When someone hears the word “Psychologist” a few images may come to mind. A researcher, a teacher, a person who provides mental health treatment. While these are true definitions of the field of Psychology, the scope of the field of study is much broader. The Associate in Science in Psychology program provides students with the opportunity to explore one of the most diverse and exciting fields of study in the world.

The Associates in Science in Psychology (ASP) program is designed to provide students who have an interest in Psychology the opportunity to explore the breadth and depth of different areas of study that fall into the field of Psychology.  The program core requirements have been selected to provide a broad overview of the major areas and focal points of the psychology field.  The curriculum also aligns with the core requirements for Psychology majors at the four-year institutions in our region supporting transfer.

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”
—William James (1842-1910) President of the American Psychological Association in 1894

What Psychology graduates learn

  • How to define, explain, and predict the behavior of individuals and groups
  • How to use and interpret data
  • To evaluate the legitimacy of claims about behavior
  • How memory, learning, and other cognitive processes function
  • Insight into problematic behaviors
  • How to develop the capacity to adapt to change
  • How to manage difficult situations and high stress environments

More Information

Mission & Outcomes


The Associates in Applied Science in Psychology program provides students the opportunity to engage in career exploration within the broad field of Psychology and Social Sciences, to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills related to the human condition, to develop “psychological literacy” skills related to understanding circumstances and diversity in explaining human behavior, and to develop scientific reasoning skills applicable to all field of human activity.

Learning Outcomes

The Associate in Science in Psychology Program is based on the most current guidelines for learning outcomes in undergraduate psychology programs. The program Learning outcomes are adapted from the American Psychological Association Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major, Version 2.0 (August, 2013). Below you will find the major knowledge areas with numerous outcomes outlined underneath each of these areas.

Knowledge Base in Psychology

  • Describe key concepts, principles, and overarching themes in psychology.
  • Develop a working knowledge of psychology’s content domains.
  • Describe applications of psychology.

Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking

  • Apply scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena.
  • Demonstrate psychology information literacy.
  • Interpret, design, and conduct basic psychological research.
  • Incorporate sociocultural factors in scientific inquiry.

Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World

  • Apply ethical standards to evaluate psychological science and practice.
  • Discuss values that build community at local, national, and global levels.


  • Demonstrate effective written, presentation and teamwork skills.

Professional Development

  • Establish and engage in a process of continued professional growth.
  • Demonstrate project-management skills.

Career & Educational Opportunities

Why Study Psychology?

Psychology is one of the most popular and fascinating majors in college.  The program is primarily designed to prepare students to continue their Psychology education at a four-year institution.  An associate degree in Psychology can be the first step toward a service-oriented careers.

According to research reported on psychology.org, “Over the last 10 years, associate degrees in psychology have seen a 243% spike in popularity, going from 1,800 associates degrees in psychology awarded in 2002-2003 to 6,100 associates degrees in psychology awarded in 2012-2013.”

 Skillsets and Careers

Careers that are available for individuals with an Associates in Applied Psychology include:

  • Psychiatric Nursing Assistant
  • Youth Counselor
  • Case Technician
  • Human Services Assistant
  • Home Care Aide
  • Addiction Rehabilitation Assistant

According to the Maine Center for Workforce Research and Information, a variety of social services jobs are expected to be available in the time frame from 2014 to 2024.  Below you will find a list of specific employment and job openings, suitable to persons with an AASP, expected in Maine and the percentage increase in demand that is projected to occur over the period of 2014-2024:

  • Counselors (+9.6%)
  • Healthcare Social Workers (+9.6%)
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers (+7.6%)
  • Social and Human Services Assistants (+6.5%)
  • Community and Social Services Specialists (+3.6%)
  • Psychiatric Aids (+8.5%)
  • Supervisors of Personal Care and Service Workers (+4.2%)
  • First-line Supervisors of Personal Service Workers (+4.4%)
  • Personal Care Aids (+9.8%)
  • Residential Advisors (+4.3%)
Transfer Opportunities

Students who wish to continue their education in Psychology or a related field will be able to transfer to nearly any other college.

To assist students in transferring to another college we assist students in contacting the institution they wish to attend early in their time at KVCC.  We work with each institution to assure that our courses transfer well into their programs and consult with them as we assist students with course selection.

In addition, we establish formal agreements for transfer to many institutions.  Below is a list of all the colleges and universities in Maine with a Bachelors degree in Psychology or a related field.  The asterisk (*) indicates institutions with whom we have an active Articulation Agreement.  Please see your advisor for more information on this process.

