FAMU offers psychology graduate degree

Students can now receive an Education Specialist degree from the Department of Psychology graduate program.

This is the first time the graduate program at Florida A&M University has been accredited by the Florida Department of Education to offer the degree.

FDOE said all universities in Florida have three standards they must follow in order to receive accreditation.

The overall curriculum of the department, admission requirements and progress of graduates are areas the state reviews to determine approval.

The psychology department now offers two fully accredited degrees in the graduate program, which are the Masters of Science degree and the Education Specialist degree.

Dr. DeAnna M. Burney, program director since 2003, said the state approval equips students with more opportunities in the job industry when they graduate.

“Students graduating from the program will be certifiable and graduate from a state approved program at the Education Specialist level,” she said.

Burney said faculty is excited the department “continues to exceed the expectations of state and national associations” like the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

The program has also maintained accreditation at the Master’s level, she said.

“We are very pleased to accomplish this goal in a short time period,” said Ralph Turner, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The psychology department is under the college.

Turner said FAMU students and faculty meet the national standards and can work anywhere in the country.

Burney has also been conducting two ongoing research studies.

He is working with Dr. Raeford Brown and the FAMU Safety Team on two focuses: the impact of seatbelt usage and students driving under the influence.

“We’ve distributed bracelets and T-shirts and showed videos in dormitories on FAMU students who died in car accidents,” Brown said.

Burney is researching a two-year follow-up on the post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) Hurricane Katrina victims experienced and gentrification within New Orleans.

Gentrification is a process in which low-income areas are rebuilt, which displaces poor residents, according to Merriam-Webster online.

After three years, Burney noticed high levels of depression, stress and anxiety existing amongst victims.

Due to the poverty levels that exist, areas aren’t being rebuilt, he said.

Burney said the department is currently recruiting for the School Psychology Graduate Program.

For more information, contact Burney at (850) 412-7870. Her office is located in the Gore Education Center, Unit C, Room 309.