Wallace State Community College and Athens State University have launched a Forensic Psychology transfer partnership.
Students can complete a Forensic Psychology associate degree or a short-term certificate at Wallace State and seamlessly transfer the course credits to Athens State if they choose to pursue an advanced degree in the field.
“It’s a great day to be a part of Wallace State Community College and Athens State University. Anytime that community colleges and universities can work together for the betterment of students, it’s indeed an event to share,” said Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics. “It was certainly an ambitious undertaking to develop a transfer degree of this nature, and we appreciate Athens State’s partnership in the endeavor.”
Karolewics and Athens State Provost Dr. Joe Delap recently signed the transfer agreement at the morning reception.
“I appreciate the work of the faculties of these two institutions. Your collaboration has made this possible. I know in doing so you put your students first and that’s what we’re always about. We’re making sure the needs of students are met, and we’re also working to meet the workforce needs of the state,” Delap said.
Athens State’s Dr. Stephen Spencer, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, also addressed those in attendance.
“It’s always a pleasure to partner with Wallace State. This is all about serving our students. That’s the heart of it,” Spencer said.
Also present at the reception from Athens State were Dr. Susan Owen, Professor of Psychology & Behavioral Sciences and Department Chair; Dr. Quanda Stevenson, Associate Professor Criminal Justice; and Helen Marks Crider, the Hanceville Off-Campus Center Manager and Communications Plan Manager.
Wallace State students who choose the Forensic Psychology route will complete the following program classes: CRJ/PSY 222 Introduction to Forensic Psychology; PSY 280 Brain, Mind and Behavior; PSY 207 Introduction to Criminology; SOC/CRJ 208 Introduction to Criminology; SOC 210 Social Problems; and PSY 208 Contemporary Issues.
“The Forensic Psychology program began as a collaboration within the Social and Behavioral Science division as Criminal Justice and Psychology instructors sought innovative strategies to meet the needs of Wallace State students,” said Dr. Rebecca Reeves, Wallace State’s Department Chair of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “Psychology instructors Dr. Susan O’Rear, Dr. Aletta Williamson and Stacey Brunner worked diligently with Criminal Justice instructors Dr. Thea Hall and Brandi Parker to plan and coordinate the Forensic Psychology associates degree curriculum.”
According to the American Psychological Association, Forensic Psychology is the application of clinical specialties to the legal arena, emphasizing the application of clinical skills such as assessment, treatment and evaluation to forensic settings. The practice of Forensic Psychology is the psychological assessment of individuals who are involved with the legal system in some capacity. Psychologists in this line of work are able to work in prisons, jails, police departments, corrections offices, colleges, and government agencies, among other locations, researching and examining the interaction of human behavior, criminology and the legal system.
“This program can prepare a student multiple ways. At our level, they can enroll and enter the workforce as a corrections classifier. The ultimate job with a Forensic Psychology degree is to be an FBI profiler,” said Dr. Thea Hall, Wallace State’s Criminal Justice Department Chair and instructor.
Added Wallace State Psychology instructor Dr. Aletta Williamson: “Our Social and Behavioral Sciences Department is ecstatic about our new Forensic Psychology transfer partnership with Athens State. It would not have been possible without the support of administration from both institutions. This collaboration emerged from our work in Leadership Wallace State. Dr. Thea Hall, Dr. Susan O’Rear and I worked diligently to create a Pathway comprised of relevant and engaging coursework which would prepare our students for continued academic studies or additional training in the field of forensics. This partnership is a true testament that ‘leadership abounds at Wallace State.’”
Wallace State and Athens State have a longstanding relationship. Athens State maintains University Center on the Wallace State campus in Hanceville, offering courses in Elementary Education, Collaborative Education, Elementary/Collaborative Education and Early Childhood programs.