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Two associate degrees down

Two psychology degrees will no longer be available next semester.

By Gabriel Arizon, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Valley College’s Psychology Department is discontinuing its general psychology and developmental psychology associate of arts degrees in favor of the more popular general psychology AA-T.

In February, the Psychology Department filed two Program Discontinuance Forms to the Program Effectiveness and Planning Committee (PEPC), requesting that two of its associate degree programs be ceased. In a March 7 PEPC meeting, the forms were approved. This was due to the high demand for the general psychology AA-T and to make the process towards a degree more streamlined.

“An ongoing goal of the department is to ensure access to awards and transfer through clear pathways,” one form stated. “This discontinuance makes the pathway to success via the remaining two psychology degrees ... clearer for students.”

According to data from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, of the 100 psychology associate degrees awarded in the 2017-18 school year, 75 were AA-T, whereas 19 were the general psychology degree and two were from developmental psychology.

The AA-T has undergone a rapid growth since its inception in 2015-16, starting from 25 awards and jumping to 66 the year after. Conversely, the general psychology degree seems to have never gone above 25 in a single year, and no more than six developmental psychology degrees have been awarded since 2012. In fact, the latter went two years in a row without any being awarded.

Although two degree programs will be cut, no classes will be affected since all of them share many of the same course requirements. According to Christina Peter, PEPC chair and psychology professor, students who attended Valley before the program discontinuation and who will remain consistently enrolled retain the option to complete both degrees.

“By simplifying the degree offerings,” Peter said, “the psychology department is making the pathway to transfer and careers in psychology easier and clearer without limiting the courses that are offered or the interests students pursue.”

Besides the AA-T, the Psychology Department will also be keeping its social and personality psychology degree. There are no current plans to discontinue this degree, according to Peter, though it may be considered in the future if they observe a consist low interest in the award. The number of awards for that degree have remained in the single digits since 2012, according to the data from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

This is not the only change coming to Valley. Program Discontinuance Forms were also filed for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, citing low enrollment. Both programs will be replaced by a general Religious Studies and no classes will be cut.


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