Dr. Kristi Cordell-McNulty, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Director of the Applied Psychology Program at Angelo State University, joins us today to discuss their online Master's in Applied Psychology program.
1. Can you tell us about your online master’s program(s) offered at Angelo State University?
We offer a Master of Science in Applied Psychology. This program is a multifaceted approach to understanding behavior that is designed to teach students about how psychology can be used to address the many issues facing us today. These issues include, but are not limited to, improving health, increasing safety, improving education, increasing prosperity, enhancing decision-making and promoting democratic principles. The program is 36 credit hours and students are required to take a research methods course and nine hours in the core areas of psychology. For the remaining 24 hours students take classes from the program that best suit their career goals. Students use this program for a variety of career goals including: to prepare for doctoral training or community college teaching, to qualify for positions that require master’s-level training in psychology, to prepare for leadership positions in human service agencies, or to acquire skills in applying psychology to their current workplace positions.
Currently our program is ranked:
- No. 6 out of the 24 schools listed as having “Top Online Master’s in Psychology” degrees for 2016 by GoGrad.org, an online information guide to affordable graduate programs in all academic disciplines.
- No. 13 of 25 on the “Top Online Psychology Master’s Programs” by GraduatePrograms.com, an online guide that recognizes higher education graduate programs based on student evaluations.
- No. 18 on the 25 “Best Value Online Master’s in Psychology Programs” in the U.S. for 2015 by BestMedicalDegrees.com, an independent online medical education guide.
- No. 41 on the “50 Best Online Master’s in Psychology Programs” in the U.S. for 2016 by SuperScholar.org, an independent online college and university resource guide.
3. How long does a typical master’s program take at Angelo State University? What is the maximum and minimum time of completion?
Typically students take two years to complete the program taking nine hours in the spring and fall semesters. Many of our students however take classes during the summer semester and some take twelve hours a semester and are able to finish the degree sooner than two years. We do not guarantee that students will be able to take twelve hours a semester, but most students who want to are able to get twelve hours. Students may take up to six years to complete the degree.
4. What do you think makes Angelo State University online Master’s in Applied Psychology program stand out from other programs offered by similar schools?
First all our classes are taught by full time faculty with doctoral degrees – teaching and research are their full time careers. This is not always the case with online programs. Second class sizes are kept small, usually 15 students or less, to allow for more individual attention and feedback from our faculty. These small class sizes also allow students to get to know others in their program. Third we offer great financial aid and scholarships for online students in comparison to other universities. Finally we have a certificate in the Teaching of Psychology to help students who want to teach at the postsecondary level get the training they need.
5. Does your online Master’s in Applied Psychology program offer any concentrations or dual enrollment opportunities?
We offer a certificate in the Teaching of Psychology that helps prepare students to teach at the postsecondary level. This certificate allows students to gain teaching skills from our teaching of psychology course along with a course in educational psychology that will help prepare them to be instructors. In addition, students need to have a basic foundation in all areas of psychology, and a strong foundation in the areas of developmental and social psychology, so students take our core concepts in psychological science course along with developmental and social psychology. These courses give students the strong foundation they need in psychology along with teaching theory and pedagogy to become instructors in the future.
6. How important would you say accreditation is when choosing a Master’s in Applied Psychology?
In general, programs that do not train practitioners are not accredited. Our program is not training practitioners to obtain any type of licensure so accreditation is not necessary. Angelo State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
7. What kind of student characterizes your ideal candidate in the master’s program (i.e. personality traits, background, interests, career aspirations, etc.)?
The ideal student is someone who is looking to gain experience applying psychology to real word problems using theories and research. In an online program it is important that students are motivated and disciplined as well as have good writing skills.
8. What are your class sizes for courses in the online master’s degree program?
Our class sizes are generally 15 students or less.
9. What are the advantages to earning a Master’s in Applied Psychology degree in general and where are you seeing employer demand for this degree?
As mentioned before, students use this track for a variety of purposes and career goals. One of the benefits of this degree is that students can tailor the courses to their needs. If a student is interested in research, they can take more research classes; if they want to teach, they can take classes that focus on teaching.
10. Is your university linked with any Government, Applied, or Industrial Partnerships to provide internships or practicum experiences for enrolled students?
No, we do not offer internships or practicum for our students.
11. Does Angelo State University offer job placement for students who graduate with a Master’s in Applied Psychology?
No, we do not offer job placement.
12. What types of financial aid packages are available for students in psychology? Are there any fellowships, grants and scholarships available?
We have excellent financial aid for online graduate students at Angelo State University. Besides the standard loans and grants we offer our Carr Graduate Scholarships that students can automatically qualify for when they apply based on their undergraduate GPA. These scholarships allow up to $3000 a year for graduate study. Thirty percent of our graduate students campus wide receive these scholarships. In addition most students who receive at least a $1000 in Carr Graduate Scholarships are granted in-state tuition.
13. Are graduate students enrolled in the online Master’s in Applied Psychology program offered assistantships for teaching or research?
The Applied Psychology program does offer graduate assistantships, however to receive an assistantship students must be on-campus.
14. Do you have any advice for students enrolling in a master’s program for the first time?
Students need to remember that a graduate program requires more effort than an undergraduate program. A Master’s program expects that students are motivated and can complete the work with little prompting. In addition graduate programs often require a lot more writing and research compared to undergraduate programs.
15. What do you enjoy most about your position at Angelo State University?
At Angelo State University, I am able to focus on what I love, teaching and working with students. Angelo State emphasizes high quality teaching among their faculty and I am able to teach courses in my specific discipline that I enjoy and conduct my research in areas related to those courses. I also enjoy that I get to advise students and help them along during their graduate study to eventually reaching their career goals.
For more information on the online Master’s in Applied Psychology program offered at Angelo State University visit them online.
Thank you Dr. Cordell-McNulty, for sharing and participating in this piece.
That concludes our interview!
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