Bryce Deering: A clear advantage
M.Ed. student finds the best fit at SOE
When Bryce Deering (anticipated M.Ed. '20) considered graduate programs in counselor education, he knew he needed experience working with children from diverse urban backgrounds. Of all the programs he applied to, the VCU School of Education provided by far the best opportunity to gain that experience before graduation.
Deering’s interest in counselor education began when he was an undergraduate at VCU. He took a few psychology courses and found that he liked learning about how the mind works and what drives behavior. The connection made sense. Many of his jobs up to that point had involved working directly with people, from coaching soccer to teaching horseback riding to children and adults with special needs.
Deering decided to major in psychology and attended an “All About Psychology” Fair, which had information about VCU internship and volunteer opportunities. One of the opportunities was with the VCU Cognition and Learning Lab. When he interviewed with co-director Dr. Jason Chow, Deering was so impressed that he became one of the lab’s charter members.
“The nice thing about the Cognition and Learning Lab is that it’s housed in the School of Education, so even though I was a psychology major, I could live in both worlds,” said Deering. As he began thinking about graduate school, he asked Chow and the Ph.D. candidates in the lab about their impressions of the School of Education.
“I asked about their experiences at the school, who they would recommend that I talk to. They helped me figure out whether the School of Education would be a good fit for me,” he said.
Deering was also drawn to the School of Education in part because of the university’s diversity, as well as Richmond’s diverse urban population.
“Of all the master’s programs I applied to, the student teaching practicum in the School of Education ... had the most diverse urban population by far. I needed that experience.”
“I was raised in a very middle-class area of Charlottesville. There weren’t a lot of opportunities to interact with people from different backgrounds when I was growing up, so that was an advantage at VCU,” he said.
“Since I was considering areas of graduate study where I could interact with children and still be in the realm of psychology, counselor education made the most sense. Of all the master’s programs I applied to, the student teaching practicum in the School of Education’s counselor education program had the most diverse urban population by far,” he said.
“I needed that experience.”
Deering began VCU SOE’s M.Ed. in counselor education program this fall. His two-year goal is to become a school counselor. More long-term, he would like to become a child psychologist.
“In the counselor education program, you can become a licensed professional counselor right out of grad school if you meet the requirement,” he said.
Learn more about the M.Ed. in counselor education program at the VCU School of Education.