If you are interested in earning your psychology or counseling degree in a small rural school, you might consider the University of the Cumberlands. Not to be confused with Cumberland University, this school is a faith-based, private university affiliated with the Baptist Church. The institution has a student body of about 6,000 including undergraduates, graduates and online students. The school began as Williamsburg Institute in 1889. The name was changed to Cumberland College in 1913 and to the University of the Cumberlands in 2005. The US News and World Report does not publish a ranking for the university but does rank it as #103 for online bachelor programs. Its online education graduate programs rank as #92. The University of the Cumberlands requires all students to complete 40 hours of volunteerism before graduation.
University of the Cumberlands Accreditation Details
Institutional Accreditation is through Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Counseling programs are accredited through CACREP
University of the Cumberlands Application Requirements
First time freshmen applying to the university should complete an application form and submit it, along with a $30 application fee, to the school. The application must be accompanied by your official transcripts from high school or from college courses you have completed. The testing agency that administered the SAT or ACT must send those official scores to the university. If you have less than the minimum accepted scores, you must demonstrate proficiency in English. Once you are admitted, the university will send you a link to enter other required information. Graduate student admission is similar, but you must check the program you want to take for other requisites such as the GMAT or GRE.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Part-time tuition at the University of the Cumberlands is figured per credit hour. Tuition for full-time students comes as a flat fee. For an incoming freshman, that fee is $23,000 tuition and $9,000 room and board. In addition to that amount, there are various fees. The school charges a $50 activity fee and a technology fee of $130, each term. Many of the programs have associated fees as well. Students are required to pay $580 for a health insurance policy for fall and $810 for spring and summer. However, online students are exempt, as are those who can prove existing coverage.
Earning a college degree is not cheap. Most people require some financial aid to pay their obligations. The first step to getting this aid is completing the FAFSA form. This is an application to the federal government program that awards grants, low-interest student loans and work-study opportunities to those who qualify. Grants are awards that do not have to be repaid. Student loans and loans to parents of college students for the purposes of paying college expenses are offered at lower interest than you would find through private lenders or banks. Student loans also come with the option to defer repayment until after graduation. In addition to the federal programs, Kentucky offers The Educational Excellence Scholarship, the Kentucky Tuition Grant and The College Access Program. The University of the Cumberlands awards several scholarships to full-time undergraduate students. Online students are excluded from these funds, but an Internet search will reveal many resources available through private individuals, companies, religious organizations and service organizations such as the Lions Clubs. If you exhaust the “free” money you were awarded through scholarships and federal assistance, and still have unmet student debt, you might consider taking out a student loan from a bank or other lending institution. Work-study opportunities can help you pay for your education as well. The programs are scheduled around your classes and the experience you get through them can be valuable in your degree path.
Earning Your Psychology or Counseling Degree at the University of the Cumberlands
The university offers two undergraduate degrees in psychology. You can earn a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. The difference in the two programs is that the Bachelor of Arts requires a foreign language through the intermediate level. In general, the bachelor’s programs contain 128 credit hours. Of these, 37 are in general education courses taken by all students. A faith course is required.
Beyond the general education courses, students in this program must complete psychology core classes and electives that lead to one of three specializations. These include Physiological Psychology, Psychological Testing and Learning and Cognition. The bachelor’s programs are offered online as well as in a traditional format. The University of the Cumberlands awards a Minor in Psychology. This program is for people in other disciplines who wish to add psychology knowledge and skills to their program. The minor includes 21 credit hours. Basic Psychology and Psychology and Human Development are required, but there are electives to tailor the program to your needs.
A unique program offered at the university is the PhD in Clinical Psychology. This is a hybrid program. Year one is entirely online or in evening classes. At the end of the first year, you have the opportunity to study abroad at Oxford University in England. Year two of the degree program is clinical instruction in traditional on-campus delivery, your practicum and the beginning of your dissertation. Year three is a continuation of practicum and dissertation, and online courses. Counseling programs at the university are offered at the master’s level and as doctoral programs.
The Master of Arts in Professional Counseling is an online program containing 60 hours. In this program, you will study courses such as Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling and Counseling Theories. You will also complete practicum and internships. There are two concentrations: Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Addictions Counseling. The other degree offered in counseling is the EdD in Counseling Education and Supervision. This 60-hour accelerated program is designed to be completed in less than three years. It is completely online and the one-on-one instruction is offered in an “executive format.” The degree is a specialization of the Leadership and Educational Leadership doctoral programs.
The counseling programs are fully accredited through CACREP. The psychology programs at the University of the Cumberlands adhere to the standards set forth by the American Psychological Association but are not currently accredited through the APA.
See also: The 50 Best Low-Cost Online Master’s in Counseling Programs 2016-2017