a local women’s prison. The list goes on and on. Our majors are “doers.”