The MA Counseling Program prepares students with a rich foundation in humanistic and systemic principles to work in the field of clinical mental health counseling. The program caters to both students within California and students across the United States.
Hybrid Online Learning Model: The MA Counseling degree program combines online learning with periodic in-person residential conferences, experiential intensives, workshops and classes to support students in working toward the MA in Counseling degree.
Residential Orientation for Hybrid Learners
All new students in the MA Counseling program begin their studies with a one-time, two-day Residential Orientation. Residential Orientations are held two days ahead of the Residential Conference at the start of the Fall and Spring semesters.
Residential Conferences: All students participate in two six-day long required residential conferences per year (one at the beginning of the Fall semester and one at the beginning of the Spring semester) for the duration of the program. Activities during the required residential conferences are designed to expand further on the knowledge from coursework, to practice clinical skills, and to participate in professional development through lectures, workshops, invited talks, roundtables, courses, and seminars as well as formal and informal meetings and discussions with faculty, advisors, and peers. Although students complete most of their courses through distance learning, attendance at all residential conferences is an academic requirement, and their completion is important for successful academic progress as well as allowing students to meet with faculty and co-learners in a stimulating face-to-face environment.
Online Instruction: Online courses utilize a combination of learning goals, objectives, strategies, and delivery formats, including assigned readings, papers, and projects as well as asynchronous online discussions and at times synchronous teleconferences and/or videoconference sessions with faculty and peers.
Student Mentoring: Faculty and peer mentoring is a distinguishing feature of the program. Upon admission, students are assigned a faculty advisor and peer mentor to support both the transition into graduate school and success throughout the program.
Professional Licensure: The MA in Counseling program is aligned with the degree and coursework requirements of the California Board of Behavioral Sciences for registration and examination eligibility as a Professional Clinical Counselor (Business and Professions Code sections 4999.32 and 4999.40(a)) and for registration and examination eligibility as a Marriage and Family Therapist (Business and Professions Code sections 4980.37 and 4980.41).
It is the student’s responsibility to determine the licensure requirements outside of California. The MA Counseling program may meet some or all of the requirements for other states, but additional state-specific approvals or coursework and/or practicum hours may be required beyond the Counseling program’s graduation requirements. If additional coursework outside the Counseling program’s requirements is required for licensure it may not be eligible for financial aid. It is the student’s responsibility to work with the Registrar and Financial Aid office to determine a plan for registering and paying for courses that may not be financial aid eligible. Licensing requirements include the following for most states: completion of a master’s degree (including specific coursework and clinical field placement), post-graduate supervised experience, examination, background check, and application for license.