Throughout the College of Education, there are several programs that involve graduate students working in various capacities with community and regional organizations. According to Annette Kluck, Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Counseling, doctoral student Jasmine Tyson has recently taken on such a role through an assistantship at the Lee County Youth Development Center, Inc. (LCYDC), in Opelika. The assistantship was created so an advanced graduate student in the Counseling Psychology program can provide psychological assessment and psychotherapy services under the supervision of the LCYDC staff. This is a new agreement for the College of Education which began on August 1, 2014.
“This will be a great experience for Jasmine and for other graduate students in the future,” Kluck said. “In fact, the Development Center has already discussed with me the possibility of a long-term relationship for this activity. All of our doctoral students engage in clinical training, so this is really just the latest opportunity for our counseling psychology students.”
Tyson came to Auburn with a master’s degree and has now completed a full year in the doctoral program.
“Jasmine will primarily serve adolescents with a variety of psychological or emotional disabilities,” Kluck explained. “These young people have been removed from their homes and sent to the Development Center by the court system. They attend school year-round at the Center and a high priority is placed on getting the kids back on track through a variety of transition services. Jasmine will make a great contribution in that area.”
Tyson has prior experience at East Alabama Mental Health working with adolescents. She has completed all of her assessment training courses and has shown a strong interest in working with young people.
“Jasmine is a good student and a very caring therapist,” Kluck said. “She really wants to help people work through their various issues. Some people are interested in the degree for other reasons, but she is just a good person with a strong desire to serve others.”
Kluck is pleased with the direction of the program and with the ‘hands-on’ nature of the clinical training.
“I think it’s great what we’re doing here,” she said. “All of our students are engaged in practical training and they all go to multiple sites over the course of their training, so the value-added benefit in terms of the cost of therapy contributed to others in need is a valuable outreach service. Our students work in many different locations. They work with veterans, in court-mandated substance abuse counseling, at Atlanta’s Grady Charity Hospital, just all over. Our students get a lot out of it, but the community gets a lot as well. “
In addition to the services provided by Tyson and her colleagues from Counseling Psychology, the School of Kinesiology also provides services to LYCDC.
“For the past 20 years, we have been working with the Development Center to provide Physical Education services,” said Mary Rudisill, Director of the School of Kinesiology. “We have two graduate teaching assistants who work there every day. Alice Buchanan coordinates these students, who lead a variety of physical activities for the Center’s students.”
This is just one more way Auburn University’s College of Education provides outreach services to help those in need.