The School of Behavioral Sciences is comprised of five different programs: Exercise Science, Human Services, Outdoor Education, Psychology, and Sociology.
The Exercise Science major has two fairly distinct career paths that include pre-professional science for allied medical and health fields and fitness for public or private industry or educational settings. The science option provides the depth of study of the human body’s structure and function that provides the prerequisite knowledge for admission to graduate programs such as Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Exercise Science, and Physician’s Assistant. Students wanting to enter fitness-based professions as personal trainers, fitness personnel managers, or floor managers, require the business background of finance, marketing and promotion, and personal interaction. These students take the management option.
The Human Services major is an interdisciplinary program that reflects the reality of the human service philosophy and occupations. The major teaches the common knowledge and skills and then allows students to pursue one of three emphases in Community Service, Gerontology or Probations and Law Enforcement. Students who have completed the AAS in Law Enforcement Technology from Western Dakota Technical Institute since 2000 with course work grades of “C” or better might be eligible for 16 hours of electives when selecting this major with the Probation & Law Enforcement Emphasis. The 36 hours of major requirements must be completed prior to the electives being awarded.
Outdoor Education is an interdisciplinary major combining instruction in basic environmental sciences, training in education skills for outdoor settings, and experience in adventure programming pursuits.
The goals of the Psychology major are to prepare students for successful entry level employment and provide a strong academic foundation for graduate and professional study in psychology, counseling, and other related fields. The curriculum includes a liberal arts foundation as well as courses focusing on specific knowledge about animal and human behavior. Students are introduced to psychology as a discipline, a science, and a profession with many areas of application. As part of the program, students have opportunities to enroll in internships in applied areas and engage in faculty mentored research projects.
The Sociology major develops the acquisition of a sociological perspective that incorporates an understanding of social structures and their influences on human behavior, methods of research and empirical analysis, and linkages between private troubles and public issues. The curriculum offers the opportunities for multiple experiences in using the sociological imagination, linking their personal lives to larger social processes, building and applying theory, and collecting and evaluating data to examine and test the theories.