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Success with CSSE

11/5/2014

Kristcha DeGuerre ’14 of Saratoga Spring, N.Y., applied to five graduate programs. She was accepted into each and every one of them.

While the graduate school application process can be difficult – and oftentimes confusing – DeGuerre credits MCLA’s Center for Student Success and Engagement (CSSE) with her successful navigation of the process.

Kristcha DeGuerreMy experience with CSSE was one of the most important aspects of my graduate school applications,” she said. “The best thing about CSSE is how helpful they were. If I had any questions, they would always help me find the answer. They were there if I needed them during every step in the application process.”

In addition to the help she got from CSSE, DeGuerre explained, “I have always been a serious student who worked hard on my grades. Additionally, I spent a lot of time on volunteer work and service learning to build my curriculum vitae.”

DeGuerre graduated from MCLA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. She minored in social work. For her Master’s of Social Work degree, she selected Colorado’s University of Denver because of the adventure – and the scholarship – that campus offered her.

Interested in the theoretical aspects of psychology and the real world application of clinical social work, DeGuerre aspires to build a private practice where she works with teenagers and children who have experienced trauma.

She loved her experience as a psychology student at MCLA.

“My professors were always supportive and acted as mentors to me. I always knew I could look to my professors for help when I needed it. I enjoyed how the professors made an effort to get to know you.

“My classes were always interesting and insightful, and have helped me navigate through my graduate school courses,” DeGuerre continued. “I had the opportunity to take a multitude of psychology and social work classes that were of interest to me.”

At the core of her MCLA education were opportunities to serve as a youth mentor with MCLA’s Center for Service for the Adams Youth Center, a travel study course to Ireland, and an Alternative Spring Break to Belize, where she provided service to residents in need.

“These activities pushed me outside of my comfort zone and expanded my perspective. I believe that classroom learning is important, but outside classroom learning is as equally important,” DeGuerre explained. “I was exposed to new cultures, activities and knowledge.”

A transfer student from a local community college, DeGuerre is glad she chose MCLA.

“When I visited MCLA on admissions tour, it just felt like the right place for me. I really loved how MCLA has a small community of students. It creates such a great atmosphere.”

She continued, “I enjoyed how you could walk though campus and recognize everyone you see. I enjoyed the small classroom sizes that promoted professors to get to know you. The connections that I have made at MCLA have been life-changing.”

With her first semester in graduate school well underway, DeGuerre said MCLA best prepared her by helping her to develop her interests and passions.

“Without that, I wouldn’t have known what I wanted to go to graduate school for. If I had not developed these interests at MCLA, I probably would have not gone to graduate school,” she said.

“MCLA will change your life in so many amazing ways. The students will make connections at the College that will last them a lifetime. MCLA has so many wonderful opportunities for students to take advantage of – whether it be academic, travel, sports or clubs. One of the best choices that I have ever made was to join the MCLA community.”