Melissa Valtierra, M.S. Ed, LMHCA, NCC

Melissa was born and raised in Illinois and briefly lived in Pennsylvania before moving to Northwest Indiana where she currently lives with her husband, of 27 years, and youngest daughter.  Her oldest daughter is in her freshman year of college. After graduating from high school in Edwardsville, IL, she attended Eastern Illinois University (EIU) in Charleston, IL and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.  While at EIU, Melissa was inducted into Psi Chi National Honor Society.  In order to pursue a career in school psychology, she continued attending EIU and earned a Master’s degree in Psychology followed by a Specialist degree in School Psychology.  Upon graduation, she began working for Batavia Public Schools in Batavia, IL. Melissa worked there for 10 years and provided psychological services to 4 elementary schools. During that time, she had two children which led me to a decision to provide contractual services to local school districts to allow her to be home with her children.  After practicing privately for almost 4 years, her husband took a job in Pennsylvania, where there was no reciprocity for transferring a degree and licensure without further college coursework and examinations. Therefore, Melissa worked part-time at her daughters’ elementary school as a Title I Aide and remained there until they moved to Northwest Indiana, where she took a job as a High Ability Aide in a local school district.  This position allowed her to pursue the transfer of my licensure as a school psychologist to Indiana and reenter college to pursue a degree in school counseling at Purdue University Northwest, Hammond Campus. She also decided to complete coursework that will enable her to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate (LMHCA) once she passes the NCE exam. Last year, Melissa was inducted into Chi Sigma Iota, the National Honor Society for counselors and began working as a graduate assistant for the Counseling and Professional Education Department.  As a graduate assistant, Melissa has had the opportunity to assist with the opening and running of the Community Counseling Center here a PNW. In May of this year, she will graduate from PNW and plans to pursue a position as a school counselor and obtain licensure as an LMHCA.