Applied Psychology/Human Services


About This Program

The A.S. degree in Applied Psychology/Human Services is a one-of-a-kind program in the state that provides a strong foundation of knowledge and skills for students interested in a variety of human services related field. This program offers students a transformative learning experience that emphasizes engagement and application of learning, including direct field experience. Students completing the program are well-prepared for seamless transfer to earn a four-year degree in a human service-related field (such as psychology, social work, addictions, corrections, etc.), as well to enter into the workforce with their two-year degree.

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Degrees & Credits

A.S. Degree (60 credits)


Program Video

Program Features


Obtain hands-on, real-world experience doing a practicum in your area of interest! This is a unique opportunity at the 2-year level.

Qualify to be a Mental Health Practitioner

Applied Psychology/Human Services graduates who have completed 30+ semester hours in the behavior science field AND completed a practicum involving direct interaction with clients who are adults or children, may qualify to be Mental Health Practitioners (MHPs)*. MHPs are in demand, and command a higher salary than non-MHPs entering the field.

*Employers have the discretion of directly hiring as MHP, or requiring additional work/supervised work experience. Each employer may differ on this.

Active learning / emphasis on application

Utilization of experiential activities, class discussion, and real world applications to engage students and promote learning.

Professional Ethics

Emphasis on human services professional ethics and ethical guidelines. Professional ethics infused into class curriculums.

Human-animal classroom connections

Dogs, bunnies, and horses, OH MY! Canines (and other animals) in the classroom promote learning, facilitate engagement and connections, and lessen stress – leading to fun and positive educational experience.

Career Paths

• Mental Health Practitioner (Children or Adult Services)
• School based mental health services
• Child care counselor
• ARMHS practitioner
• Residential support staff
• Advocate
• Crisis work
With further education (some examples include):
• Adolescent counselor
• Human services administrator
• Career counselor
• Case manager
• Alcohol and drug counselor
• Probation or parole officer/corrections worker
• Law enforcement
• Crisis counselor
• Day care teacher/early childhood specialist
• Group facilitator
• Advocate
• Social worker
• Mental health practitioner
• Research associate
• Residential counselor
• Applied behavior analyst
• Behavioral specialist
• Law
• Anthropology


Jenny Wettersten, MA, LP

Applied Psychology/Human Services Instructor

Jenny Wettersten received her Master of Arts in Counseling and Psychological Services in 1995 from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and prior, a Bachelor of Science degree from Bemidji State University. Jenny is a licensed psychologist and practiced in Grand Rapids, MN from 1995 - 2011.

Jenny joined the ICC Applied Psychology and Human Services program as a full-time faculty in the fall of 2011, previously serving as an adjunct faculty both at ICC and at Arrowhead University Center/BSU. Jenny teaches a variety of classes, including Learning & Cognition; Group Processes; Introduction to Human Services; Abnormal Psychology; Drugs, Alcohol, & Behavior; Basic Interviewing & Helping Skills; Psychology of Sustainability, General Psychology, and Practicum Coordination. Jenny is especially interested in professional ethics & conservation psychology. Jenny received the MPA Outstanding Teaching of Psychology in Community/Two-Year Colleges award in 2020.

Jenny’s community engagement includes: Past board member of GRACE House (Itasca County Homeless Shelter); Board member and secretary of Grand Rapids Area National Alliance on Mental Illness; Minnesota Psychological Association Governing Council member and Chair of the MPA Academic Division.

Jenny lives in a log cabin in northern Minnesota, and enjoys time with family, the outdoors, her pets, and her horse.

Dr. Jackie MacPherson

Applied Psychology/Human Services Instructor

Jackie completed her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree in psychology, and Doctorate degree in clinical psychology at the University of North Dakota. She started full-time at ICC in 1999 and has taught most of the psych courses offered, but for the past several years her load has focused on teaching General Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, and Human Sexuality.

Jackie received the MPA Outstanding Teaching of Psychology in Community/Two-Year Colleges award in 2005.

Jackie previously worked in agency settings as a licensed psychologist and had a private practice focused on forensic evaluations. Jackie has a passion for teaching and learning and enthusiasm for sharing that with students, prefers the company of dogs to that of most people, and has strong interest in human-animal interaction research and the relatively new field of anthrozoology.

Marlo Gangi, MA

Applied Psychology/Human Services Instructor

Marlo completed her Master of Arts in Educational Psychology (School Counseling specialty) from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1996. In 1994, Marlo earned her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the College of St. Scholastica. She worked as a licensed school counselor in a St. Paul middle school for several years before moving back to northern Minnesota.

