UT Tyler

Graduate Student Alumni Spotlight

Clinical Mental Health Counseling MA

Ashlee ColemanStudent Name:  Ashlee Coleman, MA

Program: Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Graduated: 2013

Employer: Anderson County Special Education Co-op; The University of Texas at Tyler

Position: Special Education Counselor; Adjunct Instructor for the Department of Psychology and Counseling

What attracted you to this field?

After completing my Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, though I had originally planned to attend graduate school immediately, I knew that I was in need of a break from school and so I decided to wait to enroll. I was employed as an Adult Probation Officer for Smith County, Texas for 2 1/2 years and learned that though I enjoyed utilizing many of the Learning and Conditioning concepts I'd learned in my undergraduate program as well as testifying in court, my real heart and desire was for counseling. I realized that though I had needed a reprieve from school, I had the renewed passion and motivation to attend graduate school.

Why did you choose to attend UT Tyler?

As an undergraduate looking at graduate schools, I was very interested in universities such as Stanford, Florida State, and some schools on the east coast. However, by the time I decided to apply, my priorities had changed and I was at a time in my life when I did not want to leave Tyler. I was dating my now husband and my family was in Tyler. That UT Tyler offered a graduate program which could train me to become a counselor was a great blessing in my life for which I'm very thankful!

What do you like most about UT Tyler?

I really enjoyed, appreciated, and grew from the accessibility to the faculty. Because our classes were all relatively small, it was easy to get to know my professors and to meet with them when I had questions, concerns, or just wanted to know more about the material. It was also an invaluable learning experience to be taught the different theories of counseling, but then see them in action as the majority of my professors utilized the philosophies of the theories they favor in the ways that they instructed their courses. Also, my experience at UT Tyler was enhanced greatly by Dr. Rosemary Barké and her willingness to help and guide me through the program as my faculty adviser.

What are your career aspirations?

I hope to become an LPC-Supervisor and work with LPC-Interns after they have finished graduate school and are working toward full licensure. I also believe in the value of a strong, open mother-daughter relationship and hope to travel and teach mothers and teenage daughters Biblical truths to grow and strengthen their relationships. I also hope to continue teaching undergraduate coursework in Psychology.

What's your work experience?

I was an Adult Probation Officer for Smith County, Texas for 2 1/2 years before leaving to continue my graduate coursework. While in graduate school I was fortunate enough to be a Graduate Teaching Assistant for Statistics, Abnormal Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Learning and Conditioning as well as a Graduate Assistant for Admissions to the Department of Psychology and Counseling. I completed my Graduate Internship at the Children's Advocacy Center of Smith County. Currently I am a Licensed Professional Counselor-Intern counseling children in Special Education for three school districts in Anderson County, Texas as well as working in private practice under my clinical supervisor and as an Adjunct Instructor for Developmental Psychology for UT Tyler.

Do you have any advice to pass along to other students interested in this program?

Take advantage of your opportunities to learn as you will get as much out of your graduate experience as you are willing to invest. Take the time to ask your questions, know your professors, and find the areas of the fields of Psychology and Counseling that inspire you!

Find out more about Clinical Mental Health Counseling

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