An interview with Dr. Raghavan on the MA Victimology Certification and the Morocco Study Abroad Trip

October 5, 2017


Describe the MA Forensic Mental Health Counseling Victimology Track

The Forensic Mental Health Counseling Program has 2 tracks, externship and thesis. Our third new track brings in a victim focused training to the program. Traditionally, forensic psychology training has emphasized perpetrators and we wanted to expand our breadth—fueled by student requests. Many students will work with patients with PTSD, survivors of abuse, trauma, assault survivors in correctional settings, and patients with an extensive history of victimization. Over the last 15 years I have taught a lot of victim-based classes and checked in with students to see what they liked or felt they needed, and then developed the track from this feedback. The track is a focused intensive way to work with lots of different types of victims, some of whom are also perpetrators.


What is the purpose of an advanced certificate that is not in the MA Program or Track?

The certificate allows students to get a more focused victim training—without having to complete a full MA degree track requirement. This may be suitable for students who already have an MA, for example. The certificate is open to BA/MA , Forensic Mental Health Counseling and Forensic Psychology, whereas the track is only open to FMHC. The difference between the two are in the classes--the track includes two clinically-oriented classes and a child maltreatment class, which may not be relevant for students who want to work with victims but do not wish to be therapists. This might include students who want to be victim advocates, go on to Law School, go on to doctoral programs for advanced research training, and policy analysis.


Which classes are in the MA Track versus the Certification?

Both the certificate and the track require the following courses:

  • Psychology of the Victim: a general overview of interpersonal victimization. This class will be offered both online and offline next year

  • Family Violence and Disputes: Overview of Family Court and related issues

  • Trauma and Dissociation

  • Psych and Law: an online version will be offered in Spring 2018. In addition, this section is specific to victimology, rape laws, trafficking, as well as a broad spectrum of forensic issues

The following are required for the Track but not the Certificate:

  • Child maltreatment: Overview of how the court system deals with child maltreatment

  • Crisis Intervention: clinical class, offered in summer online

  • Advanced Issues in Victim Studies: clinical class: taught by Dr. Raghavan, assimilates all the experiences so that while students are in externship they can apply and integrate skills. This course is hands on and was created fully from student demand.

What are some career paths that would benefit from this advanced certificate?

Any kind of victim service agencies including ACS, victim trafficking, domestic violence, substance abuse, juvenile victims, homelessness, any traumatized population. This track provides you with more tools and prepares you to be fully equipped for your externship. This is the only certification of its kind in NYC


Can students apply at any point in their MA program? Is it open to both FMHC and FP students?

Victim certification should be live anytime soon.  To register head to Jay Express for the registration form. The certification is available to both programs, but for the track, students must be in the FMHC program.


Is it still possible to complete the MA program in two years with this certificate?

Absolutely, all of the Certificate classes count as MA electives. This certificate provides no burden to students, just benefits them! For FMHC students, the MA Victim Track will fulfill both electives and provide a track specialization.  


Is this the first year that the victimology track has been offered?

This track has been a few years coming, it is one of the first programs covering this content to be offered in the North East


Is there an email address that students can write for additional information?



Let’s talk about study abroad trip to Morocco. What classes will be offered for the trip?

Family Violence and Disputes, 742. Students can use this trip to apply to the victim track certificate or as an elective. The program is 23 days and the class is 3 credits.


Where is the program located?

Rabat. The city is rated as one of the top 10 prettiest places in North Africa/Europe. The city is bounded by a cliff overlooking the Atlantic with a huge river, a traditional labyrinthine market from the 19th century and a modern tramway. It’s a little bit old and a little bit modern, very balanced introduction to this part of the world.


What does a typical day on this trip look like for students?

Days usually run 9 AM-4 PM, and then free time in the afternoon till dinner. The day will start with breakfast in the student’s homestay (students usually stay in pairs with a Moroccan family). Students will eat home-cooked meals with the family they are staying with. Students will also take Arabic classes and many leave speaking baby Arabic. After breakfast, students will have class with either Dr. Raghavan or a guest lecture. This program utilizes some of the top faculty in North Africa, experienced, well known scholars and researchers. Students will then process lecture as a group with Dr. Raghavan. Some days after class students will then have free time, or other days they will go on field trips. After class or field work, students return to host families for dinner.  


Do students travel within Morocco?

Yes, the trip also includes 3 overnight trips. Students will go to Marrakesh, Fez, and Chefchaoen to visit with different NGOs as experience Moroccan culture.  Each city is different—Marrakesh has a vibrant global art and food scene with a unique rural Berber culture, Fez is a deeply spiritual city with one of the world’s oldest universities, Chefchaoen—we will let it be a surprise. We will also visit old roman ruins. Moroccan history is a complex one and students will experience vestiges of Roman rule including olives and roman/contemporary baths.


What are the dates of the trip?

January 3rd-January 26th.  Last year lots of students left around December 22nd and spent the holidays around Europe or in the Sahara


What is the application process like?

Students will fill out an application form, write a personal statement, and need two [JW1] recommendation letters. This is not a tourist trip, students will need to engage-- the success of the trip is that students really care about learning. The flier for the trip is attached.


Is there an information session?

Yes, on October 10th, and students can email questions to Dr. Raghavan at


How much does it cost?

The flyer breaks it down—roughly, the trip in total costs about $6000, tuition is $800, flights are $900-$1200, almost all meals are included in this cost as well as lodging and excursions. Funding is available through the Excellence Fees program and a college wide scholarship is also available that offers up to $1500.





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