Graduate student Emma Wixted was awarded the New York State School Counselor Association scholarship this semester for her academic achievement at Lehman College. Wixted has worked as a social studies middle school teacher for 24 years in Scarsdale, NY, and started pursuing a master’s degree in counselor education in 2010. She says she believes that as a school counselor she will be able to provide support to students who are struggling with the demands of middle school.
“I feel like the area that I enjoy most with students is helping them find their passion in a classroom and reach their potential,” Wixted says. “If I am a school counselor, I can work on those kinds of issues with students to even help them negotiate adolescence more easily because it is such a hard part of life.”
Wixted was one of the rare student presenters at the New York State School Counselor Association annual conference in Albany last November. She spoke about the use of data to close opportunity and achievement gaps and described Lehman’s intensive counseling program, the only New York City Counselor Education/School Counseling program accredited by both the Council on the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the National Council of Teacher Educators (NCATE).
Wixted has to complete 600 hours of internship, which she plans to do at Scarsdale Middle School, before she can graduate from Lehman next year and start working as a school counselor. She received her master’s in social studies education from Teachers College Columbia University, where she first became interested in the field of school counseling after reading the work of Lehman College Professor of Counselor Education/School Counseling, Stuart Chen-Hayes, who co-authored several chapters of the textbook, Transforming the School Counseling Profession.
“I e-mailed Dr. Chen-Hayes and he told me about the Lehman program, which was exactly what I was looking for: a part-time cohort program which was nationally certified. Dr. Chen-Hayes is an incredible mentor,” she says. “Overall the Lehman counselor education program has been excellent and I have encountered many knowledgeable and caring professors who have supported me in my journey.”