Impromptu Basketball Games… What More Could You Ask For?

The CSPA cohort program allows people to form relationships and grow together.  Even though many of us have only known each other for the last three weeks, it is a group that is already growing into a strong cohort family.  The first years of the program have the same classes and students get to see each other on Mondays and Tuesdays.  But, what about the rest of the week?  This is where spontaneous basketball games come into play.  I am not much of a basketball player (although I do love watching the game), I do not possess strong hand-eye coordination, and this obviously posses a problem.  Although I was one of the weaker players during the last game, only scoring two points (pretty pathetic, I know!), I still had a great time getting to know my classmates further.  Each one of them was encouraging and everyone was able to laugh at themselves, which made the game memorable.  I can be fairly shy during class but getting to know my classmates outside of the schoolroom already has improved my comfort level and helped me to be more vocal and active during class.

Speaking of classes, mine are further developing, which is slightly stressful as expected.  My intro class continues to expose me to the various associations within higher education and pays particular attention to the ACPA (American College Personnel Association).  My classmates and I will soon be members of this association and included in our tuition is a trip to Boston for this year’s conference, which will be both informative and an exciting time.

My two other classes continue to educate me in different aspects of the profession.  The counseling class was very helpful because it discussed time management techniques (something I have a tendency to struggle with), as well as an introduction to mental disorders, especially concentrating on how this plays into the student affairs profession.  My theories class examined personality and environment types as cited by Holland and Myers-Briggs.  This was interesting because people in class shared what their personality types are and how they are useful in different environments and situations.  For the second half of the class, we were asked to brainstorm ideas about revamping undergraduate orientation.  It was nice to feel like our opinions were truly valued by our professor and that some of our ideas would be used to introduce new classes into the Canisius community.

I continue to be impressed by the faculty and staff here at Canisius who seem to exhibit the ideals of the student affairs profession by concentrating on the holistic development of the student.  I am looking forward to furthering my understanding of the profession through classes and coursework and getting to know my fellow classmates better through outside activities.  Next up is an around-the-world dinner featuring dishes from different countries.  I cannot cook… so this should be interesting!

“Be what you are becoming.” – Dr. Moll

It’s now my fourth week in the School Counseling Program!  I get more and more excited as the weeks progress.  As I am reading for my classes and am in class lectures and discussions, I can’t help thinking how I made such a great choice and how I am destined to be a counselor.  I feel very lucky that I knew right away what I wanted to do with my life and that I have found the perfect graduate school to prepare me for it!

My program had orientation last week, the third week of school.  When I was a prospective Canisius student, I attended open house, and the week before school started I went to the Graduate School of Education orientation.  But, both of those things were very vague and they didn’t pertain directly to my new goals.

I recommend that everyone goes to the Canisius open house; they explain your program in detail and give you the chance to meet with a faculty member in a personalized setting in which you feel comfortable asking anything you wish.  The overall Graduate School of Education orientation was very informative as well but that was an overview of the campus and making sure we all had parking passes and were aware of meal plans and such.  I still was unsure of why we didn’t have a specific School Counseling/ Mental Health Counseling orientation.  Then, to my surprise, two weeks into the program we were informed about OUR orientation scheduled the coming week.

They gave a very unique orientation perfect for my field.  My whole class met in a lecture-style classroom (seating for less than 50 students).  The classroom featured terraced seating and all of the professors were at the lower level where a teacher would usually stand to teach.  The orientation started with us listening to their conversations about the program.  They talked with each other about their expectations, how important it is to join the American Psychological Association and keep up with it, and of course encouraged us to give all our effort to the program.

After the professors were done, the “seasoned” students (2nd year students) came down and the professors sat with us while the seasoned students spoke of their experiences so far.  They all had GREAT things to say.  They said that they have learned a lot of about themselves and their habits, that they have changed a lot as people, that the professors push you to achieve, that you learn to ask yourself questions so you can ask your clients questions, and that they now have awareness of their strengths and weaknesses.  They also said a few more things that stayed with me.  They told us that the expectations and quality of work is high, to hold oourselves to a high standard, and that our best resources are going to be each other.

