Education & Psychology

The Education and Psychology Department

at Southwestern Adventist University provides a high-quality educational experience. We prepare individuals for careers in multiple educational settings and a wide range of counseling and mental health professions. Our faculty brings expertise through earned degrees and real-world experience to their teaching. Our goal is to provide meaningful learning experiences to promote critical thinking, knowledge acquisition, and problem-solving skills. All teaching and learning are focused on preparation for the classroom, clinical practice, research, and other relevant settings.


A vital feature of our education program is integrating field experience from the freshmen year until graduation.  

Our students complete: many hours of observations, peer teaching, and engagement in the local classrooms in addition to a 14-week student teaching experience in their final semester. Additional experience is available for students interested in working in our on-campus reading lab for children in the community or one of several tutoring positions available in the community’s public and private schools.  

Our psychology program is proud to offer a one-of-a-kind B.S. degree in Psychology with an emphasis on School Guidance.  

This degree combines psychology and education for those interested in becoming a school counselor. Students have the opportunity to build a solid foundation in psychology while they prepare for teaching in the elementary classroom. The State of Texas requires school counselors to teach for two years prior to earning licensure for school counseling. The intent is to prepare individuals to teach while, at the same time, they obtain the requisite experience in the classroom, they can pursue a master’s degree in school counseling



"My name is Anabella Lopez and I graduated from Southwestern Adventist University almost three years ago. My experience was a very enriching and valuable one. Being in the Department of Education and Psychology was the best decision that I could have made. I was exposed to many things that would later help me in my career and even in life. During my time in the program, I was lucky enough to be pushed out of my comfort zone by my professors in every way. They looked out for me academically as well as personally. One of the things they encouraged me to do was to become the social vice president for the department. This experience is something that helped me to later become the (student association) social vice president for SWAU and also get a development internship with Make a Wish Foundation due to my previous experience.
Being a teacher, they say that your first year is your worst due to not being fully equipped and not knowing what to expect. I can honestly say that my first year was the best … because during my experience in the Department of Education and Psychology I was given the best mentors, hands on experience, practical lessons for day to day teaching, lesson planning tools, and classroom management strategies. I am currently getting my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and that means at least seven papers are due each semester. This, to another student, may seem overwhelming, but my time in the department made me feel more prepared for it. Being in the program, we learned how to correctly write in APA form and how to get our thoughts out on paper correctly. I feel blessed to have had time at Southwestern Adventist University and I will always be a Knight at heart!"

-Anabella Lopez, Class of 2017

Anabella Lopez poses sitting on a chair next to a plant in a sleeveless red jumpsuit


B.S. Elementary Education

Do you have a dream of mentoring and educating the future generations? Then maybe a B.S. in Elementary Education is the perfect degree for you! With this degree, you will be able to provide young students a strong basic foundation for future schooling.

B.S. Psychology

The Department of Education and Psychology at Southwestern Adventist University offers a BS in Psychology. A professional program in psychology is relevant for nearly every profession and allows students to make relevant connections and practical applications in their careers.

B.S. Psychology, Emphasis in School Guidance

Do you have a passion for helping young people reach their full potential? Then a B.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in School Guidance might be the perfect career for you! With this degree you will have a strong foundation and understanding to mentor the upcoming generations.

Minor in Psychology

With a Minor in Psychology, you will open the doors to a diverse career field. You will learn the important fundamentals of human behavior, which is a key skill in any profession. This minor can be nicely paired with a degree in education, nursing, or business.

Academic Foundations

Academic Foundations for Education and Psychology cover various areas of study. This includes courses in English, history, social sciences, mathematics, computer science, health, physical education, and religion.

Secondary Teaching Certification

Are you planning on teaching in the psychology or education field? Make sure you earn your teaching certification first! Check out the options!

M.Ed. Master of Education

Are you a dedicated educator who dreams beyond the classroom? Then maybe it is time to earn your Masters in Education! With a M.Ed., you will gain a broader perspective that will include management and strategy. 

M.A. Master of Arts in Counseling

Are you in the field of psychology and wanting to advance in your career? Then maybe it’s time to earn your Master of Arts in Counseling! With this Master’s, you will be able to pursue advanced degrees in psychology and counseling that will accommodate your career.

Outside on a bench sits a student with red earphones in as she reads a book

Alternative Certification Program

The Alternative Certification Program is designed for individuals who are in possession of an undergraduate degree and their degree is not in the field of education, but they want to enter the teaching profession. It is our goal to prepare individuals for State Certification in the State of Texas in just 12-18 months.


News & Events

Three Students Teach More Than 300 Students!

Teaching the Teachers

SWAU Students

SWAU Welcomes 9 New Full Time Faculty to Campus Family

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Southwestern Adventist University Moves to the Cloud with Ellucian

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Equity, Education, and the American Dream

Armando Miranda, Jr. Shares His SWAU Journey

SWAU Hosts Graduation for Class of 2021

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A Gift that Lasts: Raquel Villa

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Students Gain Hands-On Experience Despite COVID-19

Graduating seniors throw their caps in the air while being surrounded by proud faculty and staff

Southwestern Adventist University’s Class of 2020

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Southwestern Adventist University Launches SWAU Online

Southwestern Adventist University Strategizes for the Future 

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diversity, ranking, us news


wellness, health, lifestyle, university, college, community service

SWAU Announces New Wellness-Focused Quality Enhancement Plan

Your Future


With a combined degree in education and psychology, you will be prepared to enter the work field to teach and mentor the next generation. Psychologists and educators have a rewarding career helping people achieve their full potential and you will be able to work in a hospital, school, private practice, clinics, or corporate facilities.


  • Teacher
  • Principal
  • Diagnostician
  • Superintendent of Schools
  • Speech Pathology
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Technology Director
  • Curriculum Director
  • Social Services Case Manager
  • Probation Officer
  • Psychology Technician


Average median pay for a Psychologist in 2019

Faculty Profiles

Cheryl The, Ph.D.

Department of Education & Psychology
Professor and Department Chair

Heather Archer Wilson, ME.D

Department of Education & Psychology
Assistant Professor

Michael England, EdD

Department of Education & Psychology
Adjunct Faculty

Lynette Frantzen, PhD

Department of Education & Psychology
Associate Professor

Keila Santos-Crespo, Psy. D.

Department of Education & Psychology
Associate Professor