School of Athen by Raphael

Faith Leather: Liberal Studies and Psychology

Alumna Focus

Faith completed a double major in Psychology and Liberal Studies before going on to an MA in Clinical Psychology at York University in Toronto . After two years in the doctoral program there she decided to take time off to gain experience in the field, and is now working in clinical practice in Nanaimo and teaching Psychology at Vancouver Island University. Faith credits Liberal Studies with giving her the general skills to succeed at graduate school.

“I think that the Liberal Studies program is invaluable in many ways. For one thing, one really learns to write. Papers are subject to peer review as well as feedback from professors, and we revised and resubmitted certain papers over the course of the term. In addition, at the end of each year we presented a major paper in front of an audience; this experience is great preparation for future conference and academic presentations, not to mention that public speaking is a valuable skill in other areas of one’s life.

“Also, there was a good balance of small and large sized class activities, professors from a variety of areas, and the ability to form a real community with the others involved in the program. One thing that I particularly enjoyed was the choice of mini-course offerings on various topics and exposure to art and music – something that I would never have had in other programs. I also liked the ‘hands-on’ approach to learning – I remember students running large sheets of paper down the hallways to give them perspective on geological timelines, and in the biology mini-course we did a classification exercise with fasteners (screws, nails and such). That kind of experience is so much more valuable than ‘book learning’ or the typical lecture. And learning how to learn serves one throughout both one’s personal and professional life.”