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Spring brings new space, programs to JFK University

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If you're considering a career in counseling, there are more degree programs available beginning this spring.

On April 1, the Graduate School of Professional Psychology of John F. Kennedy University in Campbell will be moving into the old Campbell High School building, most recently occupied by Phillips Junior College, on the Campbell Community Center campus. "The move to larger space means we will be able to bring other schools of JFK University to Campbell, and offer a wider range of degree programs," said assistant Dean Ellyn Herb, program director of the Graduate School of Professional Psychology.

Orinda-based John F. Kennedy University was founded in 1964 as one of the first universities in the United States dedicated solely to adult education. Its South Bay campus in Campbell opened in 1988 with approximately 35 students, offering a master's degree in counseling psychology. Today, with enrollment of 150, the graduate school has added a masters degree in consulting psychology aimed at human resources and business consulting professionals.

Also new this spring is a bachelors degree in psychology and an articulated bachelors in psychology/masters in counseling psychology. In the articulated program the final 24 elective graduate units in the bachelor's degree program also serve as the first 24 units of the master's degree. This helps students reduce the time and cost required to attain a graduate degree.

This is just one way we respond to the needs of our adult students," Herb said. "We also offer quarterly admission and flexible class scheduling with emphasis on afternoon and evening classes. Students can complete their degrees at a pace that meets their needs. They have the flexibility to take a break and reenter the program if necessary, to respond to other events in their lives. We feel we are unique in the concept of education for working adults."

The typical students at JFK University's South Bay Campus are in their late 30s. Many are turning from careers in fields such as teaching and engineering to second careers in counseling.

To meet the needs of working professionals the school offers an extensive continuing education program, as well as a 21-unit certificate in consulting psychology. Students are trained to provide process consulting services to a variety of clients, from facilitating organization development and assisting groups in problem solving to working with individuals on developing capability and creativity.

This fall, the graduate school will add a doctor of psychology (PsyD) program to the South Bay Campus curriculum. Long-range plans call for bringing John F. Kennedy University's Management School and Graduate School for Holistic Studies to Campbell's South Bay Campus. The Management School will offer a masters degree in management, and plans to add an articulated bachelors degree in management.

Dean Herb describes course work at John F. Kennedy University as "highly experiential, with an emphasis on practical applications, training and fieldwork." Important to students, this emphasis allows them to earn up to 1,300 hours of the 300 hours of experience needed to sit for licensing through their degree program.

For the community, the emphasis on practical applications means many positive programs, including a community counseling center. Graduate students in clinical psychology from the South Bay Campus, supervised by licensed professionals, provide individual, couples, family and group counseling addressing a wide variety of concerns.

The counseling center is part of a joint project with the Cupertino Union School District that began in 1993. Through the project, John F. Kennedy University graduate students provide free counseling in all Cupertino Union School District schools in return for space to operate the counseling center. The Graduate School is currently working on obtaining grants to expand this project to the Fremont Union School District.

In another joint project with Cupertino Union School District, graduate students serve as camp counselors for a week-long, low cost camp experience emphasizing the expressive arts.

Now in its second year, Expressive Arts Kids' Camp is offering two camp sessions in mid- and late-July. Activities include mask making, painting, theater, creative movement, music, pottery making and family genealogy among other creative projects.

Graduates of John F. Kennedy University's School of Professional Psychology find work in a variety of arenas, including private practice, community agencies, hospitals and schools. Some go on to do doctorate work and some return to join the Graduate School's faculty.

"As a university, we need to be equipped to meet the changing needs of society and the counseling professions," Herb said. "Managed care has changed the nature of counseling in health care. Government and business are providing less coverage for mental health, although businesses are more interested in the use of counseling in the workplace. Community agencies are doing more. We work to prepare our students to do a variety of things. We keep close contact with our alumni and that helps us keep informed as to what professionals need."

For information on John F. Kennedy University's academic and continuing education programs in Campbell, call (408) 379-9840. The John F. Kennedy University Community Counseling Center is located at 572 Dunholme Way in Sunnyvale, (408) 524-4900.

For information and reservations for Expressive Arts Kids' Camp, call (408) 524-4900.

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