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Sean Austin

School Psychology graduate student - class of 2014

Sean Austin – 1st year graduate School Psychology student

 Why did you choose UNI’s School Psychology program?

I chose UNI’s program because they were receptive to questions and helped introduce me to the field.  I even came in to talk to a professor one on one and she walked me through program and how school psychology works in Iowa. Even when I was looking through other schools I kept coming back to this one because they were so helpful. The other factor that set UNI apart was the practicum experience. I have found I learn best by being in the actual environment so that was a huge plus seeing a program with that experience every term.

What experiences did you have prior to UNI? (undergraduate, work, etc)

School Psychology was unknown to me as an undergraduate. After taking a year off of school and working in substance abuse counseling, I found that I preferred to work with kids. I became clear to me that prevention should be the focus of my efforts and school psychology is how I thought I could best approach that.

What have you gained from the School Psychology program at UNI?

  So far, I have gained an understanding of what school psychologist really is.  No matter how much you read, there is a lot to learn by observing and this program gave me the chance to do that, even very early in the program.

What are your career plans after UNI?

I plan to work as a school psychologist, but I’m not sure where. Iowa seems like a default option but I would really like to work in Colorado. I’ve been in flat areas too long.

Any advice for prospective students?

Get in contact with professors to find out what you’re really looking for in a program. Have an open mind when you’re coming into the program because the role of s school psychologist may seem overwhelming at first. Learn to manage your time, the workload increases substantially in graduate school.

What is something unique about you?

I compete in triathlons, and training takes up a decent amount of my time when I’m not studying. I raced my first 70.3 triathlon last summer.