Last updateWed, 16 Sep 2020 2pm


The Psychological Counseling Department Moves Off Campus

The Department of Psychological Counseling has moved 1.75 miles from campus to the Monmouth Park Corporate Center, according to Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Thomas Pearson.

This year, the Edison Science Building lost both the Psychology Department and the Department of Psychological Counseling. Dr. George Kapalka, the Chair of the Psychological Counseling Department, said, “We grew as a department and of course we had more and more students, we needed to hire more and more faculty and there was just no more room on campus.”

Patti Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, said that the Monmouth Park Corporate Center was looked at a number of years ago. However, it was not selected until recently. She explained that they wanted to find a place that was not inconvenient for students. 

Dr. Stephanie Hall, assistant professor of psychological counseling, said “We moved to Monmouth Corporate Park because space was needed on the campus and our program is self-contained our students only take classes in our program and therefore don’t need access to any other departments.” The Department of Psychological Counseling is a program for graduate students only.

Kapalka explained that it made the most sense to move this department because of how self-contained it is. “I had a number of meetings with the administration about this and we looked at various options, but there really was not any room on campus to move us,” he said.

The Monmouth Park Corporate Center building itself is not quite finished but classes started on September 17 of this academic year, according to Pearson. Boxes are still being unpacked and the food service area is not yet completed, however, this is temporary, according to Dr. David Burkholder, assistant professor of psychological counseling.

It has six classrooms, including a computer lab. There are also observation rooms with one-way mirrors. Kapalka enjoys how spacious the new offices are for himself and the nine other faculty members.

Pearson explained that the Monmouth Park Corporate Center was chosen because it provided a close location to campus “with substantial space at a good price for lease.”

The graduate students seem to agree with the move. “I love our new home,” Kathy Shockley, a graduate student in the Psychological Counseling Department, said, “Parking is close and plentiful, no more long treks to class.”

Parking was a commonly cited benefit when asked about the move. Kapalka explained that it is a great convenience for students to instantly find parking within 100 yards of the building or less. He continued to say that when the department was located at the Edison Science Building, the parking was horrendous for students in 4:30 pm classes.

However, Pearson believes that this move was not only beneficial to the department of psychological counseling, but to the School of Science as well. He explained that part of the motivation to move the department off campus was the desire to enlarge and improve the space in the Edison Science Building.

Kapalka said, “The School of Science, from what I know, they are growing, they do need more space. So I think this solves problems all around.”

This is not the only graduate program that is going to be off campus. According to Pearson, if all goes well with the accreditation application, in fall 2014 the Monmouth Park Corporate Center will be welcoming an M.S. in Physician Assistants program. He explained that the offices for the future staff of the program are already in the building.

“They have their own space, we have our own space, but we’re at the same location,” said Kapalka.

Pearson said that in the future the University would consider moving other programs as well, but have no specific plans to do so at this time. 

“I was honestly worried at first, being new to Monmouth, that being off campus was going to be inconvenient,” said Nicole Jennings a graduate student in the program. “In reality, it’s simple to get to.”

When students were asked if they would feel disconnected to campus, they said no. “I walk into the building and run into all of my professors, many classmates and almost all of the faces are familiar,” said Jennings.

The Psychological Counseling Department serves a total of 300 students. It offers three degree options: Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling, Master of Arts in Psychological Counseling and Master of Arts in Psychological Counseling-Addiction Studies Track. More information about the programs are listed on the University website.

“This was a good choice because of how our program operates and we do have a lot more breathing room here. It’s definitely a positive move,” said Kapalka.

Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu