A diploma that opens doors

PHOTO: Kaplan

A special feature by Kaplan Higher Education Academy

IF 56-YEAR-OLD Madam Margaret Mary John could be a student again, she would love to take up a course in counselling.

"Counselling is an interesting course as it can be directly applied to real life.It helps people and is crucial given our current hectic lifestyle in Singapore, which is causing many to experience problems like high stress," she says Madam Margaret's daughter, 23-year-old Jessica Siva Guru, too, has dreams of pursuing a career in psychology as she is interested in working with all sorts of people.

When she completed her A-levels a year ago, she was on the lookout for a course that would set her on that path to her goal. She was drawn to Kaplan's Diploma in Counselling programme, as her friend who had taken the course, gave glowing feedback on how appealing it was.

Knowing her daughter's interest, Madam Margaret met with administrators at Kaplan. It was a positive experience as the school was able to provide her and Jessica with thorough information on the course as well as prospects after graduation.

Says Madam Margaret: "I was definitely supportive of her decision to enroll at Kaplan. In fact, I was very happy as I felt she had made a good decision. "I had a lot of good feedback from friends who told me their children have benefited a lot from taking up a course at Kaplan."

The right combination

The Diploma in Counselling programme consists of modules such as foundational psychology, counselling theories, skills, ethics, career counselling, group counselling, conflict management and crisis intervention. Each unit is assessed by a combination of class participation, written assignments, projects or examinations.

Upon completion of the diploma, graduates can move on to pursue a bachelor's degree programme with one of Kaplan's prestigious partner universities in Singapore. Scoring well with mostly distinctions and credits, Jessica managed to complete her diploma within eight months and is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology offered by Murdoch University at Kaplan.

Studies made enjoyable

Madam Margaret praised the teaching quality at Kaplan and Jessica's classmates.

"The lecturers at Kaplan are qualified professionals who aim to do their best in teaching the students there. The classmates my child mixes with are also very supportive and helpful. Kaplan has helped Jessica realised her potential," she says.

She enjoyed her lessons at Kaplan. "Kaplan provided me with an enjoyable studying experience. I have made many valuable friends here. The lecturers are also very patient and friendly when it comes to teaching us," she says.

She added that the lecturers were able to relate to them in a very engaging manner with many different kinds of activities planned for them such as group work and presentations.

The lecturers also showed them videos to illustrate certain concepts and topics in the modules. This made learning fun and involving.

In particular, Jessica relished group work as she had the chance to share her views on subjects with her lecturers and peers.

Professional insights

One of the modules she enjoyed most was on counselling theories where she learnt about how counselling and psychology theories came about. Her lecturer for the module had organised lots of activities in class for his students.

"The lessons were very interesting and interactive, which helped us tremendously in understanding the different counselling approaches," Jessica says.

She feels the diploma programme provided her with a better understanding of what the counselling profession entails and gave her a better idea about the career she wants to embark on after her degree.

Based on her daughter's positive experience at Kaplan, Madam Margaret says she would be happy to recommend Kaplan to other parents who might want similar benefits for their children.

"A student who is disciplined and responsible would definitely excel at Kaplan," she adds.

Visit Kaplan Open House on Aug 15 from 11am to 5pm at Wilkie Edge.