Jennifer Keeton isn't putting her career on the back burner as she awaits a federal appeals court decision on whether she must follow a remediation plan to remain enrolled in Augusta State University's graduate counseling program.
The master's student, ordered to complete a program designed to "address issues of multicultural competence and develop understanding and empathy" after she openly expressed her condemnation for and unwillingness to counsel gay students, sued the university in July.
Keeton, now appealing the federal court decision that upheld the remediation plan as constitutional, is enrolled at ASU and employed as a counselor intern at Augusta Christian Schools, she said.
At Augusta Christian, she is working with students under the supervision of a school guidance counselor, said the 24-year-old Snellville, Ga., native.
"I'm doing a lot of administrative work right now," Keeton said.
Augusta Christian Headmaster David Piccolo said the part-time employee was under a standard one-year employment contract.
"She's been doing a job, and she's been doing it exceedingly well," Piccolo said.
Her high-profile Alliance Defense Fund attorneys are engaged in federal litigation defending her religious freedom, but Keeton said none of her classmates or professors in the English and education classes she's taking seems to notice.
ASU President William Bloodworth said that he was unfamiliar with the specifics of her schedule but that he is not surprised she remains enrolled.
"The university is always interested in assisting students to achieve their career goals," he said.
The course work she is enrolled in, however, is not the practicum-related class that a district judge -- in denying her attorneys' request for an injunction -- wouldn't make ASU allow her to attend. Moreover, the internship doesn't qualify as her practicum, Keeton said.
Keeton declined to discuss her case, saying only that she would begin a counseling class at ASU in October and a qualifying practicum in January.
Unless she is victorious in court, however, January marks the date Keeton would be expelled from the degree program for not completing the remediation plan, according to court filings.