Q&A with Full-Time School Counseling Student, Chloe Fitzgerald
Chloe Fitzgerald is a full-time student in the Master’s in School Counseling program at Loyola University Maryland. Fitzgerald, who is originally from Maryland, graduated from Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.
What inspired you to pursue the school counseling program?
I took a year off between undergraduate and graduate school. I was working in child and adolescent psychiatry at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. I knew I wanted to attend graduate school, but did not know which path I wanted to take (social worker, licensed mental health counselor, school counselor, etc.).
I chose school counseling because I liked the variety of services a school counselor provides including, individual counseling, group counseling, and classroom lessons. I also like the idea of interacting and observing students I am working with, because it would provide me with more insight into the counseling process. In other professions, you may meet with a child once a week and not be able to observe them in social settings. The role of the school counselor is a unique and a valuable resource to the school because of the background in mental health. Consulting with teachers and advocating for the students is valued in the profession.
Why did you decide to pursue the program full time?
Being a full-time student has allowed me to be 100% committed to the program. I started out working and going to school full time, but found it difficult to be completely invested in both.
Why did you choose to apply to Loyola?
I first heard about Loyola through a co-worker who was earning her master’s degree in school counseling at Loyola. She talked highly of the program and shared positive experiences. I was also aware that Loyola's school counseling program is well respected in Maryland and knew this would be an asset to my future as a school counselor.
What made Loyola different?
When I was applying to graduate school, I attended the program's group interview. I was immediately attracted to the leadership, organization, and sense of community in the program. I remember when Jenn Watkinson, Ph.D. welcomed us, she said the professors would expect a lot of work from us, but it would prepare us to be excellent school counselors upon graduation. I found her introduction to be very authentic and inspiring. I felt I would grow as a professional and person under her leadership. It was this experience that solidified my decision to attend Loyola.
What is the most valuable aspect of the program thus far?
I am most impressed with the detailed clinical supervision we receive from our professors. Our professors care and have high expectations of us. They give us detailed feedback, which has been instrumental to my growth as a school counselor.