Andrew Larsen Charts Successful Counseling Career at Longwood

Real-World Ready

From the moment Andrew Larsen entered Longwood’s Master of Science in Counselor Education program, he became part of a professional network. Mentored by faculty with real-world clinical knowledge and bolstered by hands-on experiences, Larsen successfully launched a school counseling career at Chesterfield County’s Falling Creek Middle School after graduating from Longwood in May 2023.

“I developed relationships with all my professors,” Larsen said. “They have helped me form relationships with my current students because of my practicum and internship experiences.”

Larsen decided to stay at Longwood for graduate school after receiving his bachelor’s in psychology in 2020. A classroom visit by Program Director Dr. Jennifer Apperson tipped the scales. 

“I knew I wanted to be involved in education and helping others, but I was not sure of what path to take until I found my home within the counselor education program,” he said.

Larsen noted that a highlight of his first year included a panel discussion of professional and school counselors who offered insight into the realities of the career. Through class discussions and activities, he built a solid foundation in counseling frameworks.

“After content discussion, we were able to apply our knowledge and practice skills with other students,” he explained. “This was a great way to build confidence as we were learning about working with clients.” 

In his second year in the program, under close mentorship of Longwood's faculty, Larsen worked with K-12 students. This hands-on training propelled his success as a new counselor. It also shaped how he runs his counseling program today, working with students on academics, career readiness, and social-emotional learning, as well as leading the Sources of Strength (SOS) suicide prevention program. 

Throughout it all, Larsen still keeps in close contact with his mentors, who have become part of the professional network that he began cultivating at Longwood. “It is great to be able to reach out with questions I may have as well as receiving resources to help my students and counseling program,” he said. “The program was very heavy on making sure we advocate not only for our students, but for other stakeholders in the community. This has been helpful as I advocate for my students each day.”

In true Lancer fashion, Larsen has never stopped learning. He is currently working towards becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) as he prepares for his residency in counseling.“This license will allow me to work with more individuals and families,” he said. “While I have not decided yet on a specialty, I am thinking about working with LGBTQIA+ youth as well as individuals who struggle with depression and anxiety.”

Forging meaningful connections with students and helping them navigate unique challenges drives Larsen’s work. 

“Longwood’s program prepared me to become the best counselor I can be for my students and families.”