Never a Dull Moment
Jessica Voirin enrolled at Valpo after working for a year in a special education classroom in Chicago’s western suburbs. She loved the experience and the chance to apply her undergraduate degree in psychology, but she wanted to make a more meaningful connection with students. For her, graduate work in school psychology was just the right fit.
“There’s a great array of hats we wear within the position, and I really liked that about school psych,” she explains. “Some days you’re a consultant and a counselor, and other days you’re exclusively doing assessments. We go where we’re needed and help however we can.”
Jessica chose Valpo as an affordable, accredited program in the Chicagoland area. Through Valpo’s extensive field education opportunities, Jessica gained practical experience in school psychology while also learning about the area’s many different school settings and student populations. While her career began in Naperville, Ill., where the school’s resources were “seemingly unlimited,” she has also gotten to work with professionals and students who do exceptional work with smaller budgets.
“It has been so eye-opening. I am very thankful and fortunate to have had the exposure to different kinds of students and to see how much the school climate makes a difference in students’ lives,” she says.
While at Valpo, Jessica also had the chance to participate in two faculty-student research projects. With Professor Amy Cramer, Jessica had the opportunity to present at the annual conference of the National Association of School Psychologists. Jessica also studied an innovative counseling technique, reciprocal writing, with Professor Nancy Davis. Their research is being prepared for publication, and Jessica has also added reciprocal writing to the list of tools she has to help students.
Jessica says she is both prepared and excited for her next step, a year-long internship in Belleville, Ill., close to loved ones. For her, that was another draw of the program at Valpo: the program is nationally accredited, making it easy for her to get certified in Indiana as well as Illinois and a number of other U.S. states. Several of her classmates are also working beyond Indiana, one as far away as Alaska!
“I’m just excited to get out there in the field,” Jessica says. “Working with students is so inspiring and upbeat, and I love being in that atmosphere.
“There’s never a dull moment.”