They say that a reference is the best compliment. Those words certainly ring true when it comes to Monique and West Chester University's Counselor Education program.
"Initially, I was looking for a program close to home—West Chester is over an hour driving distance for me. But after hearing all of the great things about the program from my relatives, I decided to research and read more about it. I ultimately wanted a program that allowed me to maximize my opportunities for the future, and one reason I chose WCU's Counselor Education over other programs me was the ability to pursue a dual certification. I was looking for a solid, strong program with excellent career preparation, and WCU was just that!"
Monique learned even more than she anticipated through the Counselor Education program, attaining skills in counseling and hands-on experience through her internship. But, perhaps most importantly, Monique says it was the self-growth she experienced throughout the entire learning process that truly prepared her for her current positions.
"I ultimately learned that qualities like compassion, empathy and active listening are not to be overlooked or taken lightly, because at the end of the day, people want to be genuinely heard and understood. These qualities along with other helping skills are what guide me in my current positions and allow me to build strong rapport with students and colleagues."
Monique is putting all of her skills to work as an academic advisor and adjunct professor at Northampton Community College, where she teaches College Success, a freshman seminar class called that focuses on facilitating the skills necessary for success in college.
"I entered the program one person and graduated feeling like a person changed for the better."
Talent Development Specialist, Training & Human Resources
Kate came to West Chester University's Industrial/Organizational Psychology program on the recommendation of a faculty member, and now credits the program for helping her land her current position. Kate was looking for a program that was hands-on and provided performance-based training. She found both at WCU, and a close knit graduate community to round out the whole experience.
"It's really a close knit group at West Chester—the classroom size is small and the professor to student ratio is ideal and very personalized. The small class size made it really easy to participate, connect with classmates and stay engaged. Everything I learned in the program was applicable to my current position and I feel that it catapulted me to a career in business very quickly."
During her time in the program, Kate was inducted into the Psi Chi honor society, traveled to a Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology conference in Houston with classmates, and joined a research group which gave her the opportunity to present research at an Environmental Protection Agency conference in New York.
Today Kate is a talent development specialist focused on training and human resources at Dechert, LLP.
Allison R. Casola, M.P.H., B.S.
Graduate Assistant, Department of Health
President, M.P.H. Student Advisory Board
Allison first took notice of West Chester University's Master of Public Health degree as a junior in college. She was studying biology and chemistry and becoming more and more passionate about developmental biology and immunology. That's when she realized that public health would be a perfect fit.
"Making the decision to come to West Chester and study public health is the best decision I've ever made—I can use my training in clinical sciences to help increase the health of whole populations."
Not only has Allison been busy in the classroom, where she's found that faculty members make excellent mentors, she's also a student representative for the Community Service Committee, a graduate tutor for biostatistics, and a graduate assistant. Allison's role as a grad assistant has provided her with many opportunities to work hand in hand with faculty members on evaluation projects and reports, and is preparing her for her next major undertaking—her Ph.D.
"West Chester has more than prepared me for a successful career in public health, and I'm very excited to see where my future takes me."
Josh didn't discover his love of philosophy until later in his undergraduate career. Determined to study philosophy at the graduate level, but still new to the field, Josh decided to look for master's programs. That's when he found West Chester University.
"WCU was a perfect fit for me, and really helped me take steps to advance towards my career. I could not possibly be any more grateful for my experience at West Chester."
Josh's two years at West Chester solidified his interest in philosophy, helped him grow as a scholar, and prepared him for his next step—a doctoral programs. Today, Josh is enrolled in Temple's Ph.D. program where he'll also be teaching undergraduate courses.
Chibu was an undergraduate student here at WCU when she first heard about the Master of Public Health program from a mentor. Interested, she spoke to several other graduate students about their experiences, attended a graduate Studies Open House, and the rest is history.
