Academic Catalog 2023-2024 
    Sep 29, 2023  
Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Counselor Education and Supervision, PhD

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Colorado Christian University’s (CCU) PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision (CES) originates from a Christian faith-informed, Educator-Scientist-Supervisor-Advocate (ESSA) model. Through this learning model, CES students will be equipped to embody the highest standards and practices of servant leadership within their roles as counselor educators, scientists, supervisors, and mental health and social advocates. The program will provide Christ-centered, professionally, and ethically competent transformative counselor education and research opportunities for students as they explore the intersection of Christian theology and counselor education and supervision.

The CES program integrates the five pillars of counselor education defined by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). These five pillars are, teaching, supervision, research and scholarship, counseling, and leadership and advocacy. CCU’s program is set apart because these pillars are based on the bedrock of God’s truth.

The CES program at CCU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association and developed in line with the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards. This ensures that you receive a high-quality education and acquire the necessary skills to excel in the counseling profession.

Counselor Education and Supervision Program Information

Program Objectives

  1. Advanced Professional Counseling: Students will demonstrate proficiency in advancing evidence-based and research-informed clinical mental health counseling practice and delivering counseling services in multicultural communities.
  2. Supervision: Demonstrate supervisory competencies relevant to the counseling profession.
  3. Teaching: Implement instructional theories, facilitate learning across academic environments and modalities (e.g., online, in-person, hybrid, etc.), and engage in program evaluation and assessments in counselor education.
  4. Research and Scholarship: Develop advanced clinical research skills, promote the counseling discipline through the generation of new knowledge and theory, and demonstrate excellence as a scientist in the mental health disciplines in a focal area of professional counseling. 

  5. Leadership and Advocacy: Identify the role and ethical obligations related to advocacy in counseling profession and diverse communities, critique the value and knowledge components of cultural, philosophical, and ethical dimensions of counseling and mental health care issues, and apply leadership skills in academia and clinical practice.

  6. Biblical Foundations: Synthesize biblical principles, natural and behavioral sciences, and techniques for application to different areas of counseling, counselor education, counselor supervision, scholarly inquiry, and leadership and advocacy.

Admission Requirements

The PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision (CES) program at Colorado Christian University has a rigorous admission process, with only a select number of candidates being accepted. Each applicant is carefully evaluated for the following:

  • academic aptitude for doctoral-level study,
  • previous professional experience,
  • fitness for the profession, including self-awareness and emotional stability,
  • oral and written communication skills,
  • cultural sensitivity and awareness, and 
  • potential for scholarship, professional leadership, and advocacy.

Before being evaluated by the PhD in CES Admission Committee, applicants are required to fulfill all of the admissions criteria for the program. The Admission Committee is responsible for deciding whether to accept or reject an applicant’s admission into the PhD in CES program.

To be considered for admission to Colorado Christian University’s PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Admission Application: Applicants must submit the application for admission online.
  • Identification: Applicants must submit a valid state-issued driver’s license, state-issued ID card, or valid passport.
  • Educational Background: Applicants must have completed a 60-hour master’s degree in counseling from a CACREP-accredited program or a related field, such as psychology or social work. For those who do not hold a CACREP-accredited degree, additional courses (as determined by the program faculty according to CACREP requirements) may be taken to meet the requirements. Aspiring students can opt to take the additional courses either before being admitted to the program or concurrently with their first year of study.
  • Official Transcripts: Official transcripts of all postsecondary schools attended must be submitted, showing a master’s degree earned from an accredited institution.
  • Academic Performance: Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in their graduate coursework.
  • Professional Experience & Licensure/Certifications: Applicants must fulfill one of two requirements: Either possess a valid license to practice as a counselor/a mental health professional in one or more U.S. states, or they must be working towards obtaining such a license while practicing in the field of mental health. Furthermore, having at least one year of clinical experience after completing their graduate studies is highly desirable.
  • Statement of Purpose: Applicants must submit both a written statement of purpose and a video recording. In the statement of purpose, please provide an overview of your academic and professional background, outline your teaching and research interests, and clearly demonstrate how these interests align with the program’s mission and goals. Please ensure that your statement of purpose does not exceed 500 words. Additionally, in the video response, please address the following questions (each question takes 3-5 minutes):
    • Please introduce yourself, highlighting any experiences that are relevant to your teaching, research, and leadership interests.
    • How do your professional experiences, values, and interests qualify you to contribute to CCU’s PhD in CES program’s mission and objectives? Please see the program’s mission and objectives.
    • Self-reflection is an essential aspect of personal and professional growth. Please share an example of a time when you engaged in self-reflection, how it influenced your understanding of your own identity and values, and how you plan to continue this practice throughout your doctoral studies and future career in counselor education and supervision.
  • Curriculum Vitae/Resume: Applicants must submit a formal curriculum vitae or resume along with their application.
  • Letters of Recommendation/Professional References: Applicants are required to submit three professional references. These reference forms must be completed by professionals who have knowledge of the applicant’s academic and professional background and can provide a comprehensive evaluation of their potential for success in the program. One of the forms must be from a professor who has taught the applicant, while another should be from a supervisor who has worked with them in a professional capacity. The third reference should come from a religious leader associated with the applicant’s place of worship, such as a pastor or deacon, who can speak to their character. If the applicants do not identify with a religion or spirituality, they may provide a reference from a community service provider they have worked with or someone who knows the applicant well in a professional setting and can speak to their character. References from friends or family members are not acceptable.
  • Writing Sample: Applicants must provide a writing sample in response to the following prompt to demonstrate their academic writing skills and proficiency in APA formatting. The essay should not exceed 600 words in the main content (excluding references).
    • Explain the rationale for pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Counselor Education and Supervision and articulate how this choice aligns with your professional identity. Integrate two peer-reviewed journal articles and the ACA Code of Ethics into your paper.
  • Interview: Selected applicants will be invited to participate in a group interview and an individual interview with the program faculty and/or admissions committee. An invitation to interview is not a guarantee of acceptance to the program.
  • Criminal Background Check: A criminal background check through CastleBranch from every country the student lived in during the past seven years. Applicants should consult with their enrollment counselor before placing their CastleBranch order.

