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February 02, 2012

I came for a degree. I left with a purpose

South University Newsroom

Ty White
Class of 2009
Master of Arts in Professional Counseling
Savannah Campus
Employment:  Counseling and Retention Coordinator, Ogeechee Technical College, Statesboro, Georgia

When Ty White heard about South University’s Professional Counseling program, she knew it was something in which she could succeed. She had a bachelor’s degree in psychology from a large state school, and so a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling program was a natural next step.

Ty visited campus for an interview and began to realize that not only was she a good fit academically for the program, but what really struck her was that she saw that the faculty and staff truly cared about their students, and that faculty members she met had an extraordinary amount of passion for helping others through counseling.

Later, sitting in her first classes, Ty felt her drive to help begin to be nourished by the zeal of her professors and fellow students.

“The teachers were so caring and personable. We all became family. We cried together. We laughed together,” Ty remembered. “It was a domino effect: the people at South University were so helpful to me that I wanted to help others.”

Ty’s first job after graduation was working as a counselor at a correctional institution, talking to thieves and murderers every day. Working with them made her to remember what a professor had told her: it’s not about what I think is right, it’s about treating everyone as a human being.

After funding cuts eliminated her position, Ty was nervous about interviewing again. But after she talked to the Career Services staff at South University, she felt confident, prepared, and best of all – she got the job!

“The interview tips really worked. I didn’t just get another job; I got a better job,” said Ty, now the counseling and retention coordinator at Ogeechee Technical College in Statesboro. “Now professors at Ogeechee Tech ask me to talk to their students about interviewing skills.”

Reflecting on the Professional Counseling program, Ty said that it was as much a personal journey as an academic program.

“I came here for one thing – a degree. But I left with a purpose. When people leave my office , they leave better. And that’s my goal.”