Dr. Ajitha Chandrika Prasanna Kumaran, NCC—known as Dr. Ajitha—teaches graduate courses for clinical mental health students and has experience teaching school counseling courses, as well. She uses relational pedagogy and implements creative classroom activities that encourage students to be involved in the learning process.
Dr. Ajitha has a strong interest in the humanistic counseling approach and its research literature. She was elected as an emerging leader to serve the Association for Humanistic Counseling for 2020-2021. Her research interests include emotional regulation and mindfulness, online teaching, gatekeeping in counselor education, and achievement motivation. She has presented at state and national conferences.
Originally from India, she loves to cook, enjoys coffee and is interested in painting.
A Conversation with Dr. Ajitha
What would you tell a student who is thinking about attending A&M-Commerce?
A&M-Commerce is a beautiful campus filled with talented and relational faculty and staff. The Department of Counseling and the College of Education and Human Services are very welcoming. I believe a welcoming learning environment is important for students to thrive and model to future clients. The counseling faculty are knowledgeable and resourceful; I highly recommend students consider joining the Department of Counseling at A&M-Commerce to learn to practice working with people in the community.
What draws you to your discipline?
There is variety in my discipline: teaching, research and service. Most importantly, I love to serve the community I am a part of. I can work with clients, serve people and educate students who will serve clients in the future.
What has been your favorite course to teach?
I love teaching Introduction to the Counseling Profession, Introduction to Counseling Theories and Methods, counseling skills, and multicultural counseling.
Tell us about a project you are currently working on or recently completed.
I am currently working on a few conceptual research projects with colleagues, including gatekeeping in counselor education and Adlerian family counseling constructs. I am analyzing data of qualitative research with colleagues as well; I am excited about the project as I enjoy qualitative inquiry.
- Ph.D., Counselor Education, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, 2019
- Post-graduation Diploma in Psychological Counseling, Tamil Nadu Open University, 2013
- M.S., Applied Psychology; Bharathiar University, 2012
- B.S., Psychology, Human Development and Human Resource Management, St. Thomas College of Arts and Science, 2010
Honors and Awards
- Merle Price Mentor Mentee Research Award, University of Wisconsin-Stout, 2020
- Outstanding Service to Chapter Theta Alpha Mu-Chi Sigma Iota, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, 2019
- Online teaching
- Gatekeeping in counselor education
- School counseling
- Mindfulness and emotional regulation
- Texas Counseling Association
- American Counseling Association
- Association for Counselor Education and Supervision
- Prasath, P. R., Chandrika Prasanna Kumaran, A., Spears, J. R., & Jackson, K. (2021). Creativity in the Classroom: A Content Analysis of the Journal of Creativity in Mental Health from 2005 to 2020. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 1-20.
- Ermis, H., Watson, J., Karaman, M., Freeman, P., Kumaran, A., Haktanir, A., & Streeter, A. (2018). Psychometric properties of the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support within Hispanic college students. Hispanic Journal Behavioral Sciences, doi.org/10.1177/0739986318790733
- Karaman, M.A., Kumaran, A.C., Haktanir, A. & Lenz, S. (2018). Predictors of Counselor-in-Training students’ General Self-Efficacy. AkdenizEgitim Arastirmalari Dergisi, 12(25), 136-149. doi: 10.29329/mjer.2018.153.8
A&M-Commerce faculty Dr. Ajitha Kumaran is the recipient of the 2023 Humanistic Educator/Supervisor of the Year award, presented by the Association for Humanistic Counseling, a division of the American Counseling Association. The award honors a member who showcases a humanistic approach to teaching or supervision, which impacts the development of students and new professionals through […]
Faculty and students representing the Department of Counseling at Texas A&M University-Commerce recently attended the Texas Counseling Association’s (TCA) annual Professional Growth Conference in Galveston, Texas, where they made several presentations and brought home two awards. Second-year doctoral student Sarah Stillwell received the Molly Gerold Human Rights Award, which is presented to individuals in recognition […]
The Department of Counseling at Texas A&M University-Commerce was well represented at the 2021 Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) national conference in Atlanta, Georgia, this past October, with several faculty members, current students and alumni in attendance. Erika Schmit, Ph.D., said A&M-Commerce doctoral students are in a league of their own. “Our doctoral […]