Two prominent professional counseling organizations have recognized and awarded a student and faculty member from the University of New Orleans counselor education master’s degree program.
Graduate student Claire Barry is pursuing a master’s degree in counseling with a concentration in school counseling. She has been awarded the Louisiana School Counselor Association (LSCA) Scholarship, which comes with a $500 award and an invitation to serve on the LSCA board of directors. In addition, Barry will be the state’s ambassador to the American School Counselor Association national conference in Los Angeles this summer. A small number of student members are allowed to attend the conference as ambassadors, giving them an opportunity to meet leaders throughout the organization. The ASCA will cover the cost of Barry’s attendance at the national conference.
“With this award, Claire receives both an honor and unique opportunity,” said Ann O’Hanlon, chair of the educational leadership, counseling and foundations department. “Serving alongside other professional school counselors on the LSCA board will complement her experience as a student, researcher and educator.”
“Claire is a great representative of the future of school counseling who brings creativity, passion and insight to her work,” said assistant professor Chris Belser, the teacher who nominated Barry for the scholarship. “Both recognitions from LSCA and ASCA are well-deserved honors for a hard-working student and wonderful opportunities for her to network and learn from others in the field.”
Belser recently received The Professional Counselor's 2018 Dissertation Excellence Award. The Professional Counselor is the official journal of the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). The award comes with a $1,500 honorarium, a feature in the NBCC newsletter and the opportunity to publish an article based on the dissertation.
The University of New Orleans’ master’s degree program in counselor education offers concentrations in both school counseling and clinical mental health counseling, and these awards reflect the degree program’s strengths in both important aspects of the counseling profession. School counselors are educators with additional training in helping students maximize academic and personal development at all stages of their academic careers. They provide direct counseling services to students, collaborate with teachers on incorporating a guidance lessons into the broader curriculum and advise school leadership on resolving student problems. Clinical mental health counselors are trained to work in a variety of settings, such as mental health agencies, substance abuse treatment programs, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, court systems or other settings.