"I earned my bachelor's degree in applied psychology at Coppin State University, then got a job at Villa Maria, a local residential facility for emotionally disturbed children. While working there I realized that I really needed a master's degree to move up in the field, so that's when I began looking at graduate schools."
Amanda meets regularly with her adviser, Dr. Susan Bartels.
How did you choose Towson? "I researched some other programs, but liked Towson's program description the best. Before applying I arranged to meet with Dr. Susan Bartels, director of the school psychology graduate program. She was wonderful—so warm and encouraging, and so eager to answer my questions. All three of Towson's school-psychology professors—Dr. Bartels, Dr. Mindy Gutow and Dr. Bruce Mortenson—are amazing."
What exactly does a school psychologist do?
"Counseling is what most people think of in connection with school psychology, but that's only a part of it. For example, school psychologists consult with teachers to create interventions with children who are experiencing problems in the classroom. They conduct thorough evaluations of children to determine how to meet their academic, behavioral and social/emotional needs. They also help schools stay in compliance with the laws affecting children with special needs."
Amanda collaborates with the school counselor at Mount Royal Intermediate School in Baltimore.
Where do you plan to go after graduation?
"I'm definitely staying in Maryland. I'd like to practice in Baltimore City—there's definitely a need there. I'm also thinking about a doctorate in psychology at some point."
What would you say to someone who's considering a career in school psychology?
"I'd definitely recommend researching the field and understanding all that a school psychologist does. It's demanding, but also very worthwhile and rewarding."