Chi Sigma Iota in the School Counseling program
We sat down with the Alpha Iota Chapter president, Katie Oppenheim, who talked to us about Chi Sigma Iota.
What is Chi Sigma Iota?
Chi Sigma Iota is an international honor society dedicated to academic and professional excellence in the field of counseling. It promotes a strong professional identity through members who contribute to the realization of a healthy society by fostering wellness and human dignity.
Its mission is to promote scholarship, research, professionalism, leadership, advocacy, and excellence in counseling. Chi Sigma Iota has more than 125,000 members who have been initiated into the society through more than 400 chapters.
What opportunities does Chi Sigma Iota provide to school counseling students?
The members of Chi Sigma Iota have initiated professional development, volunteer opportunities, and community outreach. To date, we have provided professional development workshops in suicide prevention and on topics that improve our cultural competencies. We have also engaged in community outreach activities and generated study groups for national exams like the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) and the National Counselor Examination (NCE).
Some upcoming events and opportunities for students are:
In February, we will be connecting with the local chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for a seminar on the educator's role in the prevention of student suicide.
In March, our professor Qi Shi, Ph.D., assistant professor of education in the School Counseling program, will present research on African American 9th graders and their relationships to school counselors as part of the Center for Innovation in Urban Education (CIUE) Faculty Speaker Series. We will be eager to support her and get an in-depth perspective on her work.
How has Chi Sigma Iota helped you as a student in the program?
I have a deep appreciation for the team of student leaders that serve and support our chapter. Learning from my classmates about concerns or issues they are passionate about and working as a team to channel that passion into action has been a wonderful experience. Collaboration is a huge part of our role as school counselors – and, more generally, as good citizens – and I enjoy practicing and honing these skills with my dynamic classmates. My hope is that others will experience the same enjoyment through their involvement in Chi Sigma Iota.
What would you tell future students entering the school counseling program about Chi Sigma Iota?
I think it is important for future students to know that time in a master’s program will be academically rigorous and require a great deal of focus and energy. However, there is such a great reward in taking opportunities to build community and professional skills with your classmates outside of class. Engagement, advocacy, and professional activism is a lot less intimidating when you are surrounded by passionate colleagues who also know exactly what is at stake. Making these connections now will build a strong network for you when the time comes to go out into the field!
Katie Oppenheim, who is originally from El Paso, Texas, is a student in the school counseling program. She received a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Science in Educational Psychology from the University of North Texas. She moved to Baltimore in 2015 and started in the master’s in school counseling program at Loyola in the fall of 2016. She’s currently placed at Sudbrook Magnet School for her final internship and plans to graduate this May.