Miguel Martinez

MA Counseling, specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

What do you hope to do with your degree and/or credential, and why?

After I graduate, I plan to obtain my license and become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in the State of California. Currently, I am interested working with youth and young adults. For example, I would like to work with kids and college students with emotional or behavioral disturbances. Overall, I have a high interest in helping human beings who are undergoing emotional distress.

When did you begin your program, and when do you anticipate completing it?

I am a first year graduate student, and I began the Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) in Fall 2014. Since this is a three-year program, I hope to complete the program in Spring 2017. 

How did you hear about SOLES, and why did you choose to enroll?

The first time I learned about SOLES was when I visited the school's website. I began to look at the various graduate programs within SOLES and read about the Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program. As soon as I saw the CMHC program, I started researching the admissions requirements, and was captivated by what it had to offer. I was accepted to USC and USD, but decided to attend USD because of the campus, courses and international study experience. If all goes well, I will have the privilege to travel to Australia and Indonesia Summer 2015. The international experience is a requirement in all SOLES graduate programs and I look forward to the cultural immersion trip. 

What is your background? For example, where are you from, where else have you earned a degree, and where have you worked?

I was born and raised in Los Angeles and my community inspired me to pursue higher education. During my undergraduate career, I did extensive work with the youth in the Santa Barbara Latin@ community, and I saw clearly emotional distress affecting their lives. In 2013, I graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Sociology and a minor in applied psychology. I decided to take a year off from school, and during that year I worked at a law firm in South Pasadena, CA and at a non-profit organization in Skid Row. I worked with diverse populations and gained valuable insights about their culture, and at the same time, developed strong work ethic.

Which class has impacted you the most? Why?

The course that has positively impacted me the most is COUN 526, Group Counseling with Dr. Molenkamp. I highly recommend taking Group Counseling with Dr. Molenkamp because you learn through experiential learning and it is a course that is uniquely designed where students will learn about group dynamics and ultimately, about themselves. All the courses at USD have been great, but this course has taught me that counseling groups can be complex, but with practice you can become a great group facilitator. In addition, something that I liked about this course is that it mentally challenged me to step out of my comfort zone. This is important because I equate challenge with growth.