Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Education & Supervision May 2019-May 2021
Lindsey Wilson College, Columbia, KY
ABD, Doctor of Education in Counseling Education & Supervision School Closed-March 2019
Argosy University, Arlington, VA
Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling December 2016
Argosy University, Arlington, VA
Juris Doctorate May 2012
David A. Clarke School of Law
University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology August 2009
Minor: Organizational Leadership and Supervision
Bachelor of Science Degree in Retail Management
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
I am firmly committed to providing a premier educational experience to all students. As such, I believe that learning is a reciprocal and democratic process that occurs between professors and students. The process is reciprocal because both the students and the professors can learn from one another and benefit from information sharing as it embraces the freedom of thought and expression. Professors can learn and incorporate information from students regarding their personal experiences and how they impact student learning. Students can learn content-based information and apply what they have learned in the classroom in a more practical and realistic setting. Knowles Adult Learning Theory serves as the foundation for simulation-based training such as that of a Counseling Techniques course where students typically practice the skills they learn on each other as “counselors-in-training” and as their peers who participate as “clients” (Wang, 2010). Malcolm Knowles was well known for his Adult Learning Theory. Knowles adult learning principals indicate that: 1) learners become more self-directed as they mature; 2) experiences of students becomes an educational resource; 3) adult learners prefer that their learning is problem-centered and practical; and 4) people learn better when they can apply what they have learned immediately; (Ornelles, Ray, & Wells, 2019; Wang 2010).
Because I believe in information sharing, I believe in a classroom where the teacher is not viewed as the expert rather a participant and, at times, a facilitator. Instructors have a vital role in structuring learning activities to maximize learners’ engagement and interaction with the material and their peers (Ornelles, Ray, & Wells, 2019). Because adult learners focus more on the process and relevance of learning rather than content, my courses would be set-up where I would provide about 25% instruction and 75% of the information through experiential learning, feedback, and processing as a class (Curran, 2014). I believe in 25% instruction because students, especially in counseling, need to understand and possess foundational information to apply what they have learned more practically. For example, in teaching Counseling Techniques, students would have to understand the basic principles of skills and a good command of a theoretical base to understand how to apply what they have learned experientially.
Beyond information sharing, I believe it best to incorporate technology to use a multi-modal method to teach. Technology is essential as we have become a society dependent on it. Most post-secondary programs offer distance learning. Distance learning relies heavily on technology, as classes are either blended or entirely online. Because higher education has moved in this direction, professors must incorporate a multi-modal teaching method to reach all students. This includes video conferences, videos, audio, experiential opportunities, field trips, etc. to enhance student learning. The types of technology chosen should also depend on whether the course is synchronous or asynchronous. To do these things effectively, one must create a curriculum based on accreditation standards, standards for each course’s profession, and goals.
Once a professor has this information, they can create coursework for their classroom. However, it is essential to note that not every class of students will come with the same experiences, have the same challenges, or learn in the same way. Because this is true, a professor must often revise how they teach a class while incorporating individual and situational differences in the best interest of their students (Curran, 2014). Beyond establishing goals for the class and students, all students must come away with applying the information they have learned.
To design and measure my teaching effectiveness from the students’ perspective, I would utilize the Evaluation Theory (Jonson, Guertterman, & Thompson, 2014). I would utilize this theory to measure whether they feel like they have learned enough to complete the assessment cycle (Jonson, Guertterman, & Thompson, 2014). The assessment cycle includes planning, interpreting, gathering, and using “learning evidence” to inform my decision-making about how to improve my class and/or my teaching style as ongoing evaluation to measure this is necessary to any programs’, and consequently, the students’, success (Jonson, Guertterman, & Thompson, 2014). Beyond teaching, I believe that faculty should also provide mentorship and guidance to inspire the next generation of counselors to engage in civic service and social justice.
Students learn many things in counseling programs, but the one thing that students learn that is not necessarily an indicator of knowledge is personal growth. In every course, every professor should encourage and create classroom activities that promote personal growth. If students do not grow as a result of their programming, then I would have to ask, “what have they really learned.” Providing counseling to people in what is usually their most vulnerable state requires some level of knowledge and intimacy with that state of being. Nothing for me was more valuable in teaching me what it was like to be a client or what it was like to share parts of myself with others, than my counseling program. It taught me and continues to teach me a sense of humility and passion that has ultimately led to my engagement in leadership and service to the profession and society. As such, I continue to provide this experience in every course I teach.
Curran, M. K. (2014). Examination of the teaching styles of nursing professional development specialists, part I: Best practices in adult learning theory, curriculum development, and knowledge transfer. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 45(5), 233-40. doi:http://dx.doi.org.libproxy.edmc.edu/10.3928/00220124-20140417-04
Ornelles, C., Ray, A. B., & Wells, J. C. (2019). Designing Online Courses in Teacher Education to Enhance Adult Learner Engagement. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 31(3), 547–557.
Wang, V. C. X. (2010). Integrating Adult Learning and Technologies for Effective Education : Strategic Approaches. IGI Global.
Wilkerson, J. & Conley, C. (2020, October). School-community-based partnerships for youth with mental health needs. Virtual educational session presented at the National Center for School Mental Health’s Advancing School Mental Health Conference.
Remley, T., Hermann, M., Wilkerson, J. (2020, February). Counselor challenges from the perspective of lawyers. Panel presented at the Law & Ethics Conference, New Orleans, LA.
Wilkerson, J. & Wade, M. (2020, February). Let’s Talk about Sex: Addressing Sexuality with supervisees and clients. Education Workshop presented at the Law & Ethics Conference, New Orleans, LA.
Trahan, D., Taylor, J., Fuller, T., Christian, A., Johnson, A., & Barton, N. (2019). A gathering of counselors, allies, and communities: Social justice advocacy in our current sociopolitical climate. Panel presented at the Maryland Counselors for Social Justice Conference, John Hopkins, Baltimore, MD.
Conley, C. & Taylor, J. (2019, February). Is post-master’s supervision and continued training of school counselors important? Issues, challenges, & implications. Roundtable presentation presented at the Law & Ethics Conference, New Orleans, LA.
Trahan, D., Taylor, J., & Washington, S. (2017). Continuous trauma: the new normal? Panel presented at the Maryland Counseling Association Conference.
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