Before attending Champlain, Wilson worked in Guatemala for Safe Passage, a nonprofit that helps impoverished families in Guatemala City. "My work in Guatemala really sparked my passion for traveling and helping others. My experiences there have been the greatest inspiration of my life. I knew I wanted to devote my life to helping others, but I wasn't sure how."
"Studying social work has made me realize what my goals are in life. It has really encouraged my passion for helping others. I also feel like I've gotten a true sense of what social work looks like. My teachers have experience in their field, and they bring real-life experiences to their teaching. Champlain has really made me realize my potential and has focused my skills and passion into a field that I am very excited about."
After graduation, Wilson plans to join the Peace Corps and then return to Guatemala to work with the social workers of Safe Passage.
Wilson, Social Work majorYarmouth, MEDIVISON OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES
When I was in high school, I was a camp counselor at Camp Wilmot in New Hampshire. They had a week of summer camp for people with mental delays and varying levels of physical mobility. I loved what I was doing and I decided I wanted to major in psychology. When I came to Champlain, I took Applied Psychology, which talked about what we could do with our degree. We had a guest speaker who said the quickest/best way to become a clinical psychologist or counselor was to study social work at the undergraduate level. So I started questioning if I could double major and I met with my advisors. Now I'm on a five-year program, double-majoring in Psychology and Social Work.
Social Work teaches more practical skills while Psychology teaches more theoretical knowledge. I appreciate the balance of the two and I feel incredibly supported by my faculty. I have a competitive advantage because I have truly had, so far, four years of human service experience and six student placements. I think students at other schools are only expected to have an internship for one semester. At Champlain, students are expected to engage in service learning classes, student placements and internships throughout their entire career. I hear so often that experience is what is truly important. Some employers will hire someone with a lower degree because they had more experience than other candidates. I will have both when I am done at Champlain.
Shelby, Psychology & Social Work Double MajorClinton, MADIVISION OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES
Laurel knows her role goes beyond the classroom. "I traveled to Europe, worked for a professor, served as a resident assistant and taught school in two countries. I am more than just an education student."
"Champlain has made me more confident. I gained a lot of good skills to market myself. I learned to write well and am proficient in several software programs. In the schools where I train, the teachers like the Champlain students and know that we are on top of things. Other college students usually intern in their senior year for only one semester, so they lack long-term contact and experience."
"After graduation, I do plan to teach, perhaps overseas. I like being out of my comfort zone. That's something I would not have known if I had not come to Champlain. I feel I'm ready to do many things."
Laurel, Middle School Teacher Education majorIpswich, MADIVISON OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES
Kathryn is in the midst of it all—the Champlain College community, downtown Burlington, and building her professional career.
"The internships were amazing. My duties included the acquisition of discovery, working with attorneys on upcoming cases and clerical work. I was able to work alongside the investigators. I learned how to speak more eloquently and how to organize my findings because I was required to make presentations to attorneys and investigators. The real-world application is invaluable, and the internships also made me more confident participating in class discussions. You learn through experience, which is why Champlain is so adamant about getting students out into the field to gain experience in their chosen jobs. Champlain encourages the full learning spectrum so you are fully prepared. "
"I love the open campus. The community is right there. In the midst of downtown Burlington, you are integrated within the residential area, not separated from the surrounding community. It makes you feel like you are part of the real world. I love Burlington's lakefront, the farmers' market, the downtown scene, the sunsets and the opportunity to walk everywhere."
Kathryn, Criminal Justice majorWellesley, MADIVISON OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES