Mission Statement

In accordance with the mission of Spartanburg Methodist College, the mission of the Department of Psychology is to provide a basic understanding of human behavior and its mental processes. In order to achieve this goal, the Department endeavors to introduce facts, principles and basic scientific approaches on human behavior and to provide an overview of the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social developmental changes from conception to senescence. Relevant education is established by relating classroom learning to actual life experiences through the hosting of Psi Beta seminars and community services.

Psychology Faculty

Heather Austin

Heather Elizabeth Austin

Heather Austin earned a BS in Psychology from Newberry College. She also obtained a MA in Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine from North Central University and a MS in General Psychology from Capella University. Mrs. Austin started at SMC in January, 2014. She currently teaches General  Psychology (PSYC 101).


Pete Aylor

Lawrence K. (Pete) Aylor

Pete Aylor currently teaches General Psychology ( PSYC 101). He earned his BA from Limestone College and his M.Ed from Converse College. His graduate work includes working for Appalachian State University and the University of South Carolina. He was an advisor of Kappa Sigma Alpha Service Fraternity from 1990 to 2016. He is currently the Director of Career and Transfer Services and Adjunct Professor of Psychology (1983 to present) as well an advisor for the college’s Psi Beta National Honor Psychology chapter.

Dr. Mary Jane “Jing” L. Farmer

Dr. Farmer is the head advisor of PSI Beta Honor Society. She earned a MA in Psychology from the University of the Cordilleras and obtained her BS and PhD in Psychology from Saint Louis University. She started at SMC in 2003. She currently teaches General Psychology (PSYC 101) and Developmental Psychology (PSYC 201).

Program of Study

Course Descriptions

PSYC-101: GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY. 3 hours Introduction to facts, principles, and scientific approaches in study of behavior. Emphasis on basic terminology.

PSYC-107: HUMAN POTENTIAL SEMINAR. 1 hour Objectives are to help students become more self-affirming, self-motivating, and self-determining. Exploration of the means by which a student’s self-concept, value awareness, and self-motivation may be strengthened.

PSYC-201: DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY. 3 hours Introduction to life-span developmental psychology, providing an overview of the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social developmental changes from conception to senescence with applications of these changes as they relate to the study of psychology or the teaching of children, youth, or adults. Prerequisite: PSYC-101.

Degree Requirements

ASSOCIATE IN ARTS DEGREE The Associate in Arts degree is designed for students who plan to transfer to colleges or universities in baccalaureate subject areas such as business administration, criminal justice, English, foreign language, history, political science or government, psychology, religious studies, sociology and other arts and letters disciplines. The degree also serves those students planning to earn a baccalaureate degree in education or planning secondary school certification except in the natural sciences or mathematics. The following courses and subject concentrations are required for the Associate in Arts Degree:

Subject/Course Requirement                                             Semester Hours

English 101, 102                                                                               6

Computer Science                                                                           3

History (6) or History (3) and (3) of Social Science

(other than
the Social Science requirement)(2)                                              6

SMC 101, 201(1)                                                                               2

Literature                                                                                           3

Mathematics (112 or higher)                                                         3 or 4

PHED 121, Health 101, 201 or MILI                                               2 or 3

Public Speaking or Oral Communication                                   3

Religion 103, 211, 212, 215, or 220                                               3

Religion (any RELI other than RELI requirement),
Literature (any LITR other than LITR requirement),
PHIL 201, Art Appreciation, Music
Appreciation, or Drama Appreciation                                        3

Science                                                                                             8

Social Science²                                                                                6

Electives                                                                                          15

Total                                                                                              63-65


1 See catalog paragraph “Alternative Course Requirements” for transfer and non-traditional students’ requirements, p. 39.
2 “Social Science” shall be interpreted to mean Anthropology 101; Economics (BSAD 201,202); Political Science 202,203; Psychology 101; Sociology 101; History 101,102,112,201,202 (other than that course used for History requirement).



PSI BETA, the Honor Society in Psychology

Each member must have established an overall minimum GPA of 3.25, must have at least a “B” in PSYC 101 (General Psychology) and must have completed at least 12 academic hours. Psi Beta membership is lifetime.
For five consecutive years now (since 2011), SMC Psi Beta has been nationally recognized with the Chapter Excellence Award and for the school year 2015-2016, the Ann E. Garrett Robinson College Life Award. Likewise, the SMC community recognized Psi Beta with the Outstanding Service Award for rendering 180+ hours of community service for the school year 2015-2016.
Psi Beta seminars are hosted on a regular semester-basis. The actual-life topics for discussions and fora are related to theories and concepts learned in the classroom. Professionals from various disciplines are invited to share their knowledge and experiences appertaining to the topics of discussion

Viva Academia

We celebrate academics by hosting excellent research works and papers conducted by our students. A select few is invited to present their research papers before the student body.

The Psi Beta Award

Given annually to a member or officer of Psi Beta who displays sound leadership, maturity and responsibility, as well as commitment and dedication to the organization.

The Psychology Award

Given annually for academic achievement in Psychology. Candidates must have finished with a final course grade of A in both PSYC 101 (General Psychology) and PSYC 201 (Developmental Psychology) and must have displayed academic discipline, integrity, and leadership.

Community Services

Community Services are rendered to non-profit organizations. These are excellent endeavors that allow our students to be of service to the Spartanburg community and at the same time provide for them eye-opening learning opportunities.