Natalie Crook

MA Counseling, specialization in School Counseling with Pupil Personnel Services Credential

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

I have always envisioned myself working as a counselor in the high school level or venturing into college academic advising. However, I also enjoy working with students in the elementary and middle school levels. I look forward to the opportunity to positively impact the lives of students at any age and am confident that USD has and will continue to provide the tools to make me the best possible school counselor I can be. 

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

I began my program fall 2014 and will be graduating in spring 2016. 

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

I heard about SOLES when I was researching top school counseling programs. I had applied to numerous schools in the past, but when I attended the interview day at USD, everything just felt right. I ultimately chose to enroll at USD because of the connection I felt with the school, faculty and students the day of the interview. I have never regretted my decision since!

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

I received my Bachelor’s degree in 2011 from Cal State Fullerton (Go Titans!) in Child and Human Adolescent Development. Like most college graduates, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life after graduation. I worked at a few random jobs but nothing that I wanted to continue long-term. During the span of four-years, I applied to four different graduate programs before I finally chose the school counseling program at USD! 

Are you currently working? If so, do you work full-time or part-time, and what do you do?

I am currently a part-time College Peer Adviser (CPA) for a high school in San Diego. I am employed through Cal-SOAP, which is an outreach program funded by the California Student Aid Commission. I assist students with all things college, including: the application process, financial aid, housing and scholarships. We provide unlimited amounts of resources and assistance to high school students getting ready for college. 

Which class has impacted you the most? Why?

The class that has impacted me most was Counseling Skills (which is taken your first semester as a graduate student in the program). The class really introduced me to the foundation and basic skills needed to start counseling – things I would have never thought I needed to know, but are extremely crucial to know and understand before seeing students.

Is there anything else you would like to share with prospective students?

Be yourself - from writing your personal statement and interview day, to your first session with a student. We are all human and we make mistakes. To see that someone is genuine and real is by far the best quality to get you into the program, through the program and beyond. Good luck!