Wednesday, March 17, 2021

By: Claire Quigle

Hello Hawkeyes! Happy “Where Do You Work” Wednesday! Meet alumna Ellie Curtis (M.A. ‘17 School Counseling).

Curtis is currently working as a school counselor at Pleasant Valley High School in Bettendorf, Iowa, and is originally from Davenport, Iowa. Before working at Pleasant Valley, Curtis worked as a school counselor at Davenport West High school.

As a counselor, Curtis loves that she gets the opportunity to help students break down any barriers that are preventing them from meeting their goals.

“It is personally rewarding to watch students realize their goals are within reach,” Curtis says.

Curtis says she also likes getting to collaborate with her team in the counseling department because they have a shared vision for how they see their counseling program impacting students.

Curtis says that the University of Iowa College of Education helped her in more ways than just learning about being a counselor.

“All of the professors in the School Counseling program are phenomenal and have deeply impacted how I approach topics such as professionalism, ethics, and advocacy for the profession,” Curtis says.

Curtis says that the School Counseling program is unique because many professors have hands-on experience being school counselors. She says all of her professors were school counselors at one point in their careers.

“It is rare to find a school counseling program where all of its faculty have professional experience in school counseling, not just mental health counseling,” Curtis says. “I did not realize how important that distinction was until I started working as a school counselor, which is a very specialized profession that is often misunderstood by those who have not experienced it first-hand.”

Curtis says her experience at Iowa would not have been the same if she had been taught by professors that hadn’t been counselors themselves.

“Their experience as former school counselors is invaluable because it shapes how the program prioritizes the course of study for the school counseling program at the University of Iowa,” Curtis says.

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