M.A. in Counseling Psychology
The M.A. Counseling Psychology program is designed for working professionals and parents who desire to "re-tool" their career paths, or for recent graduates who would like to expand their career options. Although the program is designed to be completed over two years and three months, some students prefer to take a full three years to complete the program.
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• Program Duration: The M.A. in Counseling Psychology program requires nine quarters of courseworkover a minimum of 2 years and 3 months of study.
• Residential Blended Program: This is a blended program requiring students to take approximately two courses “live and in-class” and one course “on-line” each quarter. This format allows students to take three classes per quarter, but to only attend course sessions two evenings a week.
• Evening Schedule of Courses: Palo Alto University (PAU) is currently offering classes at the PAU campuses in Palo Alto and Monterey Bay on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 9:30.
• Work and School Scheduling: During the first year most students can maintain full-time employment during the day, and study in the evenings and on weekends. During the second year students should be aware that evening and weekend practicum placements are extremely hard to find. Most students will need to adjust their schedules in order to spend two days during the normal work week to complete their practicum experience.
• Practicum: The practicum, a 9-12 month supervised clinical placement, comprises another major training component of the program. Students typically begin their practicum work after one full year in the program. Students are required to have 225 client contact hours for those in the MFT track, and 280 client contact hours for those in the PCC track at practicum sites.
• Fall and Winter Enrollment: Enrollment into this residential program is semi-annually in either September (Fall quarter) or January (Winter quarter). If you wish to enroll in April (Spring quarter) or June (Summer quarter), you can enroll in PAU’s Global Online Counseling Program or take classes online, but PAU cannot guarantee that you will be part of a Cohort Model.
• Cohort Model: The M.A. in Counseling Psychology program uses a cohort system (for those who enroll in September or January) in which all entering students are grouped together and given the same schedule of courses for the entire program. The advantage of this system is the support and openness it creates. The cohort becomes a valuable resource for several reasons. Students study together. They encourage and assist one another when needed. They also become comfortable with one another to the point of being able to discuss tough issues and share personal accounts. Since a higher level of openness is attainable, a higher level of learning can also be reached. Some courses are done in a campus setting and other courses are online. All skill based clinical work is done in an appropriate clinical or classroom setting.