We love to spotlight instructors in our partner programs. David Robinson teaches in Alfred University’s Masters in Counseling program. We’re glad to have instructors with such excellent experience, accomplishments, and a practical point of view. Read David’s thoughts below, and then click here to learn more about Alfred University’s Master’s Program in Counseling.
What is your name and what do you teach?
My name is David M. Robinson and I teach COUN 604 (Foundations of Counseling) and COUN 642 (Multiculture and Diversity).
What’s your background in education and counseling? How did you come to take the Alfred Program?
I’ve been in the field of education for more than 27 years. My first job in education was as a High School Paraprofessional, and after several years attending college at night, I graduated with my BA and became a Teacher. I taught Physical Education for over eleven years. During this time, I created a progressive PE program for an elementary school, along with two brand new middle schools. In addition, I was also Dean of Students for 3 years. In my career, I’ve always worked closely with students helping them with social-emotional issues and setting the school tone; therefore, I decided to go back to school and obtain my Masters in School Guidance Counseling. I applied to the Alfred University off campus program where I was accepted to the first cohort and graduated in 2008. The following year I was hired by Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day School. After my first year as a Counselor, I emailed Dr. Cerio and Dr. Bitting (the Alfred Program directors) and informed them that I wanted to give back and teach for the same program that taught me so much. Dr. Cerio said that after five years of professional counseling experience that I should come back to him and we could discuss the possibility. I followed his advice, and sure enough five years later I was back at Alfred teaching courses and the rest is history!
What has been most surprising as an educator?
What has been most surprising to me during my career as an educator and fitness professional is the resilience of my students to overcome hardships thrown in their path to graduation — from fleeing war torn countries, homelessness, to losing both parents, and/or living with a foster parent. Through all these hardships they find a way to graduate, many of whom have obtained full college scholarships.
What is your driving theory as a teacher?
I do my very best to give my students the “Real Deal” when it comes to School Guidance Counseling. Although I believe theory is a great starting point, ultimately real life experiences help students in getting a true understanding of what theory looks like in practice.
What is one thing Counseling Students should know?
Many students think they can counsel students/clients without facing their own demons. I make it very clear that all counselors/therapists should have previous personal counseling experience or currently be in counseling/ therapy. I am a firm believer that doing so will make them a more well-rounded counselor/therapist.
Who made a difference to you, in your education?
Growing-up without the necessary financial and educational support, I have looked for ways to help others; similar to the help I received when I needed assistance as a teenager. The one person who helped widen my world view was Professor Louis Howard. He taught at Vassar College and would travel from Sullivan County to the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) to teach undergraduate courses in Black Political Thought and Black Literature.
What will students leave this program with?
Students will have a broader worldview and a solid counseling foundation mixed with counseling theory and real life counseling experiences.
CITE is the Center for Integrated Training and Education . For over 25 years, CITE has and continues to train TEACHERS (Early Childhood, Professional Certification, Special Ed,Grad Courses, Bilingual, DASA); COUNSELORS (School, Mental Health Masters, Advanced Certificate); and ADMINISTRATORS (SBL, SDL, Public Admin, Doctorate) in all five boroughs of NYC, Yonkers, Westchester, and Long Island.
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