Graduate Student Alumni Spotlight Counseling Psychology MA
Student Name: Josh and Devon Fults, MA LPC
Program: Master's in Counseling Psychology (now the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program)
Josh: Samaritan Counseling Center of Southeast Texas and Trout Creek Baptist Church
Devon: Cornerstone Early Childhood Intervention
Josh: Licensed Professional Counselor at Samaritan Counseling Center and Associate Pastor at Trout Creek Baptist Church
Devon: Licensed Professional Counselor and Child Developmental Specialist
What attracted you to this field?
Josh: I knew around the age of fourteen that I wanted to go into the field of counseling. It was through reading various books that my love for Psychology and Marital Therapy was fueled. When I took my first Intro to Psychology class as an undergraduate, I was hooked. There was little that interested me more at that point. I believe I took every psychology class our undergraduate program offered.
Devon: I originally started out majoring in Music. I took an Introduction to Psychology course with Dr. Jane Ogden in undergraduate school and I fell in love with the field of psychology. Her passion for the field ignited my desire. I knew I had found a course of education I could be excited about.
Why did you choose UT Tyler?
Josh: I graduated with my undergraduate degree from East Texas Baptist University and was eager to start my graduate work. I had heard nothing but good things about the program at UT Tyler, and when I examined it for myself I felt it was a strong program. I was looking for a rigorous program that was fairly local that prepared well for licensure. UT Tyler was the most obvious choice.
Devon: I had completed my undergraduate work at East Texas Baptist University and was interested in pursuing my graduate school education at a quality institution within the state of Texas. A professor at ETBU had informed me about the program and we discussed an ETBU alumni, Dr. Combs, that had attended graduate school at UT Tyler and was currently a professor there. This peaked my interest and I was thrilled when I applied and was accepted.
What do you like most about UT Tyler?
Josh: The relationships that I developed with professors were invaluable. I am still in contact with several of my professors. Every class I took at UT Tyler added so much to my knowledge base and how I work with clients. My time at UT Tyler greatly prepared me for my career. I find that my knowledge in diagnosis, psychopharmacology, family counseling, and domestic violence far exceeds many of my peers. I will also say that UT Tyler is a great place to meet intelligent women and fall in love. That is definitely an added bonus, right? My wife and I often reflect on our time spent there together and all of the fond memories we made and relationships we developed.
Devon: The professors were second to none. Their knowledge of the field, their willingness to invest in my education and the challenging course work prepared me for counseling in the "real world." I was more than adequately prepared for my licensure exam and had no issues passing the state boards. I owe that to the quality education I received through UT Tyler. I have found that my graduate school education has prepared me, in many instances, better than my peers who have graduated from other institutions. For this I am very grateful. The best part of my graduate school education by far was meeting my husband in Dr. Love's class. Looking back, I realize now the professor's name should have been our clue. We started out as study partners and were married the semester before we graduated. Dr. Love and UT Tyler will forever be part of our story.
What are your career aspirations?
Josh: I plan to continue my career as a minister and LPC for now. I feel that mental health and spiritual health interact a great deal and compliment one another. My background in psychology has helped indescribably in the ministry. Since leaving UT Tyler I have gone on to complete another Master of Arts degree in Apologetics. I hope to begin at Ph.D. in Philosophy in the near future. I write a great deal at joshfults.com and hope to one day be published. Later in life, I would like to work in academia and give back many of the things that were instilled in me to future generations.
Devon: I would like to continue to work as an LPC within the field of child development and counsel in private practice. My education has afforded me the opportunity to do contract work and set my schedule as I would like. This has allowed both Josh and I to be home when we need to and available for our children, while pursuing our career. It has turned out to be the best of both worlds.
What is your work experience?
Both Josh and Devon have enjoyed a variety of work experiences within the field of Counseling Psychology. These experiences range from working in Inpatient Psychiatric settings, counseling in private practice, leading seminars and trainings, consultation, performing assessments and evaluations, contracting with private and state agencies, writing articles related to the field of psychology and marriage and family issues, etc.
Do you have any advice to pass along to other students interested in this program?
We would encourage all those interested in the program to highly consider pursuing your education through UT Tyler. It has a standard of excellence not often seen in other programs. The professors are incredibly knowledgeable about the field of psychology and share a common passion to educate and adequately train students. You will leave prepared for the "real world." Josh and I have both been incredibly grateful for the quality of education we received through UT Tyler.
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