By Amber O’Neil, Program Director
The Psychology program’s environment allows students to engage with faculty, with each other, and with psychology in fresh and interesting ways. The redesigned psychology curriculum also includes more interaction and focuses on students building “real world” career skills, including oral communication and online collaboration. Students are also encouraged to develop a professional presence as they graduate and begin looking for jobs. Amy Long, a psychology major, has been able to take advantage of these offerings to explore a newfound interest in psychology, connect with two internship opportunities, and plan for graduate school.
Long was born in 1982 to a military family in California and says it was only natural she enlisted after graduating from high school. During her military career in the U.S. Airforce, Long tried many times to find the right college and academic major that fit her best. It was only after working as a peer counselor in the Wounded Warriorhat she realized psychology was her calling. As a full-time, active-duty military member, Long decided the psychology degree program at Excelsior College provided the best avenue for her to quickly reach her academic and career goals.
Janell Campbell, PhD, had Long as a student and writes, “I have had Amy in a few of my upper-level psychology courses and I have been impressed with Amy’s ability to be on active duty and yet still put a great effort towards her schoolwork. She is engaged with her classmates and has a great work ethic in the classroom.” Long’s capstone instructor, Victoria Ferrara, PhD, says, “She was highly engaged and added much value to our course discussions. Amy’s work was consistently high quality and always a pleasure to read. Her ability to apply her knowledge was admirable. Amy is going to be a wonderful addition to our profession.”
After two years of online classes with Excelsior and one deployment, Long is working toward her goal of a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with a degree focus in Chinese-Mandarin and Vietnamese. She is close to meeting her goal of earning her degree in January 2018.
The faculty and staff at Excelsior have continued to help her gain research experience and expand her professional connections as she prepares to pursue a PhD program in clinical psychology. Long’s academic and work experience in the treatment of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder helped Excelsior link her with two internships that are providing additional experience in the mental health field. One is with a non-profit called Breaking Taboo that works toward ending the stigma around talking openly about mental health issues on social media. The second is with a psychologist writing instructions for outpatient treatment lessons.
Long remains involved with the psychology program through writing contributions in both the Psychology at Excelsior College Facebook group and guest editing the program updates. Long says, “Excelsior College was not only the most convenient choice for a student with a full-time job, it was the absolute best choice to achieve my ultimate goal and pursue my passion.”
For more information about many of the organizations and subjects mentioned in the above article:
- Check out the Psychology at Excelsior College Facebook group here. (LINK)
- See the Psychology Program PsychOut e-publication here. It links directly to Long’s November 2017 contribution.
- Visit here to learn about Long’s internship with Breaking Taboo and check out their Facebook group
- To see more changes to the psychology program, check out this Powtoon video.
- To see various psychology degree programs offered at Excelsior, visit here.
- To learn more about the Wounded Warrior Program, visit here.