Dahlia Baerga

Master’s in Psychology

English Teacher, Central Florida Leadership Academy

Orlando, FL

Looking for a Program That Fit Her Life 

Dahlia needed a program that gave her the freedom to not only continue focusing her energy on home life but also to explore her career passions. The online master’s in psychology program at Pepperdine gave her the confidence to do both.

“I had my daughter just a year or two before, so I was looking for an online option since I really couldn’t do anything in person. The online degrees offered at schools in Florida weren’t of interest to me. I did a lot of research, and Pepperdine was the one program that will let you explore what you’d like to do.”

Taking Inspiration from Everyday Life

Throughout her time in the program, Dahlia has been encouraged by faculty to use her own personal experiences to better inform class discussions or projects. Whether it’s the work she’s done with kids in her high school teaching career or the personal relationship she has with her daughter, Dahlia has been able to find inspiration in everyday life.

“One project asked us to choose a particular issue serving an age group of interest to us, and I chose middle adulthood. My professor encouraged me to use a parent’s perspective, so I ended up doing my project on how coming-of-age ceremonies affect those in the middle of adulthood, focused on certain cultures and their views. That was an angle that never would have occurred to me otherwise, and it ended up being really insightful.”

Setting New Career Goals

Dahlia was able to solidify a new career goal when she took her favorite course within the master’s in psychology program—Multicultural Psychology. Being multiracial herself and understanding the hurdles that someone of many backgrounds may have to overcome in life, Dahlia is committed to working in the multicultural counseling field when she graduates.

“My favorite class so far has been Multicultural Psychology because it’s in line with what I want to do with my degree. I really want to work in multicultural settings, especially with teenagers who are having identity crises. I went through similar issues of being multiracial and not knowing where I belonged, and I know that’s still a huge problem. It really solidified the fact that I do want to work in multicultural counseling going forward.”

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