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    Develop Your Career in Psychology with our Experiential Education Model

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Sarah SwensonSarah Swenson

Boston University
Clinical Psychology PsyD
Children and Families of Adversity and Resilience (CFAR) Concentration
Class of 2017

Hello prospective and entering William James College students! 

I am originally from Baltimore, Maryland and earned my Bachelor's degree from Boston University. In my undergraduate years, I pursued a double major in Psychology and Sociology. My undergraduate activities included research with the Child Cognition Lab, leading a group of college representatives called the Dean's Hosts as president, being an active member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority, and working in the College of Arts & Sciences Dean's Office.

I am currently a  doctoral candidate in the Clinical Psychology program at William James College and am in the Children and Families of Adversity and Resilience (CFAR) concentration.  I chose to attend William James College for multiple reasons but I was specifically drawn to the CFAR program as well as the numerous opportunities William James College provides throughout the Boston area. William James College places a significant emphasis on experiential learning in addition to classroom learning and this was the aspect of the PsyD degree that was most important to me when deciding which graduate degree to pursue. At William James College, you begin your field education in the first year and are placed at a new site each academic year. This gives you the opportunity to explore many different settings within the field of clinical psychology to truly find your niche.  For me, this was especially exciting. I have a strong interest in working with children, but feel it is crucial to have experience working with various populations in order to become a well-rounded and competent clinician.

Another factor that drew me to William James College was the team of faculty members. All of the faculty at William James College are actively practicing around the Boston area. This fact alone illustrates that the faculty at William James College have a genuine interest in teaching in addition to their outside commitments. Being in practice actively outside of William James College also creates a particularly interesting educational experience as faculty bring current case issues into the classroom for discussion.

One thing that surprised me about William James College was the larger number of students in each class when compared to other programs. I can assure you, however, that when I visited William James College for my interview day, I quickly learned that this was a strength of the school. William James College is a true family and there is always someone to answer your question or lend you their ear. This familial atmosphere is felt on a daily basis and creates a genuinely supportive community as you juggle the rigors of a graduate level curriculum.

My advice to you is the following: Gather all the information you need to feel confident about your decision to attend graduate school. Once you have made your decision, get excited! You are about to embark on a journey filled with intellectual, professional, and personal growth. The most important thing is to learn how to balance the responsibilities in your life. As a graduate student at William James College, you will juggle field placement responsibilities, school responsibilities, financial obligations, and that other small detail: your personal life. Taking care of yourself must be a top priority among this list!!

The Clinical Psychology PsyD program at William James College has proven to be an excellent fit for me. As a Student Ambassador, I am happy to answer any questions you may have as you determine if the same will be true for you. Please feel free to contact me at any time!