Dr. Millie Dawson-HardyAfter many years teaching and counseling in Georgia, Dr. Millie Dawson-Hardy looked to The University of Alabama for the next step in her career. The Alabama native returned to her home state to serve as the Clinical Assistant Professor for the fully online EdS in Counselor Education program through the College of Education.

Dawson-Hardy received her teaching degree from Berry College in Rome, Georgia, and her counseling degrees from Georgia State. She is originally from Mobile but moved to Georgia as a child.

Her career at UA began at the end of her career in Georgia, as she was in the process of retiring from school counseling.

“I just had all this knowledge and I wanted to find a constructive way to share that knowledge, which is what brought me to teaching at the university level,” said Dawson-Hardy.

The Counselor Education program, offered fully online, focuses on practice and theory for those looking to gain techniques to use within their school counseling settings. The program is developed mainly for school counselors who want to put a fresh perspective on their counseling efforts and what they can improve within their practices. School counselors interested in external counseling opportunities may also benefit from completing the program as it can count toward the educational requirements for professional licensure.

Teaching online is a new experience for Dawson-Hardy — one that has come with many challenges like working around the distance between her and her students.

“My strength in the classroom is a conversational presentation of information,” said Dawson-Hardy. “I’ve had to use creative ways of gaining that face-to-face time so that I’m still able to connect to students at a distance.” Meeting with students through the Zoom videoconferencing tool is one way she overcomes the distance.

Not only is Dawson-Hardy using creative methods to interact with students, but she also gets creative with the structure and design of her classes. She is a part-time artist, with art on display in galleries across the state of Alabama and in art shows in the Birmingham area. Dawson-Hardy said her artistic side flows into her teaching because she believes that art is an important form of communication. This creative approach to communication and information helps her develop engaging and interactive courses in the program.

Dawson-Hardy said she’s excited that the courses are relevant for students and will continue to stay current with updates as the counseling field evolves throughout the years.

“I want students to keep coming and to keep asking questions,” said Dawson-Hardy. “I’ve been through the trenches and had the experience and I hope that by sharing my wisdom each student’s journey can be supported.”

Published: August 30th, 2020