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A Closer Look at the Study of Psychology at EMCC

By Lacey Holstein
Psychology Studies at EMCC

Today, psychology is a popular field of study. According to, psychology ranked number two on its list of “Top 10 College Majors,” second only to Business Administration and Management/Commerce.

Psychology is the applied, or cognitive, approach to studying mental functions and behaviors in an academic setting. In this field, some psychology majors may choose to conduct field research. Others decide to use their knowledge for the benefit of people around them by entering a clinical setting or having a private counseling practice.

The number of psychology classes currently offered at EMCC, therefore, is extensive. With a growing number of new areas of research emerging, it is a must for students to be familiar with the basics first.

For students who are either looking to meet General Studies requirements or to start out in a career of psychology, taking Introduction to Psychology (PSY101) is their first requirement. It offers a survey of the field and will help students who want to continue in psychology to determine which specific area they are interested in.

“Unlike most subjects, psychology has become uniquely diverse,” said psychology student Paris Guzman, a student here at EMCC. “There are now a wide range of careers that you can choose from in this field.”

To keep pace with these changes, EMCC offers classes such as “Psychology of Religion” and “Psychology and Culture.”

Studying psychology at EMCC does not require students to learn theoretical information only. Guzman, who took Introduction to Psychology (PSY101) during the spring 2013 semester with Jean Norris-Bernal, recalls how this instructor would tell stories from her days as a therapist with a private practice, sharing real-life examples to illustrate psychological terms.

“Ms. Bernal opened up a window for students because of her willingness to talk about her own experiences and encouraged us to voice our opinion on any psychological topic that intrigued us, even if it wasn’t directly mentioned in our textbook.”

Norris-Bernal described her teaching approach this way, “With 20 years of clinical experience under my belt and a lifetime of family interaction, my life is an open book to my students so  they get a better understanding of those concepts that appear to be so complicated in their textbook.”

For more information about studying psychology at EMCC, please visit the department website: