WORKING DURING GRADUATE SCHOOL
Working during graduate school may be a necessary challenge. Obtaining or continuing your employment during graduate school allows for more financial security while also gaining hands-on experience and networking opportunities. The biggest hurdle to working during graduate school is managing your time during the field placement portion of your studies. CACREP-accredited programs require a minimum of 700 hours of field placement, which averages approximately 10 hours a week during practicum and 20 hours a week during internship (internship usually takes place over the course of at least two academic terms). This time commitment can make it difficult to maintain fulltime outside employment. It is important to discuss work options with your advisor prior to your field placement to ensure you have the time and finances to progress through the program in a timely manner.
MAKING THE DECISION (COMPARING OFFERS)
If you have been offered (or in the future receive) acceptance letters from more than one graduate counseling program, congratulations! Now how do you make the final decision? Such an important decision may cause anxiety and apprehension about making the best decision for you. Make sure you pay attention to your instincts. And while your instincts may be a consideration, you have also gathered a tremendous amount of information to help
- • FAFSA: www.fafsa.ed.gov
- • Scholarship—The National Board for Certified Counselors
- (NBCC): http://www.nbccf.org/Programs/Scholarships
- • Scholarship—Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society International (CSI): https://www.csi- net.org/members/group_content_view.asp?group=111836&id=39840 8&terms=%22scholarship%22
- • Scholarship—the American School Counselor Association (ASCA):
https: //www.schoolcounselor.org/school-counselors-members/about- asca-(1)/asca-foundation
- • The National Health Service Corps (NHSC): https://nhsc.hrsa.gov/ loanrepayment/
- • Master’s Programs in Psychology and Counseling: http: //learn.org/ pages/Psychology_and_Counseling_Masters_Degree_Schohttps:// hsf.net/en/scholarships / programs / the-gates-millennium-scholarship / larship.html
- • Health Resources and Services: http://www.hrsa.gov/loanscholar- ships/scholarships/disadvantaged.html
- • American Association of University Women: http: //www.aauw.org/ what-we-do/educational-funding-and-awards/
- • Unigo Scholarship Listings: https://www.unigo.com/scholarships#/ fromscholarshipexperts
- • College Data Scholarship Finder: http://www.collegdata.com/cs/ main/main_pay_tmpl.jhtml
In addition, some state branches of the American Counseling Association and the American School Counselor Association offer student scholarships to their members. Visit www.counseling.org and www.schoolcounselor.org for links and further information.
you with your decision-making process, so use it to your benefit. Make sure you have all your questions answered and can adequately assess all information. If you are uncertain about multiple programs, compare what they have to offer. In addition to the considerations presented in chapter 6, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- • What type of financial package is being offered at each school?
- • Is an assistantship available?
- • Can I work with professors on research projects?
- • Do the professors have specialty areas that interest me?
- • Will I have to move?
- • What other costs do I need to consider?
- • Which place feels like the best fit for me?
- • Will I have to pay out-of-state tuition? If so, are there any circumstances in which I can get that waived? (Some schools offer small scholarships that make students eligible for in-state tuition.)
- • Do they offer the counseling specialty area I am interested in?
- • What are the retention and job-placement rates?
- • Are alumni satisfied with their experience in the program?
- • Are the current students satisfied and happy with the program?
- (See Table 7.1 in Appendix A for a helpful spreadsheet to document your research regarding counseling programs of interest to you.)