Pennsylvania State University
School of Behavioral Sciences and Education
Community Psychology and Social Change
M.A.-Community Psychology and Social Change
The graduate program in Community Psychology and Social Change leads to a master of arts degree with concentrations in Children, Youth and Family; Diversity Issues; Environmental Issues; and Individualized Studies. The nontraditional program emphasizes planned social change, and is based on both sociology and psychology. The program equips students with skills useful in coping with the multifaceted problems facing communities. Students learn to assess problems at the level of communities or organizations, to plan and implement possible solutions to these problems, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the solutions. Learning takes place both in courses and in a master’s project that entails fieldwork and the writing of a master’s paper.
To act as a change agent, the student must be aware of contemporary community needs, along with the impact of the community structures upon its individual members and the techniques best suited to initiate productive changes. After completing this interdisciplinary program, the graduate should be able to approach problems with a more integrated point of view and work cooperatively with community individuals and agencies toward practical solutions. Problems related to crime, education, child and family development, employment, the lack of effective social power, and other factors affecting psychological well-being are approached from bases in community service agencies or informal community groups. The majority of students work full-time in agencies or governmental units. To accommodate working students, 500 level graduate courses are scheduled in the evening.
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Facts & Figures
Classification: Master's College or University I
Locale: Small City
Size & Settings: 40,000+