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Aug 16 Georgia Straight article: CityU in Canada master of counselling and master of education programs remain rooted in community service

We are thrilled to have been featured in this week’s Georgia Straight Education issue with this article about CityU’s Master of Counselling and Master of Education programs. You can read the original article on the Georgia Straight website HERE.

By Charlie Smith, August 16, 2018

Steve Conway loved attending CityU in Canada as a student, graduating from the master of counselling program in 2004. And he still feels that strong attachment today—as the associate provost of Canadian academic programs—for many of the same reasons.

“We have an emphasis on socially just practice, ethics, inclusion, and diversity that spans all of our programs,” Conway says. “That’s something we really hold dear.”

He also stresses the importance of CityU in Canada’s outreach efforts. This is reflected in its “dispersed community clinic”, which offers free counselling through local neighbourhood houses.

“It’s a way of embedding ourselves into the community and providing a service that these individuals otherwise wouldn’t be able to access,” he says.

The master of counselling program can be completed in two years on a full-time basis. The prerequisite is an undergraduate degree from a recognized institution, and the next group of students begins in January 2019.

Conway says it’s also possible to enroll in a mixed-mode program in which 49 percent of the curriculum is offered online and the remainder completed in residencies with practitioners and in face-to-face learning with instructors. This can be completed in three years.

There’s also an option of attending the Saturday program for a master of counselling, which can also be completed in three years. The Saturday and mixed-mode programs begin this October.

According to Conway, the latter two options primarily attract working adults who are driven to become counsellors. The full-time cohort, on the other hand, tends to draw a somewhat younger mix.

“When students come here, we regard them not as students, per se,” Conway says. “We regard them as colleagues and future peers. We take a real responsibility in ensuring that individuals that we train to work with vulnerable human beings are going to be up for the job.”

CityU in Canada also offers two master of education degrees—one focusing on leadership and the other on school counselling—that are taught out of local school districts. Teachers enroll in these programs to upgrade their credentials to become counsellors or administrators.

Conway recognizes that it’s not always easy for adults to return to school, which is why CityU in Canada embraces the “cohort model”.

“It really creates a strong learning community and it’s really supportive,” he says. “Students in these cohorts often maintain contact with each other for years after they’ve left.”

He also emphasizes that ethics is “inseparable” from CityU in Canada’s educational programs.

“Really, it underpins all of what we do—that idea of ethics and that idea of treating human beings with dignity,” Conway says.