Laurel Goycoolea

Laurel Goycoolea, '15 MA, School of Education, Master of Arts in Counseling

What have you done that you are proud of?

Throughout my time in the guidance and counseling program at LMU, I was in a (nearly) unique situation. I was one of the first two members of the LMU Partners in Los Angeles Catholic Education (PLACE) Corps program to complete a master's degree in guidance and counseling. Most other PLACErs complete the single or multiple subject education MA. Because I was a member of PLACE Corps, I was teaching full time while completing the master's program.

How has your work made an impact on your community, school, agency, classroom, clients or students?

At the conclusion of my master's program, I was able to transition from my full-time teaching position to a full-time academic counseling position. I was thrilled at the chance to put my degree into action immediately for the 2015-2016 school year. I had spent some time working in the counseling office at my school during the 2014-2015 school year when we had a counseling staff of three part-time counselors and one full-time counselor for 500 students. Now, we have two full-time counselors and have streamlined many of our processes.

What evidence can you share that demonstrates this impact?

In our attempts to make our processes more efficient, we have utilized a fully digital, online note-taking and tracking system. We have also completed a full academic audit of our entire student body, an audit that had not been completed in recent years because administrative positions went through some dramatic changes. As a result of some of these updates and adjustments, we are more efficiently helping our student body succeed. I am proud to step into this role during a time of change for our school. We are going through a re-certification process and we have a new principal and a new assistant principal of curriculum – it is an exciting time to be a member of the student support team.