After the seasoned students spoke, Canisius alumni working in the fields of community mental health and school counseling came and spoke with us!  This was by far the best part for me because they have been through what I just began and are now out in the field that I will soon be entering.  They all spoke highly of Canisius and its reputation as a Jesuit school.  Many of them believed that is why they were hired, because they graduated from this institution and people everywhere know that Canisius educates their students fully and prepares them properly for their future.  They all talked about their great experiences at Canisius and talked about the family atmosphere and how they are all still very close.  They all had very strong paths after graduating from the college.  The alumni also re-emphasized the importance of joining the American Psychological Association and keeping up with the research after our graduation.

All in all, it was a great experience and I walked away ready to transform myself into a counselor.  One of my professors,  Dr. Moll, said, “Be what you are becoming”.  As soon as I heard that I took that quote and put it in the front of my agenda.

” The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity” – Ayn Rand

       Hello prospective graduate students! My name is Jaime.  I am a first year graduate student of Canisius College, in the Counseling and Human Services, School Counseling program.

     I choose to further my education at Canisius because I believe Canisius will provide me with the best education available with a personalized atmosphere. When I first stepped onto campus and was able to walk around and meet with the faculty I knew right away that this would be the right place for me. I am now on my 3rd week into the program and am more confident than ever that I made the right decision.

     All of the faculty members are top in their fields and came back after working within their fields to devote their lives to mentoring us, with everything they have learned through their doctorate schooling and real life work experience, this is true of the full time professors and the adjuncts!

     On the first day they immediately treated all of my classmates and myself like professionals, preparing us for the years ahead. They have already urged all of their students to join the American Psychological Association and to attend the upcoming counseling workshop, to network and to illustrate to us how we should keep up with our knowledge after we graduate! They truly want the best for their students and want us to be fully prepared and well rounded. I look foward to the path ahead!

Life on the Lake to Life in the City

The last two weeks have been an exciting blur!  I am a new resident of Buffalo, recently moved from Canandaigua, NY, which is a small town surrounding one of the finger lakes.  The city is a new change and I have been trying to take advantage of the various opportunities it has to offer, including my very own apartment!  I have been in my apartment for about a week now and already my class books are scattered all over the floor space.  It is a little overwhelming at first to think about all the class deadlines that are quickly approaching but I like keeping busy and the CSPA program is perfect for that.

My introduction to the College Student Personnel class started out with visual aid to help members of the class understand what it is like to view the world through the eyes of a student affairs professional.  This visual aid came in the form of a movie called “Breaking Away”, made in 1979 and starring Dennis Quaid and Daniel Stern (better known as Marv from “Home Alone”).   This along with some web research about various associations within the Higher Education field are preparing us for what is to come in the class, and ultimately in our future as student developers.  Along with this intro class I am taking a counseling class that is part of the requirement for the CSPA program

This class started off perfectly with an icebreaker, which as most people know is a big hit among student affairs professionals.  Soon thereafter we dove right into the history of counseling and its evolving role within the Higher Education field.  I found it very interesting how counseling seemed to further develop based on events and social movements, like WWI, WWII and the Civil Rights Movement, in world history that seemed to push it to explore new heights.  This class requires a research paper that I think I will be able to tie to another research paper for my theories class, also called The American College Student.

The theories class is slightly more difficult for me since I am not used to examining problems and relating them to theories and practice.  We have started the class by exploring various theories that can be applied to divisions of the student affairs profession.  As mentioned earlier, there is a research component to this class involving what we think of as a significant student problem.  My topic is going to involve student harassment and rape during the first year of undergraduate college education.  This is an ongoing issue at many institutions and I believe it is necessary to discuss various options that students have.  In order to do this I will be applying a specific theory so that programming can be used to help stop such problems from occurring.  After attending classes for the past couple of weeks it is evident how all three tie together and help us to actively engage in issues in the Higher Education field.

While I persist in my studies, as well as my assistantship with Graduate Education, I hope to find a part time job or access to volunteer work that help me to further familiarize myself with the new city life that I am leading.