The Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) program at Colorado Christian University combines rigorous coursework and professional practice in a comprehensive graduate educational experience. What sets the CCU program apart is the Evangelical Christian worldview that promotes study of the whole person, including the spiritual and physiological dimensions. All coursework required to prepare for licensing in the state of Colorado is included in the MAC curriculum. CCU’s MAC program is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, and by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Objectives of the Master of Arts in Counseling Degree Program
The MAC program equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become influential and effective licensed professional counselors. Throughout the program students are challenged to use what they learn in the classroom and in professional practice experiences to impact their communities, churches, and families. The curriculum prepares students to take the National Counselor Exam (NCE), which is the licensure exam for the state of Colorado. Students are also prepared to take licensure exams for clinical mental health in many other states.
Admission to the MAC program at Colorado Christian University is selective. Each applicant is carefully evaluated for his or her potential as a professional counselor, ability to contribute to the program, and ability to contribute to the counseling profession. In the application review process, each applicant’s professional, intellectual, and personal experience is considered in relation to their potential for successful graduate study. Admission to the MAC program is not guaranteed. The MAC Admissions Committee determines whether an applicant is admitted or declined admission. Applicants will complete all admissions requirements before being considered by the MAC Admissions Committee.
Admission requirements include:
- A completed application for admission.
- Application fee.
- Resume or Curriculum Vitae.
- Program specific essays.
- Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended.
- A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants with an undergraduate grade point average between 2.0 and 2.49 will be admitted on a conditional admit (CAD) basis for the first semester. CAD students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or better in their first semester.
- All official transcripts from graduate program(s) attended, along with an official letter of good standing from each institution. If a letter of good standing is not available, submit a letter explaining why it is not available.
- Two letters of recommendation on the official recommendation form. Recommendations must come from individuals who have known the applicant for more than one year and cannot be a family member. One must be from a current or former employer, supervisor, or professor. The other must be from a pastoral or spiritual mentor, or a professional colleague (not a relative) who has knowledge about the applicant’s character and maturity. Letters of recommendation will not be accepted from a mental health professional who has provided services to the applicant.
- A criminal background check completed on-line through CastleBranch, using the following reporting student code: CG88.
- Admission interview(s) and additional documentation and/or requests from the MAC Admissions Committee, and/or designated program personnel.
The application deadline is four weeks prior to the next Block start date. All required admission documents and background check must be received before the admission interview is scheduled. Applicants will be extended an interview invitation and are required to respond within three days to schedule the admission interview. A delayed response may result in a later start date if applicant is accepted. Application files will be evaluated in the order received.
Newly admitted students may enter the in-seat and online Master of Arts in Counseling program year-round to complete elective requirements prior to entering the cohort program sequence. The cohort program sequence starts in summer for online and fall for in-seat students. The MAC program is 7-9 semesters, depending on the semester the student begins. The length of the MAC program cannot be accelerated, and the program will be longer for students who complete internship in more than two semesters, and/or step out of the prescribed sequence of classes.
Transfer of Courses
In accordance with CCU’s Graduate Residency Policy, students transferring from a regionally accredited master’s in counseling program may transfer up to twelve (12) semester hours of graduate credit with a letter of recommendation from the granting institution. The remaining hours must be completed at CCU. Transfer coursework must be equivalent to that offered at CCU and fulfill the CCU degree requirements for the counseling program. Specific courses not accepted for transfer to the MAC program include: CSL 514 Counseling Practicum; CSL 581 Counseling Residency I; CSL 582 Counseling Residency II; CSL653 Counseling Internship; CSL674 Professional Orientation; CSL680 Integrative Seminar; and CSL 681 Counseling Residency III.
Format of the Master of Arts in Counseling Courses
The MAC program is offered in both in-seat and online formats. The MAC program is designed to be completed within seven to nine semesters of intensive study in a lock-step sequence. All classes utilize the Blackboard learning platform. Due to the nature of counseling curriculum, some online courses will have a synchronous component, requiring students to be available for scheduled real-time videoconferencing with a small group and/or the professor and class. The progam administration reserves the right to move students from one course section to another to provide equity in class size.
In-seat classes are held in the late afternoon and evenings. In both face to face and online classes, students must be able to meet attendance requirements. MAC in-seat courses are taught in a blended format, with face-to-face time and online assignments. Electives, biblical studies, and theology courses will be delivered exclusively online.
The MAC online program requires each student to attend three five-day on-campus residencies each summer. It is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements for transportation, hotel and food expenditures. There is a non-refundable residency fee to defray the cost of required resources and materials.
Due to the nature of the lock-step cohort format, students desiring to move from an in-seat cohort to an online cohort must submit a Petition for Exception to Academic Policy and secure the permission of the Dean of Social Sciences and Humanities. Decisions regarding requests to move from in-seat to online or from online to in-seat will be based upon careful review of the student’s extenuating circumstances, academic standing, degree progress, and cohort availability.
All work applied toward a Master of Counseling degree must be completed within a six-year period from the date of enrollment. A MAC student who cannot complete the requirements within the six-year period may submit a Petition for Exception to Academic Policy for approval by the Dean of Social Sciences and Humanities. Continued study is not guaranteed.
Students who have not attended a class for a period of one calendar year (12 months), and wish to return, may reapply. Stepping out of the program sequence, for any reason, may result in retaking some classes, and/or delayed completion of the MAC program. Readmitted students adhere to the most current Academic Catalog, CAGS Student Handbook, MAC Handbook/Manuals, fees, and tuition rates.
Student performance is assessed throughout the MAC program. Assessments include evaluation by MAC faculty and administrative team, based on academic work, foundational counseling skills, professional disposition, and behavior. The evaluation process of informal and formal assessments fulfills the University’s CACREP and professional gate-keeping responsibilities to ensure each student is adequately prepared for the counseling profession. If the MAC administration and faculty determine there is a need for formal remediation, the student is expected to fulfill the goals of the remediation plan in order to continue in the MAC program. If student is unable to reach academic and professional practice expectations through remediation, the student may be dismissed from the MAC program. If the student violates an ethical guideline or legal statute, the student may be dismissed immediately.