Delaware Valley College adds graduate programs in counseling psychology and policy studies

Aug 30, 2012

Delaware Valley College announced today the approval of two new master’s degree programs – counseling psychology and policy studies. The programs will be available for fall 2013 enrollment.

With the approval of these programs by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, DelVal is one step closer to achieving university status as outlined in the College’s strategic plan.

“We’re expanding our academic offerings to better serve our students,” said Dr. Brosnan. “We’re at a transformational time in College history. These programs are an important step in our move towards becoming a university.”

Dr. Brosnan said the new graduate programs will offer additional opportunities for DelVal undergraduate students as well.

“There will be cooperation and sharing of faculty between our three strong undergraduate schools and the graduate programs, which will provide significant academic offerings at the institution for undergraduates as well,” said Dr. Brosnan

The two-year Master of Arts degree in counseling psychology will emphasize practical application of theory, a strong link between policy and science, a commitment to social advocacy, and an understanding of how social, cultural, political and economic factors influence human development.

“With the addition of the counseling psychology degree, we are committed to preparing our graduate students for the professional field of mental health,” said Dr. James Moryan, interim dean of The School of Graduate, Professional and Entrepreneurial Studies.

Given the changing demographics of the United States, there is an increased demand for multi-culturally competent mental health providers. Inevitably, students graduating from DelVal will be expected to adeptly interact with individuals in occupational and community settings who differ across dimensions including, but not limited to: culture, race, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, religion, gender identity, education and ability status.

The master’s degree in counseling psychology will continue the College's educational philosophy to develop competence in careers that balance theoretical knowledge with rigorous application in professional practice.

Additionally, the graduate program will be seeking accreditation through the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC), an organization which accredits academic programs in psychology that promote training in the scientific practice of professional psychology at the master’s level.

The Master of Arts degree in public policy will draw on the existing strengths of DelVal with our solid foundations in the life, environmental and agricultural sciences, and a strong liberal arts core. It will prepare students to take leadership roles in critical policy issues affecting and impacting communities.

“This graduate program aligns with our historical commitment to prepare graduate students to meet the challenges of a complex global environment and to engage in lifelong learning,” said Dr. Moryan. “The program will enable students to have the requisite skills and spirits of inquiry that enrich and inform their lives. By effectively addressing the emerging issues affecting the world, our students will be prepared for meaningful careers as policy leaders.”

The policy studies program will combine the theories and research methods associated with the discipline, and will also incorporate the application of the methods and theories firsthand in internship opportunities.

Students will choose one of three specializations: agriculture and food policy, environmental policy and development policy.

The agriculture and food policy specialization emphasizes policy issues affecting agriculture and food production and distribution.

The environmental policy specialization analyzes policy issues relating to sustainability questions and the environment.

The developmental policy specialization examines questions related to economic development, both domestically and internationally.

The addition of these graduate programs at DelVal “will raise the academic presence of liberal arts and social sciences for our students,” said Dr. Bashar W. Hanna, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Students and faculty will benefit from interactions with new experts, who will bring knowledge and experience related to their specialties and to teaching and learning. And graduate students will serve as role models to the undergraduate population, demonstrating professional behaviors and enhancing intellectual discussions.”