“What is the purpose of school?” Mary Braselton, interim dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Business, asked.
To educate, to someday get a good paying job and to instill knowledge and skills are the obvious answers that may cross one’s mind.
Quoting the National Education Association in 1917, Braselton agrees that the purpose of school is to perpetuate the American way of living.
“How do we do that? We learn about American government, American History, we learn the English language, how to write it and speak it and that preserves our American culture,” Braselton said.
As newly appointed dean, succeeding Dr. Will Morris, Braselton is over one of the largest divisions on campus encompassing the government and history programs, Early Child Development program, Associative Arts and Teaching program, business courses and education classes.
As of this year the business department is also included in the SBSB Division.
MC offers several degrees relative to the SBSB department.
Students seeking an associative arts degree, associative science or associative of applied science degree can seek help through Braselton in the SBSB department.
“If you will come to me and talk to me about wanting a psychology degree then I can say, for this degree these are the classes you want to take because you are going to get a lot of mileage out of these classes. But if you go take basket-weaving over here, that’s not going to be applied to that degree when you transfer,” Braselton said.
She said every student needs an academic adviser.
“Although the advisers in the student center can advise students…wanting to be a psychology teacher or to be a licensed professional counselor, come over here to our department and we can get you to someone who is actually in the field. That person can then say ‘you can do this three different ways so you need to think about this, this and this option before you make your decision,” she said.
Braselton says she usually spends about an hour advising any student who comes into her office.
She believes that her job, although overseeing many different areas, is primarily being there for the students.
“But students need to take the initiative to come in and seek advising. I’m not going to go stand out in the trees and ask students walking by, ‘Hey, do you want me to talk to you about education?’” she said.
Braselton does not varnish any advice she gives students.
She admits there are probably 42 different routes to take once at the university level.
Having been through the process and taught in public schools, Braselton provides her own personal experience.
Braselton has her doctorate in Higher Education Administration.
Braselton said being a dean is challenging.
It is “stimulating, that every day is different, and that the biggest role is problem solving and critical thinking. Fairness has to be one of your goals in the office because you really want to be a fair administrator.”