As a child, Emily Zahn, EDU '16, '20, dreamed of a career where she could help people. In May, that dream will become a reality when Zahn graduates from the College of Education and begins her professional career as a school counselor.
Throughout Zahn's life, she focused on developing deep, nurturing relationships and had a curiosity for understanding the motives behind people's behavior. This curiosity originally led her to pursue an undergraduate degree in special education at the College of Education. While Zahn loved developing relationships with students as their teacher, she felt more drawn to the role of a school counselor.
When Zahn decided she wanted to pursue a master's degree in counseling psychology, Zahn knew that the College of Education was the right fit for her graduate studies.
"I attended Temple University for my undergraduate degree in education and knew that if I was going to pursue a master's degree, there was nowhere else I would rather further my education."
The College of Education's Counseling Psychology Program aligned with several of her core values such as multiculturalism, access to urban practicum and internship experiences, and a wide variety of courses.
Students in Temple's Counseling Psychology Program acquire the assessment and therapeutic skills necessary to work with diverse populations in various applied settings. The program prepares students to facilitate healthy personal and interpersonal relationships across the lifespan, working with couples, families, groups, and individuals.
Zahn was also drawn to the faculty in the Counseling Psychology Program. Now, as she prepares to graduate, she is especially grateful for her relationship with Dr. Diana Wildermuth NCC, LPC, the Counseling Psychology Program coordinator.
Dr. Wildermuth has been a constant source of support and [mentorship] in navigating practicum and internship experiences. She has supported my personal growth and pushed me to continue challenging myself in the field. I am grateful for all that she has done to help me over the two years.
As a Temple alumna, Wildermuth feels a special connection to the Counseling Psychology Program.
As a former school counselor and alumnus of Temple's College of Education, I was drawn to teaching in the Counseling Psychology Program based on its emphasis on a science practitioner model, focus on the community and history with embedding multiculturalism in its courses. Our students are lifelong learners, who are well prepared to meet the demands required of school counselors and mental health counselors.
Reflecting on her time in the Counseling Psychology Program, Zahn cherishes collaborating with her peers and supporting each other in the process of becoming a counselor in training.
"I have not only made a network of future colleagues, but also a number of lifelong friends."
Zahn also loved getting to work with students at her internship site.
"Seeing [my] work touch lives is a memory I will hold with me as I continue post-graduation."
After graduation, Zahn plans to be a certified school counselor in the greater Philadelphia area and work towards becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
For those interested in pursuing a career in school counseling, Zahn encourages students to make their mental health a top priority. While the work of a school counselor can be very rewarding, Zahn says it can also be mentally taxing; it is important to keep self-care in mind. Zahn also advises future prospective school counseling students to seek out mentors and to always ask questions.
"Build relationships with faculty and teachers in the school and the community, and fully immerse yourself in the experience. Remember to be kind and patient with yourself and your students."
February 3-7 is National School Counseling Week 2020. To learn more about the College of Education's master of education in counseling psychology, please visit the program's website or reach out to Dr. Diana Wildermuth.