As a Lutheran school, Concordia University – Wisconsin strives to combine the tenets of Christian faith with rigorous academic instruction. The school was originally founded as Concordia College in 1881 by Lutherans in Wisconsin. Over the next several decades, constant evolution pushed the humble college of 13 students into a fully accredited higher education institution. By 1989, the school had attained approval by its Board of Regents to offer four-year programs. The university now enrolls about 8,100 students and offers 155 programs at the undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate levels.
According to Concordia's website, the school's stated purpose is to "develop mature Christian students by sharing the teaching of Jesus Christ in all of its educational programs." The university is affiliated with the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, and half of the undergraduate student body identifies as Lutheran. Students do not need to be members of the Lutheran church in order to enroll, but prospective enrollees should note the strong religious emphasis.
Concordia University holds institutional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition, the school's educational programs have been approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and the university's teaching programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education or NCATE. Accreditation applies to both physical programs and online degrees.
In order to apply to Concordia University, prospective students will need to create an account with the school for its application portal regardless of which program they're pursuing. Undergraduates and graduates follow different paths for applying, and online students will skip the traditional route entirely. Each college within the university is responsible for application specifics, but generally speaking, graduate applicants will need to do the following:
- Submit an application through the online portal at www.cuw.edu/apply
- Pay the non-refundable application fee of $50
- Write a one-page essay on why they want a master's degree
- Submit a resume that includes educational and employment information
- Provide two recommendations and all official transcripts that support the required bachelor's degree
Graduate students do not have to take entrance exams such as the Graduate Record Exam or GRE. Transfer students can have their credits analyzed to determine if any can be applied toward a master's program.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition fees vary based on program at Concordia University. For example, teacher certification costs $530 per credit while a Doctor of Nursing degree costs $705 per credit. Students who enroll in an online program will also pay a separate set of fees. For a Master of Science in Education – Counseling, students will pay $548 per credit. Since this program requires a range of credit hours, the total cost for this degree is between $24,660 and $26,304. In addition to tuition, students will have to pay for things like technology fees and graduation fees, which can vary by academic year and program. Applicants should check with the school's admissions staff for details.
Higher education can be prohibitively expensive, but Concordia offers a variety of ways to pay for college. According to the school's website, 98 percent of Concordia's students receive some type of financial aid, and the average award package totals about $21,000. The school's financial aid office offers a calculator for determining the total cost of a student's education as well as resources on how to apply for financial aid, which is available in the form of:
- Student loans
- Institutional grants and scholarships
- Scholarships outside of the school
- Federal work-study programs
- Awards by local schools, businesses and civic organizations
- Awards by faith-based organizations
- Employer-based opportunities
The financial aid office will meet with students to work out a suitable financial aid package, but the school encourages applicants to start the process early.
Online Master of Science in Education – Counseling
Designed for people who want to work with students in a K-12 setting, the Master of Science in Education – Counseling degree offered by Concordia University –- Wisconsin is a fully accredited program that combines traditional coursework with the convenience of online education. The school expects students to meet seven educational objects upon completion of the program. These are:
- To develop an understanding of key aspects related to personality development
- To design and analyze tests
- To gain the ability to prepare, administer and assess counseling programs
- To demonstrate an understanding of individual counseling techniques and how a counselor performs his or her responsibilities
- To understand the form and function of group counseling
- To develop skills related to "small-group processes and relationships"
- To gain an understanding of how human development affects the fields of psychology and counseling
The master's degree in counseling requires completion of between 45 and 48 credit hours, 36 of which are considered mandatory "counseling foundations." The foundations courses cover topics such as human development, theories of personality, group counseling, and the fundamentals of career counseling. There are also four elective options available: family development, psychopathology, psychopharmacology and trauma counseling. In addition to the foundations courses and electives, students on the school counseling track will complete two practicum experiences and three portfolios. For students on the school counseling track who don't hold a current teaching license, Concordia also requires that they complete a course on classroom management as part of their course load.
After graduating, students are eligible to obtain licensure to become a School Counselor in the state of Wisconsin. The school notes on its website, however, that other states may have different licensing requirements. Prospective students should check with their state to determine if the program fulfills those requirements. For those who want to pursue this degree program on campus, Concordia offers its Master of Science in Education at the following Centers: Appleton, Beloit, Kenosha, Madison, Mequon and Waukesha.
This master's program is convenient for students who want to pursue a career in school counseling but who can't due to scheduling conflicts that prevent them from attending traditional classes. As a fully accredited program taught by professors with real-world experience, the online M.Ed. in Counseling offered by the University of Concordia – Wisconsin allows students to hone their skills and enter the job market with confidence.