MinniePsyD

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Hi all,

I recently graduated from a prestigious university but had a VERY hard time adjusting due to various factors, one being that I felt stigmatized for coming in through the "affirmative action" program in the school. This affected both my grades and my choice of major. I ended up with a 2.99 cumulative gpa and a 3.3 gpa in my major in sociology. I took a couple of psych courses and didn't do so well in them either, mostly a result of my lack of focus (think Cs and Bs). Now that I am in the real world I realized how much I missed out academically by not focusing and spending too much time feeling insecure, again I blame myself but I just need to move on to see hope i can get back on path. So now I'm trying to pursue my goal, hoping to eventually earn a PsyD in school psych. I decided that I wanted to pursue this course in my third year, but by that time I was already deep into my major. I did some social research during my junior year summer because I didn't know enough about psych research and didn't have enough psych courseload to really know what I wanted to research in. It proved to be helpful though, alongside my thesis, it helped me find an RA position in a Psych School Intervention study.

There are a still alot of obstacles ahead of me.

1. I have a 2 yrs commitment as an RA which doesn't allow me to take any classes on the side.
2. I am unsure what to do next:
1. take psych classes at another UG institution?
or
2. Pursue a masters in school psych? or school counseling?
3. I am unsure as to whether or not I can GET ACCEPTED into an MA with such a poor academic background

I originally thought about pursuing a masters in school counseling, and then after certification (it takes about 2 yrs in NY AFTER receiving ur MA or EdM) start apply to school psych programs.
My reasons for doing so:
1. to get a feel for working in a school setting counseling student on their academic and life challenges
2. to get a sense whether a school psych deg is wat I really want or if I should pursue a PHd in counseling
3. To boost my grades, and hopefully get exposed to more psych research (i know they do so in a couple of institutions in NYC)

So im here to ask for advice from others so I can see what I should do, and also learn more about pursuing a career in psychology. Hope to hear some feedback...

Do any of you have any thoughts?
 

saurus

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Hi all,

I recently graduated from a prestigious university but had a VERY hard time adjusting due to various factors, one being that I felt stigmatized for coming in through the "affirmative action" program in the school. This affected both my grades and my choice of major. I ended up with a 2.99 cumulative gpa and a 3.3 gpa in my major in sociology. I took a couple of psych courses and didn't do so well in them either, mostly a result of my lack of focus (think Cs and Bs). Now that I am in the real world I realized how much I missed out academically by not focusing and spending too much time feeling insecure, again I blame myself but I just need to move on to see hope i can get back on path. So now I'm trying to pursue my goal, hoping to eventually earn a PsyD in school psych. I decided that I wanted to pursue this course in my third year, but by that time I was already deep into my major. I did some social research during my junior year summer because I didn't know enough about psych research and didn't have enough psych courseload to really know what I wanted to research in. It proved to be helpful though, alongside my thesis, it helped me find an RA position in a Psych School Intervention study.

There are a still alot of obstacles ahead of me.

1. I have a 2 yrs commitment as an RA which doesn't allow me to take any classes on the side.
2. I am unsure what to do next:
1. take psych classes at another UG institution?
or
2. Pursue a masters in school psych? or school counseling?
3. I am unsure as to whether or not I can GET ACCEPTED into an MA with such a poor academic background

I originally thought about pursuing a masters in school counseling, and then after certification (it takes about 2 yrs in NY AFTER receiving ur MA or EdM) start apply to school psych programs.
My reasons for doing so:
1. to get a feel for working in a school setting counseling student on their academic and life challenges
2. to get a sense whether a school psych deg is wat I really want or if I should pursue a PHd in counseling
3. To boost my grades, and hopefully get exposed to more psych research (i know they do so in a couple of institutions in NYC)

So im here to ask for advice from others so I can see what I should do, and also learn more about pursuing a career in psychology. Hope to hear some feedback...

Do any of you have any thoughts?


I can only speak on the school psychology aspect of this, but here’s my two cents. If you want to pursue school psychology, you need to take more psychology courses. Particularly, a psychological testing course would be very beneficial to you because it will give you a better idea of what school psychologists do at the master’s and educational specialist levels, i.e. primarily testing.

