Student & Mentor Relationship – School Psychology: An online program for Wisconsin educators

Student & Mentor Relationship – School Psychology: An online program for Wisconsin educators

In a move to address the growing demand for school psychologists, Jordan Brull, a full-time high school social studies teacher at Hillsboro High School in a small Wisconsin district, is re-training for a new career path with the support of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s 100% online School Psychology program.

The unique program, designed to cater to the needs of Wisconsin educators seeking to transition into school psychology, has made Jordan’s aspirations a reality. His enthusiasm is palpable as he acknowledges, “Without it being online, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. In a small rural district like ours, this would have never happened without the nature of the program.”

Jordan’s mentor in the program is Eric Auel, a seasoned school psychologist at Hillsboro High School. Eric’s experience in his own training contrasts starkly with the current program. “When I went through graduate school, there was no one in my cohort going to school part-time. At that time, you were expected to quit what you were doing and devote all your time to school,” recalls Auel.

The innovative nature of the online program not only addresses the increasing demand for school psychologists but also provides educators like Jordan the flexibility to pursue diverse career paths. Auel notes, “People have the ability to move around, branch out, and advance themselves.” He emphasizes the credibility Jordan gains from being a former classroom teacher, saying, “It gives him credibility when he speaks with other educators, that he’s actually been in the classroom.”

Jordan, currently in his second year of the four-year program, expresses his motivation to provide more support for students facing emotional, behavioral, and academic challenges. His classroom experience serves as a valuable foundation for consulting with teachers and understanding the practical challenges within a classroom setting.

Implementing coursework into his teaching, Jordan reflects on the positive impact of strategies and assessment procedures learned in his behavior and assessment and evaluation courses. These insights have enhanced his ability to identify the reasons behind certain students’ behavior, influencing both his classroom management approaches and contributions to student study teams.

As Jordan progresses through the program, the mentorship with Eric is expected to deepen. Currently collaborating on coursework, the mentor/mentee relationship is proving beneficial, with Eric sharing practical experiences that complement the theoretical knowledge Jordan is acquiring. Looking ahead, as Jordan delves into his practicum and internship, both envision a more enmeshed relationship, with Eric noting that Jordan may even teach him a thing or two along the journey. “It will pay dividends for people who may decide they want to transition in their career and do something different.

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