Friday, May 4, 2007

Argosy University Students Value Instructors’ Real-World Experience

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Pasadena, Calif. resident Phil Spradling’s goal is to become a therapist and he is pursuing a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology/Marriage & Family Therapy from Argosy University in Orange County. Spradling’s education is enhanced by the experience of Dr. Melody Bacon, who is a professor in Argosy University’s Department of Counseling Psychology and also has her own private practice in San Juan Capistrano.

“Dr. Bacon’s many years of experience bring the academic materials we are studying to life,” Spradling said.

When working with students in the classroom, Dr. Bacon shares her experiences from private practice, while maintaining her clients’ anonymity. “We can bring real-world examples to the classroom and tell the students about some of the issues they will face when operating their own practices,” Dr. Bacon said.

A licensed psychologist, Dr. Bacon has been practicing psychology for more than 10 years and has been a professor for six years. She splits her time between teaching at Argosy University and seeing up to 10 patients a week at her practice. Although her schedule sometimes involves teaching evenings and seeing clients all day, she enjoys the fact teaching offers her the opportunity to make a direct impact on a student’s education.

“I really enjoy teaching,” she said. “It allows a little more freedom and creativity, and I also enjoy public speaking and helping other people begin work in this profession.” Bacon teaches courses such as Counseling Skills, Couples in Family Therapy and Group Counseling. “Lecturing gives me variety and offers a different side of this profession,” Bacon said.

She is just one of several faculty members at Argosy University in Orange County that see different sides of the field of psychology as both faculty members and counselors.

Dr. Yuying Tsong, program chair for the master’s and doctoral programs in Counseling Psychology, said in addition to teaching, a total of 18 adjunct and core faculty in the Counseling Psychology program also work in a clinical setting. “They work in various settings such as private practices, counseling centers, community mental health agencies and hospitals,” Dr. Tsong said.

Dr. Gary Bruss, who is chair of master’s and doctoral Clinical Psychology programs at The American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University in Orange County, teaches courses in psychopathology. Dr. Bruss has been in private practice since the early 1990s and currently practices in Newport Beach.

Bruss said being in the classroom keeps practioners up to date with current and relevant scientific literature applicable to the field of psychology. “Most of the core faculty and most of the adjunct instructors in Argosy University’s Department of Clinical Psychology both teach and also have practices,” he said.

“Practioners are able to bring in relevant and real-world materials to enrich the classroom experience,” Bruss said. “I also get a great deal of personal gratification from working with evolving professionals in the field of psychology,” Bruss said.

For more information about Argosy University’s Orange County campus, call (714) 338-6200 or visit

Argosy University/Orange County campus is one of 18 Argosy University ( locations in 12 states. Argosy University offers doctoral and master's degree programs in clinical and counseling psychology, business and education. Argosy University also offers bachelor's degree completion programs in psychology and business, and associate's degree programs in various health sciences fields. Argosy University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association (NCA) (30 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602, (800) 621-7440,

Media Contacts:
Christian Flathman
Sr. Director of Communications