The Behavioral Sciences Department is composed of three programs: psychology, social work, and sociology. Students can earn bachelor’s degrees in psychology or social work, and minors in sociology or gerontology.
The Psychology Program provides quality instructions to prepare students to pursue careers in psychology and psychology-related fields. In addition, an introductory course in psychology is provided across the curriculum and available to students in most majors as a core elective for the social sciences.
The Social Work Program curriculum is designed to prepare students for professional careers or further education in mental health clinical services and social services, including immediate employment and graduate study. The curriculum utilizes class and field instruction to develop and strengthen the attitudes, values, skills, and knowledge essential for helping to alleviate problems that impair the social functioning of individuals, groups, and communities. In addition, the sociology major program provides curricula support for behavioral and social science majors and core courses are made available for students in most majors. Content for the various courses emphasizes the changes in our dynamic society and cultural diversity. The sociology major curriculum provides a foundation for undergraduates who want to pursue careers in sociological research and teaching sociology in higher education.
The spirit of the department lives inside the minds and hearts of students as the department works to facilitate learning about human behavior from intellectual, emotional, and social perspectives. Students pursuing majors in the behavioral sciences are often students who are interested in making a difference in individual lives, families, and society or who want to perform research on human behavior, mental health issues, or why societal problems exist.
Faculty areas of expertise include clinical social work, child and adult psychological services, therapy and counseling skills, social research methods, and violence prevention/intervention. Students engage with professors in and outside the classroom. Faculty believe learning is a full time process that includes work in the classroom and in Georgia communities and that community service learning through volunteerism and internships will enhance students’ professional growth and development. To this end, students are encouraged through class projects, departmental programs, and discipline specific clubs (such as the Social Work Club and Psychology Club) to provide service in the local community. This is a major tie into the Fort Valley State University mission and goals relevant to outreach in rural communities. The department also encourages participation in professional conferences as both attendees and presenters. Students are invited to compete annually with other students through scholarly papers and research on behavioral science issues at the Banks-Pierro-Rutland- Bellamy (BPRB) Behavioral and Social Science Colloquium.
Graduates from the major degree programs have found employment in a variety of work settings including child and adult mental health centers and hospitals (private and public), addiction centers, various school systems, the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, the Georgia Department of Corrections, the Georgia Department of Health and Human Services, the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services, the United States Department of Defense, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and others. Other graduates have entered programs for graduate study and earned master’s and doctoral degrees in social work, psychology, sociology, or related fields. Many of these professionals also go on to engage in full-time or part-time private practice.
During the senior year, each Behavioral Science’s major is required to participate in a semester-long internship/practicum. This experience provides majors with on-the-job training. Student interns must receive a satisfactory performance evaluation from the external internship supervisor in order to complete this requirement.
Clubs and Organizations
Behavioral Sciences students participate in a number of clubs and organizations which help them develop real-world experience and leadership skills, including:
- Psychology Club
- Social Work Club
The Behavioral Sciences Department learning community is strengthened by its large number of majors. At the same time, the relatively small program can provide individualized attention and support to students.