MA Counseling, specialization in School Counseling with Pupil Personnel Services Credential
When did you begin your program, and when do you anticipate completing it?
Fall 2013 start and spring 2015 anticipated graduation.
What do you hope to do with your degree and/or credential after graduation?
Becoming an elementary or middle school counselor specializing in anti-bullying curriculum and increasing healthy lifestyles within my school community.
How did you hear about SOLES, and why did you choose to enroll?
Through researching CACREP accredited universities, USD quickly became my number one university to apply. Because of USD's positive nationwide reputation and the unique opportunity of pursing my masters in California, I chose SOLES as the best place for me to grow as a professional and individual.
Tell us about any internships, graduate assistantships, student teaching, practicum or fieldwork you have done through SOLES.
I completed my practicum placement at Chollas Mead Elementary School and absolutely loved it! I was able to gain experience with classroom presentations, individual counseling, group counseling and crisis management. I started my fieldwork fall 2014 at Pride Academy in Santee.
Have you completed an international experience? Where did you go and what did you do?
I went to Tijuana, Mexico with Resident Ministry on a service trip. We helped build a church, met and spoke with patients at an Aids/HIV center and traveled by the border to learn about current immigration issues. One of my favorite experiences in San Diego to date! Also, before coming to SOLES, I taught English abroad in Spain for a year. I am able to write a reflection on both that experience abroad and my service trip to Tijuana to complete my international experience.
How has your SOLES education impacted you?
SOLES has been a great way to network and connect with people not only in my cohort but in the entire counseling department. I work with several Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) students in the PoPP research, which has given me the opportunity to gain new ideas and different perspectives with students outside my cohort. Meeting more people helps me feel better connected to this university and SOLES and in the end have a more meaningful graduate experience.
Which class or classes have impacted you the most?
Pre-practicum (counseling skills), human development and practicum are the three classes that have impacted me the most and helped me feel better prepared to counsel students.
Are there any specific SOLES faculty, staff or administrators you feel have contributed significantly to your success? How have they helped?
Yes, Dr. Estrada has contributed greatly to my success and sense of connectedness to this university. She has been a strong supporter and encourager and gave me the idea of becoming an ambassador. Working with her and the team on PoPP has been a unique opportunity that has opened my eyes to the world of research. Dr. Cameron is my advisor and was my professor for human development. I really enjoy her teaching style and learned so much from that class.
Is there anything else you would like to share with prospective students?
I have been amazed with the support from the faculty not only from personal experience but from the stories of my classmates. They want every student to have a meaningful experience here at USD and will support students in every way possible to make that happen. I believe it is important to be open to new experiences while here at SOLES and step out of your comfort zone because you might be surprised by what you can do!