Hey everyone! My name is Kelli and I’m so excited to start blogging for Graduate Admissions! I’m enrolled in the Master of Science in School Counseling program here at Canisius and I can’t believe I’ll be officially done in about five weeks!

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A few weeks ago, my counseling colleagues (more like counseling friends) and I sat for the Comprehensive Preparatory Counseling Examination. This exam has been hanging over our heads for the past two years, with all of our professors stressing the importance of studying and passing this test so that we can graduate with our Masters. It’s basically the last hurdle we need to jump over in order to get to graduation. I’m currently enrolled in my one final class (Full Time School Counseling Internship) and it FLEW by. I think there are only four classes left before I’m officially done. Four more times I need to drive to Canisius. Four more times I need to make that absolutely necessary Starbucks run before class. Four more times I’ll be in class as a graduate student. I’ve been a student in Higher Education for a pretty long time, like 7 years long, so the fact that this is all winding down doesn’t feel real at all.

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The Canisius Counseling program (both Mental Health and School) is CACREP Accredited, which basically means it’s a step above other programs. That being said, it takes at least 2 years (48 credits) to finish as compared to many 1 year Masters in School Counseling programs. I definitely needed 2 years to finish this program. I needed a little bit of time to grow up, develop my counseling skills, and start my career. What I especially love about this program is that it’s very practically oriented. When I finish my internship hours, I’ll have over 700 hours of hands-on experience as a school counselor. I’ve worked in both suburban and urban school settings and I feel as though I’ve had a wide range of experiences that were provided for me through Canisius, even though no amount of classes or professors can prepare you for buying a pregnancy test for a student, what it feels like to call CPS on a family, or unexpectedly taking a young student to the hospital! But, there is a lot of emphasis on supervision, meaning that my clinical professors have all taken a great amount of time to let us talk about our sites and our experiences, and they give us suggestions or just let us vent. As an (almost) school counselor, sometimes I feel isolated in that I can’t really share any of this stuff with anyone else, so I love that my professors care about our experiences and want us to share them.

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Encouraging us to share about these experiences also helped us become close friends. There are 8 of us in the School Counseling program that are graduating in May – each of them I know very well. We hang out outside of class all of the time, whether it’s going to a bar after class, a Sabres game together, or celebrating a holiday with. I’ve been so lucky to make lifelong friends through Canisius. We’re even planning a ‘Graduation Cap Decorating Party’ in a few weeks to celebrate getting to the end of the program.

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May is coming up so fast, it’ll be here before I know it and I’ll officially be a Master! If you’re thinking about committing to Canisius for a Masters in School Counseling (or Mental Health Counseling, or any other program), there is no place I would recommend more. With outstanding professors, a beautiful city campus (in the best city on Earth!), and a Nationally recognized accredited program, I can tell you this has been the best decision I’ve ever made for my education and my life. It has been such an amazing two years!