Meet Our Students: Rita Field

September 24, 2013

A monthly series to help you get to know the students of NLU, where they've come from and the things they've experienced on the journey toward their degree.

ul 9.24.13 Graduate student from Bloomfield Hills, MI
Pursuing Ed.S. in School Psychology

What brought you to NLU?

I originally received my B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology from the University of Michigan. I had spent several years working in the not-for-profit sector in the Pacific Northwest, where I further developed my skills and interest in counseling. Soon after, I had the opportunity to move to London, England. While in England, I obtained a certificate in Integrative Counseling and Psychotherapy from the Minster Centre, University of Middlesex.

As my interest in education and the mental health field grew, it wasn’t solidified until my eldest daughter began preschool. Upon entering preschool, she presented with diagnostic criteria for selective mutism and so began my path to School Psychology. During her time at preschool I recognized the difficulty school personnel had in understanding and managing her needs. They were unfamiliar with selective mutism and did not know what steps to take in order to address my daughter’s unique situation. As a parent, I witnessed the frustration the school staff had in interacting with my daughter. At that transformative moment, I appreciated the necessity of viewing a child as more than their label, considering the child from a holistic perspective and the importance of building positive family/school partnerships.

After extensive research, I recognized the School Psychology program at National Louis University would be the right fit for my educational interests. The program would provide me with the opportunity to learn from prominent educators in the field, while allowing for a "hands-on" approach during practica placements. Logistically, by offering evening classes, I was able to be present for my two young children during their school day!

What are you currently studying?

During the course of the program I received a M.Ed. in Educational Psychology. As a third-year student intern, I am currently working towards an Ed.S. in School Psychology. My internship is in CCSD 15 in Palatine, where I am in an elementary school two days per week and a junior high two days per week. In October, I will begin my 20-day high school rotation. As part of the internship experience, we take an internship supervision seminar that meets once a month. This allows for students to receive University supervision during our internship experience.

What do you like about your program:

Not only have I had the opportunity to learn from exceptional educational leaders in the field, but the nature of the program has allowed me to become involved with the NLU community. Since beginning at NLU, I have been able to participate in various leadership roles such as first-year representative in student governance, student delegate for our national and statewide School Psychology Organizations (NASP & ISPA), as well as the president of the NLU School Psychology Organization. The faculty in the School Psychology department also encourages and supports students to present research studies at the annual National Association of School Psychologist convention. This is a fantastic opportunity to have exposure and interaction with other leaders and researchers in the field. Additionally, because of the size of the cohort you are able to build lasting relationships with colleagues in the field.

Are you involved in any clubs or off-campus activities in your community: 

Most recently I have been volunteering as a selective mutism treatment counselor with Advanced Therapeutic Solutions in Oak Brook. Through the utilization of evidence-based interventions, we have been able to assist children in generalizing communication skills to previously challenging environments.

How have you grown in your time here?

Since I have begun the program at NLU, I have deepened my understanding of school psychology and the positive impact that we can have on students, teachers and community. As leaders, we have the ability to work collaboratively with the school community to ensure positive outcomes for students. Our most important role is to advocate for the student, and as a result of my training I feel confident in my ability to continue to do so.

What do you hope to do after college and how is NLU preparing you for that?

I would like to continue to work in a diverse community, supporting the needs of students and families. Given my extensive coursework, practica placements and research interests, I believe NLU has appropriately prepared me to achieve my career goals.

What have you liked most about your experience at NLU so far?

The exposure to progressive, innovative thinkers; the ability to work collaboratively with students in my cohort; and the interesting practica placements have all been part of an excellent experience at NLU.

If you know of an NLU student at any level -- bachelor's, master's, doctoral -- who has an inspiring story to tell, nominate them for our monthly series by emailing Mark Donahue, Web Communications Editor, at mark.donahue@nl.edu.

Locations
  • CHICAGO DOWNTOWN CAMPUS

    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »
  • ELGIN

    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »
  • NORTH SHORE

    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »
  • LISLE

    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »
  • WHEELING

    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »
  • FLORIDA (TAMPA)

    Established in 1988 and located in one of the city's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to six classrooms, this location features a conference room, a computer lab with high-speed Internet access, an extensive research library and comfortable student lounges.

    5110 Eisenhower Boulevard Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
    Info » | Directions »
  • WISCONSIN

    NLU's Milwaukee campus has a proud history of serving graduate students in education in southeastern Wisconsin. Nearly one in five certified Wisconsin teachers looks to NLU for graduate education programs – more than any other university in the state. In addition to classrooms with high-tech media equipment, the campus offers a state-of-the-art computer lab with wireless Internet access and an extensive IDS research library.

    12000 West Park Place, Suite 100
    Milwaukee, WI 53224-3007
    (414) 577.2658
    Info » | Directions »