In Focus: Jamie Earley
What drew you to the field of Rehabilitation Counseling?
As an undergraduate student I was an education major. During this program I had the opportunity to participate in several field experiences. These experiences provided me with the opportunity to work in an inclusion setting. I worked with students with many different disabilities. These disabilities included learning disabilities, visual impairments, ADD and ADHD. As part of my field experience I sat in on IEP (Individualized Education Plan) Meetings for the students. I truly enjoyed participating in these meetings and especially enjoyed the sense of being a part of a team that was truly helping the students. The knowledge gained from my field experiences drew me to the conclusion that I truly enjoyed “helping people with a variety of disabilities.”
How did you decide to enroll in Hofstra University’s Rehabilitation Counseling in Mental Health Counseling program?
There were many factors that went into my decision to attend the Rehabilitation Counseling Program at Hofstra University. The location of the University, the ratings the Program received in comparison with other local Rehabilitation Counseling Programs and the network the program has created with many of the local Rehabilitation agencies were among the reasons I chose this program. While researching programs I was able to have a personalized tour of the program and facilities offered at Hofstra. I was quite impressed with the program on the tour. In particular, I was attracted to the personalized nature of the program and the comfortable feeling I got while visiting. The program offers new students a Mentor Program in which I chose to participate. Each student who participates in the program is assigned a mentor, a more seasoned student who is in the later stages of the program. The mentor guides the new student helping them adjust to and learn the program, become familiar with the facilities, acquainted with the staff and learn the program the requirements.
What would you consider to be the highlight of your time in the M.S.Ed. program?
The education I received from the program was fantastic. It was well rounded and hit upon everything I need to know professionally. There is nothing I do not feel I know and I would not have traded the education and experience I had in the program for anything. I feel that the strongest facets of the program would have to be the network of resources and opportunities the program has, the personalized experience each student gets from the program and the overall education the students receive. I would not recommend changing anything. The program, program size, curriculum and requirements are just right.
Describe your practicum and internship experiences.
I had wonderful experiences at both my practicum and internship sites. The knowledge and experience I gained from these courses was invaluable. My internship experience actually led to a temporary employment opportunity for me. I still utilize the resources I became familiar with and the networking contacts I made during these experiences in my current position.
Tell us about the Rehabilitation Counseling Student Association.
The RC Student Association is a wonderful group. It provides great opportunities to socialize with your classmates while having some good food and unwinding. The Association also schedules presentations throughout the year that are extremely informative and, provide networking opportunities. My experience with the Association helped me determine where I wanted to head in my career.
How did you finance your degree?
My degree was financed through a combination of loans (Stafford), grants (RSA) and my personal financial contributions.
What advice would you offer someone who is considering enrolling program?
Finding the right program is not an easy task but is an important one. I would recommend speaking with people who are currently working in the field to get a true sense of the field and what you are considering as your career. It’s important to put the time and effort into researching programs before choosing the right one for you. Also, be aware the program at Hofstra is not an easy program; it was not designed to be easy, it was designed to prepare the students enrolled for work in the field of Rehabilitation Counseling. While the program is not easy it is a tremendous program. The faculty, staff and students are all supportive of each other whether in regard to academic, professional or personal matters. There are so many things I learned while enrolled in this program that I recall and utilize on a daily basis.