She has been serving as a part-time instructor at ICC since 2008. Marlo regularly teaches Lifespan Development, General Psychology, Group Processes, and Abnormal Psychology. She has also had the opportunity to coordinate the program and practicum experience. Marlo also is a faculty advisor for the student led group Cru on campus. She spends winters coaching Nordic (cross country) skiing for Grand Rapids High School. Marlo has special interests in sex trafficking and demand reduction, survivor trauma, and performance/sport psychology.

Besides spending time with her family and dog, Marlo enjoys cross country skiing, road and mountain biking, spending time at the cabin, and doing projects around the house.

Meet Our Current and Former Students

Blake Bailey

Associate of Science, Applied Psychology / Human Services

Minnesota North - Itasca

“I googled “Best Psychology Community Colleges” and Itasca came up. I wasn’t totally sure but I came on tour and met with Jackie. Jackie’s super cool! I liked that I could get both the Associate of Arts and the Associate of Science in Applied Psychology/Human Services in two years. One of the main reasons I came here was to be outdoors. I was able to go on a bog walk during Orientation on the trails right here on campus.

I’m part of the Psych Club, and that’s been a great way to meet people. We always have really good conversations together. The Psych Club has a lounge where I can keep my backpack and hang out with other students, it’s nice to have a space on campus. I’m so excited to go with them to the Minnesota Psychological Association Annual Conference, where I’ll be able to network and learn.

I love my schedule. Every instructor teaches differently. Marlo brought her dog into class and I really enjoyed it. I didn’t know what to expect at a community college, but I wasn’t expecting such a high level of experience, knowledge, and expertise that Jenny, Jackie, and Marlo have. They’re so smart and so good at teaching. I feel 100% prepared to transfer to a university when I’m done at Itasca.

It’s much more affordable than private colleges. The small class sizes are perfect. I know all of my teachers really well. They know my name. I say hi to them in the hallways. It’s personal. I’m really excited for the practicum where I can get real-life experience. You take a lot of Psych classes right away. I’ll also be qualified as Mental Health Practitioner which will be really helpful in getting a job.”


Tyler Fentem

Associate of Science, Applied Psychology / Human Services

Minnesota North - Itasca

Degrees from Itasca
Associate of Science, Applied Psychology / Human Services (Honors)
Associate of Arts (Honors)

Practicum Experience
Grace House Homeless Shelter
120 hours | 3 credits

Additional Relevant Experience
Maple Woods Assisted Living | Cohasset, Minnesota
Personal Care Attendant (2018)

Additional Experience

Bemidji State University
Bachelor of Science, Psychology

  • Minors: Behavioral Addictions, Criminal Justice
  • Awards: McNair Scholars program recipient

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
M.A. in Counseling & Psychological Services (current student)

Campus Involvement
Philosophy Club, MPA

Favorite Memories of Itasca
My favorite memories at Itasca were my practicum experiences, my attendance at MPA, and presenting my learning and cognition project and Applied Science portfolio to the psych department.

I also enjoyed hanging out with my peers and building off each other in the psychology lounge, discussing philosophical issues in the philosophy club along, and spending time with the dean when he was available.

Alumnus Quote
“​I chose Itasca and chose to return to college in general because I had in interest in higher education. I wanted to live a different life than I had been living– a better one. I had and still have ambitions to attain a doctorate in my field, and I am continuing down that path after building a strong foundation during my first 2 years at Itasca.”

Haven Hafar

Associate of Arts Degree

Minnesota North - Itasca

Haven Hafar was a full-time PSEO student at Itasca, who graduated with an Associate of Arts degree. During her time at Itasca, she was involved in the Psychology Club which provided her with opportunities to further learn, grow, and explore her interests in an especially compassionate community of like-minded students and faculty. With other members of the Psychology Club, she attended a Minnesota Psychological Association conference– which was easily her favorite Itasca experience!

After attending Itasca, Haven graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Hamline University. Since earning her BA, she has been working full time in the Cognition and Brain (CAB) in Psychopathology Lab at the Minneapolis Veteran Affairs Medical Center and the University of Minnesota, Department of Psychiatry. In this role, she coordinates studies that are focused on understanding more about genes and brain mechanisms involved in the development of psychotic disorders. She loves conducting clinical interviews with research participants, and wants to continue working with families affected by severe and persistent mental illness.

Haven is currently a part-time student in the Master of Social Work program, with a concentration in clinical mental health, at the University of Minnesota.

Additional Information

Financial Scholarship Opportunities

Blandin, Itasca Foundation, Licke Family Scholarship, Stomp-on-Stigma/Children’s Mental Health Scholarship

Transferability:  Psychology/Human Services graduates seamlessly transfer to 4-year colleges and universities. Recent examples include: St. Scholastica, Bemidji State University, University of North Dakota, UW-Superior, Hamline University, Mankato State University, St. Cloud State University, and North Dakota State University.