Note: Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program, as admission is highly competitive. The program may also consider other factors, such as leadership potential and fit with the program’s values and culture.

Transfer of Courses

Students may transfer a maximum of twelve semester hours of doctoral credit into the program. The remaining hours must be completed at CCU. For transfer coursework to be accepted, it must fulfill the CCU degree requirements for the CES program and be equivalent to the courses offered at CCU. Additionally, each course must have received a grade of B or higher to be considered eligible for transfer. The CCU’s CES faculty is the sole decision-making authority to determine whether a course is consistent with the mission and objectives of the CES program, and hence, is suitable for the degree and endorsed for approval. The courses that are ineligible for transfer approval include, but are not limited to:

Format of the PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision Courses

The PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision program is offered in online format only and is designed to be completed within three years or nine semesters in a lock-step sequence. Courses are in seven or fourteen-week formats. The program requires two in-person residencies at Colorado Christian University, 100 hours of practicum in students’ local communities, and 600 hours of internship in CCU’s M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program and/or students’ local communities. The duration of the program cannot be expedited, and students who depart from the designated sequence of classes will take longer to complete the program.

CES students utilize the Brightspace learning management system to participate in the courses. Each class blends the latest eLearning technology with the latest educational theory and practice. Courses are asynchronous, meaning students are able to work at their own pace within weekly timeframes. Except for courses related to practicum, internship, and dissertation, students are not typically required to log in at specific times. The program administration reserves the right to move students from one section to another to provide equity in class size.

The CES program requires that each student participate in on-campus residency twice during the program. The first residency is scheduled for the first year, while the second is planned for the third year. The student is accountable for arranging and paying for transportation, lodging, and food expenses. Additionally, a non-refundable fee for the residency courses is intended to cover the costs associated with organizing the residency experience and providing the necessary resources and materials.

Time Limitation

All work applied toward the PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision degree must be completed within a six-year period from the date of enrollment. After the six-year period, any student who has not completed the requirements to graduate, and desires to complete the program, must complete a Petition for Exception to Academic Policy. Continuing study is not guaranteed and must be approved by the Dean of the School of Counseling. Students are required to adhere to the most current Academic Catalog, CAGS Student Handbook, applicable program handbooks, manuals, fees, and tuition rates.

Students who have not attended a class for a period of 365 days, and desire to reenter the program, are required to reapply and meet all standard application procedures. If accepted, the student will be admitted under the current catalog standards. Stepping out of the cohort may result in delayed completion of the student’s program.

Assessment Policy

In the CES program, students are continuously assessed through annual reviews and throughout the program’s duration. The evaluations are conducted by both the PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision faculty and administrative team. They are centered on assessing students’ knowledge, skills, ethics, and professional dispositions required for effective leadership in the counseling profession. The evaluation process, comprising informal and formal assessments, adheres to the University’s regional accreditation and CACREP’s professional gatekeeping standards to ensure that each student is adequately prepared for leadership roles in the counseling profession. If the administration and/or faculty of the PhD in CES program determine that formal remediation is necessary, the student is expected to satisfy the objectives of the remediation plan to continue in the program. Failure to meet academic and professional dispositional expectations, despite remediation, may lead to dismissal from the program. Furthermore, if a student violates the standards of student conduct outlined in the CAGS Student Handbook, the ACA Code of Ethics, or state legal statutes, immediate dismissal from the program may be necessary. In some cases, the PhD in CES administration may forgo the remediation process and recommend immediate dismissal from the program.

Program Requirements

Graduation Requirements

The faculty recommends students in the PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision program to the CCU Board of Trustees as candidates for graduation when they have completed the following requirements.

  1. Completion of 60 semester hours and all program requirements, including verification of practicum (100 hours) and internship (600 hours), completed in accordance with CACREP standards.
  2. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher on the University’s 4.0 grade scale.
  3. A letter grade of B or higher in all required courses.
  4. Receive a passing score on the Competency Exam.
  5. Successful defense of the dissertation.
  6. Satisfactory completion of the required courses within six years of program admission and enrollment.
  7. Recommendation from the PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision faculty.
  8. No outstanding financial obligations to the University.

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