Chibu quickly got involved in campus life at the graduate level as the President of the Graduate Student Association and a graduate assistant for the Office of Residence Life. Both were roles that allowed Chibu to make connections with graduate and undergraduate students across campus, and she says also "strengthened my project management, leadership, and communications skills."
Of all she did on campus and beyond, Chibu says it was her graduate internship with the Society for Public health Education that made the greatest impression. "My experience at the Society for Public Health Education helped me to lay a strong foundation in my public health career and challenged me to become a well-rounded professional. I gained valuable professional and life skills."
Today, Chibu uses many of the skills she gained through the MPH program in her work as a Health Education Specialist for the Government of the District of Columbia, where she manages the District's first comprehensive physical education program for child care facilities, and is happy to stay connected to WCU.
"You never know when you may cross paths with a classmate again in your professional career."
Mark attended West Chester University as an undergraduate and so thoroughly enjoyed his experience that he decided to stay on for a master's degree. "My professors were all very knowledgeable and supportive, having offered countless pearls of wisdom and advice."
After earning his Master of Public Health, Mark held a series of positions with high profile institutions including a position at the University of Pennsylvania, where he led the efforts in firearm and violence-related research and McNeil Consumer Healthcare where he working in the department of global quality control.
Today, Mark is working at the Cancer treatment Centers of America where he has been intimately involved in corporate quality, the intellectual property and innovation division, and is now working to grow the clinical research program.
"The amount of preparation and confidence WCU instilled, has aided me in my career advances and in evaluating the choices along the way."
Higher Education Counseling and Student Affairs
A 2004 alumna with dual degrees in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Karen couldn't keep herself away from WCU for long. Although she accepted admission as a different university, she couldn't get West Chester off her mind. After a tour of the other university, she called WCU's graduate studies and accepted her offer of admission, and came "back home for graduate school."
"The opportunities are endless as a graduate student at West Chester University. It's a close-knit group of 2,000 graduate students, and you're bound to find a place where you feel at home."
Throughout the two-year program, Karen took advantage of all that WCU had to offer. She was a graduate assistant and an officer in both the Graduate Student Association and Chi Sigma Iota honor society; she was an LGBTQ Ally; worked with commuted students; collaborated with faculty and staff; and was named the 2013-2014 Graduate Student Leader of the Year. All of her extracurricular involvement helped Karen in the classroom as well, and by the time she graduated, she had plenty of hands-on experience in the field.
"I was guided, molded and mentored into a student affairs professional by skilled faculty with years of professional experience. I was exposed to real-life opportunities to put theory into practice. The program provided extensive experience with the ACA Ethical Code of Standards and Professional Codes, which have given me a strong foundation in my current role. Opportunities abounded for professional development and networking, as well as mentorship, and by the closure of my program, I felt confident to enter the higher education community as a Student Affairs Practitioner."
Today, Karen works in the Center for Global Education at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she is the English Language Academy Coordinator.
"Expect to learn a lot from your professors in class, but don't be surprised when you learn almost as much from your sage classmates."
The opportunity to pursue her Master of Public Health full-time at night while still working a full-time job during the day made WCU an easy choice for Ethel. Although the commute could be rough—she drove 60 miles each way, three days a week—Ethel says that "attending WCU changed the trajectory of [her] life."
Ethel's concentration in Health Care Administration landed her the first administrative internship to the office of the president at Fox Chase Cancer Center. From the network she built at Fox Chase, she became a COTH Fellow and formed connection with the National Association of Health Services Executives as well as the American College of Health Care Executives.
Today, Ethel is the first strategic operations specialist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America Eastern Regional Medical Center, an adjunct professor in the School of Health Science and Liberal Arts at Philadelphia University, a youth leader, Sunday school teacher, and Director of the FLC Scholarship Fund at Faith and Love Center Church. She's also an entrepreneur with her own business which aims to teach and promote wellness and fitness in the faith-based community and community centers.
