Doctor of Psychology, Health and Wellness Psychology specialization
"I enjoy learning about the brain and how each individual develops differently."
Brenda Elensky, 45, is pursuing a Master of Arts in Psychology at University of the Rockies to gain knowledge that will further her abilities as a mother and a caregiver. “I have four adopted children, and each one has some type of special need,” she explains. “I was already reading psychology books, so I decided I might as well pursue a degree.”
Far from a stranger to the academic study of psychology, Brenda earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Ashford University in 2009, but she felt her understanding of the field was incomplete. “Earning my Bachelor’s degree only gave me a small taste of psychology - by attending graduate school, I am able to study the subject on a deeper level.” Brenda is specifically interested in infant, child, and adolescent psychology; as she says, “I enjoy learning about the brain and how each individual develops differently.”
Brenda is able to pursue this interest and still care for her children because of University of the Rockies’ online delivery format. “As a mother of four, it is important that I have access to the classroom and library at all hours of the day. I often do my work in the middle of the night, while my family is sleeping.” Of course, with four small children, even the middle of the night is not completely free of interruption. “There are many nights when my youngest child is on my shoulder or in my lap while I work on a paper. There are even nights when I have all of my children sleeping in the room with me while I conduct online research.”
Brenda also finds the online environment a good match for her situation because the classes are scheduled in advance. “I can purchase my textbooks weeks before the class begins, and this allows me to read the text early and prepare for my upcoming class. I am also able to build time for my coursework into my weekly schedule.”
To anyone considering University of the Rockies, Brenda says, “Give it a chance! The classes are structured to fit within your life. All the instructors I had were helpful and added to the learning experience with positive encouragement. Sure, there were times when I felt as though I had taken on more than I could handle, but then I would read the information about the instructor and the other students’ introductions, and I would see that they all had busy lives, too.”
Brenda graduated with her Master’s degree in 2011 and is due to graduate from University of the Rockies' Doctor of Psychology, Health and Wellness Psychology specialization program in 2015.