Chaminade University is pleased to announce the launch of a new fully online School Counseling graduate cohort program for Neighbor Island students, with the first classes scheduled to begin in April.
This first-of-its-kind program in Hawaii is designed to meet a significant need for licensed school counselors at public schools across the Neighbor Islands. Participants will attend classes remotely and be able to take advantage of a robust system of supports, mentorship and career development resources.
Dr. Dale Fryxell, dean of the School of Education and Behavioral Sciences at Chaminade, said the inaugural cohort will be open to approximately 20 students. Participants will be able to earn their Master of Science in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in School Counseling in as few as 30 months.
Chaminade offers the only School Counseling program in Hawaii and has identified outreach to the Neighbor Islands as a priority. Fryxell said the newly-launched cohort is geared toward Neighbor Island residents, including current educators in the public or private school system, who can “live and work in their communities and understand the unique situations families and kids face in those areas.”
“There’s such a great need for licensed school counselors on the Neighbor Islands.”
Dr. Darren Iwamoto, clinical director of Chaminade’s School Counseling program, said the pandemic helped the university illustrate how quality clinical courses can be offered remotely. He added that the cohort program will feature a combination of synchronous and asynchronous online learning, offering working professionals the flexibility they need while also ensuring clinical discussions are possible.
“We are excited about this new program,” Iwamoto said. “Our professors have embraced the technology required to deliver the School Counseling degree to Neighbor Island students fully online, giving them all the rigor of the in-person program without having to come to Oahu.”
Chaminade’s School Counseling program offers a clear academic pathway to Hawaii licensure for graduate students, preparing them for counseling in educational environments with a strong focus on holistic approaches, exceptional children and working with a diversity of community stakeholders.
The School Counseling program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and features an emphasis on hands-on learning in addition to a strong core of knowledge.
Iwamoto said that in the future Chaminade hopes to also offer the online cohort to students elsewhere in the Pacific, including American Samoa and Guam. the School is looking at the feasibility of launching separate online cohorts in Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling.
“We are starting with School Counseling because of the immediate need and the ability to reach students with a stated interest in pursuing licensure,” Fryxell said. “But we foresee further growth in our online Counseling Psychology offerings. Initiatives like this are crucial to helping our Neighbor Island communities meet the demand for mental health services, especially at this time.”
For more information on the School Counseling program or to apply, click here.