With bachelor’s degrees in psychology and business from Johnson State College, Beth Brookes ’10/’13 was torn between pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree and a master’s in mental health counseling.
After some soul-searching, she decided to pursue a Master of Arts in Counseling at Johnson State. With a full-time job, Brookes was drawn to the flexible scheduling of the college’s program, the small class sizes and what she calls “a safe learning environment.”
“As someone who went back to school when I turned 50, I found the JSC staff and my peers supportive, encouraging and excited about learning,” says Brookes, now a program director at Turning Points, a therapeutic day school for students with emotional and behavioral challenges.
An internship at Turning Points, in Morgan, Vermont, while she was in the master’s program led to a job offer there, and Brookes accepted a position as a mental health clinician. After that, she became an assistant director at the school, run by Northeast Family Institute, and recently assumed the role of program director.
“The M.A. in mental health counseling allowed me to gain extensive experience in the field. My courses gave me the academic information as well as experiential learning,” says Brookes, now a licensed mental health counselor who also has a private practice.
“What was most valuable about the program was what my peers and professors brought to the classes. There were so many diverse backgrounds and a wealth of experience, which helped in the learning process,” she notes. “Peers, faculty, classes — they were all amazing.”