ATLANTA — On Saturday, March 25, Mercer University will host the third annual Statewide Student Counseling Fair on its Cecil B. Day Campus, located at 3001 Mercer University Drive. Hosted and produced by Master's-level students from Mercer's Community Counseling program, the fair will offer an array of speakers on topics of interest both to current and prospective students in the field of counseling.
"The journey to becoming a counselor is a pretty difficult one to navigate – students need to find internships, get an acceptable master's degree, pass a comprehensive licensing exam and then find a job in an approved supervised setting for three years," said David F. Harris, a master's student at Mercer who helped organize the event. "It's rough and even lonely sometimes. Through the fair, we offer a chance for students from across the entire state to come together, hear from experts, and learn from each other's experiences. It's truly invigorating."
The event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The registration fee of $12 includes lunch. Attendees must be either a Master's-level student in a counseling program or an undergraduate with a major in a related field who is considering a career in counseling. Attendees can pre-register online at http://www.lpctraining.org or register the day of the event, beginning at 8:30 a.m.
The day's activities kick-off with a presentation by Amy Stevens, entitled "Working with Persons Affected by Crisis." Stevens is the clinical supervisor for Project Hope in Cobb County, where she has extensive, first-hand knowledge of working with evacuees from Hurricane Katrina.
Next, the program shifts gears with a fast-paced, 30-minute overview entitled "Fun with Neurotransmitters," presented by Dr. Jamie Rasche, retired pediatrician and former assistant clinical professor at Nashville's Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. Rasche is a student in Mercer's Community Counseling program.
Concluding the morning sessions, Dr. Makungu Akinyela offers his guidance on "Asking the Healing Questions: Weaving the stories of life into therapeutic conversations." Akinyela currently teaches in the African American Studies program at Georgia State University and practices marriage and family therapy in Atlanta. He is widely published in the field of family therapies.
Following a lunch-and-learn session, the afternoon program will provide an opportunity for students to hear from practitioners who are working in the field as counselors. This year's panelists include two former presidents of Georgia's Licensed Professional Counselors Association, Joel Bagby and Phil Foster, as well as representatives in counseling fields ranging from school counseling to corrections. Recent graduates will also be on hand to share their experiences navigating the pathway to becoming a fully credentialed counselor. Additionally, professionals who are working in private practice will share their experiences.
New to this year's program is an expanded Exhibition Hall, where social agencies and organizations will be on hand throughout the day to discuss jobs and internships. Another special exhibit will offer students discounts on preparation courses for passing the National Counselor Examination from three major vendors. The day concludes with a drawing for awards and prizes, such as a complete compact disc set of "Vital Information for the NCE and State Counseling Exams," books and materials donated by the American Counseling Association, a free membership to the LPCA and other useful and exciting gifts.
For more information and to pre-register, please visit http://www.lpctraining.org.
Founded in 1833, Mercer University has campuses in Macon and Atlanta as well as regional academic centers in Henry County, Douglas County, Macon and Eastman. With 10 schools and colleges, the University offers programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, education, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law and theology. For 16 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Mercer University as one of the leading universities in the South.