Students attending Maryville College now have three new options, with majors in developmental psychology, elementary education and environmental science, MC announced Wednesday.

Developmental psychology, which is part of the college’s Division of Behavioral Sciences, is designed for students who are interested in developmental science across the lifespan and in providing services to children, adolescents and adults.

Students still have the option of majoring in traditional psychology, which includes a counseling track, the college said.

The developmental psychology major offers options in three contemporary tracks of developmental science: child trauma and resilience, community psychology, relationship and sexual heath, as well as an option for an individualized focus. Students also can minor in these three tracks of developmental psychology.

Developmental psychology majors often pursue graduate studies within clinical mental health, speech and language intervention, special education, social work, elder care, gerontology, criminal justice, counseling psychology, public health promotion, law, public policy, advocacy and other areas.

The elementary education major replaces the previous child development and learning for teacher licensure major, which has prepared teachers for K-5 classrooms for decades. This update places greater emphasis on the formal study of teaching or pedagogy and the complex relationship between teaching and learning.

The elementary education major is supported by early field experiences that play a critical role in preparing candidates for their careers. All candidates develop a strong understanding of child development, the processes of learning and teaching, and the skills to design, implement and assess instruction for diverse student populations. The program culminates in a semester-long student teaching experience.

The environmental science major recognizes that today’s complex environmental problems require a new, interdisciplinary approach that integrates knowledge from many fields, including biology, chemistry and the earth sciences.

“Maximizing our prime location, the environmental science major addresses global environmental change and related consequences, which demand attention,” said Jerilyn Swann, associate academic dean, director of institutional research and professor of biology at Maryville College.

Through a combination of laboratory-based and field-based research, environmental science majors develop a holistic understanding of the processes that drive environmental issues.

The college’s proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains (the most biodiverse park in the national park system) and its partnerships with related local, state and federal entities gives students unique opportunities for research, internships, practicums and other real-world experiences, MC said. Students also benefit from learning opportunities made possible by the College Woods, a 140-acre protected and managed multiuse forest inside the 263-acre campus.

Career options for environmental scientists are broad-ranging and are found in government, industry and academia. Examples include environmental consultant, wildlife manager, forester, ecologist and conservation biologist.

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