Catawba College began in 1851 in the town of Newton, North Carolina. This area located in the foothills was founded by German pioneers who traveled from eastern Pennsylvania in the 1740s to settle in the valleys near the Haw, Yadkin and Catawba Rivers. The settlers established the North Carolina Classis of the Reformed Church in 1831 and an Education Society was born from that church in 1834, designed to prepare young men to attend schools in the north that were part of the Reformed Church. The hope was that that the young men would return to serve in the ministry.
In 1848, at a meeting of the Classis at St. Matthew’s Arbor, a decision was made that the Education Society establish a college nearby. They decided to call it Catawba after the Native American tribe that had already provided the name of the county and the river flowing nearby. The college opened its doors in 1851 on ten acres of donated land and an initial capital investment of $15,000.
The Civil War brought times of struggle for the small college, despite its prosperity in the early years. Funds and students were not available during the war and the school became Catawba High School from 1865 to 1885, operating as an academy. In 1885, the school resumed operations under its initial charter. The school became co-educational in 1890, but even permitting women to attend did not address the financial hardship the school still suffered following the war.
In 1923, the Newton campus was closed and the school moved to Salisbury after an offer was made of a partially constructed dormitory-administration building and several acres of land. In 1957, the Evangelical and Reformed Church, who had oversight over the college, merged with the Congressional Christian Churches to form the United Church of Christ. Although there are no sectarian restrictions at Catawba College, the school is still affiliated with the United Church of Christ.
Today, Catawba College has 41 buildings on 276 wooded acres and is known for its 189-acre on-campus ecological preserve as well as its 300-acre wildlife refuge.
Catawba College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Accreditation shows that an institute of higher learning has met or exceeded criteria that demonstrate excellence in education, consistently revises and improves their curriculum while also offering all programs to a diverse student population.
High school students who wish to attend Catawba must complete an application for admission and provide an official copy of their high school transcript. Students must also provide official SAT or ACT scores and a letter of recommendation from the teacher of a core subject. Students must provide a 500 to 600 word essay as well. Students with a GPA of 3.25 or higher are eligible to apply for admission under the Test Optional Policy that allows them to apply without providing standardized test scores. However, test scores will be required for course placement after the student is accepted.
Students who have graduated from high school or obtained their GED who have earned any college credits are considered transfer students. It is recommended that transfer students have at least 24 semester hours in college level work with a GPA of 2.0 or higher. Students who have less than 24 semester hours will be required to provide high school transcripts for admission.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time tuition at Catawba is $28,730 or $750 per credit hour. Financial aid is available and, each year, Catawba provides over $6 million in direct aid to students. In order to qualify for financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. Aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships and student loans for those who qualify.
Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology
The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Catawba College provides students with the basics of the psychological perspective toward understanding human behavior. Students are able to gain an in-depth background in psychology through core classes and laboratory requirements. In addition, they are able to secure job placement or graduate school admissions through their choice of electives. Courses required for the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology include:
- Data Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences
- Experimental Psychology
- Child or Adolescent Psychology
- Psychology of Personality
- Abnormal Psychology
- Fundamentals of Neuroscience or Cognitive Processes
- Social Psychology
Students are provided an opportunity to see learn about various areas of psychology through a set of common experiences. Students develop a general, basic background in psychology through a general approach to the field of study rather than presenting a specific school-of-thought. The program is designed to give students maximum flexibility that is most in line with their career interests. Students who are planning to move on to graduate education are able to build upon these requirements throughout the course of study by choosing appropriate electives, while those who plan to gain employment after graduation may want to supplement the degree with courses in business or English.
Students are also able to supplement any degree program at Catawba College with a psychology minor. The minor requires students to take general psychology along with 15 to 17 semester hours of psychology electives. At least two of the courses must be at the 3000-level.
In either the psychology major or minor, students may choose to enter into internships in order to gain practical experience. Catawba provides assistance to students in obtaining practicums, independent study and internships that may enhance their education.
Catawba’s psychology program combines the scientific aspects of psychology with the application of science in order to address human concerns. Students are provided the knowledge and tools to unravel multiple relationships, address socioeconomic and cultural factors and understand the family dynamics that can lead someone to develop mental or emotional distress.
Catawba College offers flexible course schedules that are designed for working adults who have family, work or social obligations that prevent them from attending traditional classes in order to achieve their higher education goals. The psychology department offers programs that are based in a strong liberal arts curriculum but provide information on the importance of research in the area of mental health.