Hala Higgy is part of the first group of students in the Graduate Certificate Program in Couple and Family Counselling. She considered pursuing a master's degree in counselling but the certificate program proved to be a better fit.

When I saw this new opportunity at ULethbridge fully online, it was perfect because I am currently residing in Calgary. I was drawn to the program because I believe that understanding families and working with them through that systemic lens is crucial in the mental health field. If we want to have better societies, we have to strengthen families. 

Meet Hala | Dedicated. Compassionate. Funny.
Program: Graduate Certificate in Couple and Family Counselling

Did you know what you wanted to study before you came to ULethbridge?
I wasn't sure about which particular counselling field I wanted to embark on until I saw this newly offered certificate program, I was immediately drawn to it because I feel it's a field that is needed and can be utilized personally and professionally. 

How have your professors impacted your education?
Dr. Bonnie Lee has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to enhancing our learning experience by collaborating with various professors to teach each course, thereby diversifying the content we are exposed to. Her efforts have facilitated a smooth transition back to student life for me, despite being out of school for many years. Initially, I was self-conscious and apprehensive, but Dr. Lee's approachability, responsiveness to emails, and welcoming demeanour have made it easy for me to re-engage with the academic environment. She fosters a warm and inclusive environment that encourages all students to express themselves, participate in class, engage with the material, and gain valuable hands-on experience in the field. 

What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience?
I can't pinpoint one particular memorable moment. I have had many wonderful experiences on campus, and now virtually with ULethbridge. Being nominated for a Shining Student by my professor has to be one of the most significant memorable moments! 

In your free time, what do you like to do?
I am a busy mom of four children, so I can't say I have a lot of free time; most of my free time I spend building memories with my children. Taking them out and spending time outdoors together is what I enjoy doing in my free time. In spring and summertime, we go biking as a family or enjoy long walks/hikes together. 

What are your hopes and plans for the future? 
In the future, I hope to pursue a master's degree and work with couples and families. I would especially like to work within my Muslim community; combining my faith and spirituality within this line of work would truly give me a sense of fulfillment. 

What advice would you like to give those about beginning their journey at ULethbridge?
Reflecting on my own experience at the University of Lethbridge, I recall my father telling me as I embarked on my bachelor's degree that these would be the best days of my life, and they truly were. I learned a great deal, experienced significant personal growth, and discovered more about myself and my aspirations. University is not just about earning a degree; it's an opportunity to grow, make friends, meet new people, and rediscover oneself. It's a valuable journey of self-discovery and personal development. Make the most of your time in university and enjoy it! 

When are you planning to graduate?
My last course for this certification is in August 2024. I do hope to then look at working towards a full Master of Counselling or Master of Education.