New programs in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Clinical psychology minor/concentration

Clinical PsychologyClinical psychology is the largest specialty area in the field of psychology, accounting for approximately half of all jobs within the discipline. Clinical psychology takes theories and research findings about people’s biological, psychological, and social functioning and applies it to the assessment, treatment, and prevention of mental illness and abnormal behavior. At Mason, students working on their doctoral degrees in psychology may select a concentration in clinical psychology as they prepare for their work in the field.

This opportunity will now be available for undergraduates. A new clinical psychology minor for non-psychology majors and concentration for psychology majors is intended to help students learn about the primary roles of clinical psychologists: assessment, treatment, research, prevention, and consultation with other health professionals. The students also learn about the research on underlying biopsychosocial causes of specific mental disorders and evidence-based assessment and treatment techniques. The minor could benefit any student who may work with psychologists in the future or want to better understand people’s psychological functioning.

Korean studies minor

Korean studiesThe Department of Modern and Classical Languages is offering a new minor in Korean studies. The move is supported by a strong interest in Korean language and culture studies, evidenced by enrollment data from the Modern Language Association and information gathered from students currently enrolled in Mason’s Korean language classes.

The university has offered a Korean language program since 2006. Interest in the program—and course offerings—has grown steadily; in August 2013, the Korean Studies Program became part of the 4-VA shared curriculum, offering classes to students at James Madison University via telepresence. Mason supports two Korea- based study abroad programs in Yonsei University in Seoul and Mason Korea in Songdo.

The minor’s prerequisites are the elementary, intermediate, and gateway to advanced Korean courses (or demonstrated proficiency at the level of the gateway to advanced Korean). Students will complete 9 credits in Korean language and culture at the 300 and 400 levels in Korean and an additional 3 credits in Korean literature, culture, or society in English. The remaining 6 credits may be taken through relevant electives offered elsewhere in the university.

Women and gender studies concentration in the School of Integrative Studies

Bathroom signThe School of Integrative Studies is offering a new concentration—women and gender studies—within its bachelor of arts in integrative studies major. This move complements the current option for a minor in the discipline, and the concentration has been designed to serve as a conduit into the accelerated master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in women and gender studies.

Kelly Dunne, executive director of the School of Integrative Studies, says the partnership with the Women and Gender Studies Program makes sense. Because of the range of courses taught through the integrative studies curriculum, many of them support the coursework appropriate for the women and gender studies degree.

“Offering the major within the established framework of an integrative studies degree allows the program to expand its curriculum offerings without the need for additional resources,” she says. “We hope that this collaboration with women and gender studies is the first of many partnerships with other units around the university.”

Angela Hattery, director of the Women and Gender Studies Program, is enthusiastic about the concentration. “Our students, faculty, and staff are thrilled to work with SIS,” she says. “The experiential emphasis is absolutely in line with all that we care about.”

Well-being minor in the School of Integrative Studies

FlowerThe School of Integrative Studies (SIS) is reshaping its minor in consciousness and transformation to a minor in well-being, to reflect the changes within the university’s structure and to realign the minor with the changing emphases of the faculty’s teaching. Kelly Dunne, the school’s executive director, explains that a program in con- sciousness and transformation “made sense when [Mason] had a Center for Consciousness and Transformation. But that center has evolved into the Center for Advancement of Well-Being, and . . . as the center has evolved, [the faculty’s] teaching has evolved more into areas around well-being.

“What we did is basically call the minor what it is,” says Dunne. “It aligns much better with the university’s goals and mission.”

The well-being minor draws its core courses from SIS, as well as from the Department of Global and Community Health in the College of Health and Human Services. Electives for the minor include courses within the College of Health and Human Services, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the College of Education and Human Development, and, of course, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Dunne notes that the mix goes beyond “interdisciplinarity,” to a mix that is truly cross-university.