M.A. in Counseling, specialization in School Counseling
I’m originally from Orange County, but have lived in San Diego for the past 5 years. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from San Diego State University. I worked as a Resident Advisor in my undergraduate studies and have been involved with the San Diego Center for Children, Spring Valley Middle School, and Balboa City School.
What do you hope to do with your degree?
I hope to become a school counselor and advocate for students in an educational setting. I love working with students and wish to support them at such a crucial stage in their life. I strongly believe in preparing and supporting each new generation for their future.
Why did you choose SOLES?
I heard about SOLES through researching possible programs in counseling. I chose to enroll because SOLES offers so many comprehensive and accredited programs. I felt connected and at home at SOLES immediately. I truly believe the support and preparation offered through my program qualifies me for my work at USD and beyond.
Tell us about any fieldwork you have done through SOLES.
I’m currently at Balboa City School for my fieldwork in School Counseling. I facilitate two groups, work with individual students, present guidance lessons, coordinate college preparation resources, and support students in their academic setting. This experience has had a huge impact on my personal and professional development. I’m a part of the action at my site and really get to practice and apply what I’m learning in my graduate classes. Previously, I was at Spring Valley Middle School for my practicum.
I am also helping to further develop a mentoring program for Words Alive (a non-profit organization) with a team of three School Counseling students and one of my professors. All of us meet to help support at-risk students through reading workshops and mentor meetings.
Tell us about any research or independent study you have done at SOLES.
Currently, I’m developing my Action Research study involving preparing international students for college. I am implementing counseling groups and resource interventions to help support international students with preparing for and applying to college. I am very passionate about this topic and I believe this is a great population to be working with. Hopefully, my research project can be beneficial to other school sites and can further the development of resources for international students.
Have you completed an international experience?
I traveled to Costa Rica for my career counseling class this summer and had the time of my life! We attended Spanish classes, studied different career paths, went surfing, visited Manuel Antonio National Park, and volunteered at the local school in Dominical. I can’t complain about studying in Costa Rica, when the beach was footsteps from our room! Being immersed in the culture and traveling with a part of my cohort is something so irreplaceable. Pura vida!
How has your SOLES education impacted your career goals?
My SOLES School Counseling education has helped me to visibly apply what I learn to an actual career. The opportunities available for professional development are so diverse and prominent here at SOLES. This program has truly allowed me to develop as a practitioner and gain valuable experience for my future career.
Which class has impacted you the most?
My Pre-Practicum Skills class with Dr. Cameron has definitely impacted me the most in my academic career here at SOLES. I came into this field with my own personal set of skills, but this class challenged me to grow and develop into the professional I am today. Through group work, reflection, and advisory time I feel I became a part of the School Counseling program and learned what it means to be a counseling practitioner.
Are there specific SOLES faculty you feel have contributed significantly to your success?
While I feel all of the School Counseling faculty have deeply contributed to my success, I especially feel my advisor, Dr. Martin, has been truly beneficial to my growth here at SOLES. The professionalism and support put forth by Dr. Martin have helped me develop as a student, as a professional, and as a colleague. Dr. Martin has been a fantastic mentor, teacher, cheerleader, critic, and colleague throughout my entire educational experience at SOLES.
What are your plans for after graduation?
After graduation, I’m excited to see where my career takes me! Whether I continue living in San Diego or move to a different city, I know my skills will continue to develop from this program. My dream job is to become a school counselor or even work in higher education in a student affairs position. I simply wish to pursue my passion of advocating for student achievement.
Is there anything else you would like to share with prospective students?
The community at USD and SOLES, both, have been so incredible. Being a part of this class of changemakers has promoted values that I deeply care about. The campus, faculty, students, and administration all work together to build a beautiful place to grow and thrive in my pursuit of education. Go Toreros!
This is an archived student profile, which was written by Emily in the 2012-2013 academic year. Emily, who was a SOLES Student Ambassador, graduated from the program in 2013. Congratulations, Emily!