Briercrest adds four-year degree to psychology program

Kayla Malanka | Feb 13, 2013
Briercrest's associate professor of psychology, Charles Hackney addresses students in his psychology class.  Briercrest's associate professor of psychology, Charles Hackney addresses students in his psychology class. Briercrest's associate professor of psychology, Charles Hackney addresses students in his psychology class.

Briercrest College and Seminary has a new four-year Bachelor of Arts psychology degree.

“This program is something that will be very helpful for students, as it provides a basic introduction to the field of psychology and prepares students for a number of possibilities after graduation,” stated Charles Hackney, associate professor of psychology and chair of the psychology department at Briercrest.

“In surveys that have been done of undergraduate programs, psychology is consistently in the top three, so it is something that is attractive to a great many students.”

Don Taylor, dean of arts and science at Briercrest, said the new program is on par with, or above industry standard when compared with Bachelor of Arts (BA) psychology programs at other institutes.

“Students will have a solid degree that will be acknowledged as a competitive degree to take into the market place across Canada,” Taylor said. Briercrest psychology students now have two tracks to choose from: the new BA in psychology, or the concurrent degree in psychology with Minot State in which students may choose from three specializations – communication disorders, social work or addiction studies. Hackney explained some of the possible reasons students may choose the new BA.

“With the stand alone BA there is much more opportunity for students to pursue their own interests, to take classes in areas they may not have considered before, andexplore different angles in this field and different ideas for specializations,” he said. “There is also a great advantage in that students who are studying psychology here are set up nicely for any kind of degree they want to go into after graduating from this new program.”

Taylor believes the rewards of the new program aren’t strictly academic.

“The benefit of studying at our campus is that you are going to be studying within a Christian understanding of the world, so there is a strong connection between our theological core and with our psychological studies,” he said. “I think this program poises our psychology students to feel they are dealing more broadly with humans and their difficulties.”

The possibility of participating in designing the new program was one of the factors that attracted Hackney to Briercrest.

“It was an opportunity not just to participate in a program, but help to build a program,” he admitted. “It has been wonderful to see all the progress we have made, all the hard work paying off and the positive reception we have received from students.”

He added that everyone has ensured to make this a program that graduates students who are capable of working at the highest levels of academic and professional pursuits.

Taylor is also excited to see the program up and running and feels the staff involved will ensure the program’s success. 

“When I think of the program itself I personally know the faculty members involved and I know there is a really strong and interesting faculty,” he said. “There is a really strong atmosphere that will support and encourage all of our psychology students.”

For details see our Psychology page.