  • Bates College (Bachelor’s in Psychology, General)
  • Bowdoin College (Bachelor’s in Psychology, General)
  • Colby College (Bachelor’s in Psychology, General)
  • Husson University (Bachelor’s in Psychology, General and Bachelor’s in Clinical Psychology)
  • Kaplan University (Bachelor’s in Psychology, General – Online)
  • Saint Joseph’s College of Maine (Bachelor’s in Psychology, General)
  • Thomas College (Bachelor’s in Psychology, General)
  • University of Maine (Bachelor’s in Psychology, General) *
  • University of Maine at Augusta (Bachelors Degree in Social Science)
  • University of Maine at Farmington (Bachelor’s in Psychology, General) *
  • University of Maine at Machias (Bachelor’s in Community Psychology)
  • University of Maine at Presque Isle (Bachelor’s in Psychology, General)
  • University of New England (Bachelor’s in Psychology, General)
  • University of Southern Maine (Bachelor’s in Psychology, General) *

Students interested in any of these programs will receive assistance in the transfer process.

Admissions, Curriculum, and Graduation Requirements

Program Admission Requirements
  • High school diploma
  • Algebra I
  • Lab Science (including biology)
Core Curriculum

Semester 1—16 Credits:

  • Lab Science
  • COM 104: Introduction to Communication or COM 105: Interpersonal Communication (3)
  • ENG 101: College Composition (3)
  • MAT 111: Quantitative Reasoning (3)
  • *PSY 101: Introduction to Psychology (3)
  • *PSY 102: Psychology Seminar (0)

Semester 2—15 Credits:

  • ENG 121: Introduction to Literature (3)
  • *PSY 200: History of Psychology (3)
  • *PSY 204: Abnormal Psychology (3) or PSY 213 Social Psychology (3)
  • *PSY 215: Developmental Psychology (3)
  • SOC 101: Introduction to Sociology (3)

Semester 3—16 Credits:

  • ENG 218: Advanced Academic Writing (3)
  • *PSY 209: Biopsychology (3)
  • *PSY 224: Statistics for Psychology (4)
  • Pathway Elective (3)
  • *PSY 2xx: Psychology Elective (3)

Semester 4—-16 Credits:

  • *PSY 234: Research Methods (4)
  • Creative Arts Elective (3)
  • Pathway Elective (3)
  • Pathway Elective (3)
  • Pathway Elective (3)

Total Credits—63

Pre-requisites for PSY 224: Statistics for Psychology
*PSY 101/102 and MAT 111

Pre-requisites for PSY 234: Research Methods
*PSY 200, *PSY 209, *PSY 224, ENG 218, and 6 other credits in Psychology.

Pathway Electives:

ANT 101: Cultural Anthropology

MHT 105: Mind-Body Connection
MHT 130: Diversity and Culture
MHT 135: Substance Abuse
MHT 201: Policy Knowledge
MHT 204: Behavioral, Psychological, and Rehabilitation Interventions
MHT 205: Trauma and Resiliency
MHT 225: Community Integration and Inclusion
MHT 227: Vocational Supports
MHT 230: Ethics and Professional Conduct
MHT 232: Advanced Topics in Substance Abuse

POL 111: Current Issues in Political Science

*PSY 206: Psychology of Film and Literature
*PSY 208: Advanced Topics in Psychology
*PSY 210: Human Sexuality
*PSY 212: Positive Psychology
*PSY 218: Sensation and Perception
*PSY 220: Behavior Management
*PSY 230: Personality
*PSY 240: Health Psychology
*PSY 245: Forensic Psychology

SOC 108: Leadership Development
SOC 112: Civic Engagement Seminar
SOC 203: Death and Dying
SOC 204: Social Problems
SOC 206: Advanced Topics in Sociology

Criteria for Graduation

Students must complete 60 credits in the program and achieve a minimum grade of “C” in all core PSY designated courses (*). Students must achieve a final GPA of 2.0 or higher.


The Associates of Science in Psychology provides an excellent general education in the field of Psychology.  For many students, the degree will represent the first two years of a four-year degree in Psychology or a related field.  The Department, however, is exploring ways for students to utilize the four “Pathway Electives” to achieve their individualized personal, academic, and professional goals.  In the space below you will find our Pathway programs.

