Class of 2006 Update:
By Katie Warsinske
Finally! My classmates and I have completed our first year of the school psychology program at RIT! The class of 2006 consists of Steve Verstraete, Melissa Wacker, Katie Curione, Teri Lawson, Danielle Malinowski, Katie Warsinske, Val Mergler, Suzanne Nowatski, Lyndon Mitchell, Michele Shay, Janette Russell, and Kecia Boncek.
After finishing my first year, I felt exhausted and overwhelmed, but I also felt exhilarated and proud of myself. I really enjoyed RIT and the school psychology program. I even enjoyed Rochester, but maybe that’s just because it was so new to me, as I grew up in Seattle. I learned an extraordinary amount of information—most of which is still being processed! I also made great friends who helped me get through the challenging aspects of graduate school. While it is definitely a challenge, it is also great fun and very worthwhile.
I asked my classmates about their impressions of the school psychology program and what they liked about it. The resounding theme was how challenging this first year has been! However, as Melissa put it, “I think I learned a lot!” More specifically as Teri said, “We've figured out what a protocol is.” We must have heard the word protocol about a hundred times before we realized what it actually was! We have also learned about a lot of different tests and what they are used for as well as gaining a much better understanding of standardization. As for report writing, we have all figured out that every professor wants them differently and that this is okay! And of course, you can’t forget about all of that reading!
Most of my classmates’ favorite aspect of our first year was the practicum experiences. By now, we have all been to at least two different sites and have learned an immense amount. As Lyndon put it, “Practicum is excellent because it ties everything together.” I think everyone enjoyed practicum because it was there that you could see everything you were learning in action. It was a place to try out our counseling and consultation skills as well as make a behavior plan for a child. Plus, our practicum supervisors were a great source of guidance.
What got a lot of us through this first year was the support from our each other. Everyone was stressed out by the same things and able to vent to someone who was going through the same experiences. Katie put it well when she said, “Classmates made it easier to get through everything.” I have really liked all the different personalities in our class and am glad to have made new friends. Our class is particularly small which was great for getting people together for drinks when our quarters were over!
While it’s been a long year, it has also seemed to fly by. Steve says, “I learned an incredible amount in what seems like a short period of time.” Teri agrees, saying, “I guess in retrospect the year did go by fast, though it didn't seem like it at the time.” So while it may feel grueling and never ending, just know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. In the end, it is a great experience and well worth the time and effort. Personally, I have loved this incredible year even with all of its ups and downs!