Adventures in Graduate School

This summer, the College of Education is hosting four students in the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP). The Counselor Education Counseling Psychology Department’s (CECP)Dr. Jennifer Cook has been working with these students along with a number of graduate students.

Students enrolled in the HCOP program are from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and high schools; they are first-generation college students. Part of a federal grant through the Department of Health and Human Services, Marquette University’s HCOP program began in the School of Dentistry and the Department of Physical Therapy. Since 1996, the School of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences and Department of Physical Therapy have been working together. More than 900 students have graduated from the University’s HCOP programs since its inception. While across campus there is an emphasis on both high school and college-aged students, CECP is working closely with students interested in obtaining a Master’s Degree.

The four students who are participating in CECP’s Clinical Mental Health strand of the HCOP program are recent college graduates and rising seniors considering graduate school. There is no fee during the summer session; students receive a stipend to cover room and board while also offsetting the cost of any lost wages from seasonal employment. As they explore their interests in the mental health field, students will gain hands-on counseling skills training, establish relationships with faculty and graduate students, and gain exposure to the expectations of a graduate program in clinical mental health counseling.

Dr. Cook is focused on trying to prepare them for the graduate school environment, helping them to deal with basic skills so they can deal with the emotional stress that may come. She has created an “Intro to Grad School” course where the students focus on APA style writing, etiquette and how to present themselves, and exposure to Raynor Library along with how to use its resources.

In addition, CECP graduate students are learning along with the HCOP students in the College. Elizabeth Tinsley, a doctoral student, is one of the teachers in the program. When asked how she has changed and been affected by this summer’s experiences, she said: “This has been such a fun experience! They [the HCOP students] are inquisitive and invested, which has been so fun to watch in action as they explore Marquette and challenge themselves to push through uncomfortable situations. I have really enjoyed being a part of their journey and hope to seem them thriving as future Marquette alumni and colleagues!” This combination of current and prospective students’ growth has morphed the summer’s program into a deeper learning experience for all involved.


Want to learn more about the College of Education? Visit us online for more information about our graduate programs in Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology!

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