CEBS Student Spotlight: Candace Bone
- Wednesday, January 19th, 2022
Name: Candace Bone
Degree program: School Psychology, Ed.S.
What year are you in the program? Third Year (Internship)
Hometown: Elizabethtown, KY
Preferred Pronouns: she/her/hers
Why did you choose WKU’s School Psychology program?
The moment I stepped on WKU’s campus I felt at home. Everyone here is so welcoming, and it was evident to me that the professors genuinely care about students. I left my interview with this gut feeling that WKU was where I was meant to be that I could not shake. Looking back, I’m so glad that I trusted my gut and chose WKU.
What key activities/organizations have shaped your WKU experience?
I think a key to my WKU experience has been the friendships I’ve formed within my cohort. My friends or family didn't understand what I was going through or the things I was learning like the girls in my cohort. I think those relationships and having people to turn to who really understood me was crucial.
A key activity that shaped my WKU experience was working with Dr. Myers to complete Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) evaluations. ASD is such a passion area of mine, so it was incredible that WKU paid for me to do a professional training on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2) and then apply that training in a clinic setting. Getting that experience solidified my interests while also giving me a great mentor in Dr. Myers!
How have you already applied what you are learning?
I’m currently working on my internship, so I get to apply my learning every day! From databased decision making to mental health, every course I’ve taken at WKU has been instrumental to my success in my internship. My role has become very mental health heavy so getting to take those course assignments like practicing therapy skills and using them to help support students has been a really cool thing to see. I didn’t realize how much I knew until it came time to apply it!
What do you hope to do after graduation?
After graduation I hope to stay in my current district and continue to support student wellbeing and student success!
What experience(s) have you had during your years as a WKU student that have helped or is helping you prepare for a career after graduation?
I think one of the most impactful experiences I had at WKU that has helped prepare me for my career was my practicum placement. Dr. Ochs worked really hard to ensure we each got placed at a district that we would learn a lot from, and I think the supervisors and district she gave me really pushed me to grow in the very best ways possible. My supervisors were so intentional about the opportunities and challenges they gave me targeting the areas of growth they saw in me. Dr. Ochs also gave us assignments to do on practicum that were so helpful looking back. We had an assignment where we had to work with our supervisors and identify a student in need of counseling services and then we had to provide the counseling using the skills we were learning in class. As challenging as it was to come up with ideas of what to do and how to approach some topics, that assignment helped me tremendously because my role at my current district has become very counseling heavy. The time spent during those practicum experiences and the assignments I had to complete while out in the schools were so formative to the school psychologist I want to be.
What has been the best part of your WKU experience?
I think the best part of my WKU experience has been growing alongside the other students in my program. I think there’s so much beauty in growth, and looking back to where you started really makes you appreciate how far you’ve come. There were so many moments where graduate school was harder than I had ever expected, but looking back, those moments pushed my growth so much. When I think back to my cohort the first week of graduate school and then look at where we are now, it’s the best feeling. I’m really proud of all of us.
Are there any life experiences that impacted you in your pursuit of obtaining this degree?
I had a close friend in school who had Autism Spectrum Disorder, and I saw the way he was treated by students and staff at school. There were times where I got to see our community rally around him and celebrate him and there were times I saw people pick on him for being different.
I loved being there with him to celebrate his victories, no matter how small. He really shaped my passions for students and special education.
What advice do you have for future School Psychology students?
My advice to future school psychology students would be to never lose focus on the importance of advocating for students. There will be times in graduate school where you will feel overwhelmed and frustrated, but keeping the goal of helping students in mind can be a huge motivator. There will be times on internship or in practice where you will have to upset a room full of grown-ups because you’re advocating in the best interest of the student which is scary to do. I think that this field is one that takes a lot of heart and dedication, so remembering why you’re here is the best advice I can give!