Darla Michaelidis — School Counselor
Darla Michaelidis earned her M.Ed. in School Counseling online from Lamar University. She works as a school counselor for Brazosport ISD in Texas.
"For me, it is all about the students. I am able to impact the lives of a larger number of students with my degree in school counseling."
Job Title and School District:
School Counselor, Brazosport ISD
How has this degree affected your professional outlook? What about personally?
For me, it is all about the students. I am able to impact the lives of a larger number of students with my degree in school counseling. I have worked at both the elementary and middle/intermediate levels. I love working with the students in more personal ways that I was able to as a content teacher.
What was your single biggest takeaway from the program?
There was a lot of support provided during my coursework. I was in the first cohort to complete the online courses and the support from professors and classmates was important. That same level of support has proven just as important in the actual job.
How much time per week did you spend on your studies?
I easily spent 15-20 hours total each week. It was important to me to get the best possible grades.
Describe how having an online option made a degree more accessible for you.
Because I am a single parent and have to work full time, the online option was perfect for me. I am self-motivated and I do not tend to procrastinate. Working online allowed a lot of flexibility to work ahead when I needed to or to slow down if necessary.
What was one of the biggest challenges during the program, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge during the program was balancing time on tasks with time with family. By having a set study time and by setting aside special time with my children, we were able to work things out so that everything could be balanced.
Why did you choose to earn your advanced degree from Lamar University?
The main reason I chose Lamar University was convenience. I didn't want to have to travel and sit in classrooms. Online courses were a perfect option for me.
What advice would you give to a prospective student who is considering this program?
I think the best advice for a prospective student would be that they need to be motivated and they need to keep up with tasks and not procrastinate.
What helped you get through the program the most? What helped you make it to the finish line?
The support of my children helped most, but having the support and encouragement of classmates and professors also helped.
Describe your family's thoughts and feelings about you earning your degree.
My family was all for me going back to school to get the school counseling degree. They knew it might be difficult at times and they helped out a lot as I worked through the courses.
If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I don't think I would do anything differently if I could do it all again. I had a good experience with Lamar University and hope that others considering an online education in school counseling will also find the Lamar experience as positive as I did.