Kathryn Phillips

Meet ACAP Graduate Kathryn Phillips

Kathryn graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Counselling)* studied online. She is currently working as a counsellor at Centacare Family Services and St Paul’s Primary School, both in Mildura, Victoria, while studying the Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy with ACAP.

Why did you choose ACAP?

In 2009 I was between professions. I knew I wanted to be a Counsellor instead of an Adult Disability Worker, but I didn’t know the best pathway. So I had been self-employed as a cleaner for two years pondering how to go about achieving my goal. A friend applied to ACAP for a degree through distance education and I thought this could be my way of studying while still earning an income.

Did your ACAP qualification help you to achieve your goals?

Yes. I always wanted to do more in life and without the qualification it was impossible to gain employment. By working for myself as a house cleaner/aged social support person, I could study online and work at my pace. ACAP required 2 lots of work experience, which gave me the opportunity to access the counselling profession and eventually achieve this goal.

How has studying with ACAP benefited you?

My family depended on my ability to earn an income, and being self-employed meant I could do this and study at home. My family then worked around my study patterns. It was a win/win situation. I grew in confidence by taking on two subjects per term and I was supported by ACAP’s Flexible Delivery team via the internet.

Describe your ACAP experience

Over the four years that I was studying with ACAP, I found that the teachers were supportive and encouraging unlike any others I had experienced. I found that they were able and willing to share their learning experience as a means of encouraging their students. The flexible delivery service was so well organised that my ability to meet the study expectations were obtainable, and I was surprised at how well I could juggle work, family and study.  

The standard required by ACAP is high but the level of professionalism that I gained is constantly confirmed throughout my daily work. I was guided through the academic challenge with clear specific guidelines.   

Did you enjoy studying online?

The support from the Flexible Delivery team and the IT team were brilliant. All of my requests (although very few) were met with timely responses.  Although I live in country Victoria I have been able to access the best academic education that is usually only on offer for the city residents.  The applied learning modules mean I actually get to do (implement) what I am learning.  I have been a great advocate for ACAP because I have broken mould, smashed the myth. It can be done. I am living and working proof that others can reach their goals via studying online. Because of the accessibility to higher education via the internet, I have found I will not settle for less than the best, I can reach out and access the best. Thanks ACAP for making this possible. 

What are your future plans?

My future plans are to be self-employed as a Counselling Psychologist. I am now able to enrol in Psychology with ACAP via flexible delivery through the Melbourne campus in 2014. I will use my current workplace as a stepping stone to gain as much experience as possible before attempting to move out on my own.

What would you say to someone considering studying at ACAP?

DO IT. I have already recommended three people to access ACAP, they have all made contact.  I see they have had the same barriers to study growth as myself such as; low self-confidence, a negative study experience from school as a young person, need to work to provide income, desire to achieve more but not know the pathways available. 

* ACAP now offers both a Bachelor of Applied Social Science and a Bachelor of Counselling in the place of the Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Counselling).