At the master’s level, some school psychology programs do not have very rigorous standards. In fact, I know of one program where your acceptance is contingent only by the graduate school, and not by the program itself. In other words, it may not be beneficial to you. Another thing to consider, many of these programs will not focus on research, so you wouldn’t gain additional research experience.

Also, school counselors and school psychologists may both work in the schools, but ultimately have very different and distinct functions. The NASP site may make the distinctions a little more evident. http://www.nasponline.org/about_sp/careerfaq.aspx

Hope this helps and good luck! :luck:
 

perfektspace

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I have a few questions for you:

1) Why not a School Psychology Ph.D. rather than a Psy.D? You would be able to obtain funding and have more than an adequate opportunity to work in applied settings.

2) How exactly did you feel stigmatized by coming in through affirmative action? I don't see how anyone would know unless you made an issue of it. May sound harsh but that is a poor excuse for slacking off on your coursework.

3) What makes you think your "qualified" to be a school psychologist if you weren't able to get it together in four years of undergrad? Everyone has ups and downs but you should be able to get things on track somewhere in those 4 years.

I know that sounds harsh, and is not meant to be personal, but you might want to think about it before your get into a 5+ year commitment in grad school.
 
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Teacher07

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I agree with the previous poster about the difference between school counseling and school psychology. You need to research this rather than lumping them together as the same profession. I say go for the masters. Some programs will be excited by your research experience and not care as much about your GPA (as long as you can write a convincing letter about why it is so poor).
 

NewfieStudent

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Well, you asked for feedback, so here is my 2 cents.

I am currently doing a M.Ed in Counselling Psychology (with a GPA of 4.0) and a BA in psychology (and had a GPA of about 2.8). I am thinking about doing a psyd, but live in Canada where there is only the phd.

If i were you, I would do some serious self-contemplating, go interview school counsellors/psychologits, do labour market reseach, and possibly some career assessments.

I know that in many places, you can't work as a school counsellor/ psychologist without an education degree first, and to be a school "psychologist" often you need an undergrad, or at least a significant number of courses in psychology first, as the term "psychologist" is regulated, at least here in canada that is the rules.

So, what makes you want to work in the school systems anyway? Why not persue a teaching degree first, work at that, and then see if being a school counsellor (aka guidance counsellor) is right for you. Is it that you want to work with children, or do you want to counsell, or do assessments?

In canada, we have guidance counselors who are also registered psychologists, meaning they have a LOT of years of school behind them.

One more note:you stated that you felt "stigmatized for coming in through the "affirmative action" program in the school. This affected both my grades and my choice of major. I ended up with a 2.99 cumulative gpa and a 3.3 gpa in my major in sociology. I took a couple of psych courses and didn't do so well in them either, mostly a result of my lack of focus " How do people (ie fellow students know you were in this program? I am sure there are lots of students in school with large student loans and come from poor/minority backgrounds, just as there are the same type of people with affluence. I only go to a small university in a small city, and I have no idea how people got to university, nor do I care. I have had a student loan for years, and no one knows about it, nor cared. I also had a similar gpa to yours, but that was my own laziness, and i wasnt motivated. Maybe if you take a few years off from academia, you could go back to improve your gpa, and then find out what you really want to do in regards to career.

Sorry for the spelling mistakes, and I hope I didnt come off too harsh...but you asked for feedback.
 

MinniePsyD

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I have a few questions for you:

1) Why not a School Psychology Ph.D. rather than a Psy.D? You would be able to obtain funding and have more than an adequate opportunity to work in applied settings.

2) How exactly did you feel stigmatized by coming in through affirmative action? I don't see how anyone would know unless you made an issue of it. May sound harsh but that is a poor excuse for slacking off on your coursework.

3) What makes you think your "qualified" to be a school psychologist if you weren't able to get it together in four years of undergrad? Everyone has ups and downs but you should be able to get things on track somewhere in those 4 years.

I know that sounds harsh, and is not meant to be personal, but you might want to think about it before your get into a 5+ year commitment in grad school.

Thank you for your feedback and here is my response to your questions. Don't worry, I welcome harsh criticism.

1. I am pursuing a school psych psy d because it trains through practice which in an education setting is more important in order to properly conduct educational assessments and testing.

