Jorden Schlorf has always been good at working with people. It’s who she is. And it’s a skill she has put to good use throughout her working life. Schlorf has held various positions in her school district for the last 10 years, including as an aide and a para-educator. Today, she works with special needs students as a specialist who teaches social skills at the elementary-school-age level.
“I’m typically a very bubbly and social person, and people generally gravitate toward me and have an easy time opening up to me,” she says.
This natural inclination is one of the reasons why Schlorf wants to become a therapist and is currently pursuing her online psychology degree at National University.
What Psychology Means to Me: One Student’s Perspective
“I think what psychology means to me is using my natural ability to connect with others and using something positive where I can really make an impact,” she says. At the same time that she is helping others, she feels she learns things about herself also.
Schlorf, who lives in Agoura Hills, California, wants to be a marriage and family therapist. She hopes to start out working with people going through rehab for substance abuse, and then go on to open a private practice where she can work with couples having marital problems, troubled teens, and families who are struggling with their interpersonal dynamics.
“I have an easy time building a rapport with people,” she says, noting that it’s easy for her to create a connection with her co-workers, as well as the children she helps. “It helps people feel comfortable so they can open up on a deeper level.”
By getting people to open up on a deeper level, Schlorf earns their trust and can get them to explore the bigger issues that could be causing trouble in their lives. That’s how she hopes to be successful in helping her future clients.
For now, she must focus on finishing her education and getting the right training. She is currently enrolled in the psychology program at National University, and she plans to finish with an MFT, a Marriage and Family Therapy license within the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program.
The Online Psychology Degree Option
Schlorf found her way to National University after overcoming a few obstacles in her educational path. She started her pursuit of an undergraduate degree in psychology by taking classes at a community college in California. Just as she was about to transfer to a four-year university, she found out that she was pregnant.
Schlorf suffered a number of complications during her pregnancy, and she had to be hospitalized. Though she recovered and her son was ultimately born healthy, she decided to take some time off from her education to heal and spend time with her son.
When her son started preschool, Schlorf decided that it was time to get back to her education. She went to a traditional school and finished a program in early childhood education, earning a certificate in early childhood education and a certificate in applied behavioral analysis. Then she found National University and after learning about the online degree options, enrolled in the psychology program.
“That was the only real college that could work with my schedule and my busy lifestyle,” says Schlorf, who’s now 30. “I don’t want to take that time to be away from my son.”
National University offers a bachelor in psychology online, as well as other degrees in the field, many of them offered both as online degrees and on campus. Some options for bachelor’s degrees include Integrative Psychology, Sport Psychology, and Organizational Behavior. Master’s programs include Counseling Psychology, Gerontology, Human Behavior, and Performance Psychology. There is also a certificate option for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling.
What Psychology Means to Me: For Schlorf, Flexibility Plus
Schlorf cites many other advantages to the program at National University besides the flexible scheduling. She says that the fast-paced structure and the independent study component are teaching her valuable skills that she will need when she enters the job market. She feels that she will be well-prepared to run her own practice after mastering those skills.
For Schlorf, the advantages are significant. National’s program will help her achieve her goal of becoming a therapist and allow her to advance her career in a way that she wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.
“I realized there’s a ceiling working at a school, and I don’t want to have a ceiling,” she says. She feels that with her online psychology degree, she will no longer have limitations on her career goals.
For more information about online and on-campus psychology programs at National University, please visit our program page.