About the program at NCC

To meet the need for graduates who are able to function independently in a mental health and human service environment, the Applied Psychology program offers a liberal arts education, focused on counseling and human services. The program will serve students who either wish to transfer to a four-year institution, or students who wish to work in local organizations with a behavioral health or human services focus with this A.A.S. degree. Graduates of the program will be exposed to a wide diversity of knowledge, be asked to do practical thinking and problem-solving, cultivate knowledge of skills, values and ethics in the counseling profession, and develop a professional identity as a counselor.

Some of the key features

Foundational courses in communication, statistics, science, social science, and humanities will be complemented with courses in applied psychology. Contextual courses will help students begin to build competency in psychology and human services, while their elective and program choices will allow them to specialize in developing knowledge of life issues and behavior in a selected developmental range (child/adolescent or adult).

View Program Facts (PDF) 

For more information, contact

Jennifer Bradley: jbradley@northampton.edu

Jeffrey Armstrong: jarmstrong@northampton.edu


Graduates of the program will:

  • Distinguish between normal and abnormal developmental processes and behaviors, and correctly identify these processes and behaviors when observing clients.
  • Demonstrate basic counseling skills (active listening, processing, responding, and expressing empathy) effectively with a client with a neurodevelopmental disorder.
  • Discuss and apply ACA ethical standards and values in a counseling/support staff relationship.
  • Recognize the characteristics of a racially and/or culturally diverse individual (demographic characteristics including gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and socioeconomic status) and identify the potential impact of diversity on client functioning.
  • Conduct interviews to gather information in conjunction with reviewing prior assessment material, to explain the client's current functioning from a developmental perspective and identify the client's strengths, needs, and challenges.
  • Discuss the basic principles of the family systems approach, and evaluate these principles in the context of a client's family situation.
  • Write effective, high-quality progress notes, treatment summaries, and other clinical reports to document treatment.

Transfer Possibilities

Penn State University - Human Development and Family Studies, or Applied Psychology
Lehigh University - Psychology Program
Kutztown University - Psychology Program
East Stroudsburg University - Applied Psychology Program
Cedar Crest College - Applied Psychology Program
Marywood University - Psychology, Clinical Track
University of Scranton - Counseling and Human Services Program

Course Requirements

First Semester

CMTH102 Speech Communication 3 credits
ENGL101 English I 3 credits
MATH150 Introductory Statistics 3 credits
PHIL201 Introduction to Philosophy 3 credits
PSYC103 Introduction to Psychology 3 credits
15 credits total

Second Semester

BIOS105 Contemporary Biology 4 credits
CISC101 Introduction to Computers 3 credits
ENGL151R English II (Report Writing) 3 credits
PSYC235 Developmental Psychopathology 3 credits
PSYC258 Developmental Psychology 3 credits
16 credits total

Third Semester

PSAP250 Developmental Differences 3 credits
PSAP260 Counseling Individuals with Developmental Differences 3 credits
SOCA103 Principles of Sociology 3 credits
  Elective 3 credits
  Elective 3 credits
15 credits total

Fourth Semester

CMTH215 Intercultural Communication 3 credits
PSAP280 Applied Psychology Experiential Learning 3 credits
SOCA125 Sociology of Families 3 credits
  Elective 3 credits
  Elective 3 credits
15 total credits
61 total credits

* SPED160 and SPED175 are suggested electives for students planning to work in the school setting

* An Elective must be completed in a Writing Intensive (WI) section

Careers in Applied Psychology

Completion of this degree leads the person to be immediately qualified to work as:
Therapeutic support staff - school setting, clinical setting, or community service setting.
Teacher's Aide - local school districts
Counselor - clinical agency
TSS worker - behavioral health or rehabilitation service

Local clinical agencies include:
Devereux of the Poconos
Valley Youth House

Continued Education

Student earning an AAS degree in Applied Psychology well-positioned for a bachelor's degree in psychology, family studies, human services, or related degree. This degree is a great stepping stone for an eventual career as a licensed professional counselor, mobile therapist, behavioral specialist, or administrative position with a mental health agency. (Those careers require a master's degree and other specialized training.) This degree and associated work experience also gives students a distinct advantage if they wish to eventually apply for a competitive doctoral program in counseling or clinical psychology.