Online M.A. Counseling Students Travel to Crown Campus to Complete Their Degree

Online M.A. Counseling Students Travel to Crown Campus to Complete Their Degree

Photos by Katie Hinkle

By Josie Parker

Crown’s 60-hour online Master’s Degree in Counseling offers students the ability to earn a degree with the freedom and flexibility to complete coursework at their convenience. As part of the program, some students traveled internationally to Crown’s campus to be instructed by licensed counselors and professors in person.

The online program is designed to equip students with the necessary skills to effectively help people in need. The program is offered primarily online, but students must attend two, four-day residencies on Crown’s campus to attain the degree.

55 online M.A. students attended the residency. Some came all the way from Iraq, Guatemala, and the Ivory Coast. At the conference, students met with other online classmates and their professors.

“It can be more intimidating than you realize to meet with your fellow students from online,” says Toni Williams, Online M.A. Counseling student. “[This conference] has helped me break out of my shell a lot.”

During the residency, students experienced one-on-one interactions with licensed counselors and professors and participated in classroom learning sessions. Many students voiced the four-day conference as a very beneficial opportunity to apply their knowledge into practice.

“The residency allows students to meet face-to-face with each other and with instructors, says Dr. Pang Foua Rhodes, a Marriage and Family Therapist based out of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. “The on-campus experience is invaluable because it provides opportunities for instructors to watch students practice their counseling skills, provide direct feedback, and give additional and immediate guidance. Students gain a better working relationship with each other, the instructors, and the college.”

Crown’s online Counseling M.A. prepares students for Minnesota State LPC Licensure, as well as, licensure in many other states. Coursework explores each aspect of developing as a counselor, while satisfying the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy’s requirements. Students also experience 700 hours of internship, practicing new skills with help and supervision before officially entering the field with confidence. In this regard, students enter a career experienced and prepared to excel in their work.

“Being [at Crown] and being able to role-play some different case situations, hear from the professors, and do one-on-one counseling is so valuable,” says Mackenzie Witmer, an Online M.A. Counseling student.

Over the course of four days, the students learned and interacted with each other and their professors while leaving room for some fun.

Each morning the students ate breakfast together and joined in the chapel for worship. The days consisted of classroom and group meetings. In classroom meetings, the students sat in a circle around two classmates practicing mock counseling sessions. During group meetings, the professors and licensed counselors sat on a panel to share their experiences with the students.

On Thursday night, the students explored Mall of America. Friday night, the students attended a concert by Jonathan Head and Katie Marcusen, two Crown alumni, in the chapel. Overall, the week consisted of learning, practicing, and many new friendships.

Interacting with peers and faculty helped many students apply and explore their learning even further. Throughout the entire program, students experienced how their counseling practice can integrate into a Christian worldview, echoing the attitude of Christ noted in Ephesians,

“Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-13

For many of these students, this conference will affect their perspective and application of counseling practice for the rest of their professional lives.

To learn more about Crown’s online Master’s Degree in Counseling, visit here or call us at 1-952-446-4100.