Is a master’s degree required to practice counselling in BC?
Not currently. Our graduates meet the requirements for registration with the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association (CPCA) and the Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada (ACCT). As candidate members of either association, our graduates can work as counsellors under supervison, while pursuing a Registered Professional Counsellor or Registered Therapeutic Counsellor designation. Please note that some professional counselling associations do require a master’s degree for membership.
At the moment, FACTBC (Federation of Associations for Counselling Therapists in BC) does not require a master’s level designation in their entry-to-practice competencies to practice counselling in BC. Similarly, in Ontario and Alberta, a master’s level designation is not an entry-to-practice competency requirement. However, it is required in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
The Federation of Associations for Counselling Therapists in BC (FACTBC) is a society of professional associations that represent counsellors and therapists practicing throughout British Columbia. The 14 professional associations, representing over 6,000 counsellors/therapists in BC, that make up FACTBC are the:
FACTBC has proposed entry-to-practice competencies to be adopted if/when counselling becomes a fully regulated health profession in BC. Many other provincial regulatory colleges have adopted FACTBC’s competencies. These entry-to-practice competencies do not require a master’s level designation. Stenberg College’s Counselling Therapist program meets all of FACTBC’s entry-to-practice competencies.
Cost, practicum hours, and employment. Educationally, both programs prepare graduates to meet the entry-to-practice competencies outlined by FACTBC. While content is similar, the tuition of a master’s level program in BC is between 159% – 270% more expensive than Stenberg’s tuition.
As for practicum hours, master’s level counselling programs in BC provide more clinical practicum experience than Stenberg’s program. Stenberg’s diploma program provides a minimum of 100 integrated practicum hours prior to graduation, as well as access to free clinical supervision for up to two years after program completion. This allows graduates to fulfill the requirements to become a Registered Professional Counsellor with the CPCA or a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor with the ACCT. This FREE supervision service saves graduates at least $5,000 in supervision fees after program completion.
Depending on your employment goals, your opportunities may increase with a master’s degree. Most particularly, with a master’s degree, you will be eligible for employment in various government positions and universities and colleges.
If you already have an undergraduate degree, a master’s degree may be a better choice for you. Depending on your employment goals, your opportunities may increase with a master’s degree. Most particularly, with a master’s degree, you will be eligible for employment in various government positions and universities and colleges.
With regards to counselling associations, Stenberg’s graduates are eligible for registration with the CPCA or ACCT. A master’s level designation will permit you to become a registered member with various associations such as the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC) and/or Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). Keep in mind, the tuition of a master’s level program in BC is between 159% – 270% more expensive than Stenberg’s tuition.
Our Counselling Therapist program has an articulation agreement with BCIT. Graduates of our Counselling Therapist program are granted access to BCIT’s Advanced Diploma in Business Management. This 8-month, full-time program is a great option for anyone wishing to work in private practice.
Upon graduation from BCIT’s Advanced Diploma in Business Management, graduates receive advanced entry into BCIT’s Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and can complete it in a year of full-time studies.
We are currently pursuing articulations with other schools and universities.
All CPCA Registered Professional Counsellors (RPC) have been approved with Sun Life Financial across Canada. Although there is no way to provide an exhaustive list, here are a few companies who have covered the cost of counselling services by CPCA members:
The number of insurance companies who recognize the CPCA continues to grow over time. (This information was provided by the CPCA).
Not in British Columbia. However, you might explore opportunities in private schools.
For our June program start, all theory will be delivered online. Students will only be required to attend a total of 18 days of in-person classes throughout the program:
No. This program is cohort-based, which means the students that you start the program with will be the ones you graduate with. A cohort-based program fosters relationships and trust, which are essential in this program.
The online nature of the program allows you to work part-time. However, keep in mind that
this is a rigorous full-time program. With classes, practicum, and homework, students can expect to spend a minimum of 35 – 40 hours per week to succeed in the program.
Often times, requirements listed in job postings are preferences. Sometimes, a candidate that meets all of the requirements cannot be found. Some of our graduates without degrees have applied for jobs requiring master’s degrees and have been hired.
Please refer to our Employment Board to learn about the careers you may find employment in without a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Our grads work with many agencies, such as Options Community Services, Lookout Housing and Health Society, Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver, Atira Women’s Resource Society, etc. Depending on the position, our grads provide counselling, support, employment assistance, assistance to new immigrants, and support to women and children. Some of our grads work in private practice shortly after graduation and for most, private practice is their long-term goal.
Yes. To become a Registered Professional Counsellor with the CPCA or a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor with the ACCT, graduates from a recognized Counselling program must complete a minimum of 100 hours prior to graduating. On a weekly basis, Stenberg students have supervised counselling sessions with real clients from Moving Forward Family Services.
Post-graduation, Stenberg College provides FREE supervision services with Moving Forward Family Services for up to 24-months after program completion.
Moving Forward Family Services (MFFS) is a non-profit organization that offers free short-term and low-cost long-term counselling services across Canada. Using interns and new graduates, this unique model allows MFFS to offer timely, affordable counselling and support without being restricted by gender, age, geography or presenting issues. MFFS’ vision is to ensure no one is ever turned away from quality counselling services.
In addition to providing practicums for all Stenberg students, MFFS provides practicums to students in master’s level programs at Adler University, CityU, Yorkville University, and University of British Columbia.
MFFS also provides practicums to students from the following universities: University of the Fraser Valley (BSW and MSW, Diploma in social services); University of Windsor (MSW); University of Calgary (MSW and MA Counselling Psych); University of New England (MSW); University of Victoria (BSW and MA Child and Youth Care); Palo Alto University (MA Counselling Psych); Dalhousie University (MSW); University of Lethbridge (MA Counselling Psych); Athabasca University (MA Counselling Psych); Gonzaga University (MA Counselling Psych); Walden University (MA Counselling Psych); and Kwantlen Polytechnic (BA Psychology).
Your classmates will come from a variety of educational and cultural backgrounds and experiences. Many of our students have prior education, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and are even medical doctors. Student diversity provides a dynamic and rich educational experience that is nurturing and collaborative.
Your instructors are experienced, professional counsellors with a minimum of a master’s level designation. Some have a PhD. Beyond a commitment to their profession, all of our instructors are deeply committed to student success, dedicated to supporting each student to be the best counsellor they can be.
Watch our program video below to meet some of your instructors: