Master of Science in KRS Student
" I did not think I would function well in an online setting... Now, I can honestly say that I really enjoy the format of the program."
Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science
- MS, KRS: Rehab
What drew you to your current program?
When I first met with Dr. Yamamoto*, her willingness to take the time out of her busy schedule to thoroughly explain what the program was about, how it was fully online, and how I would be part of a cohort made the program very appealing to me.
Where do you work?
For the past year and a half, I have been working for the State of Hawaiʻi, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) as a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist.
How did you become interested in the field of rehabilitation counseling?
I was introduced to the field of vocational rehabilitation during the eight years I worked with the Benefit and Support Services Division (BESSD) as an Eligibility Worker. During my time at BESSD, I worked with various agencies that assisted the clients in becoming self-sufficient. Although I loved my job at BESSD, I wanted to do more for each client. I wanted to be part of the agencies that helped them to become self-sufficient.
Was the format of the program (online) a factor in your decision?
Initially, I was intimidated by the fact that all of the classes were online because I felt I was “old school” material. I did not think I would function well in an online setting, but after each week, I felt a lot more comfortable. Now, I can honestly say that I really enjoy the format of the program. There have been cohort members who were able to attend class while on business trips and vacations. Also, the online format allows people who live off island to be a part of the cohort.
How has the rehabilitation counseling program* and faculty helped you along the way?
The rehabilitation program has helped me to become a better counselor. Also, having people from various occupations in the same cohort allows students to see things from different angles.
What are you future plans/goals in the field?
In the future, I would like to continue working for DVR and use the knowledge that I gain from the program to better service each client in my caseload. I would also look for other opportunities where I could further help people with disabilities.
*The Hawai‘i Rehabilitation Counseling program (HRC) prepares graduate students to become successful practitioners and administrators in the field of vocational rehabilitation. This 48-credit distance education program leads to a Master of Science degree in Kinesiology & Rehabilitation Science with a specialization in Rehabilitation Counseling. The HRC program requires 3 years of enrollment (6 credits/semester) in a hybrid online environment.