Leigh Ann Thull
School Psychology graduate student - class of 2013
Why did you choose UNI’s School Psychology program?
I chose to come to UNI to complete my School Psychology graduate work because I was really impressed with how the program offered practicum experiences in all four semesters. Many other programs I looked at only offered 2 or 3 semesters of practicum. I was also interested in learning more about the Response to Intervention method and I knew that a program in IA would give me this experience.
What experiences did you have prior to UNI? (undergraduate, work, etc)
I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN prior to coming to UNI. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with a minor in Spanish. I went straight into my graduate work after completing my undergraduate degree.
What have you gained from the School Psychology program at UNI?
I think that I have gained a very comprehensive training through UNI’s School Psychology program. The University of Northern Iowa’s training program includes practicum experiences in all four semesters and through these practica I have gained many valuable insights and skills. In addition, the concurrent training in both standardized assessments and the Response to Intervention model has helped me to be prepared to work in many types of service delivery models across the country. Because of my training, I would feel comfortable working in a school district where special education evaluations rely on either one or both of these methods of data collection.
What are your career plans after UNI?
I hope to work in a school district that is in a larger city. Some prospective places include Minneapolis or St. Paul, MN or the Baltimore area in MD.
Any advice for prospective students?
Get to know the faculty of a program and also the coursework that is required to make sure that a program is a good fit for you. Programs want you to be successful and this success depends on whether your goals align with the goals of the program.
What is something unique about you?
I think that something that makes me unique to the UNI School Psychology program is that I am not from Iowa. Many students in the program come from Iowa colleges but I think that coming into the program with a perspective from a different state provided me with unique insight. In addition, something that is unique about me as person is that I play the oboe. This double reed instrument is apparently not a very popular choice among instrumentalists so I hardly ever meet many other oboists!