Counseling and Psychological Services Master of Arts Program
Why did you choose Saint Mary’s?
I was researching courses to enhance my background, and I saw Saint Mary’s has a lot of diversity, people like me and a variety of people with different backgrounds and cultures. You see Germans and Italians, and people speak from different perspectives in class.
What can you do with a M.A. in Counseling and Psychological Services?
A lot of things, it’s very broad: work in H.R., be an instructor, go to the doctoral level, do research, work in mental health and government, which is what I’m doing. There’s a lot you can do with counseling and psychological services.
What made you decide to go back to school? Why was the timing right?
My purpose in coming to this country was to go to school. I’m focused on why I came here: To go to school. Along the way there was COVID-19 and the death of my husband, but I kept my focus on my education. I started something, I had to finish it. COVID has passed, social distancing ended, life continues.
What has your experience been like?/What did you enjoy the most?
I enjoy advocating for others, those people struggling with mental illness. I enjoy reaching a goal, helping others, being part of the solution. When I speak at the Race, Equity Advisory Council for Hennepin County, I seem like a scholar. I enjoy helping people with struggles. I’ve been going nonstop. If not for the deaths in my family and COVID, I would have accomplished more. I started when I was 15 and never stopped. I’m considering the Ph.D. program.
What do you think makes our program stand apart?
Diversity. When George Floyd hit, the whole world was protesting for equality and against discrimination. I had Somalian instructors, scholars teaching me. I see Black and white instructors connecting and working together. A lot of immigrants are there. We share the experience. Instructors are helpful; very, very helpful. The biggest was diversity and inclusivity in the heart of people. Equitable services for all. Every company today has diversity and inclusion managers. I wish Saint Mary’s had a curriculum for diversity and inclusivity. I want them to call me so I can be part of the groundbreaking.
What do you do for a career?
I’ve worked at Ramsey County Children’s Mental Health as a mental health practitioner for five years.
Did you find it applicable to your career?
As a mental health practitioner the requirement is a Master’s in Counseling Psychology; a Master’s in Clinical Social Work; or a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. I’ve completed the entire program, and the county gave me space and time to gain licensure. I’ll be a mental health professional when I finish.
Will this degree help you further your career or help you in your career?
Was it “doable” for a busy adult?
You have to be determined. You have to be focused. The course is doable, then 700 hours of clinicals. Yes, if you know what you’re looking for. I look at the end results and the master’s pay scale.
Would you recommend the program? And why?
Absolutely. There are proliferating changes. What do you want or need for mental health in life? We saw a lot of kids experiencing mental health problems during the pandemic. Gun violence is on the rise. If you look at the war in Ukraine, people will be coming here with devastation. Families are gone, mentally devastated. They’re coming, and the world will be tied down with mental issues. There’ll be plenty of jobs across the globe. Plenty of jobs. Good money helping people who are struggling. Plenty of work.