Alumni Spotlight

 

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Photo of Ceinna

High School Transition & Success Counselor for KIPP TX DFW Region

1. How has obtaining this degree and/or credential positively affected your employment experiences and life overall?

Obtaining my Master's degree from CSULB in School Counseling has opened up so many doors for me. Not only was I able to network and serve as an intern to counselors within Los Angeles, but I was also able to secure a counseling position soon after graduation. Now I am in my third year of serving as a high school counselor and I love it!

2.  Where are you currently working and what is your title/position?

I currently work in Dallas, TX as the High School Transition & Success Counselor for KIPP TX DFW Region. Everyday I meet with students at their current high schools, or via Zoom, and we work together to create their high school goals and discuss their postsecondary plans. I provide students with equitable resources, college preparation materials, coordinate college tours and connect them to current professionals for mentorship opportunities.

3. What advice do you have for a prospective student to your program?

As a black woman, I experienced imposter syndrome a lot during our 2 year graduate program and I often wondered why I was chosen as a student. But I reflected on my accomplishments, my passion, and all the hard work I put in to get to the point of furthering my education. I soon realized that if my new CSULB professors, cohort members and family believed in me, then I needed to do the same and believe in myself. You are pursing your degree for a reason and you are worthy of being in the program, so give yourself the credit you deserve and DO NOT GIVE UP!

4. What was your favorite/most memorable part of being a graduate student at CSULB?

My favorite part of being a graduate student at CSULB was our community! My cohort members were all genuine, supportive, and many of us became long term friends. I also love and admired our professors because I felt like I could go to them for any questions or concerns, and actually left the conversations feeling heard, seen and acknowledged.

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Photo of Joana

School Counselor for a Charter High School

1. How has obtaining this degree and/or credential positively affected your employment experiences and life overall? 

The master’s degree in school counseling and pupil personnel services credential have opened many doors for me, professionally. Despite graduating in May of 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone in my cohort was able to secure a job within 6 months of graduating. This is a testament to the caliber of the School Counseling Program at Cal State Long Beach. I am confident that I acquired the expertise to serve students in any K-12 school setting. 

2. Where are you currently working and what is your title/position?   

I am currently working at a charter high school in the San Fernando Valley. In my role as a school counselor, I support students' academic, career and social-emotional development by utilizing multi-tiered systems of support. I work with diverse student populations in grades 9-12 and collaborate with various stake holders to help students graduate high school, college and career ready. I am currently working on obtaining the 18-unit College Admissions Counseling Professional Certificate through UCR’s extension programs. 

3. What advice do you have for a prospective student to your program? 

To keep an open mind and an open heart. We live in world that is constantly changing and the counseling profession needs passionate, fearless leaders.

4. What was your favorite/most memorable part of being a graduate student at CSULB? 

My favorite part was being able to foster amazing relationships with my professors and cohort mates that I still cherish today. I also really enjoyed being the School Counseling Student Association’s president. This role allowed me to support my cohort mates and advocate for the school counseling profession. 

High School Counselor for Santa Ana Unified School District

1. How has obtaining this degree and/or credential positively affected your employment experiences and life overall?

My Masters in School Counseling and PPS credential from CSULB has significantly helped me with landing my first job after the program, as employers know the quality of education and experience that students receive from CSULB's School Counseling program. As many schools see the value of aligning with the ASCA National Model, this program has significantly helped me understand how to implement the National Model at different school sites. The program has helped me take lead at my school and in my district in implementing best practices in the field of school counseling.

2.  Where are you currently working and what is your title/position?

I currently work in Santa Ana Unified School District as a High School Counselor. I support 9th-12th grade students to address their academic, social-emotional, and college/career needs in order for them to reach their potential and pursue their goals throughout and after high school.

3. What advice do you have for a prospective student to your program?

My advice for prospective students to the CSULB School Counseling program is to build strong relationships with your faculty, cohort classmates, and fieldwork supervisors, as these partners will be instrumental in your journey in being a school counselor.

4. What was your favorite/most memorable part of being a graduate student at CSULB?

My favorite part of being a graduate student at CSULB is support I've received from the faculty and my fellow students. With the cohort model, it was comforting to take my classes with the same students who are working towards the same goals of being a school counselor. We were able to lean on each other for support throughout the program and after.

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Photo of Muna

Counselor Coach for the Orange County School District

1. How has obtaining this degree and/or credential positively affected your employment experiences and life overall? 

The degree and training I received from CSULB was critical in shaping me into the professional I am today. The counseling program is highly regarded in the counseling profession, and I took advantage of the networking opportunities it afforded me. CSULB’s emphasis on leadership, equity and advocacy also prepared me to articulate the positive impact school counselors can have on student achievement. I learned how to develop a data-driven comprehensive program to support all students. I approached job interviews confident that I was prepared to excel as a professional. At CSULB, I learned that my voice matters. 

2. Where are you currently working and what is your title/position?

I am currently a counselor coach at a school district in Orange County, CA. In this role, I support middle school counselors as they develop and implement comprehensive school counseling programs in alignment with the ASCA National Model. 

3. What advice do you have for a prospective student to your program? 

My advice to prospective students is to be ready to stretch yourself because that is the best way to grow. Get involved in state and national organizations to learn best practices from a diverse group of professionals. 

4. What was your favorite/most memorable part of being a graduate student at CSULB? 

My favorite part of being a graduate student was learning from the professors and other graduate students in my cohort. My cohort was a source of constant support and we rooted for each other. 

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Photo of Brian

Counselor/CED Education Coordinator at the Los Angeles County Office of Education

1. How has obtaining this degree and/or credential positively affected your employment experiences and life overall?

Having earned my MS degree and PPS credential from CSULB has significantly impacted me and the work that I do. The training I received provided the skillset, knowledge, and theoretical framework to meet the academic, career, and social/emotional development of students. It also taught me the importance of making data-driven decisions and implementing evidence-based interventions, while maintaining social justice and equity at the core of the work I do. Overall, it has reinforced the fact that School Counselors play a critical and fundamental role within the school community. I have the great satisfaction and honor of knowing that the work being done by program graduates is having a positive impact on students, schools, and communities across California. Although the work can be challenging at times, it is very rewarding and has afforded me opportunities to continuously grow and learn. 

2. Where are you currently working and what is your title/position? 

I currently serve as a Counselor/CES Education Coordinator with the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), Student Support Services division. I specifically support the county’s Coordinated Entry System (CES) and provide education-related support and advocacy for students experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity. I inform students, parents/caregivers, and stakeholders of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, connect students to school and other educational and vocational pathways, and collaborate with districts, charters, county and community partners to provide linkage to educational and supportive services across LA County. At the moment, I am also participating in the Aspiring Principals of Color Fellowship through the Diversity in Leadership Institute (DIL) and Loyola Marymount University’s Institute of School Leadership and Administration (ISLA) program. The goal is to earn a Preliminary Administrative Services Credential by December 2024. 

3. What advice do you have for a prospective student to your program?

I encourage prospective students to take time to explore personal values and goals to ensure that they align with the CSULB program. As a graduate, you will be trained and expected to serve as an advocate for equity, achievement, and opportunity for ALL students. Prospective students should reach out to current graduate students, faculty and alumni to learn more about the program. Once admitted, graduate students can expect a rigorous, yet supportive and life-changing educational experience. 

4. What was your favorite/most memorable part of being a graduate student at CSULB?

The most memorable part of being a graduate student at CSULB was the sense of family that quickly developed within the counseling cohort. I established personal and professional relationships with peers and faculty that I highly regard and value.