What to Expect
There are many different specialties open to students in counseling degree
Meagan Minvielle took graduate studies in career counseling at Florida
State University. She says that students have a variety of options
if they're thinking of a counseling degree.
"This program does a wonderful job preparing us for different aspects of
counseling. Within my degree area are three different specializations: mental
health counseling, career counseling and school counseling.
"It is really up to the individual to make sure that he or she is getting
the exposure to the learning experiences they want."
Minvielle's education prepared her to work as a career counselor. Esther
Groenhof's graduate studies in counseling psychology equipped her to become
a clinical counselor.
Groenhof says it was quite a challenge. Her thesis took over a year to
complete and was about 200 pages long!
"It often takes some time for students to realize the magnitude of writing
a thesis. It's entirely different from writing a paper or essay," she says.
In order to graduate, Groenhof also had to complete some 600 hours of
counseling internship experience.
As with every student, there were courses she liked and some she found
"As my interest was in clinical practice, I appreciated the courses
with more of a practical application such as advanced counselling skills;
psychopathology; group counselling; crisis counselling; theories of counselling;
marriage and family; and family systems, just to name a few."
Some of Groenhof's less interesting courses were advanced statistics, research
design, psychological assessments and testing. But she says these courses
were no less relevant.
"I probably wouldn't change the curriculum. It provided a nice balance
of academic research and clinical experience, both of which are necessary,
in my opinion, for an integrated counselor, one who can keep up with the latest