General Psychology Pathway

This Pathway is outlined for those who wish to complete their Associates degree at KVCC and then transfer to a four-year institution.  The Department is currently negotiating transfer agreements with many institutions, please contact your advisor as to which institution you would like to transfer to upon graduation.

This Pathway suggests that the student work cooperatively with their advisor and the admissions/advising departments of the four-year institution to explore which electives at KVCC would be the most beneficial for the student to complete.

Mental Health Rehabilitation Pathway

KVCC supports both the Psychology and Mental Health degree programs and the Faculty in these two Departments work cooperatively to assist our students in refining their goals related to the social sciences.  In addition, both Departments are very familiar with the State of Maine requirements for the Mental Health Rehabilitation Technical – Community (MHRT/C) certification.  To this end the following Pathway provides students with the opportunity to attain their Associates of Science in Psychology but also attain the courses needed to apply for their Provisional MHRT/C certification.

This provisional certification will allow students to exit the program and find work that demands the MHRT/C certification and either seek full certification outside of KVCC or return to KVCC, enroll in the Associates of Applied Science in Mental Health and complete their full MHRT/C certification.

Students wishing to pursue this Pathway are advised to take the following classes to meet their Pathway Elective requirements:

  • MHT 204: Behavioral, Psychological, and Rehabilitation Intervention Models
  • MHT 225: Community Integration and Inclusion
  • MHT 230: Ethics and Professional Conduct
  • One additional MHT course within the Mental Health program.  Students are advised to seek out the Chair of the Mental Health program for information on which classes are available to fulfill this requirement.

Psi Beta

Kennebec Valley Community College Psi Beta Chapter

Psi Beta Image

KVCC and the Department of Social Sciences and Psychology is proud to have been selected to host a Chapter of the American Psychological Association Psi Beta Community College National Honor Society in Psychology.  We are currently the only Chapter of this kind in the Maine Community College System!

According to the Psi Beta website, Psi Beta was founded for the purpose of stimulating, encouraging, and recognizing students’ outstanding scholarship and interest in psychology.  Psi Beta’s mission is to encourage professional development and psychological literacy of all students at two-year colleges through promotion and recognition of excellence in scholarship, leadership, research, and community service.

Local Chapter Information

The application for hosting a Chapter of Psi Beta included the development of a set of local Bylaws to establish the Chapter.  You can review these here.

Kennebec Valley Community College Chapter By Laws [available here in PDF form]:

In accordance with the bylaws, membership in Psi Beta is not limited to students who are Psychology majors, but to any student who meets the requirements for membership.  These include:

  • Have earned the cumulative grade point average standard for the college.  The standard is based upon the cumulative average of 12 or more degree-applicable units that fall into the top 35% of the college’s current full-time student enrollment, or a GPA of 3.25 – whichever is higher.
  • Have earned a “B” or higher in a college psychology course.
  • Have completed at least one introductory psychology course and 12 semester hours total of college credit.
  • High standards of personal behavior and integrity.
  • Have a ¾ affirmative vote of the membership attending a regular chapter meeting.
  • Have received a written invitation to membership from the official chapter.

Membership in Phi Beta requires a one-time fee of $50.  This pays for a lifetime membership in Phi Beta.

Please reach out to Dr. Mark Kavanaugh if you are interested in becoming a member of Psi Beta!  mkavanaugh@kvcc.me.edu)

Benefits and National Resources

Membership in Psi Beta provides the following benefits:

  • Nationally recognized status of achievement in Psychology.
  • Access to networking resources and individuals at a regional and national level.
  • Free membership as a Student Affiliate with the American Psychological Association
  • Subscription to the Monitor on Psychology monthly magazine.
  • Subscription to the quarterly American Psychologist journal.
  • Opportunities to participate in Chapter sponsored events, fund raisers, and service opportunities.
  • Companionship and connection to like-minded peers with an equal fascination with the field of Psychology.

Psi Beta National Council is hard at work preparing new opportunities and resources for Psi Beta students, advisors and chapters. Here are some highlights:

Social Media

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook @psibetanational

Social Media is a great way to stay up to date on all the happenings at Psi Beta National. We would love to hear what your chapter is doing, so tag us (#psibetanational) and be sure to leave us a comment.


National Research Project

Want to get involved in conducting research, but don’t know where to start? We’ve made it easy for you, just log in to the National Research Project on the Psi Beta website and see all the materials for a national study using an intervention to explore gratitude and appreciation, IRB approval, and instructions so you and your chapter can participate in research. Data collection extended to February 2021. Psi Beta Executive Director, Jerry Rudmann will be holding a live streamed webinar in February 2021 to talk about how to clean the data and how to analyze it (webinar will also be recorded).



