Student Counseling at Marine Military Academy
Mr. Joseph Palamara
The primary focus of the Marine Military Academy Counseling Department is to ensure academic success by removing impediments to cadet learning. There are three main components that center on student counseling; social interaction, behavior and academics. Each of these areas is supported by the teachers, administration and parents. All of these components provide support to cadets during a time when they are adjusting to a new home, meeting new people, being away from family and friends, and dealing with the requirements of their academic workload.
Student Counseling: Social Interaction
The first component is in the area of social interaction. This area deals with a cadet’s interpersonal relationship with others. Cadets are encouraged to be aware of others feelings, become responsible in working with fellow cadets, form healthy friendships and learn to function effectively as a group member. Since our cadets all live in a barracks and come from diverse cultures, it is critical that they develop an ability to function together for the success of their company and themselves. Student counseling by drill instructors, teachers and other staff members may be necessary when there is evidence of problems. Cadets are encouraged to bring problems forward so they can be resolved early.
Student Counseling: Behavior
The second component involves behaviors. Through student counseling, cadets learn responsible behaviors, develop a strong sense of self-concept, use strategies to enhance self-motivation and learn coping skills to alleviate anxieties caused by social stressors that affect academic performance. Cadets are constantly reminded that they are responsible for their behavior and will be held accountable when it strays from accepted standards of conduct.
Student Counseling: Academics
The final component is academics. The counseling department at the Marine Military Academy utilizes pro-active techniques and strategies to produce mastery of all academic subjects for each cadet. These strategies include the development of academic intervention plans for cadets having difficulty in any of their core courses. An intervention plan for each student is developed and implemented Through an academic team consisting of teachers, drill instructors, cadets, parents and the counselor, academic weaknesses are identified and intervention plans are monitored weekly by the counselor for adjustments.
Student Counseling: Objectives
The overall objectives of our student counseling program is to develop young men that are able to function in a multi-cultural group, exhibit acceptable behavior in challenging and difficult situations, accept responsibility for their own actions and ultimately be successful not only in their academic pursuits but in life. It takes a community to help a cadet find his path to the future. Marine Military Academy surrounds each cadet with a network of staff, faculty, parents, alumni and peers to provide student counseling, support and offer encouragement as he builds skills and discovers his own strengths and talents that will help him be tomorrow’s leader.
Mr. Joe Palamara, Assistant Dean / Counselor, Marine Military Academy
Mr. Palamara, a native of New York, has spent the last 28 years in Texas. Following graduation from the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in psychology and sociology, Mr. Palamara taught for five years and completed his Masters in clinical psychology from Mary Hardin-Baylor. During his 25 years in public education, he taught psychology both at the secondary level and college level. For the past 15 years, Mr. Palamara has served as both a regular and special education counselor in school and hospital settings.