CCU's Counseling Program Earns Accreditation

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Colorado Christian University has announced recently that the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) has granted accreditation to the University's Master of Arts in Counseling degree.

The CACREP accreditation provides extra opportunity to students. As the only accrediting body for counseling programs in the United States, a CACREP degree streamlines the licensure application process and is recognized in all 50 states.

Additionally, research shows that CACREP graduates typically perform better on the National Counselor Examination for Licensure Certification. Students going on to doctoral studies will also have easier paths into the school of their choice -- most doctoral programs have strong preferences toward students who graduated from a CACREP accredited program.

With the accreditation, students know that CCU's program meets or exceeds academic standards while exhibiting professional and financial stability.

AS CCU moved through the accreditation process, part of the appeal of the program also proved to be part of the challenge. Since CCU's program is offered in three locations along the Front Range -- Loveland, Lakewood, and Colorado Springs -- the accrediting committee wanted to ensure that the same content was taught at every location. Having confirmed that, the committee was interested in the short duration of the classes. Aimed at working adults, many classes meet in the evenings and run for a matter of weeks, not months.

Said Dr. Yvonne Tate, Director of the M.A. in Counseling program, "When they asked about course requirements, I pulled out my theories course. I explained what my students have to do: pre-reading, responding online, completing surveys, watching videos...and by the end I think the committee was glad they didn't have to take that course!" CCU not only proved that they met the unique challenges of offering classes in various locations and differing durations: "They told us we were offering an outstanding education," said Tate.

With the counseling field predicted to outpace national job growth over the next decade, CCU's accreditation provides another option to potential students -- especially those already working or needing to schedule school around their families. Still, while the program is designed to train counselors, instructors realize they are preparing students for more than just a job. Part of the strong job prospects in counseling come from turnover and burnout. Thus, CCU's program stresses self-care and emotional health, which is the key to staying in the field. "This isn't just a profession; it's a calling. You really have to be a special person to do this work," Tate said.

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