VASC is pleased to introduce Jermando Towler, February’s Graduate Student of the Month, from Norfolk State University!

Norfolk State University’s Department Chair of Secondary Education and School Leadership, Dr. Norma Brumage has the following to share of Jermando:

Mr. Jermando Towler is a school counseling candidate who pursues his educational goals fervently and with enthusiasm.  I have observed the patience and dedication he utilizes to ensure his academic work displays effort and excellence.  Mr. Towler is a skilled communicator and possesses superb interpersonal skills that enhances his  professional relations with the other candidates in the School Counseling Program at Norfolk State University and faculty in the Secondary Education and School Leadership Department.  In addition, he is often found sharing his beliefs about his goals of becoming a professional school counselor that includes his  commitment to providing students opportunities to eventuate their aspirations of becoming life-long learners and productive citizens in their respective communities.

Moreover, Mr. Towler is always willing to encounter new experiences that are presented to him by his professors.  Recently, he was assigned a research project working with administrators and professors in the School of Graduate Studies and Research.  His input and participation in this project received one of the highest commendations by the project directors.

I am extremely pleased to support this opportunity for Mr. Jermando Towler to receive recognition by  VASC!


Keep reading to learn more about Jermando and what inspires him in his pursuit of a school counseling degree:

1. Please state which graduate program and school you are participating in, and why you chose that program/school ?

My program at Norfolk State University is Urban Education/ School Counseling P-12. I chose this program because of my passion to help people, specifically youth.  At Norfolk State University, the professors are all experienced school counselors, and they work very closely with the graduate students in their pursuit of becoming professional school counselors.

2. What are some of the difficulties you have faced, and how have you or how are you overcoming these difficulties?

I am currently the caregiver to my father who is an amputee. I also work two jobs while I am functioning as a full time graduate student. These circumstances have been difficult and stressful; however, I overcome them each day with the practice of effective communication skills and physical exercise to reduce stress.

3. Describe the journey that made you pursue counseling as a profession.

My journey started when I became a tutor and mentor who found himself always going a step further to help students. I genuinely cared about the students’ well-being in addition to their academic and personal development. I motivated students to own their actions, positive and negative, yet strive to become the best they could be.

4. What are some of your hopes and concerns for the future as a counselor entering the profession?

As a counselor, I hope to be effective in every aspect of the profession. However, I understand that I will not have the same level of influence I want on every student. I do believe that if I remain legally and ethically sound while working with students, my ratio of successes and failures will be outplayed with triumphs.

5. Describe what your world would be like if you woke up tomorrow and everything is just as you hoped educationally and professionally.

If I woke up tomorrow and everything was as I hoped educationally and professionally, I would be an accomplished school counselor who is extending my career studying school administration.  Concurrently, I would also be the owner of an after school youth community center.

6. Please describe your top three forms of self care (does it involved dessert?)

My top three self –care  activities are as follows: (1) Optimistic thinking because it keeps my spirits up and keeps me well- balanced;  (2) Enjoy “ME” time which allows me to relax and clear  my mind while reflecting on my positives and negatives of the day; and (3)  Exercise because it reduces my stress and keeps me fit.

7. Please tell us about research or projects that you have been involved in.

I am currently a facilitator for a Norfolk State University’s Graduate program named NIA. Its purpose is to increase the awareness of sexual risky behaviors among African American males. The increase in awareness, moreover, increases knowledge about sexual risks. A primary focus of this research is to provide knowledge to this population about how practicing safe sex reduces the possibilities of risky behaviors.

8. What else would you like to share?

I would like to say thank you to VASC for recognizing me as the Graduate Student of the Month for February.  I would like to thank Dr. Norma Brumage, the Coordinator for School Counseling at NSU and the faculty and staff members in the program who have assisted me throughout my journey. I also would like to tell anyone looking to become a professional school counselor that the program is about the knowledge not the grade. Lastly, I want to say I believe all effective and successful counselors have super powers- they can be in more than one place, read minds, and see the future!


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Norfolk State Univeristy has much to offer graduate students pursuing a degree in counseling:

The intent of the School Counseling program is to provide candidates with the kind of broad-based learning experiences that engender dispositions and habitudes of excellence, equity, and most importantly leadership in Virginia’s P-12 schools and classrooms.  Candidates are provided instruction that  serves as a framework through which the Department of Secondary Education and School Leadership operationalizes the preparation of competent, compassionate, collaborative, and committed school leaders.

The program has specific objectives as follows:

  1.  To prepare candidates to become school counselors that are dedicated to the enhancement of human development throughout the life span

  2.  To extend and enrich the candidate’s knowledge base by providing opportunities to enhance proficiency in critical/analytical thinking, oral/written communication skills, systematic problem solving, and ethical and legal decision-making

  3.  To prepare candidates to be professionals with broad counseling competencies that will be used to assist in the growth and development of each individual

  4.  To provide candidates with an education that challenges their intellect and prepares them to assume productive leadership roles in schools

  5.  To provide dynamic academic programming and practical training that integrates instruction, research, and public service with the intent of developing competent, ethically guided,  and empathic professional counselors

The program has been developed utilizing a learning-outcomes base that requires candidates to master specified knowledge, skills, and abilities.  The program is life-skills oriented, and candidates are committed to the development of the highest educational and quality of life potential of all their students.  Candidates are expected to maintain a high level of competence, ethics, and integrity while exercising objective professional judgment in the practice of their profession. The curriculum’s scope and sequence meet the certification requirements of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department of Education.

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