2. You are right, I could have work harder. What I meant about feeling stigmatized was that I felt intimidated by the university. I clearly made an issue of it which is why i mentioned it, I can also list a million reasons why I had a hard time. I did improve my grades towards the end and so I did improve my gpa during the last two years. Looking back, yes I could have worked alot harder, but I can't turn back time and change those decisions. For that reason, I am asking for advice on what steps you all believe would better prepare me to pursue a degree in psychology. Should I go back and take the courses all over again?

3. I think its very sad to think that four years could define the rest of your life. I heard of many students who have, because of various reasons, had a hard time academically as undergraduates. But somehow because of maturity, perseverance, and hardwork, they have been able to undue their bad decisions. Based on my first two years of college, I wouldnt think that I would be qualified to pursue any kind of even graduate work, but my last two years were critical to my development as a student and as a person. I learned alot about my faults, and I figured out ultimately what I wanted to pursue for the rest of my life. I also improved my grades, and I ended up with an a great grade on my thesis. So I ultimately figured out my way in the end, although it was too late in terms getting the adequate number of psych classes to apply to graduate school.

So thank you again for your feedback. Im definately not looking to pursue the degree in the next 2-3 years. Im still wondering whether pursuing an ma school psych or psych would help me out, or if I should just go into counseling and perhaps that will give me a better idea as to whether i want to work one on one with students in their academic and personal development, or if i should pursue a career in educational assessment and testing.

I hope this answered your questions? again thanks for your feedback :)
 

RayneeDeigh

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Thank you for your feedback and here is my response to your questions. Don't worry, I welcome harsh criticism.

1. I am pursuing a school psych psy d because it trains through practice which in an education setting is more important in order to properly conduct educational assessments and testing.

2. You are right, I could have work harder. What I meant about feeling stigmatized was that I felt intimidated by the university. I clearly made an issue of it which is why i mentioned it, I can also list a million reasons why I had a hard time. I did improve my grades towards the end and so I did improve my gpa during the last two years. Looking back, yes I could have worked alot harder, but I can't turn back time and change those decisions. For that reason, I am asking for advice on what steps you all believe would better prepare me to pursue a degree in psychology. Should I go back and take the courses all over again?

3. I think its very sad to think that four years could define the rest of your life. I heard of many students who have, because of various reasons, had a hard time academically as undergraduates. But somehow because of maturity, perseverance, and hardwork, they have been able to undue their bad decisions. Based on my first two years of college, I wouldnt think that I would be qualified to pursue any kind of even graduate work, but my last two years were critical to my development as a student and as a person. I learned alot about my faults, and I figured out ultimately what I wanted to pursue for the rest of my life. I also improved my grades, and I ended up with an a great grade on my thesis. So I ultimately figured out my way in the end, although it was too late in terms getting the adequate number of psych classes to apply to graduate school.

So thank you again for your feedback. Im definately not looking to pursue the degree in the next 2-3 years. Im still wondering whether pursuing an ma school psych or psych would help me out, or if I should just go into counseling and perhaps that will give me a better idea as to whether i want to work one on one with students in their academic and personal development, or if i should pursue a career in educational assessment and testing.

I hope this answered your questions? again thanks for your feedback :)

I don't know anything about school psychology so I can't comment on that but... I can offer some encouragement.

My best friend went into his undergrad program right out of high school and was actually asked to leave the school because his performance was so bad. He took four years off and literally did nothing but sit in his basement playing video games. Then one day he decided that he'd slacked off long enough. He got three jobs and wrote a letter to the University asking to be re-admitted because he felt that his outlook had changed and he could do better. Now he's well on his way to being an accountant and has a 4.0GPA. Had you asked me four years ago if he would be defined by his performance as an undergrad the first time around, I would have said "absolutely, he's not very motivated". But this story just goes to show you that things definitely can turn around if you commit the time and effort to it.

Good luck!
 

Jon4PsyD

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You might want to look into an M.A. in General Psychology, to broaden your understanding of what area of Psychology you'd like to go into. It will also allow you to show a Psy.D. proram that you can successfully complete work at the graduate level (It'll help out that 2.9 GPA). But you do sound very confused about what you want to do exactly and don't make excuses for your sub-par undergraduate performance...use it as a learning experience/lesson instead:)
 

Psychbar

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You should look into bilingual track PsyD programs (if you are bilingual of course, spanish preferably). My understanding is that they are much less competitive.
Don't give up, and good luck.
 
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