Students at Mississippi State University-Meridian now can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in educational psychology.
“We are constantly looking for ways we can expand opportunities for students interested in working in the educational environment, both here locally and across the state,” said Kimberly Hall, head of MSU-Meridian’s Division of Education. “We felt adding this degree program was a good fit.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the market for educational psychologists is projected for 15% job growth over the next several years.
Educational psychologists focus on understanding the science of learning. They are particularly interested in factors that affect student learning and achievement, such as motivation, individual differences in abilities, student exceptionalities, creative thinking and personality. Educational psychology also includes learning techniques for assessment, statistics and research methodology.
Hall said the new degree program provides foundational knowledge related to children’s and adolescents’ social, emotional, academic, and behavioral development and needs. Such education can be especially useful to students interested in working in the prekindergarten through high school environment, including those who may want to pursue a graduate counseling degree or even an alternate route license.
“We also think the courses offered in the program, which focus on learning needs, student motivation and classroom management strategies, are a nice complement to Mississippi State’s elementary education degree, and we anticipate students in that program being interested in taking additional classes offered in the educational psychology degree program,” Hall said.
Carlen Henington, professor of educational and school psychology, spearheaded the development of the program on the Meridian campus. She previously served as program coordinator for educational psychology on MSU’s Starkville campus.
Hall praised Henington, a recent recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Contribution to Practice Award, as a “wonderful addition to our team.”