Feeling welcome no matter your chosen road to a degree helps nurture success. Despite being a non-traditional student, Psychology alumni Robin Fortier found the perfect environment for her education at Castleton.
“I was nervous attending classes at the University because I am a non-traditional student and didn't know if I would fit in,” said Fortier, “But my experience has been amazing. My colleagues have been wonderful to me and treat me the same as the rest of the students.”
Having lived the past 25 years in Castleton and working for the University for 11 of those years, Fortier says the student lifestyle has been an interesting and fun change of pace from her life outside of the classroom. Her professors push her towards her goals and hold the same expectations of her as with the rest of their students.
Though working full-time at the University as well as being a student, Fortier still found the time to volunteer at the Rutland County Court Diversion. She has sat on more than 50 boards in her time, helping make decisions for both the community and the victims she sees.
Having a strong interest in the Criminal Justice field, Fortier chose to devote her time to obtaining a Forensic Psychology degree. To solidify her interest in such a field, her Psychology Research class gave her hands-on experience and all the tools necessary to succeed.
“In this class I needed to pick a research project in the first semester and actually do it in the second semester,” she explained. “I had to research, collect data, analyze it and present it in a poster. While this has been my most challenging class, the wealth of knowledge that I gained in helping me to interpret studies is invaluable.”
Motivated to continue her education further, Fortier hopes to achieve her master’s degree in School Psychology from Castleton University, and later land a job in an at risk youth program, court, or even a jail.
“My experiences have been shaped from the collaboration of all the professors in the Psychology department. Each one has contributed to my experiences in different ways, with each being equally enriching,” said Fortier. “The Psychology department has such a warm and inviting family feel to it and this is all due to the atmosphere that the professors have created.”
Being a well rounded, non-tradition student has been instrumental in Fortier’s path to success. Balancing a full-time job, rigorous class schedule, and volunteering her time was supported and encouraged by her Castleton community.
“Castleton has helped shaped my future goals by setting me up with the education I need to be successful in my chosen profession and mapping out the steps I need to take in order to get there,” she said.