Counseling and Psychology Degrees Offered at California University of Pennsylvania
California University of Pennsylvania appears in our ranking of the 15 Most Affordable Online Sport Psychology Programs
California University of Pennsylvania (Cal U) has one bachelor’s program, four master’s degrees, and a variety of certificate programs in the areas of counseling and psychology. At the undergraduate level, the B.S. in psychology program allows students to tailor their coursework to match their career goals by taking five classes in a specialty area, clinical, educational, social/applied, or cognitive/experimental psychology. In addition, there are six required courses in the major including History and Systems in Psychology and the Senior Seminar covering special topics in the field. The department emphasizes the scientific and analytic aspects of psychology by including Research Methods, Inferential Statistics, and Descriptive Statistics in the required core, and students then demonstrate their understanding by completing 12 hours of research competency courses consisting of labs, an internship, and/or a senior project.
Cal U offers an accelerated bachelor’s/master’s track for psychology students entering the Conflict Resolution M.A. program or the School Psychology M.S. program. The Conflict Resolution coursework is offered entirely online and consists of 10 courses like Nonviolence: Theory and Practice, Socio-Cultural Approaches to Identity Conflicts, Applied Mediation and Negotiation, and an internship. For the master’s in School Psychology, students attend classes on campus taking 12 courses in as little as 14 months including Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy, Advanced Tests and Measurements, and Seminar in Behavior Modification. Students also complete a series of statistics and research courses and can choose between a thesis or non-thesis option. A 300-hour practicum is built into the curriculum giving students hands-on experience working in schools. This degree is the first step towards a school psychologist license. Students pursuing this credential next enter the post-master’s certificate program that consists of 33 credit hours and a 1200-hour internship. Graduates are then eligible for Pennsylvania state certification to practice school psychology.
The M.Ed. program in school counseling is another option for students looking to work in the school setting as a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). In the accelerated track, students from any undergraduate major can complete the program in four semesters and a summer with flexible schedules including evening classes. The curriculum is broken into five core areas, the foundation, advanced counseling, field education, counseling and education, and psychological foundations, for a total of 48 credit hours and 750 hours of experiential learning.
The M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is the final graduate degree offered by California University in this field. These graduates are also eligible for NCC and LPC certification and can complete the program in just two years. The program consists of 60 credit hours including clinical courses like Introduction to Family Therapy and Crisis Counseling and Disaster Preparedness as well as extensive counseling theory and practicum coursework. There are also three graduate-level certificate programs that are offered online to provide advanced training in specific counseling areas. Ranging from 9 to 12 credit hours, these are designed to be completed in one summer, and specialties include Advanced Addictions, Sports Counseling and Student-Athlete Mental Wellness, and Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Counseling.
About California University of Pennsylvania
Located in California, Pennsylvania, a small town in the southwest corner of the state, Cal U began in the 1850s educating students from kindergarten through college. From around 1874 to the 1950s, the school was primarily known for training future elementary and high school teachers. While there is still a prominent education department on campus, the degree offerings have expanded greatly, and there are now more than 150 different degree programs available. Cal U has also worked hard to implement their online learning platform, and the U.S. News and World Report has ranked their online graduate criminal justice program #37 in the country, and the online graduate business programs come in at #28 for veterans.
California University of Pennsylvania Accreditation Details
The colleges and universities in Pennsylvania fall under the purview of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) which has provided continuous accreditation to California University since 1951. This means that the school continues to meet quality standards in all aspects of its operation. The MSCHE evaluates eight different categories including Mission and Goals, Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience, and Governance, Leadership, and Administration to ensure that students are receiving adequate education and that the organization is run responsibly. Other discipline-specific associations review and accredit individual degree programs. The following groups have certified the counseling programs at Cal U.
- Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
- National Association of School Psychologists
California University of Pennsylvania Application Requirements
Prospective undergraduate students can either use the Cal U application or the Common Application and need to include the application fee, high school transcripts, and SAT or ACT scores. Letters of recommendation and a personal essay are recommended but not required. Students who graduated from high school at least 2 years prior to application date do not need to provide standardized test scores. Graduate applicants to either the online or on-campus programs can fill out the application on Cal U’s portal and must first specify their desired program. All students must send official transcripts showing receipt of a bachelor’s degree. In addition, certain counseling programs have additional requirements like letters of recommendation, 3.0 minimum GPA, GRE or MAT scores, personal statement, or prerequisite coursework.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time undergraduate students at Cal U can expect to pay around $4000 per semester if they are Pennsylvania residents and about $6000 otherwise. Graduate courses cost $516 per credit hour for in-state students with an out-of-state tuition rate of $774 per credit hour. Online tuition is priced similarly to on-campus programs with additional technology fees. The Vulcan Merit Scholarship program provides tuition assistance to undergraduates based on GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Students are also encouraged to apply for a variety of need-based grants and endowed scholarships. In addition, the graduate counseling programs at the California University of Pennsylvania have received a $1.9 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, and this goes toward providing stipends for students interning in rural and under-served communities.