Alumna Says She Was Prepared Well for Urban School Counseling

Mitra Ghandeharizadeh, a graduate of the school counseling program at the Johns Hopkins School of Education, told a gathering of prospective students at an Admissions open house that Johns Hopkins was one of the only programs specifically focused on urban school counseling and the unique challenges it presents.

“I came to Baltimore to learn to be a counselor,” said Mitra, a middle school counselor at St. Mary’s in Annapolis, “but my 15 months taught me more about myself than I imagined. I learned how to work in schools where children were facing challenges that no person, let alone child, should face.”

She said she was impressed with the level of interest her professors took in her education and growth as a professional. “They were available to talk before and after class, gave us their personal cell phone numbers to call at any time, and were always on the lookout for opportunities we would benefit from,” she said.

Last November, Mitra attended the 5th National White House and Reach Higher Convening at American University at the urging of her professors. The event, an outgrowth of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative and co-sponsored by the School of Education’s counseling program, gave her the opportunity to interact with leaders in the field of education.

“Having leading professionals in the field as professors is impressive,” said Mitra, “but what was even more impressive was the level of compassion, attention and care I received from them. My professors were not just there to teach a class and leave, they were committed to my success and the success of my peers.”

Dean Christopher Morphew congratulated the attendees for being thoughtful about their search process, encouraged them to ask tough questions of faculty, staff and students, given the importance of their decision, and described the School of Education as a place devoted to students’ success.

Of the 18 programs represented, 34 attendees expressed interest in the EdD program and 21 inquired about the master of science in counseling program—18 of them in clinical mental health counseling—representing 68 percent of the total number of registrants. The attendance rate for the PhD and MAT programs was a favorable 50 percent of those registered. In all, 89 prospective students attended the open house.

In addition to fall and spring open houses, the Office of Admissions offers live virtual webinars throughout the fall and spring semesters. There are six scheduled webinars this fall, and information on each one is located on the Admissions Events web page.