All posts by rossiermpo

The University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education Master’s Program Office (MPO) serves as a hub for academic and professional development and career advancement for graduate students in the Learning Design and Technology Program, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Post-Secondary Administration and Student Affairs Program, and Educational Counseling Program within the Rossier School of Education. MPO and Rossier prides itself on preparing counselors, administrators, and educational leaders for an impactful career in education. Our office hosts many seminars throughout the year to help our students feel more equipped in the classroom and after graduation. MPO fosters many opportunities for students to acquire internships as well as professional careers within USC and elsewhere. It is our mission to ensure student success within Rossier’s Master’s Programs and to serve as a viable resource to our students during the duration of their program.

MPO Notables – Toni Richardson

Toni richardson

My most pivotal moment in higher education was my very first day of college. It was my 18th birthday. I had just left the dorm room in which I shared with a White, upper class girl whose enthusiastic and curious approach to our relationship confused me at first. Why was she so interested in learning about me? I was uncomfortable sharing details of my not so privileged upbringing with her because I worried she would judge me. She couldn’t understand. I walked out of my dorm that morning and got lost on campus. I couldn’t find my class. No one talked to me or even met my eyes when I searched around for help. I finally got to class and my professor began lecturing on a topic I was not yet familiar with, but other students were raising their hands and participating in the lecture like they had known this information their whole lives. Was I supposed to know this information? I later realized that everyone in the class had already purchased the required textbook, but I was awaiting my financial aid disbursement the following week to buy my own copy. I later vented to my roommate about how I felt in my first class and she was so confused as to why my parents, or high school counselors, did not tell me what to expect on my first day of college.

I had no idea how hard or easy college would be. I don’t know where my third grade dream of getting a scholarship and going to college came from. I don’t know how I feel about being viewed as an anomaly to my family and the community in which I was raised.

I am a Black, female, first-generation college student from Compton, CA. I was accepted and given a full academic scholarship to Loyola Marymount University after years of striving for perfect grades and valuable experiences that would prepare me for college. I am in my last semester of my Master’s of Education program at the University of Southern California and am just now discovering the gaps in my preparation and transitions that could have been eased by the availability of additional resources. Conversations with my first college roommate, my first White friend, grew to conversations of embracing difference and teaching one another about how those differences have meaning to us. My growing friendship with my roommate was an isolated space on my college’s campus. No one else was that curious, no one else cared to offer me the insight I lacked as a first-generation college student. I now wonder how I can contribute to creating more of these spaces. How can I make a first-generation student’s first day of class a better experience for them? How can high schools, communities, university administrators help?

I didn’t know I would commit myself to serving students like myself in their pursuits of higher education. I didn’t know how much a college campus could influence my goals, identities, beliefs, and values. I didn’t know what equity was or why it mattered to me. I didn’t know why colorblindedness was detrimental to promoting an inclusive, accepting society until I went to college. I didn’t know who I was or who I was meant to be, until I went to college.

I do know that every single student, despite their background, SES, religion, ethnicity, or gender identity, deserves a space to share their differences and learn from others’. Every student deserves adequate preparation and guidance toward a successful college experience. It is now my responsibility to make a contribution, big or small, to as many students’ success as possible.


Note: This section will serve to highlight your accomplishments as Rossier students and can include awards, scholarships, or research projects you have been working on. You all can keep MPO, your peers, and faculty updated on the great work you all are doing!

Submit your notable story or accomplishment here:


University Staff Club Scholarship

staff club

The University Staff Club is soliciting applications for the 2017-2018 Graduate Scholarships.  All graduate students who preferably, have an undergraduate degree from USC (but not required) and are currently enrolled in a USC graduate program are eligible for one of the fifteen $1000 scholarships.  Criteria for selection include academic record, financial need, activities, service and future goals.


Continue reading University Staff Club Scholarship

USC Bovard Scholars Program – Teaching Assistant

USC Bovard Scholars program aims to help high-achieving high school students with financial need gain admission to and succeed at the nation’s top universities. Scholars will receive admission and financial aid guidance, personalized career exploration opportunities, comprehensive test preparation, and leadership development. Many of our students will be the first in their families to attend college. The program includes an intensive, three-week residential experience during the summer (July 15-August 4, 2018) on USC’s campus at no cost to the students.

Continue reading USC Bovard Scholars Program – Teaching Assistant

Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society Student Recognition Awards


The Phi Kappa Phi all-university honor society is pleased to announce the 35th-annual Phi Kappa Phi Student Recognition Awards Program for 2017-2018. To recognize outstanding artistic and academic works by undergraduate and graduate students at USC, four awards of $500 each will be presented at the annual Academic Honors Convocation in April, 2018. Winning entries will be considered for publication in the USC Libraries’ next volume of Outstanding Academic Papers by Students.

DEADLINE: Tomorrow, December 1st
We know it is short-notice, but MPO encourages you all to apply!!

Please see this link  for more information, including the application.

