Fairfield University's Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions - Just what are allied professions?

"Allied Professions" in Fairfield University's Graduate School of Education are specialized areas of study that prepare professionals to deliver important support services to school systems to meet the diverse needs of students.

From helping students cope with a classmate's suicide to dispensing college and career advice or staging a multimedia presentation on the double helix, these "allied professionals" include school psychologists, school counselors, school library media specialists, special educators, marriage and family therapists, and community counselors. At one time, each of these specialists acted alone. Increasingly, however, they are actively included in the classroom, following a systemic approach to educating children.

"The expanding use of technology and recognition of the need to provide a good educational experience to all students, including those with special needs, have been the impetus for Fairfield's expanding its programming into so many specialized areas" said Dr. Margaret C. Deignan, dean of Fairfield's Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions.

The core concern of all of these professions is to improve the life of children and youth. Dr. Paula Gill Lopez, director of the School Psychology Program at Fairfield University, remarked, "School psychologists still perform assessment tests on students. However, they now also provide direct intervention by supporting students who are experiencing difficulties in school as well as indirect intervention through consultation with students, teachers, parents, and administrators. We look at schools as systems and our goal is to help teachers provide consistent assistance and instruction in school and at home."

Special educators, who act in concert with regular teachers in today's inclusive classrooms, are an integral part of a systemic educational environment. "Implementation of new regulations from the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) public law involves the entire school system, not just special educators," explains Dr. Daniel Geller, chair of the Psychology and Special Education Department at the Graduate School.

This inclusive approach to education is reflected in the specialized professional programs offered by the Graduate School. These programs, as well as the elementary and secondary educator programs, teach educators how to examine and to implement educational principles systemically.

If one of these "allied professions" interests you, please call the University's toll free number (877) 467-3817 for a catalog and application packet.

Several sessions of courses will be offered over the summer, beginning with a pre-session, May 24-June 4. Other sessions run June 7-July 1; July 6-August 2; and August 3-August 10. For further information on registration, please call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2413 or 2139. New students should call to arrange to speak with an advisor before registering for class.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 1, 1999

Vol. 31, No. 267

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