Graduates from our school counseling program will have the necessary skills to: work to close the opportunity and achievement gap for pK-12 students; advocate for the delivery of multi-tiered services to effectively meet the needs of the school community; and engage in decision-making that is grounded in the ASCA Ethical Standards and School Counselor Professional Standards and Competencies.
In line with contemporary expectations and cutting-edge best practices, Niagara University’s school counseling program offers a rigorous curriculum aimed at facilitating the mindsets and behaviors necessary for school counselors to define, manage, deliver, and assess their comprehensive school counseling programs. With this knowledge and skill set, our students graduate ready to effectively facilitate the academic, college/career, and personal/social development and achievement of all pK-12 students.
In August 2022, I enrolled in the Master of Science in School Counseling Program with the ultimate goal of making a difference in my community. My current position as Coordinator of Youth Services and supervisor of Casey House, (an emergency shelter for homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth operated by a local non- profit agency, Pinnacle), has shown me the critical necessity of support and services for our youth.
Another main inspiration in furthering my education, is to be as role model for my eleven-year-old son, who attends school in the Niagara Falls School District. Education has always been important to me, particularly as an African American woman. I have witnessed firsthand the needs of a marginalized community, and the positive difference that education and support can make. I want to be an advocate for equal educational opportunities and change within the societal view of minority students.
In May 2022, we lost my cousin to domestic violence. One of our last conversations before her tragic death, was focused on enrolling into this School Counseling program. With that as one of my motivations, I believe that my career in Counseling will honor her memory.
Through the program thus far, I have learned multiple counseling theories and techniques, and the ethical guidelines that are to be used as an aspiring school counselor. Between now and my expected graduation date of May 2024, I know I will continue to grow personally and professionally through the knowledge and skills gained from Niagara University’s School Counseling program. My future aspiration is to return to my alma mater, Niagara Falls High School as a School Counselor to help guide and support the youth of my community as they transition to adulthood.
Dr. Derron Hilts