What steps did you take to get to where you are now?
- First, over the summer before my senior year at UWGB, I researched potential graduate schools I was interested in. Then I went to see some of my professors when my senior year started to ask them about the programs I was interested in.
- After bringing it down to 3 graduate schools I thought were the best fit, I made checklists for each one. (Each school has a completely different application process, so it was a lot of work on top of a full school and work schedule.)
- For two of the programs I was applying for, the GRE was needed, and a minimum score was required to be considered into either of those programs. So, I scheduled myself to take the GRE, which was also about $200, as well as each grad school application being about $75. I studied for the GRE using online resources and talking with my professors. I took it on a Saturday morning, and it took about 4 hours, if I remember correctly. From there, I was able to send my scores to the schools I wanted.
- Next, all applications required I write some sort of personal statement or essay describing my skills and why that program would be a good fit for me. One of the programs asked for an APA writing sample from my undergraduate career. I also had to submit at least 3 references and most programs recommended 2 of those references be professors.
- Most of the applications were due in December or January and I waited about a month before I heard back from any of them.
- Two programs called me, and scheduled interviews.
- One program emailed me to inform me that they did not choose to interview me, therefore they were not an option anymore.
- In February, it was down to two schools, UW-Stout and UW-La Crosse.
- My interview at UW-Stout comprised of two one-on-one interviews with the program director and a professor in the program. I was also able to meet many of the other applicants, as well as talk extensively with current School Psychology students. I was also able to eat lunch with those students and get a tour of the school.
- The UW-LaCrosse interview was much different. I also had two interviews on interview day, however, one of them was with 6 people and the other was one-on-one with the program director. I also had a Q-and-A with three current students and only met two other applicants.
- I was given a tour of the school, but did not have as much contact with the current students as I did at UW-Stout. A couple weeks later after each interview I was contacted.
- The program director at UW-Stout, herself, called to let me know I was accepted into the program, which I very much appreciated.
- After careful consideration, I chose UW-Stout because I really enjoyed my experience on interview day and felt that the program, overall, was the best fit for me.
- After becoming admitted in the UW-Stout School Psychology program, I attended an orientation laying out the classes I needed and information needed for my first year. The current students also gave me and my cohort (the other first-year school psychology students) information on financial aid, ideas of where to live, and cool places to visit in the Menomonie community. I met a girl from my cohort that day and we decided to live together. During the summer, I enrolled in classes and we found an apartment and here I am now living in Menomonie going to UW-Stout for graduate school!
What is a typical day schedule for you?
- My school day as a graduate student is not much different than my school day as an undergraduate student.
- I do not think I will ever have more than 2 classes in one day. This is because the classes are a bit longer. Some classes are 2 hours and some are 3. I also have a Saturday class this semester and we only meet 5 times throughout the semester, but it is an 8-hour day.
- On a typical day, I start class around 9-9:30 and sometimes end around noon and sometimes end around 4:30, with a 2 hour break in between.
- Then some days I go to the GA (graduate assistant) lab after class to ask the GAs questions about my assessments or to turn in assignments. I’m usually in the GA lab about 2 or 3 times a week, sometimes more.
- The class structure, in general, is not much different than undergraduate classes, except there’s just more material and it is always school-based (content applies to practice in K-12 public schools), in general.
- I have some papers to write, I had to complete volunteer hours working with kids, I had to shadow a school psychologist, I have discussion posts, quizzes, assignments, and exams.
Do you enjoy your school psych graduate experience? Anything in particular?
- Probably the best part about the program is the people. My professors, just like UWGB, are extremely helpful.
- My professors also always make a point every class that they will do everything in their power to make sure we are successful.
- This school psychology program at UW-Stout is cohort-based. Therefore, all of the first-year school psychology students are in all of my classes. It is meant so that we have that support throughout graduate school, as well as when we become school psychologists.
- It is nice to have those people to relate to when classes are difficult. They are also the first people I go to for any school-related questions or comments.