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July 31, 2019

Student Spotlight: Kayleigh Bacchetta, School Psychology M.S.

Expected Graduation: May 2020

Kayleigh Bacchetta

Why did you choose Roberts Wesleyan College for your graduate program?

I have worked for Monroe 2 Orleans Boces for the past four years and I fell in love with the population of students that I was working with. In addition, coming from a family history of mental illness I knew that a career in psychology was something I was destined for. I chose to continue my education at Roberts Wesleyan because of what the school psychology program has to offer their graduate students. The program provides students with the knowledge and experience necessary to be a well-rounded professional. I loved the idea of the small student to teacher ratio at Roberts; this was something that was very important to me to be able to build relationships with my professors.

What is your advice for future graduate students who are balancing family, work and school?

My advice for future graduate students is to make sure you take the time to take care of your mental health and provide yourself with self-care. It is so important to make sure that you take the time to stop, breath, and take in everything within your environment. The anxiety that you may have attached to the assignments that are due within what seems a blink of an eye, will only be a temporary feeling. You are doing what you need to do to be the most prepared and well-equipped professional within your field of study.

What opportunities have you had to apply what you are learning in the Master’s program?

Thus far, I have had the opportunity to do my practicum field placements at Monroe 2 Orleans Boces; I have been able to work with students of all ages and from diverse backgrounds. I have also been able to use a psychological perspective while substitute teaching within three different local school districts. This upcoming fall I will be starting my internship at the Hilton Central School District and I will be there for the 2019-2020 school year!

What course (so far) has been most influential in your program?

The most influential course within my program (so far) has been the Consultation for Prevention and Intervention course. Within the field of school psychology, you are not only working with students, but you are working with parents, teachers, related service members, support staff and various other members in and out of the school system. It is imperative to maintain relationships with all individuals involved in a student’s life. This course taught me how to collaborate with others who are working with students.

What course (so far) has been your favorite so far and why?

My favorite class was Play Therapy with Dr. Claes. With the use of play, I have witnessed first-hand how powerful it is to build a connection with a student. I have had the opportunity to work with some very challenging students and have been able to support them in purposeful ways with the use of play.

How is the program helping you to achieve your professional goals?

The program has allowed me to complete my practicum placements at Monroe 2 Orleans Boces. I have loved every population of student that I have been able to work with. I was also fortunate enough to be awarded the Clark Family Scholarship which is a graduate study scholarship for students pursuing careers within the mental health, behavioral health, or developmental disability field.

What is your favorite thing about being in the program?

My favorite thing about the program has been being able to have professors that have experience in many different areas within the field of psychology. It has been wonderful gaining new perspectives and methods of supporting individuals and assisting others in meeting their goals.

Faculty Feedback:

Dr. Bethany Claes, PsyD, Associate Professor of Psychology

“Kayleigh has been a pleasure to work with over the course of her time a Roberts. Her passion for school psychology and helping children succeed is contagious! From the very first day I met her in her first week of graduate school, Kayleigh's dedication to her education and to the field have been apparent. She was always able to meaningfully connect the work she was doing in the classroom to the work she would do with students in schools. I'm so excited to see what she does throughout her career. I have no doubts that she will be an amazing school psychologist and have a significant impact on many lives!”

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