Most educators will agree that the demand for additional services to help students is increasing while resources to fund those services remain stagnant. One way to defeat this dilemma is to find quality interns to help provide those services.
Cambridge High School was fortunate this school year and part of last school year to bring on intern Cassie Harper as a school counselor.
Harper, a former student of CHS principal Jason Bunting when he worked at Maysville High School, needs to complete 700 hours of counseling to earn her master’s degree in school counseling from Ohio University. Cambridge High School's student support team needed help meeting the needs of the Bobcat students.
The fit was good, as Harper now spends her workdays interacting with Cambridge students. Bunting saw the situation as a win-win.
When she first came on board at the high school, Harper did a lot of shadowing, observing, and getting to know the students. It wasn’t long until she was working on her own and involved in the day-to-day duties of a school counselor.
Last year, she worked under the mentorship of School Counselor Rod Gray and this year is working with School Counselor Trudy Tuttle. She also gets to interact with Career Navigator Lovel Quinn and School Support Liaison Casey McVicker.
Because of the unique staffing situation at CHS, Harper is getting to spend a good bit of time talking, working with students, and learning what it is like to work in a professional environment.
Bunting sees all the advantages to having Harper at the school, but especially likes what she has to offer to the students.
“She is a quality person to get into our school and assist our counselors,” Bunting said. “It is great having another person in the building who can assist our students, and it is a plus having someone a little closer to the age of our students who is in college that can give students someone else to ask those college-type questions. Someone they are more likely to believe because she is closer to their age."
Harper is in the Counselor Education Program in the Patton School of Education at Ohio University. Harper will complete her requirements by February but is committed to staying at Cambridge through the school year to gain additional experience.
“I have a relationship with the students and the staff, and I would not want to abruptly leave,” Harper said.
Her short-term goals are to pass her licensure exam and find a job. Long-term goals include continuing her education and potentially pursuing a career as a school psychologist and eventually teaching at a university.
Working at Cambridge Schools is also something Harper would think about if a position would open.
“It is definitely something I would consider, especially since I already have relationships established,” Harper said. “It would be silly of me not to consider it. I love it here. I love the kids. I love this school.”
This article originally appeared on The Daily Jeffersonian: Intern helps CHS school counselors while gaining experience