Christina Shott graduated from UW Tacoma in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and minor in education. She became interested in the field of psychology during her time as a running start student at her local community college. She recalled, “My Psychology 100 professor challenged us more than I have ever experienced, and explained that it would be a hard road to take, but one that is well-worth the drive.”
She is currently enrolled at Seattle University in the School Psychology program, working towards her Educational Specialist degree. Shott hopes to graduate from the three year program in spring of 2016 before going to work with public schools as a school psychologist and school counselor. She currently is employed as a behavior therapist in Applied Behavior Analysis, helping clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder learn the skills necessary to become independent at school and in life.
Schott loves that the field of psychology has myriad directions on which you can focus your study. She adds, “There are so many different paths that this field can lead you to, the options are endless.” Her advice to students interested in psychology and education is to take all of the classes you can within the program, as well as outside. She says, “This will give you the opportunity to apply the knowledge you are learning in some classes to other classes, and will widen your understanding overall.” Another piece of advice she has for students, “Plan early when applying to graduate programs. Keep a running record of all due dates, required materials, number of recommendations, etc.” And she also urges, “Ask your professors for a letters of recommendation while you are still enrolled in their class. It can help them write a higher quality recommendation, than say, if you took their class three or four quarters beforehand.”
In hindsight, Shott says, “take any opportunity for research that presents itself, even if it is outside your realm of study or interest. It is not necessarily the actual research data itself that you will learn from; rather, it is the experience through the research process and with the data.”