ENMU Counseling Program Impacts Teacher's Life

 Jenica is a teacher in Minot, North Dakota, and is studying for her master’s in counseling.
Jenica is a teacher in Minot, North Dakota, and is studying for her master’s in counseling.

ENMU Counseling Program Impacts Teacher's Life

How much can Eastern New Mexico University impact your life? Just ask Jenica Swenson, a graduate student, taking online classes over 1,100 miles away. 

Jenica is a teacher in Minot, North Dakota, and is studying for her master's in counseling, while her husband is active duty in the Air Force. She chose ENMU because of the flexible online classes and professors.

"I love teaching, so I was unable and unwilling to quit my job to pursue my master's, and so ENMU's program fit perfectly for my situation," said Jenica.

ENMU offers online classes and summer classes for many programs, which is the highlight feature for long-distance students like Jenica.

Understanding that moving to Portales was not an option for her due to her husband's career, the professors created ways for her to continue her studies, such as Skyping her into classes she cannot attend in-person.

"I have truly been blessed with amazing professors," explained Jenica.

Her online courses have greatly helped her in her own classroom, making her a "much more effective teacher.

"I am able to better understand why my students are making the choices they are making as well at developing strategies to future help the student, not only in school but in life," she shared.

She recommends ENMU for its staff and faculty because they truly care about what they do.

"They have a passion for the curriculum which motivates the students. A curriculum is only as good as those who present it," she said as an educator herself.

For Jenica, pursuing her master's has allowed her discover more about herself. She has "always loved helping people" and she now "knows why." She says her master's degree has "shaped" who she is today.

"I am more aware of my areas of struggle and more compassionate for those who struggle," she explained. "This is no longer just a degree for me, it's a better understanding of life."

The graduate student was born in Crestview, Florida, and was raised with her brother. Her family all lived within a 30 mile radius.

She graduated from Crestview High School in 2006.

In her free time, she enjoys baking, cooking, decorating and camping.

After her father passed away unexpectedly a couple years ago, Jenica determined that her goal in life was to be happy.

She pondered her life purpose and decided she would "live in the moment, be thankful, tell people how I feel and live life with no regrets" from that moment on.

Jenica considers herself a "100 percent people-person."

She hopes to constantly improve her communication skills to better understand those around her, whether they are adults or kids. She feels understanding them better would enable her to better help them.

She considers her pursuit of understanding others her main goal in life. Building upon her people skills would be her "biggest achievement.

"I enjoy being around people," the extrovert said. "I feel accomplished when I help or support others. I need people in my life to help refuel myself."