Byron WardEducational Psychology and Measurement
I met another grad student shortly before I was scheduled to take the comprehensive exam for an M.Ed. degree. It was early in the morning. I had gone to the library to study for the exam. I really didn't know what to do. I just knew I needed to study for the exam. I had never met this fellow student before. He saw that I needed some guidance and he provided it. At that time the exam had 300 questions, 30 in each of 10 areas of psychology. To pass for a masters degree one needed 150 right answers and for a Ph.D. 200 right answers. I got 205 right answers and at the end of the summer session I graduated with an Masters in Education.
I worked as a school counselor for 2 years before I enrolled in a Ph.D. program at Syracuse University. I completed the Ph.D. and worked as a clinical psychologist in the New York State Department of Mental Hygiene until I retired in 1995.
When I enrolled at UNL in the fall of 1959, I had just finished my stint in the Army and really didn't know much. I had completed a B.S. Degree at Tarkio College and taught Business Subjects at Manilla Public School for 1 year before getting drafted into the Army. When I arrived at Lincoln I was expecting to complete a masters degree and become a CPA. Dr. House took me under his wing and got me an assistantship with Dr. Saylor and 4 courses that would lead to a master's degree in one year. I only had 2 semesters of accounting and Dr. House informed me that I would need another year of accounting before I could pursue CPA certification. He advised me to get the Master's Degree then pursue a career in accounting. That turned out to be great advice. The program of studies I completed at Lincoln led to certification as a school counselor in both Nebraska and Iowa. It also provided me with the education that I needed to become certified in Iowa as a School Psychologist. I worked the next year as Director of Guidance at Albia, Iowa. The next year I enrolled in the School Psychology program at Syracuse. My first semester at Syracuse, I was recruited to work half time as a Senior Clinical Psychologist at Marcy State Hospital. This was based on my Masters Degree from UNL.
Get to know your fellow graduate students, especially those who have been at Lincoln some years longer than you. They know their way around and can give you much needed guidance. One Post Script. The first semester I was at Syracuse I was traveling in a car with some other grad students on our way to the induction ceremony into Phi Delta Kappa. One of the guys said that the difference between an ABD and a Ph.D. is tenacity. I thought to myself, I have plenty of that!