M.Ed., NCC, LPC
When Danielle found the secondary counseling program at West Chester University, she'd been working full-time in business and marketing, and decided it was time for a change.
"I researched secondary counseling programs in the area and asked friends and colleagues, and heard so many positive reviews of WCU's graduate program from them. Ultimately, I chose WCU for the evening classes geared toward full-time employees, the reputation of the university, the convenient proximity, and schedule flexibility."
As a student Danielle took advantage of the small class size to really get to know her peers and her faculty members. She was the President of Chi Sigma Iota, the International Counseling Honor Society, which she credits with helping her network across campus and for giving her a leadership role to enhance her resume. She continued at WCU through the post-graduate licensure program after receiving her master's degree, and today Danielle is putting her degree to work locally as a School Counselor, LPC.
"The post-LPC curriculum together with my graduate education amply prepared me to work as a counselor. I would recommend the post-graduate program with Dr. Parsons, in combination with the LPC supervision to any student. Both degrees prepare you for a successful career in school counseling as well as working with clients in clinical mental health. Because the program is CACREP accredited, it assures you that you are meeting all the requirements and standards of the profession."
M. Ed School Counseling
Matt originally heard about West Chester's Counseling Education program through a friend who graduated from the program, but it was the flexibility and number of options that really sealed the deal.
Shortly into his program, Matt took advantage of WCU's flexibility when he changed tracks within the curriculum. "I originally started the program with the intention of becoming a high school guidance counselor, but during my first semester decided I wanted to work in a higher education environment. Through my internship experiences and graduate assistantship at the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (OSSD), I switched from School Counseling to Higher Education Counseling/Student Affairs."
Matt also took advantage of the graduate community at WCU by making connections with classmates and faculty members inside the classroom and out. "WCU's Counselor Education Program offers a number collaborative, constructive, and stimulating interactions facilitating ample opportunities to establish positive relationships. I enjoyed the environment because it facilitated an encouraging and harmonious graduate community."
Now a Readjustment Counseling Therapist at Coatesville VA Medical Center, Matt has been putting his WCU education to good use. "Although my focus was Higher Education Counseling/Student Affairs, WCU's program, based on Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards, qualified and prepared me for my current clinical position."
Matt started researching his next step as a senior in college. He knew he wanted an industrial/organizational program in the Philadelphia area and WCU seemed like a good choice. "After calling and speaking with several professors and going to a meet and greet with a friend, I knew that this was the right program for me. I knew that WCU would be able to give me the edge I wanted in this industry."
Matt jumped in, and built a network and his skills immediately. After the first class, Matt says he made a core group of classmates who made time to study with each other, celebrated the passing of big exams, helped coach each other through tough courses, and even attended events together. He also gained plenty of skills through the program including public speaking, statistics, and collaboration through group work which all helped prepare Matt for his current position.
Today, Matt is a senior consultant working for startup consulting firm, Eigen X where he's leading the effort on a BI solution called Birst.
"On a daily basis, I reply to end users using a system I helped to create. My boss has consistently stated that the graduates from WCU's I/O program are top notch. I am very happy in my current role and am challenged every day. To anyone considering a graduate program and has a psychology background, I highly recommend WCU's I/O program. It'll still be up to you to create a career for yourself, but this program gives you the tools to know how to accomplish your goals."
Graduate Studies Mailing Address:
102 W Rosedale Ave
West Chester, PA 19383
*It is the applicant's responsibility to supply the Office of Graduate Studies with the necessary documents to complete his or her application. The Office of Graduate Studies reserves the right to withdraw an application if the required information is not received.
West Chester University is proud of its affordability. For the most up to date tuition breakdown, please view the Office of the Bursar's website.
There are many ways that our graduate students pay for their education:
If you have any questions regarding financial aid, please contact the Financial Aid Office here on campus at 610-436-2627 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Once again, our staff is dedicated to providing the best financial aid plans to our graduate students. Please also feel free to view the WCU Financial Aid website.