Janet Buder



Graduating Year:  2011

Before Dominican: BA in Human Development, Cornell University; MS in Physical Therapy, Stanford University

Currently: Internship at Mill Valley elementary schools (kindergarten to fifth graders)

Highlight: "Dominican faculty continually impressed us with their wisdom, knowledge, breadth of experience, insightful judgment, receptiveness to ideas, and warm, accessible personalities."

Dominican’s reputation stands out

The first reason I was drawn to Dominican was its reputation. The program is well respected in the community and is Dominican’s faculty: Everyone I had spoken to before applying said that the professors are interesting, accessible and knowledgeable. They are doing everything from clinical work and research to teaching and training out in the community.

I knew that I would not have trouble finding a good internship and job after completing the program. When I spoke to the clinicians out in the community, I learned that they really respected the program and its high caliber graduates.

A flexible, accommodating class schedule

The program offers flexibility in terms of its classes: there are evening classes, weekend classes, and the class schedule changes from semester to semester. If you can’t take a class one semester for a certain reason, you can count on being able to take it the next semester. Also, you always know in advance when classes will be offered, so you can adjust your schedule accordingly.

Role-playing made counseling come alive

Being a student at Dominican is not just about learning from books, writing analytical papers that synthesize all your knowledge, and giving oral reports in front of the class. It’s also about actively working with your fellow students and getting practical and valuable feedback.

From day one, many classes involve role-playing. In one of the classes called Groups, students take turns being the leaders of group sessions. Somebody makes up a problem and you are asked to facilitate the group as you would in real life. Role-playing made counseling come to life because I was able to put all the skills I was learning into action with the professor watching and giving me immediate feedback. The feedback I received from my fellow students—my future colleagues—on how to do things better was equally as important.

The faculty have clinical insight

There’s no question that the faculty’s clinical experience is the most valuable aspect of the program.  If your professor is out there and they’re in practice and they’re dealing with clients every day, they are able to come to the classroom and offer fresh, clinical examples and case studies. Being able to ask my professors questions about their experiences, their reactions and their responses helped bring therapy into the classroom and give me insight that I otherwise could not have had. Without the faculty’s clinical experience, my entire experience would have been simply theoretical.

I most appreciate their honesty

The greatest strength of the program lies in its faculty. They are accessible, nice, down to earth, interesting, knowledgeable, insightful, funny, and empathetic people who have a theoretical background, decades of experience and teach extremely well. They all had different personalities and different fields of study, but every one of them came to class and devoted their all to helping the students.

I most appreciated their honesty. They admit the mistakes that they have made in the past, so that their students can learn from them. They are honest with their students which is even more important. They will tell you where your strengths and weaknesses lie and how you can improve yourself as a counselor. They are really the best role models I could have ever asked for.

Students' opinions are valued

Several times a year, students are given a chance to provide suggestions and feedback on how to improve the program. The faculty members are very open to modifications and revisions, which has made the program so great. The fact that as a student you know that your voice is heard and that you can have an impact on the program that you’re in, gives you more of an ownership of and pride in your education.

Personalize your program

The program is very good at helping students become the type of therapist that they want to be and pursue the area of counseling that they want to pursue, no matter how unique that specialization or area of work may be. The faculty don’t try to mold you into what they envision for you; instead they let you grow into the type of therapist you want to be. I really appreciated that freedom.  

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