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John F Kennedy University

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Date: Mar 31 2013
Major: Psychology (This Major's Salary over time)
I chose JFK University because I was working a full time day job and I could pursue a graduate degree in counseling psychology and still continue working. It took me 4 years to complete the holistic counseling program and then 6 years to complete my 3000 internship hours within a private practice model.

What I wish I knew before I started was what a long and arduous journey it would be to finally get licensed. And that along the way I would accrue $60,000+ in student loans (even though I was working full time) and then once I was an intern I would only be making $9/hour while gaining my hours. And, I shouldn't forget to warn you that once you are an intern you need to pay your supervisor $90/hr for every 10 hours of internship. I am one of the fortunate ones, being that I did pass my exams on the first try (after studying like a maniac and spending another $1,000+ on study materials). I know others who were in my program who were over $100K in debt and haven't passed the exams yet.

The school is very expensive and the campus…ugh! It's in Pleasant Hill aka "Pleasant Hell" a place with strip malls and absolutely no character. The school is located inside a corporate building that lacks any soul (the walls are crying out for art!) and their is a roaring river of a freeway right on the other side of the parking lot.

The education I got was good. The professors (with the exception of my Psycho Pharm teacher) were all excellent. I appreciated that this program was very much experiential and it requires of you to do your own personal work. My advice for anyone considering a counseling degree to consider going for a PsyD. I think the opportunities for paid internships after graduation are better and increased earnings later on too.

One of the best parts of the program was my experience working as an intern at the Holistic Counseling Center in Oakland. What a great center! I loved working face to face with clients and the community of fellow interns were excellent. This was a great learning experience and I received excellent supervision there. This part I don't regret at all. The University though should be putting more money into this Center. The place was run down and shabby and they didn't re-fill the Director's Position for years. I hear there's still problems with JFK supporting this program and the staff at the center.

If you are still considering getting an MFT in counseling, think about a school that you can do it more cheaply. You will be happy you did when you're a poor therapist intern struggling to earn your 3000 hours. You could get a degree much faster and cheaper at a state school. The great thing about the profession is there are many opportunities to continue learning. You don't have to do JFK's 3 year program.

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