Social Services and Counseling

Career Center Contact: 

Garry Klein (garry-klein@uiowa.edu)

Exploration

The English major is home to many students who are empathetic and interested in how people interact and shape one another.  This naturally leads to an interest in helping others.   Our students can successfully go on to graduate school in Student Affairs/Higher Education, Mental Health, Marriage and Family Counseling and related programs.   If they want to get a Psychology Ph.D. or Social Work master's degree we encourage a double major.  But they can still go into the other mentioned programs from our major alone or a combination of our major and a minor in such things as Human Relations (counseling), sociology, gender studies, or anthropology.   

A field as broad as Student Affairs/Higher Education can include working in campus offices such as: diversity, first generation college students, academic support/tutoring, academic advising, residence life, gender-related issues, financial aid, admissions, study abroad or counseling.

If students are interested in going to graduate school they should discuss options with their advisor after thinking about the ideal setting in which they want to work (hospital, private practice, agency, school, college) and decide if there are specific courses or extra-curricular experiences they should add to their undergraduate years to make themselves a good candidate for graduate school or employment in these fields.  

Nikki Blacksmith is a graduate who went on to graduate school in a different field and has ended up in researching the intersection of psychology and business. 

In 2017 Nikki wrote: "I am currently an instructor and doctoral candidate studying Industrial-Organizational Psychology. I used to be an I-O psych consultant at Gallup, Inc before deciding I wanted to return to academia.  I'll be applying for faculty tenure track positions next year. I also co-author a quarterly column (our last article here: http://www.siop.org/tip/jan15/pdf/MA.pdf) for The Industrial Psychologist  ( http://www.siop.org/tip/) and am newsletter editor for PTCMW.org. Those two things may be of interest to the English students.Here is my website if you want more detail: nikkiblacksmith.com"

Students will take the GRE test between their junior and senior year of college and apply for graduate schools in the fall of their senior year of college.  Most students going to graduate school have GPA 3.0 or higher.   If you are concerned about your GPA, consult with your advisor about ways to fix it or work around it. 

If you want to work in social services without going to graduate school a good path might be managing a non-profit organization, supervising volunteers at a non-profit or writing impactful pieces as part of fund-raising for a non-profit.   Our graduates can find employment in hospice, women's shelters, cancer research facilities, or hospitals doing work that supports human development or improvement through their administrative and writing skills.   There are also some entry-level positions in non-profits that are open to students from all majors.   Conduct a job search using words such as: social service, volunteer, non-profit, fund-raising, awareness, public relations, philanthropy, human services to get started.

Possible Staff Mentors in the Department:

Kate Torno, advisor

Possible Faculty Mentors in the Department:

Linda Bolton

Marie Kruger 

Bluford Adams

Doris Witt