Almost Done – and Then…

August 13, 2017

In 2015, I switched majors from my almost done teaching degree that had been on hold for several years, to an Interdisciplinary with an emphasis in Psychology at Liberty University. My goal was to finish and get a Master’s in Counseling and work with grief and trauma clients.

In the two years I’ve been at this, I’ve often wondered if I would ever see the end. But I’m almost there. The past year I’ve only taken 1-2 classes per semester to allow me to still be with the girls, and quite honestly focus on doing really well in the class instead of being stressed out and always freaked I was missing something that was due that day.

So it took me a lot longer than it might have had I done full-time. This semester starts the end of the month, I’m taking two classes. I’ll end right before Christmas, and my last class (LAST CLASS OMG) will be in January.

Photo by Olu Eletu on Unsplash

MY LAST CLASS.

It’s crazy to write that.

From there, I have enough Psych and other credits to move into a Master’s just about anywhere.

But. Here’s the catch (because always).

Liberty applied to have their online Master’s in Professional Counseling CACREP accredited last year. A decision was to be made this July. CACREP is (this puts it much better than I’d be able to):

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, commonly known as CACREP, is a specialized accrediting body that assures graduate counseling programs—both on-campus and online CACREP-accredited programs—throughout the United States and the world meet standards within the counseling profession. Read more at Walden University

Liberty’s residential program was already approved by them. So is their online school counseling program. So I was thrilled to find out they were applying to have their Professional Counseling CACREP accredited because that’s the only type of accreditation for counseling Tricare (military insurance) accepts, as well as a growing number of states and other organizations. See here: http://www.cacrep.org/value-of-accreditation/federal-regulations/

We live in a military town. With Sam as a disabled veteran, we’d always need to live very close to a military town to keep access to his care. The only college here isn’t CACREP accredited and isn’t in the process of becoming it. So this was wonderful news as I truly wanted to stay with Liberty since I like the format of their program, I wasn’t able to go to a residential college (the next nearest is like 5 hours away), and I needed to attend one that was accredited.

This July, as I stalked the CACREP page for updates, I realized that while several other programs were approved, Liberty’s online counseling had disappeared. I checked with them, checked with Liberty – and in a few days they put up a page saying that they had withdrawn their application from CACREP in order to work on their program and didn’t have a timeline of when they might resubmit and how long it would take from there.

I was so disappointed. I really felt like I had been on the right track with Liberty and the Master’s program. I’d planned my whole two last years of my degree around it. I think a lot of my intense feelings at first had to do with me finding out right before Kaden’s birthday when my emotions run high anyway.

My options after graduation become:

  • Stay at Liberty. Cross my fingers that they are CACREP accredited by the time I graduate or up to 18 months after (they’ll retroactively approve the program that far back). This is a pretty big risk because, even though they were SO close to being approved, if they aren’t or aren’t in time, it really limits my options forever. Unless I want to retake my Master’s at another college.
  • Change colleges. This isn’t a big deal, but I like Liberty and there isn’t another college that offers Professional Counseling online accredited by CACREP. It’s all Mental Health, School, or Marriage and Family. I really, really wanted an emphasis in trauma, but honestly that’s been hard to find and seems like it’s something you have to do after you get your Master’s. Liberty also offers an amazing military discount which has allowed me to pay for a lot of my school out-of-pocket. I haven’t found another program online yet that even compares to it.

In the next few months, my main focus is to simply finish this part of my schooling. When January rolls around, then I’ll have to make some real choices about what to do. Hopefully something will be a lot clearer at that point.

I need this verse tattooed on me. Like 4 times lol. 

In the meantime – I’m almost done!! Yay! What a super long journey – but so, so worth the detour and the wait.

5 Comments

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  • Carrie

    August 15, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Whew – that’s a lot to take in! I just finished a MA in School Counseling from an online CACREP school (while parenting 3 kiddos – I started when they were in K, 1 & 1 grades) so I totally get it. That had to feel like a punch in the gut. I did my graduate work and graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University. Their programs are CACREP accredited, and the professors are incredible. I would highly recommend speaking to one of them, and I would imagine they could tailor a MHC degree to what you’re wanting. I know they have worked with a lot of students to make their education work for them, instead of the other way around. If you want some contact info just let me know! 🙂 Good luck to you as you figure this out, and CONGRATS!!!! on making it to your last two undergrad courses!

  • Anne-Marie

    August 14, 2017 at 9:38 am

    Oh so many hugs. Having just started an online degree program, I think I can relate to the layers of complexity that seem to appear before the eyes. I desperately hope that this somehow works itself out to get you your trauma specialty. There are not enough people who understand traum! I will send you a text today to see if my therapist’s connections can help.

  • Beth Rose

    August 14, 2017 at 4:57 am

    I recently did some classes with Liberty online. Their discount and format worked great. I didn’t finish though. It was just too much on me and my family. Kudos to you though! You’re amazing, and I know you’ll figure it out 🙂

    1. Diana

      August 14, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      It is an awful lot! For a while I didn’t realize how their classes worked and I was doing full time and had Char and it was a mess. It put a ton of stress on us. I had to slow it waaaaay down to even have a chance of passing my classes. If you decide to go back, take a look into their B and D schedule for 1/2 time school because that works well and still lets you have financial aid!

{Thoughts}

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