M.A. in Counseling, specialization in School Counseling
I grew up in Syracuse, NY then earned my undergraduate degree in Liberal Studies with a Psychology minor in 2010 from Endicott College in Beverly, MA. After graduating I worked in research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and coached girls lacrosse for a club team in the New England area. I moved out to California in August of 2012 for the masters program specifically.
What do you hope to do with your degree?
I hope to become a school counselor at either a middle school or high school upon finishing my degree. I value working in the education system and counseling is something I have found myself to be passionate about. I enjoy working with kids of all ages and want to be able to make an impact in schools on a social/emotional level as well as an academic level.
How did you hear about SOLES, and why did you choose to enroll?
I heard about SOLES through my own research on graduate programs. I chose to enroll because of the Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) credential I would receive along with my masters, as well as of the unique opportunities to study internationally and the fieldwork experiences that are built into the program.
Are you currently working?
I am currently a nanny for three kids in La Jolla, CA as well as coach for a girls travel club lacrosse team. Working part-time is necessary for me, but I also love what I do for work. It does become a lot to work and go to school but many people in most of the programs do work in some capacity. It is nice to know that many other people are in the same boat, juggling multiple things in life.
Tell us about any practicum or fieldwork you have done through SOLES.
I completed my first practicum at Spring Valley Middle School in 2013 and I am currently completing my year-long fieldwork at Canyon Crest Academy High School. At both schools I have had the opportunity to work with students and staff getting direct and indirect counseling hours. The purpose is to fulfill a real experience of what it is like to be a school counselor. Working with different age levels in two different socio-economic environments has been impactful and beneficial to my learning and development as a person and professional.
Additionally, I am the co-vice president of Chi Sigma Iota, the counseling honors society. I work with a board of people planning events and working to engage all students in SOLES through workshops, socials and other fun events and professional development activities.
Have you completed an international experience?
I traveled to Jamaica over the summer for my Multicultural Counseling class. There, we visited the Place of Safety, where we had the opportunity to work with a range of girls and experience the Jamaican community and lifestyle. We built relationships with the girls at Place of Safety, providing emotional support wherever we had an opportunity. We also ventured to the local grocery store and markets to do our food shopping, attended community events and bonded with our house mothers who came to our villas, learning about their backgrounds, families and the Jamaican way of life.
How has your SOLES education impacted your career goals?
My SOLES education has presented me with so many opportunities and resources as well as versatility in working with a variety of ages and environments. I have also been impacted by how rewarding this job can be and how passionate I am about what I hope to be able to do for the rest of my life.
Which class has impacted you the most?
Each class I have taken has left me with new perspectives and valuable information, but my Multicultural Counseling class I took while abroad in Jamaica impacted me deeply. Being able to learn about a new culture, incorporate the skills I have learned and work with a population of people I would never have been able to work with until this program, was an extremely rewarding experience and valuable class.
Are there specific SOLES faculty, staff or administrators you feel have contributed significantly to your success?
All of the staff have been extremely helpful but specifically my advisor, Erika Cameron, another professor, Ian Martin, and Peggy Hetherington, the Director of Field Experiences, have had a tremendous impact on my experience in the program. They are all so invested in what they do and have helped guide me along the way as a person and a student. They are always reliable and approachable for anything that is needed. I value all of the knowledge, experiences and input they continue to share.
What are your plans for after graduation?
I hope to be a counselor in either a middle school or high school, but at this time I am uncertain if I want to stay in California or go back east. My dream job would be to eventually work at the college level and still be able to coach youth lacrosse.
Is there anything else you would like to share with prospective students?
Enrolling in this program has taught me many things about myself and has helped me grow on a personal and professional scale. Moving across the country for this masters program was huge for me, and I had to leave behind a lot, but all of the faculty, staff and students made the transition extremely easy, enjoyable and worthwhile.