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Student Stories

Miriam McCauleyThe psychology major at Concordia University helped me to think critically about my own beliefs and biases, as well as how I relate to others in my own perception of the world. In addition, this program helped me better understand how I can use psychological theory to help others through counseling. While I was in the program, I was given the opportunity to explore my passion both through participating in a practicum and writing a thesis. I probably would not have had this opportunity at a larger university. In addition, this program allowed me to grow in my peer-teaching and fair-grading abilities through my experience as a psychology tutor and professors' asssistant. Specifically, I loved that I was able to create meaningful relationships with my psychology professors and other students in the program. The classes at Concordia University are small enough for thorough group discussions and debates, which added to my ability to think critically about a wide range of psychological understandings. I also really enjoyed my practicum experience and writing my thesis because this program allowed me to explore the topic of ecotherapy from both a research and a hands-on perspective. Overall, this program nurtures its students and encourages them to explore their passions! After graduation, I was hired as a Behavioral Youth Counselor at Youth Villages in Lake Oswego. In August, I will continue my education at another university in their Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. My goal is to become a licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, and I would like to gain credentials in ecotherapy, so that I can implement nature into my clients' psychological healing processes. My experiences at Concordia University prepared me for my future goals. Concordia University's Psychology program is extremely valuable and gives students many opportunities for growth and exploration.

-Miriam McCauley, '14

Kayla BayerDuring my four years at CU, I was inspired, challenged, encouraged, and prepared for all that lies ahead. One of the most meaningful aspects of Concordia is the unique culture. The class size is small, so it creates an intimate space to share ideas, challenge beliefs, and deepen perspectives. I had the opportunity to evaluate who I am, what I stand for, and how I want to move on to impact the communities around me. The psychology program was a challenging program to complete and required dedication and compassion for others. My internship was where I identified the skills I had to potentially bring to a therapeutic setting. I learned the value of simply being present with a person, and releasing the pressure to always have the right thing to say. I developed a heart for serving others, and realized it was usually me who walked away blessed. During my junior year, I took a class titled Marriage and Family Therapy, which was likely my favorite class. I found the professors to be real and authentic, so the curriculum took on a personal effect. During the course, students were invited to learn about the process of marriage and family therapy through the lens of guest speakers, personal testimony from students, and various forms of compelling text. As a current professional in the field, this class, and many others, absolutely impacted my path. I felt cared for by much of the staff. They took a personal interest in myself and others. They invested time and energy into our lives, which at times extended beyond our education. CU is a distinct University and such a special place to me. The friendships I made are some of my most prized. Following graduation, I moved on to complete my Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I work as a Family Therapist for a children's mental health agency in Vancouver, Washington. I am so grateful for a career that I love, which was built on a solid education. Daily, I encounter people who are hurting and in some type of discord. I am grateful for the skills I have acquired to join them in their journey. Concordia is not an average University. It is a place where students discover who they are, and what they want to be known for in this world. Skills are developed, students graduate, and people are impacted.

-Kayla Bayer '12