News: New Master of Arts in School Counseling

CCU Launches New Master of Arts in School Counseling

Expands graduate studies program to meet demand for school counselors and mental health support

Colorado Christian University (CCU), the flagship Christian liberal arts university in the Rocky Mountain region, is launching a new Master of Arts in School Counseling program within the College of Adult and Graduate Studies (CAGS) to provide graduate students with a proactive and preventative model for school counseling that will increase K-12 students’ achievement and graduation rates.

"Oftentimes, the first exposure young people will have to a licensed counselor is at their school. That individual can be instrumental in providing the skills and coping mechanisms needed for success in both school and life," said Dr. Elizabeth Wiggins, assistant professor of counseling for the School of Behavioral and Social Science. "In addition, this program is needed more than ever because the demand for school counselors is growing nationwide."

Despite the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) recommendation of a 250:1 ratio of students to licensed school counselors for the proper care and development of a child, the actual ratio was 424:1, based on 2021 data from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

"We are beyond excited to begin offering our new Master of Arts in School Counseling program in our College of Adult and Graduate Studies," said Dr. Ryan M. Burkhart, director of the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MACMHC) program and associate dean of the School of Behavioral and Social Science. "We’ve seen immense growth in students enrolling in our clinical counseling master’s programs and know this new program will provide a specialized opportunity for those students hoping to make an impact in serving the academic and personal needs of children and adolescents around the country."

The program will accept 23 students per cohort and will follow the same requirements and application process as CCU’s MACMHC program. Students in the school counseling program can also expect their coursework to be similar to that of mental health counseling students, with three school-counseling-specific courses and two school counseling experience-related courses.

The new master’s in school counseling degree is a welcome addition to the University’s MACMHC program. MACMHC is among the five largest accredited master’s-level counseling programs in the U.S. The program has expanded from 364 students in 2015 to its current enrollment of 882 students, making it the largest program by enrollment at CCU.

"Enrollment and interest in all of CCU’s counseling and psychology programs have grown exponentially in recent years. While there is a great demand in this field across the board, we are seeing additional interest from students and graduates who value the Christ-centered approach to mental health," said CCU President Dr. Donald W. Sweeting. "Now more than ever, graduates are looking to invest in the emotional health of young people, providing tools for success in all areas of life with kingdom impact."

To learn more about the new Master of Arts in School Counseling program at CCU, visit