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SACAP graduate says online learning paved the path to her counselling career success

Aug 27, 2020 | By Venessa Dace
SACAP graduate says online learning paved the path to her counselling career success

With so much bad news clouding our headlines these days it’s easy to become pessimistic. Sandwiched between the cataclysmic reality of Covid-19 and the economic uncertainties of our future, life feels really hard, right?

Hey! Don’t get too despondent.

Hate it as we may, the pandemic has brought about fundamental changes to our way of life and catalysed a paradigm shift in education. Social distancing protocols have prompted the need to study remotely resulting in a meteoric rise in online learning.

The upshot? Students are being exposed to many online learning benefits such as its flexibility, convenience and affordability. Interestingly, in these queer Covid times pursuing courses online is bringing likeminded people together and proving to be a novel platform for social engagement, too.

Glittering good news

Beleaguered by an uncertain future, instead of putting your plans on hold you can study online for the career of your dreams through SACAP’s highly acclaimed Online Campus. While many tertiary institutions are new to the online learning environment, SACAP has been offering online courses since 2014, which means their well-rounded, intensive virtual programmes have been tried and tested (and sought after) for almost a decade – nice!

Bronwyn Sherry (31) counts herself lucky to have discovered SACAP’s Online Campus. She completed her Bachelor of Social Science Honours in Psychology in May 2019 and graduated earlier this year. “For as long as I can remember, I have loved being there for people,” she recalls. “My parents called me ‘Agony Aunt’ at school because everyone came to me with their problems. It’s where my interest in psychology began. Once I got to university I realised how much I love learning about human interaction and how our brains work.”

True to her passion Bronwyn has worked in a counselling capacity for a number of years in different contexts. “I’ve been a volunteer school counsellor with the Johannesburg Parent and Child Counselling Centre, worked for Scripture Union (a youth ministry NGO), run and supported small groups at my church and continue to attend counselling training where I can,” she says.

Online counselling course opportunity

Inspired by a friend who was studying SACAP’s BPsych Equivalent Programme, Bronwyn decided to enrol for the Bachelor of Social Science Honours in Psychology course. “I wanted to do my honours, but knew it had to be part time because I couldn’t afford to give up my job,” she says. “When I started researching my options, SACAP was a standout.”

Bronwyn admits she was nervous about studying online initially. “I had just moved to Hermanus, which has no universities close by,” she explains. “I suppose my circumstances motivated my decision to pursue the degree online as opposed to face to face, but now that I’ve done it this way, it would be my go-to option.”

A fortuitous fit

SACAP’s online learning environment suited Bronwyn in many ways, she says. “I loved being able to work at my own pace. I tend to procrastinate so I was concerned this would come back and bite me, but each module had measurable outcomes for each week, which helped keep us students accountable and on track.”

“The course content is fantastic, too,” Bronwyn continues. “So is the teaching environment SACAP creates. I felt our educators were real experts in their fields and they made the learning process engaging, challenging and practical. They made us feel supported and like we were on campus in many ways. I’m big fan of them all!”

Bronwyn cites other benefits to completing her psychology honours online through SACAP: “I was able to further my studies in a year that suited me when my geographical location hindered the process. I learnt proper time-management skills and discovered that I am capable of working on my own. Studying online also allowed me to keep my day job, which was very important.”

Course credentials for counselling

Currently Bronwyn is a counsellor licensed with the Association for Supportive Counsellors and Holistic Practitioners (ASCHP), which is a professional board for non-statutory workers, she says. “It’s a pathway I only recently discovered and one I’m passionate about!”

Coupled with her counselling experience, Bronwyn’s Bachelor of Social Science Honours in Psychology has given her the accreditation and practical knowledge she requires to register with the ASCHP. “I have a very specific scope I can practice in,” she explains. “I don’t diagnose or assess and I refer to my psychology networks when issues fall outside my scope.”

“At this stage I’m not sure whether I’ll pursue a masters or continue in the counselling space,” she says. “I love being able to walk a journey with people, giving them support for daily struggles, so I’m currently very happy to stay where I am.”

Academic appreciation

Studying psychology online through SACAP is something Bronwyn recommends. “You need to be dedicated and willing to put in the hard work. It’s not easy, and there are constant deadlines and expectations – possibly more so than other remote courses – but the rewards are tangible.”

That’s not all. “I’m really grateful that all our modules encouraged us to dig deeper, look further and question our assumptions,” she asserts. “It’s helped me to be more critical in my day-to-day interactions and has challenged how I experience my world and the world of psychology.”

Bronwyn feels her SACAP course continues to inform what she does on a daily basis. “Not only has my degree opened doors for me, it’s taught me invaluable skills – academically and professionally. Without my Bachelor of Social Science Honours in Psychology I would still be struggling to make my career dreams of owning my own counselling practice a reality,” she says.

Your time to shine as a counsellor

Bronwyn’s decision to study psychology online was driven by her circumstances at the time. Our circumstances as a nation – indeed as a world – have changed dramatically in the last six months, too. Either we allow these dark times to usurp our potential or we fight for our rights to fulfil our life’s purpose.

SACAP’s Online Campus boasts a variety of comprehensive and dynamic programmes offering advanced levels of academic challenge that build intellectual independence, critical thinking skills and analytical insights in psychology. Sure, there’s a lot of doom and gloom enveloping the world right now, but bourgeoning online learning is a silver lining that has the potential to ultimately change our world for the better. SACAP’s Term 3 intake, which is dedicated to online courses only, starts in September and registrations are open now. C’mon, fight for your right to flourish! Enquire here to find out more.

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