Psychological and Social Services

Effective Fall 2020, this certificated will no longer be available.  Students who are in the process of obtaining this certificate will be able to complete their education and obtain the certificate. 

This certificate is being replaced by the Social Work and Human Services Certificate (SWHS). Please see the Home Page for more information.

We are excited to announce the Social Work and Human Services Certificate (SWHS).  Web Page coming soon.

For additional information or questions, please contact:

James Fent, LMFT, PT, CADC III

Program Coordinator

760-744-1150 X2188

Psychological and Social Services (PSS) Mission Statement:

The Psychological and Social Services (PSS) Program provides classes and field placement opportunities to fulfill a variety of student needs.  The program allows students to evaluate their interests and aptitudes for understanding the psychological, physiological, and social foundations involved in the development of client issues within the human services field.  In supervised field placement experiences, students practice effective communication skills and have the opportunity to develop methods for providing services to clients in a variety of social service organizations.

To work in the human services field requires an understanding of psychological and sociological principles, expertise in communication skills, and effective time management, in addition to a sincere desire to help others.  The PSS program and the additional offering in Alcohol and Other Drug Studies (AODS) have been designated to develop human services workers with these characteristics.

Certificate – Psychological and Social Services:

The PSS Certificate consists of nine (9) courses in the behavioral sciences, including introductory courses in psychology and sociology, more advanced topics such as abnormal behavior and learning principles, courses in counseling and communication skills, and supervised field experience internship courses that provide opportunities to work in human services agencies and social service organizations.

The certificate program serves many functions for students.  Some use their completion of the program in order to document their skills and eligibility for entry-level employment in the human services field.  Their supervised field experiences (a minimum of 135 hours) have given them opportunities to work directly with agency clients and to document their knowledge and skills in delivering services. Students will have an impressive resume and references to support what they have accomplished.

Other students rely on the field placement courses as a way to explore their interests and aptitudes for a human service career and for exploring the various types of academic preparations for counseling, therapy, social work and marriage and family therapy. The students obtain exposure to a wide variety of human services needs, including child abuse, domestic violence, chemical dependency and addiction, homelessness, and assault issues.

Required Courses:

COUN 100 Introduction to Basic Counseling Skills 3 units, Fall, Spring
PSYC 100 Introduction to Psychology 3 units, Fall, Spring, Summer
PSYC/SOC/ AODS 140 Intro to Psychological and Social Services 4 units, Fall, Spring
PSYC 225 Psychology of Abnormal Behavior 3 units, Fall, Spring
PSYC 235 Learning/Behavior Modification 3 units, offered at least every two years
PSYC/SOC/ AODS 298 Directed Field Experience I, 5 units, Fall, Spring
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology 3 units, Fall, Spring, Summer
SOC 110 Social Problems 3 units, Fall, Spring

Electives (Select 3 units)

PSYC/SOC 105 Marriage, Family and Intimate Relationships 3 units, Fall, Spring, Summer
PSYC 110 Developmental Psychology – Child/Adult 3 units, Fall, Spring,
PSYC 115 Psychology of Personal Growth 3 units, offered every year
PSYC/SOC 120 Social Psychology 3 units, Fall, Spring
PSYC/SOC 145 Psychology and Sociology of Aging 3 units, offered at least every two years
AODS/PSYC/SOC 155 Physiology/Pharmacology of Psychoactive Drugs 3 units, Fall, Spring

A grade of ‘C’ or higher must be achieved in all certificate courses.   A Department Chair/Director may waive one (1) ‘D’ grade with written justification.

AA Degree – Psychological and Social Services:

Palomar College offers an AA Degree in Psychological and Social Services (PSS).  The AA Degree Major in PSS requires the same 9 courses as the Certificate of Achievement above.  In addition, the Associate in Arts degree requires completion of a minimum of sixty (60) degree-applicable semester units to include the district requirements and general education requirements listed below.

Courses numbered 1-49 do not count in the sixty (60) units toward the degree.

It is advisable to make an appointment with a Palomar College counselor for details about educational planning for an AA, including English, Math and Reading assessment testing.  To make an appointment go to Palomar College Counseling Center .  To sign up for the placement testing, go to Assessment Office .

Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (‘C’ average) or higher for all degree-applicable course work attempted.
Complete the AA Degree District Requirements. Complete English 100 with a grade of ‘C’ or better.
Competence in Mathematics
Competence in American History and Institutions/California Government
Competence in Health and Physical Education
Competence may be demonstrated by course completion, examination, or military service (for Health 100).

Multicultural Requirement. Students may satisfy this requirement by completing a minimum of 3 units from the approved courses listed in the current catalog.

Complete the AA Degree General Education Requirements. See the current catalog for courses approved to meet the AA General Education requirements:
A1.English Composition,
A2.Analytical Thinking and Oral Communication
B. Natural Sciences
C. Humanities
D. Social and Behavioral Sciences
E. Integrated Self and Life Long Learning

Complete 9 courses for the AA degree major. Coun 100, Psyc 100, AODS/PSYC/SOC 140, Psyc 225, Psyc 235, AODS/PSYC/SOC 298, Soc 100, Soc 110 and one 3 unit course from list above.
Course Descriptions

COUN 100; Introduction to Basic Counseling Skills (3) Transfer acceptability: CSU An introduction to the principles and practices of counseling and interviewing.
A systematic development of the basic skills essential for effective counseling.
Combines informal lecture, videotapes, and role playing interactions. Practicum experience will be required.

SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology (3) Transfer acceptability: CSU; UC;
A study of the principles and problems pertaining to group behavior, the relationships among human beings, the development and nature of institutions, and the structure of society.

PSYC 100 introduction to Psychology (3) Transfer acceptability: CSU; UC; A general introduction to the principles of human and animal behavior. Topics covered include history of psychology, research thinking, intelligence, lifespan development, gender and human sexuality, motivation and emotion, health psychology, personality, psychological disorders, therapy, social psychology, and other related topics (e.g., industrial/organizational psychology, sports psychology, environmental psychology, forensic psychology). Emphasis is placed upon the relationship between general principles of psychology and their practical applications.

SOC 110 Social Problems (3) Transfer acceptability: CSU; UC; Identification and analysis of contemporary social problems in the United States, with emphasis on the sociological factors involved. Topics include poverty and economic inequality; gender inequality; racial and ethnic inequality; problems in the family, government, education, and the economy; crime; drug use; warfare and violence, among others. A critical evaluation of the causes and solutions.

PSYC 120/SOC 120 Social Psychology (3) Transfer acceptability: CSU; UC  Explores relationships between the behavior of individuals and the structure of society. Emphasizes the importance of language, roles, and the concept of the self in the socialization process.

PSYC 105 / SOC 105 Marriage, Family, and Intimate Relationships (3) Transfer acceptability: CSU, UC A study of the psychology and sociology of the family and intimate relationships. Emphasizes factors that enhance interpersonal relationships. Topics include love, marital choice, communication, conflict, and changing models of the family. Examines cross-cultural and historical factors that impact the family as a social institution and the impact of gender, race and ethnicity, social class, age, and sexual orientation on family organization.

PSYC 145/SOC 145 Psychology and Sociology of Aging (3) Transfer acceptability: CSU A multi disciplinary approach to the field of gerontology; historical, demographic, psychological, and sociological aspects of aging.

AODS/PSYC/SOC 155 The Physiology and Pharmacology of Psychoactive Drugs (3) Transfer acceptability: CSU This course will examine how psychoactive drugs affect the nervous system. Ways of classifying drugs will be identified including the processes of physical and psychological dependence, tolerance, withdrawal, and genetic predispositions. Temporary and long-term affective, behavioral, cognitive, biological, and social consequences of psychoactive drug use will be explored, including disorders such as Korsakoff’s syndrome and other nutritional deficiencies.

PSYC 110 Developmental Psychology – Child Through Adult (3) Transfer acceptability: CSU; UC
A chronological study of human growth and development throughout the lifespan. Heredity and environmental determinants of behavior and developmental research methods are emphasized. The importance of social experience in the family, school, peer groups, and society are examined.

PSYC 235 Principles of Learning and Behavior Modification (3) Transfer acceptability: CSU; UC The basic principles and research in classical conditioning, operant conditioning, cognitive learning processes, the impact of biochemical processes on learning, and application of behavior modification techniques for changing behavior.

PSYC 115 The Psychology of Personal Growth: Transfer acceptability: CSU Emphasis on self understanding through the study of the individual and relationships which contribute to unique personal development; application of the fundamental concepts of psychology which aid in examining one’s own personal environment and the interaction with that environment.

PSYC 225 Psychology of Abnormal Behavior (3) Prerequisite: PSYC 100 Transfer acceptability: CSU; UC Identification and description of the various types of psychological abnormalities, deficiencies, and disorders which may interfere with a human individual’s ability to cope with the demands of the surroundings. All of the major psychiatric categories will be covered as well as the types of personality problems which lead to domestic, social, and economic inadequacies, and in some instances, to difficulties with the law.

AODS/PSYC/SOC 140 Introduction to Psychological and Social Services (4) 3 hours lecture-3 hours laboratory Transfer acceptability: CSU An overview of the theoretical basis of counseling skills, including social work, psychodynamic, behavioral, and client-centered approaches. The roles of psychologists, sociologists, social workers, family therapists, and therapeutic support providers are compared and contrasted, and the issues they deal with are described. This course provides students with an opportunity to observe actual practices of human services providers working as interdisciplinary team members in an agency setting. Through cooperative efforts of provider agencies, the instructor, and the student, the skills utilized for entry level employment are observed, practiced, and evaluated under supervision.

AODS 298/PSYC 298/SOC 298 Directed Field Experience I (5) 3 hours lecture-6 hours laboratory Transfer acceptability: CSU Principles of interpersonal conflict dynamics and approaches for conflict resolution are analyzed. Non-directive, directive and behavior modification skills that are used to increase motivation for positive behavioral change are compared and evaluated. Field placement provides students with an opportunity to observe human services providers dealing with conflict in agency settings using structured and informal conflict resolution approaches. Interns are also provided with opportunities to practice conflict resolution techniques and skills for increasing motivation for positive change.