October 23, 2008

Providing Guidance for Local Students

Heather Goldstein ’09 writes about her internship at Easton Area Middle School

As part of the Advanced Applied Psychology course, psychology major Heather Goldstein ’09 (Berkeley Heights, N.J.) is spending the fall semester interning at Easton Area Middle School. The course, taught by Alan Childs, professor of psychology, includes an 80-hour internship component at a local organization, as well as regular coursework.

  • Psychology Course Provides Real World Learning Experiences

I’ve always enjoyed working with kids in all different settings, so when I had the opportunity to do an internship for Advanced Applied Psychology, I knew I wanted to work in a school. So far, working in the guidance office at Easton Area Middle School has been both fulfilling and extremely interesting. All the counselors have included me in their daily activities, whenever possible, and are always willing to discuss situations and hear my opinion.

On an average day, I’m able to observe conferences between counselors and teachers and even observe a few conferences between a counselor and student. Learning how to resolve conflicts between students has also been very interesting to me because these simple conferences truly help the students’ lives and improve the school environment.

Another aspect of my internship is helping with a gang prevention program that is offered during the last period of the day and for an hour after school. During this time, I’m able to work with the students one-on-one and even build some friendships. These children sometimes need a little motivation to do their work, but they are always appreciative of our time and assistance.

Although it might seem like the program is geared towards tutoring, it really is much more. The program introduces children to a group of adult role models and mentors who all want to improve their lives both in and outside of school. After working with these children for just a few weeks, I’ve gained trust from them and built some great friendships. When I first started the internship, I felt a little nervous and overwhelmed by the program. But after getting to know the kids for a few days, the ice was broken, and we all had each other laughing.

Previously, I wasn’t sure what career I wanted to pursue after college, but this internship has really given me the direction I needed. I’ve realized how much I enjoy helping students work through their problems, either on homework assignments or with more serious issues, and I know I want to do something related to this field after graduation.

Being able to link my experiences at the middle school to my classes at Lafayette has been so interesting and enjoyable. I’m so glad I’ve had the chance to apply my knowledge and be more involved with the Easton community.

  • Psychology
  • Service Learning
  • Internship/Externships
  • In Our City

posted in Academic News, Collaborative, High-Impact Learning, Faculty and Staff, News and Features, Students

tagged with , ,