Graduate Student Focus | Brittany Spoor

Brittany Spoor

"The counseling program at Hood College stood out for me above other programs because it is CACREP-accredited. It was also a top choice because of the faculty expertise, small class sizes, the opportunities provided to students, and sense of community Hood provides."

Brittany Spoor, M.S. Counseling


  • Counseling, Clinical Mental Health (M.S.)
  • Counseling, School Counseling (M.S.)


  • Psychology & Counseling

Brittany Spoor '20 is a current graduate student in the M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Brittany graduated with a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Hood College in 2020, and was a member of the Honors Program

Throughout her time in the counseling program, Brittany was inducted into the Eta Chi chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, which is Hood’s chapter of the international honor society in counseling, and was selected as an "Emerging Leader" by the The Maryland Counseling Association.

Brittany is currently a Direct Care Counselor at Excel Youth - a psychiatric rehabilitation program for children and adolescents, and hopes to specialize in trauma and crisis counseling after graduation. 

Why did you choose Hood College and the counseling program?

During my senior year at Hood, I took “Introduction to Counseling” – a seminar course taught by the counseling faculty. This is where I first met Dr. Atiya Smith, who was the instructor of this course. In this seminar, we conducted a class that felt like an actual graduate level course. I remember thinking, “If this is what the counseling program at Hood College is like, I definitely want to go here for my graduate degree”.

We went through interesting lectures, class discussions, and even role plays to practice counseling skills and techniques. I learned about the various counseling theories and basic counseling techniques to serve as a foundation to build on.

After taking this course, I realized that the counseling profession was a good fit for me. The counseling program at Hood College stood out for me above other programs because it is CACREP-accredited. It was also a top choice because of the faculty expertise, small class sizes, the opportunities provided to students, and sense of community Hood provides.

As a student currently in the counseling program, my choice to attend Hood College for my graduate degree is affirmed even more. The professors in this department want to see their students succeed and are always there to help us along the way. Additionally, one extremely important aspect of this program, which also speaks true to my undergraduate experience, is Hood prepares you for your next endeavors.

The material and level of instruction provided in each class is superior. I feel confident in my ability to be a successful counselor because of my experience in the counseling program, discussions during advising meetings with Dr. Smith, and guidance from my experienced professors.

What do you enjoy most about being at Hood College?

Hood College feels like home to me. I have spent almost my entire college career here furthering my education and gaining a strong sense of community.

I love everything about Hood College, from its beautiful campus to its amazing students and staff, my experience here has exceeded my expectations. I can always expect to have a pleasant and positive encounter with the professors teaching my courses and the students I work alongside.

It was important to me to have the opportunity to engage with students and professors during class. I have been able to do this at Hood College! I enjoy being able to ask questions during class and get direct feedback, consult with my classmates, practice skills with my classmates in small groups, and engage in open discussion during class.

I have enjoyed my time here and can confidently say that Hood College is a great fit.

Congratulations on being selected as an "Emerging Leader" by the Maryland Counseling Association! Tell us about what this entails and your experience with the Maryland Counseling Association.

The Maryland Counseling Association (MCA) is the state branch of the American Counseling Association. The MCA Emerging Leaders Program provides selected participants with experiences to support leadership skills, build professional networks, receive mentoring, and fulfill elected leadership positions. Dr. Smith is on the MCA Board and shared this opportunity with me. After applying, I was recently informed that I was selected to be one of the 12 emerging leaders for 2021-2022!

As I have an interest in becoming a counselor educator, I was appointed to serve with the Maryland Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (MACES) division. MACES focuses on quality education and supervision of counselors in all work settings that strives to improve the education and supervision of counselors in training and in practice.

As an Emerging Leader for MACES, I will assist the MACES leadership team with a range of tasks and work directly with MACES members who are faculty in counseling programs across the state of Maryland. I look forward to my year as a MACES Emerging Leader and all the knowledge I will gain from this experience.

How do you think it does or will help you in your career and life?

I have been able to take advantage of various opportunities that Hood College has to offer, which has allowed me to expand my professional experiences and increase my knowledge and skills. This will help me in my career as a rising counselor by increasing my ability to work effectively with a diverse population of clients.

I am also a member of Dr. Smith’s research lab. One of the areas we are exploring in the lab focuses on the pipeline into the counseling profession. I am the lead researcher working with Dr. Smith on this study. We are now collecting quantitative data from master’s students throughout the United States on their interests in the counseling profession and plan to submit a journal manuscript once the data are analyzed. Dr. Smith and I were selected to present this research at the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) 2021 Conference in Atlanta, Georgia! I am looking forward to presenting at my very first professional conference in a few months.

After obtaining counseling licensure in the state of Maryland and working as a counselor for a few years, I would like to enter a doctoral program in Counselor Education & Supervision. In reflecting on my career interests, I would like to become a professor and train rising counselors. My experiences as a MACES Emerging Leader and presenting at the ACES conference will allow me a first-hand glimpse into this career.

Any other information/fun facts that you would like to add?

I am so glad that I decided to attend Hood College. My experiences as an undergraduate student and now as a graduate student have shaped me into the person I am today. My advisors, Dr. Farreras and Dr. Smith has not only allowed me to explore and gain insight into my interest in research, but they have also been so helpful in my personal and professional growth as a rising counselor.

Thank you, Dr. Farreras, for supervising my departmental honors thesis and providing me with guidance in an area I would grow to love. You have been so helpful from teaching me the basics of research during my first research methods course to collecting and running actual data for my honors thesis.

Thank you, Dr. Smith, for serving as a mentor and laying such a strong foundation for me to build on. You have been willing to spend countless hours working with me. From our research lab to advising meetings, you have been a dedicated professor, advisor, and role model. You have served various roles for me on my journey through Hood and I am thankful to have you as a source of support. I will always appreciate you for recognizing my abilities and pushing me to be the best person I can be, both personally and professionally.

My growth while working with both Dr. Farreras and Dr. Smith throughout my journey at Hood has shaped my goals and future aspirations and has allowed me to recognize my potential.

Inspired by Brittany’s story and ready to #GOFURTHER in your career? Learn about Hood College’s graduate programs, including the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, by clicking here.