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Psychology and Counseling Programs
Cornerstone University in our ranking of The 25 Best Low-Cost Master’s in Counseling Online Programs.
Though Cornerstone University is a small university, it offers two programs designed for psychology and counseling majors who want to study religion and science. One of those two programs is a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Available through its Adult & Graduate Studies division, this program consists of just 46 credit hours. Students will also take general education courses, but they can transfer those courses into this program and take just the required psychology classes to graduate. Cornerstone University offers this program online and on its Kalamazoo campus. It takes 22 months or less for students to finish.
To enter the adult program, students must have two years of professional experience and at least 56 credits of classes that they can transfer to the university. They learn how to look at the social services needs that others have and how to find solutions to common problems within this field. It also teaches them the basics of human thought and behavior. Students take classes that include Introduction to Counseling, Christian Foundations in Psychology: Issues and Ethics, Abnormal Psychology and Professional Communication.
The university's Master of Arts in Counseling program is available through its seminary. This program looks at how religious ideas and concepts can help those struggling with mental disorders. Students can take six to 12 credits each semester, which will determine whether they are full-time or part-time students. The program includes specializations in addictions counseling and interdisciplinary studies. Students can also enroll in a program to get licenses in more than one state or to work with trauma victims.
This program includes six core religion classes such as Theology for Counseling I and II, Christian Spiritual Formation and Bible Theology. Students will then take 42 credits of core counseling classes, including Counseling Ethics and Issues, Testing Procedures, Career Development, and Human Growth and Development. During their last semesters, the university requires that students do one practicum and two internships. Those who choose the thesis track must also write a thesis paper of at least 60 pages based on the unique research that they do on a counseling subject or topic.
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About Cornerstone University
Cornerstone University is a private Christian college in Michigan that operates independently of any church. Established in 1941 in conjunction with the Baptist Church, it opened as the Baptist Bible Institute. The institute received full accreditation in 1972 and changed its name to the Grand Rapids Baptist College. This name change coincided with the college adding full degree programs to its curriculum. The college grew even more after taking over the Grand Rapids School of Bible and Music. It became the Cornerstone College and Grand Rapids Bible Seminary in later years before becoming Cornerstone University. The Grand Rapids Theological Seminary is the graduate branch of the university. Cornerstone University has an enrollment of around 3,000 students today.
Cornerstone University Accreditation Details
Cornerstone has both regional and religious accreditation. Its religious accreditation comes from the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (CAATS), but it also has regional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS). Its regional accreditation allows the university to see the FAFSA that each student files and to create financial aid packages based around their needs.
Cornerstone University Application Requirements
Students can apply to the university as long as they finished high school, have a GED or completed a homeschool program. Prospective undergrads will first fill out a form, which the university uses to assign them admissions reps. The rep will go over the available degree programs, talk about some of the university's custom programs, discuss financial aid options and talk about the benefits of attending Cornerstone.
Cornerstone requires that incoming freshmen have a grade point average of at least 2.5 and that they have a score of 19 or higher on the ACT. Those who took the SAT must score at least 1350. Students will need to submit their high school transcripts too. The university looks at whether the student completed a college prep program that includes four full years of English classes and at least three years of social science or history, life or health science and math classes. Undergrads can submit homeschool transcripts too. The only other requirement for incoming freshmen is that they need to write an essay that talks about the commitment they have to their faith.
As the university's counseling program is part of its seminary, students must meet the requirements of the Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. The seminary recommends that students talk with a rep and that they take a tour of the campus. They will then complete the school's online application, which asks for two references. These references can include pastors and friends but cannot include anyone related to the applicant. Graduate students will also submit their official transcripts.
Tuition and Financial Aid
More than 90% of incoming freshmen receive financial aid from Cornerstone University. This helps them cover their estimated costs, which are close to $34,000 a year. Tuition alone is worth more than $24,000 of that figure. Students who take more than 18 credits during a semester block must pay an overload charge of $700 per credit hour. A standard room and board plan, which comes with 15 meals per week and a dorm room, cost an additional $9,300 a year. The cost to enroll in a graduate program is $1,630 per class or $19,100 to finish the full program.
Scholarships and grants provide students with funds that they can use each year. The university offers four grants and scholarships that give students $5,000 to $11,000 a year. As long as students maintain a high GPA, they can renew their scholarships every year too. Pastors can also recommend students for a special scholarship. Students must have a GPA of 3.4 or higher and submit a resume to qualify for this program.
Cornerstone can also give students financial aid based on their FAFSA forms. The federal government offers loans and grants to students, but the state government has some grants available too. Students can access the FAFSA in October and get a financial aid letter just a few weeks later. Cornerstone University offers financial aid packages for undergrads and counseling graduate students that can cover quite a bit of their costs.