As the recently appointed Provost and Director of Admissions at the Professional School of Psychology, I will be involved in curriculum development and faculty recruitment. However, my primary role at the present time is to review the admissions documents submitted by new program applicants. Reading through an application for admission is, on the one hand, a very straightforward task. Does the application meet the requirements for admission or not?
But I have come to find out that this simple process can really grow on you and become much more than just a paperwork review. My role as Director of Admissions at PSP provides me the opportunity to learn about an individual’s life story, and their dreams for the future. I get to learn about their prior studies, how they have applied those studies to real life, and why they want to embark on a new educational adventure at PSP. I often learn a little bit about challenges in life that they have overcome, or maybe how they have helped others along the way. I love getting applications to review.
An application to a university reminds me of a passport application, by filling out some simple forms the person is announcing that they are ready to see what more there is of the world. Along the way, they will come across many things, both the expected and the unexpected. “Broaden your horizons” is a well-worn expression, but is so apt for both the traveler and the student at PSP.
PSP is a school like no other. When I was a doctoral psychology student at PSP I did not ever feel like I was being “taught at," nor did I feel like I was just there to collect information to take back and apply on the job. Rather, I felt like I was being inspired to see the world through a much larger lens.
It is an incredible honor to be able to participate in the admissions process, the first step in achieving one’s goals. We call them prospective students, and in a very real sense they are prospectors, each seeking something more for themselves. Just what that is may not always be well-defined at first, but somehow each individual has come to the realization that now is the time to start the search. I am fortunate in my role as Provost and Director of Admissions to be witness to each new student’s (sometimes tentative) first step on this journey.
Robin Drotleff, Psy.D.