Psi Beta is now on YouTube, subscribe to PsiBetaNational at https://bit.ly/2IK3S8F to view our 2020 Virtual Induction Video and more. Enjoy our new interview series that includes interviews with psychologists working in different careers related to psychology such as cognitive psychology, cyber psychology, mental health and more

Coffee with the Council

Student Chapter Delegates join us the first Friday of the month (9 – 10 am PST) to chat with other students about their activities, and hear what Psi Beta National is working on from one of the Regional Vice Presidents of Psi Beta. Don’t have a Chapter Delegate yet? Nominate one of your students at: https://psibeta.org/new-psi-beta-chapter-delegates/

Community Service Virtual Opportunities

Does your chapter need ideas for community service projects while we are virtual? Check out this ongoing list of opportunities that you can be a part of while you are at home online.

Fundraising Virtual Opportunities

Psi Beta has compiled some fundraising ideas that chapters are successfully using. Check out these opportunities for your chapter, and share with us on social media how your chapter is fundraising (#psibetanational).

Psi Beta Store

Get your Psi Beta swag at the Psi Beta store! Psi Beta graduation regalia, t-shirts and more!

Psi Beta Certificates now Printable

Lost your certificate, can’t pick up mail at your campus? Psi Beta students can now print out their certificate at home! Log into the registration system and select the option to print.

Free APA Membership to Psi Beta Students extended through December 2021

The American Psychological Association has graciously extended free membership for Psi Beta students through December 2021! Becoming a student affiliate helps you stay informed and connected with one of the largest professional organizations in psychology. Gain access to career resources, digital subscriptions, member discounts, and more resources. Upon joining, list your Student Affiliate membership on your resume or CV, as membership shows that you are committed to furthering your education, that you show initiative, are taking advantage of networking and have an intellectual curiosity – all great skills that employers are looking for!

Access membership at https://bit.ly/2UMhov2

Program Assessment

Alignment with APA Expectations

According to the American Psychological Association, the following categories of learning outcomes should be addressed within the curriculum of a Psychology degree.  This information has been cited from the APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major, Version 2.0 (August 2013).

While these guidelines are primarily for Baccalaureate programs, they will be applied and mapped across the Associates degree.

The Associates in Applied Science in Psychology Program is based on the most current guidelines for learning outcomes in undergraduate psychology programs. In this program, you will learn to:

Knowledge Base in Psychology

  • Describe key concepts, principles, and overarching themes in psychology.
  • Develop a working knowledge of psychology’s content domains.
  • Describe applications of psychology.

Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking

  1. Use scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena.
  2. Demonstrate psychology information literacy.
  3. Engage in innovative and integrative thinking and problem solving.
  4. Interpret, design, and conduct basic psychological research.
  5. Incorporate sociocultural factors in scientific inquiry.

Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World

  1. Apply ethical standards to evaluate psychological science and practice.
  2. Build and enhance interpersonal relationships.
  3. Adopt values that build community at local, national, and global levels.


  1. Demonstrate effective writing for different purposes.
  2. Exhibit effective presentation skills for different purposes.
  3. Interact effectively with others.

Professional Development

  1. Apply psychological content and skills to career goals.
  2. Exhibit self-efficacy and self-regulation.
  3. Refine project-management skills.
  4. Enhance teamwork capacity.
  5. Develop meaningful professional direction for life after graduation.
Alignment with VALUE Outcomes

The Associates of Science in Psychology aligns learning outcomes across the curriculum with the Value-Added Learning for Undergraduate Education (VALUE) Outcomes developed by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).  These outcomes assure that graduates in the program have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate a broad range of knowledge and skills independent of their major.  Many of these outcomes also align with the expectations from the APA.

Below you will find a list of the diverse areas of skill and knowledge outlined by the AAC&U and aligned within the curriculum of this program.

Intellectual and Practical Skills

  • Inquiry and Analysis
  • Critical Thinking
  • Creative Thinking
  • Written Communication
  • Oral Communication
  • Reading
  • Quantitative Literacy
  • Information Literacy
  • Teamwork
  • Problem Solving

Personal and Social Responsibility

  • Civic Engagement
  • Intercultural Knowledge and Competence
  • Ethical Reasoning
  • Foundations and Skills for Lifelong Learning
  • Global Learning

Integrative and Applied Learning

  • Integrative Learning