When I selected psychology as my major, I explicitly recall thinking that studying psychology would be as close as I could get to being psychic! I guess this meant that I was most interested in learning more about human behavior and motivations to the point where I could predict someone's reaction or feelings to a given situation.
As a fourth year student in my last semester, I can say that while my original goal was lofty, I'm not sure that it's attainable for me. However, I believe that there are still a number of fascinating aspects of psychology that have not been discovered yet and that the field is useful and applicable virtually anywhere.
I feel like I'm doing a good job applying everything I've learned in my college experience (in and out of the classroom) to all of my academic work. It's certainly making my learning experience more meaningful and validates all of the hard work I've put into my school work thus far. There are things I've learned about myself that I'm not sure I would've learned anywhere else, and I wouldn't change that for anything.
After graduation, I'm going to graduate school to pursue an M.A. in Student Affairs, and my time as a student leader at Champlain has proven a great exercise in preparing me for what I want to do professionally. Kevin, Psychology MajorYoungstown, OHDIVISION OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES
Anthony wasn't sure what he wanted to do... Honestly I became a Psychology major because people tell me I give good advice. Being so undecided professionally, the Upside-Down Curriculum really helped me get involved and dedicate myself to my major work right away. There was no sense of insecurity once I had my first psychology class. He loves bringing his own touch to the classroom...I've been lucky enough to have a lot of open-ended projects that have allowed me to express myself in any way that I want. My favorite classes are the ones that let me bring a piece of me into the classroom. Sometimes in Core classes, my teachers would ask us to bring in a song to play for the class and analyze. Recently, I brought my dog into my public speaking class and did an interactive speech on how to train your dog. Needless to say, I got a good grade for that. Anthony has been able to try many different things in his field...There has been a lot of space for me to grow professionally here at Champlain. For example, I am currently working on a research study with a professor who also teaches one of my classes. The best part about Champlain is that I've been able to wear many different hats throughout my years here, and it's really bettered me as a person. I've changed my mind so many times about what I want to do after graduation that I'm not sure how this internship will serve me directly. However, I do know that the skills I develop from working on this project-such as time management, communication skills, punctuality and accountability-will serve me well in the working world. Champlain's professors provide a personal touch.They all know my name! Having all your professors know your name is a huge boost and just makes communication with them so much easier. They all engage with students in and out of the classroom, and if they notice you making an extra effort, they will also go the extra mile for you. He has had many positions on campus...I've worked in Admissions as a Student Ambassador for almost four years now. I've also been a Resident Assistant and an Orientation Leader. All three of these jobs have gotten me really good at talking to strangers, and my interview skills are on point.Studying abroad confirmed that Champlain was the right choice...I went to the Gold Coast, QLD (Australia) for about five months. I got to meet people from all over the world, travel independently and experience life at a university completely different from Champlain. It really solidified Champlain as being the right choice for me when it comes to class size and level of faculty involvement on campus. The best part was travelling, without a doubt. In the future...Currently my career path has a lot of forks in the road. There's a lot of opportunities on the horizon, but I would love to work with therapy animals as a trainer-or work in animal-assisted therapy-and help pair people with their perfect companion.
Anthony, Psychology majorCayman Brac, Cayman Islands Studied abroad in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia DIVISION OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES
Psychology has always been my passion. I am intrigued by people and how their past experiences shape them in the present, and will continue to shape them in the future. Psychology combines everything I love—research, the human condition, analyzation and contemplation. My experience in the psychology program at Champlain has been the best possible experience I could imagine. As a first year, I was able to jump right into classes that not only applied to me, but also interested me. My professors took a personal interest in my education, and often corresponded with me outside of class about my ambitions and hopes for psychology as a career. I am constantly applying my course content to my life because Champlain makes their course content applicable. Psychology at Champlain has served me well, and I have loved every moment thus far. I credit Champlain for being the catalyst in my self-discovery and to say that my time at Champlain has been transformational would be an understatement. Champlain has given me all of the tools, opportunities, and environments for me to be exactly who I want to be, and then let me decide how to utilize them. I have grown to believe that you really can do anything you dream of, so long as you put in the effort, the time, and the persistence.
Nicole, Psychology MajorCornwallville, NYDIVISION OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES
"I have grown up significantly while being here. I'm ready to leave and begin the next chapter in my life," Lorelei said before graduation, and that is exactly what she's done.
While at Champlain, Lorelei not only got involved as a student leader on campus, but became involved in the community. She was a hotline volunteer at Women Helping Battered Women and a service and marketing intern at the Milton Community Youth Coalition.
Before she left, she studied abroad at the University of Hyderabad, India. "Studying there made me think about where my work would fit in, and what is most needed in the United States and the world."
While in India, she volunteered at a school teaching English and Math. "I was able to ask about the underlying issues surrounding poverty and child labor. This truly opened my eyes and changed the way I view myself and others." After graduation, she brought this skillset to her classroom in Hartford, Connecticut where she was teaching inner city middle school students at Covenant Prepatory School.
In 2013, she began her Master's Degree in Developmental Psychology at the University of Lincoln in Lincoln, United Kingdom and is expected to graduate in 2015.
Lorelei '12, Psychology, Graduate Student, University of LincolnB.S. in Applied PsychologyLincoln, United Kingdom
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
I've always known I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to be a teacher, but one day in physical therapy, I started talking to a four-year old girl. I was able to give her attention that I knew she wasn't receiving elsewhere. Putting a smile on her face truly made a difference in the way I felt. I knew then that was exactly what I was going to do for the rest of my life.
Up until my sophomore year, I was set on working as a child psychologist. I envisioned myself in an office, working with children and steering their lives in the right direction. But psychology is much more than simply 'helping' people. It's getting to know their problems. After watching a clip of a little boy who couldn't physically function on his own, followed by a video about a girl who was mentally ten years younger than her chronological age, I learned that I'm not strong enough to separate life and work, and that I want to go into positive psychology.
The early exposure that Champlain's Psychology program offers has been beneficial. I've become more confident in myself, my abilities and qualities. Finding a job has become less intimidating now that I have the resources of an effective resume, interview skills and a good cover letter. I feel that when the time comes to enter the job market, I will have the ability to land where my heart is.
Deborah, Psychology MajorFlushing, NYDIVISION OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES
AFTER CHAMPLAIN, Kit went to the Vermont State Police Academy where she is a Police Officer Recruit.
"In high school, I took an AP Psychology course, and I thought it was something I wanted to learn more about. I was always someone who, if something went wrong or someone did something unexpected, I wondered why it happened, and I realized it was something I could study. It could be my life.
I originally wanted to go into the forensic branch of psychology. It would've been something similar to Criminal Minds, diagnosing different conditions and disorders. Now, after going through Champlain's curriculum, I know I want to go into law enforcement.
The criminal justice focus is giving me more of a background in law enforcement and how to apply what I'm learning in psychology. For example, right now I'm taking six classes this semester, and my Criminal Law and Psychology in Law courses go back and forth about which class is ahead of the other. It's interesting to learn the same things but from the different perspectives.
Also, I talked with one of the Burlington police officers, and she told me that although they used to look for more Criminal Justice majors, now they're looking to hire more Psychology majors. Law enforcement is very people related, and it helps to have people who understand people. I thought I was in the wrong place and was worried I would have to change majors, but it turns out I'm exactly where I need to be."
Kit, Psychology MajorOakland, NJDIVISION OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES