Alumni Spotlight – Kathleen Kronenberger, BS in Substance Abuse Counseling

Substance Abuse Counseling Student Gains Value and Connections Studying Online

UC Online (UCO) student Kathleen Kronenberger is the lead Recovery Support Specialist at Phoenix House New York, a long-term, residential women’s treatment program. It’s a role she’s been in since January 2019 after being an intern at Phoenix House prior to that point.

We asked Kathleen to share her thoughts about UCO’s Bachelor of Science in Substance Abuse Counseling program and what it’s been like to study online as she works toward completing her degree in May 2021.

Q: What motivated you to seek your BS in Substance Abuse Counseling?

I received my Associate in Substance Abuse Counseling at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood, NY. I chose to seek my bachelor’s degree for several reasons, including the fact my husband and I intend to move to Florida or South Carolina — and it appears that a bachelor’s degree will improve my chances at employment there.

Q: Why did you choose the substance abuse counseling program from UCO?

It was the only bachelors’ program I found that focused strictly on substance abuse counseling. I live in New York and am 60 years old, married and work full-time. Studying online is the perfect fit for me.

Q: What is it like interacting with professors and other students as you complete your substance abuse counseling studies?

I find interacting with everyone to be quite easy. Even though we don’t see each other in person, I developed a camaraderie with some of my UCO peers, especially those in my last three semester classes.

Q: Do you have a favorite course from the program curriculum?

If I had to pick a favorite, I would choose Ethics in Substance Abuse Counseling. It is so fundamental to my field.

Q: For someone who has never taken an online course before, how would you describe the experience?

I find it to be much easier than I expected. Once you get into the flow of the courses, it is surprisingly easy to stay on track.

Q: How specifically are you able to incorporate what you’re learning into your day job?

Everything I learn at UCO informs my role at Phoenix House. I’m about 600 hours shy of my state-required work experience to become a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC). My focus on prioritizing education and certification rewards me every day.

Q: What do you find to be most rewarding about the work you do at Phoenix House?

I chose substance abuse counseling because I feel that I received a gift getting sober. The most rewarding thing about my job is that I get to pay that gift forward.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share about your UCO experience?

Everything’s been positive, and my admission counselor, Jerome, and advisor, Meredith, have been with me every step of the way!

Interested in a Substance Abuse Counseling Degree?

UC Online’s Bachelor of Science in Substance Abuse Counseling continues to be ranked by BestColleges.com as one of the BEST Online Programs in the #6 spot for 2020.

Contact an Enrollment Services Advisor today to learn more about this program and the UCO difference — our programs, faculty and academic excellence — education that fits your life.

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