A school counselor holds a meeting with two teenage students.

All About Concordia University Irvine’s M.A.Ed. School Counseling Program

What does the M.A.Ed. School Counseling program encompass?

The Master of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed.) School Counseling program with Pupil Personnel Services Credential is an accredited cohort-model program designed to prepare future school counselors for California’s diverse public Pre-K to 12 education system while providing candidates the opportunity to continue working while concurrently enrolled.

In alignment with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) standards, the program gives primary emphasis helping public school pupils achieve success by emphasizing the importance of support services across the academic, career, and social-emotional domains as outlined by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA).

What differentiates Concordia University Irvine’s M.A.Ed. School Counseling program from other schools that offer similar programs?

Exceptional curriculum and instruction complement the real-life work in the field each week, which is a meaningful investment of time and energy that provides hands-on learning to become effective and qualified counselors. Coursework (39 units) and simultaneous field experiences (nine units) have been developed to link theory to practice throughout the 26-month program. Candidates will develop competencies in all nine areas of the School Counselor Performance Expectations (SCPEs) while receiving individualized attention and Christ-like service throughout the program, as reflected in the School of Education’s mission and core values.

Each candidate receives an individualized plan of study within a cohort model, supervision and support both from program faculty and self-selected field placements, and attends intentionally small online classes for a comprehensive experience. Progressing through the curriculum with cohort members offers shared learning and growth among diverse professionals, cultivating collaboration, teamwork, and networking.

How will this program help educators during this time of COVID and post-COVID teaching? How will it better prepare them for today’s education challenges?

Candidates in the program value the convenience of the online format while benefiting from first-class instruction from real-world practitioners in real-time. Concordia was well prepared for the transition to distance education during the COVID-19 pandemic school closures, as an online program.

Having partnerships with approximately 200 school districts across the state of California allowed the program to connect candidates to field experiences through online synchronous opportunities even when in-person or local opportunities diminished. Moving forward, these partnerships and the willingness and ability to develop new partnerships enhance the options available to our candidates throughout the state.

What career opportunities are available to students who graduate from the program?

As a California credential program, the M.A.Ed. School Counseling program is directed toward preparing professional school counselors credentialed for service in public and private schools in grades Pre-K to 12 in California. Qualified candidates also can pursue an intern credential, which authorizes full-time employment as a school counselor while concurrently completing the degree program. The increasing need for school counselors across the state has offered increased opportunities for internship placements.

Why should a prospective student choose this program? Why should they choose Concordia University Irvine?

At Concordia, students aren’t just a number. Individualized attention is a core value that comes to fruition as faculty and staff work together to help guide each student through the program. It is a streamlined experience from recruitment and admission through graduation and credentialing.

The School of Education’s mission is to prepare servant leaders who transform lives through innovative and exceptional educational practices to impact local and global communities positively. Likewise, Concordia’s school counseling graduates enter schools with professional, attentive, service-oriented confidence and well-rounded skills to be advocates for their students, parents, teachers, and the greater community.