Graduate Fieldwork Opportunity

Graduate Fieldwork Opportunity


The Division of Continuing Education (DCE) offers education for over 30,000 learners in Orange County and around the world.  DCE has a variety of certificate and specialized studies programs for a variety of student populations, designed to enhance their career advancement and personal enrichment.  Graduate students who complete their fieldwork at DCE have opportunities to work with:

  • The Anteater Leadership Academy (ALA) – This program works to increase leadership of a select group of UCI freshmen. Students explore their own leadership journey through investigating leadership methodologies and learning from practitioners through a wide range of engaging and experiential activities.
  • DCE alumni population – DCE alumni continue to want to engage with the University and its constituents in order to further their professional development and enhance their networks through chapter events and initiatives.
  • The Roadtrip Nation initiative – Roadtrip Nation aims to talk with professionals of every kind and ask honest questions about their struggles, successes, and how they figured out the age-old dilemma, “What should I do with my life?” DCE has started a partnership with Roadtrip Nation in hopes of bringing it to UC Irvine.
  • Career services – Services such as the UCI+One program support individuals in their professional development and career goals. DCE provides solutions to meet the needs of every individual, including those who are current or past DCE learners.
  • Test preparation services – DCE offers test preparation services for the SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT, and GMAT. Services include test preparation classes, offered both online and on the UCI campus, and strategy workshops, which introduce students to the exam and provide valuable tips and tricks for studying.

Continue reading Graduate Fieldwork Opportunity

Welcome Back to our Assistant Director – Julienne Jose-Chen!



Dear students,

I hope you are all doing well! As many of you know, I was recently out on leave as we have just recently welcomed the newest addition to the family. I am very excited to return to the Master’s Program Office but have not yet had the pleasure of meeting some of  you. So I want to introduce myself to the incoming students of the Summer 2018 and Fall 2018 cohorts.

My name is Julienne Jose-Chen and I am the Associate Director of the Master’s Program Office. I have been working at USC for about 7 years but have been part of the Rossier family even before that as I am also an alum from the PASA Program. I am very passionate about higher education and student affairs and I look forward to meeting and engaging with you all.

A big thank you to the team–Dr. Venegas (outgoing MPO faculty chair), James, Solomon, and Marianna, for continuing to support our students to the highest level. Also, we welcome the new faculty chair Dr. Helena Seli! If you ever have any questions or concerns about your program or about your experience please do not hesitate to contact the staff or myself. We are here to help!

We will be reaching out in the coming weeks with more information about upcoming events so please continue to check your email and social media outlets for those updates! I hope the fall semester is off to a great start and best of luck with the remaining semester! Take care!


Julienne Jose-Chen

Introducing New MPO Director: Dr. Helena Seli!

Helena Seli Professional Oct 2015

Below you will find a message from our new director here at the Master’s Programs Office, Dr. Helena Seli:

I am excited about my new role as the Faculty Program Chair for the Master’s Programs! Together as the MPO team of Julienne, Marianna, Solomon, James and our student workers, we will work tirelessly to ensure that our programs prepare you to tackle the problems of practice you face in your field and advance Rossier’s mission in your communities of practice. I look forward to leading that charge.

As for myself, I have been with Rossier for 10 years as a clinical faculty member. My background is in educational psychology and since 2014, I have served as the faculty chair for Master’s in Learning Design and Technology. I have lived in the US for over 20 years but was born and raised in Estonia, part of the previous Soviet Union. Aside from my work with Rossier, I am in charge of ensuring that our three kids, ages 8-15 grow up as engaged and responsible citizens – and hopefully will become Trojans like you!

Please do not hesitate to stop by my office, 304D to say hello!

Fight on!

Public Speaking Workshop

The Master’s Programs Office hosted A Public Speaking Workshop with Laurel Felt (see above). Dr. Laurel Felt is an expert in effective communication. She is a Lecturer at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, where she teaches public speaking and business communication, and Principal at Laurel Felt Consulting, a boutique agency that playfully teaches public speakers how to share their brilliant ideas so that audiences can join in meaningful, participatory experiences that engage, inform, and inspire action.

To these roles, Laurel brings 15+ years of experience in the classroom, on stage, and in the workforce. As a scholar, Laurel examines 21st century learning, specifically looking at media literacy, social and emotional learning, and the power of play and improvisation. Most recently, she had the honor of working with the USC Pullias Center for Higher Education on its First in the World/Mission: Admission study.

As a public speaker, Laurel has logged over 10,000 hours of practice, dating back from her reign as a high school speech team champion, continuing through years of improvisational comedy study and performance, dozens of presentations along the academic conference circuit, and a cumulative decade of teaching preschool and college (more similar than one might think!). To her great delight, Laurel has had the opportunity to coach USC undergraduates, Children’s Hospital-Los Angeles residents, and entrepreneurs of all stripes to public speaking greatness.

Laurel holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Communication from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, a M.A. in Child Development from Tufts University, and a B.S. in Social Policy from Northwestern University.