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Messiah College

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ABA Programs Available at Messiah College

Messiah College appears in our ranking of the Top 30 Online Master’s in School Counseling.

Applied behavior analysis is a field that looks at how human behavior relates to the brain and especially how those on the autism spectrum think and act. ABA programs prepare students for working with clients diagnosed with autism and similar conditions. Though Messiah College does not offer a specialized ABA program, it does offer multiple programs for students who want to work in this field such as a pre-counseling option. Pre-counseling majors will take classes that include Abnormal Psychology, Counseling Theories, Introduction to Psychology and Counseling Skills.

The college’s undergraduate program in psychology features some of the same courses and similar classes. It provides students with a strong foundation in the social sciences. Students can do internships with the Methodist Home for Children and other organizations. They can earn a B.A. or a B.S. in Psychology as they take classes that include Human Biology, Writing for Psychology, Child Development, and Adolescent Development. The college also allows psychology majors to study biopsychology and clinical psychology, which appeal to those with an interest in ABA therapy.

There is also an online Master of Arts in Counseling program available for future ABA specialists. This program has accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). It is available in three different formats that let students choose between spending two, three and four years working on their degrees. Each format includes 60 credits of classes and work, most of which are available online. Students who want to work in the ABA field can select a concentration in school counseling or clinical mental health counseling. The program is also available with a concentration in marriage, couple and family counseling.

About Messiah College

Messiah College is a private and nondenominational college in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. The Brethren in Christ Church established the college in 1909 and called it the Messiah Bible School and Missionary Training Home. It originally offered training for those who wanted to do missionary work and Bible classes, but it also functioned as a high school for local students. The college became Messiah College in the 1950s after it dropped the classes for high school students and shifted its focus to traditional bachelor’s degree programs. Also known as both Messiah and MC, the college now operates an institute in Harrisburg that allows up to 25 students to live and work in the city. Messiah College has an enrollment of around 3,300 students and announced that it would become Messiah University in 2020.

Messiah College Accreditation Details

Messiah College has accreditation for several of its degree programs, including the college’s nursing, theater, music, art and design majors. That accreditation comes from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) as well as other professional organizations. It also holds regional accreditation, which comes from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). This is an important type of accreditation because it is what lets students get credit when they transfer and apply for financial aid. The United States Department of Education will not let students use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) unless they attend a school with regional accreditation.

Messiah College Application Requirements

Undergrads applying to Messiah College should finish a college-prep curriculum as part of their high school studies. This will include four units of electives and English classes and at least two units of courses in science, social science, mathematics, and one foreign language. The college will not look at a student’s application until it receives the completed application and fee, high school transcripts, standardized test score, and personal statement. This statement takes the place of a traditional essay and asks students why they want to attend Messiah and how they will use their religious beliefs at the college. Messiah College does not have an application deadline for undergrads but asks that they apply prior to the beginning of the next semester.

The M.A. in Counseling program offered by Messiah College starts in both the fall and the spring. Students need to make sure that they submit their applications before one of these start dates. They can access the MC application online. The college asks for official transcripts that show the student has either a bachelor’s or a master’s degree and recommends that they have a grade point average of 3.0 or above. Students with a lower GPA may still receive acceptance to the program, though the college will review those applications one at a time. Grad students should also write an essay of between 300 and 500 words to show why they picked Messiah College and how the counseling program will prepare them for their future goals. Other requirements for grad students include:

  • Resume
  • Interview
  • Two letters of recommendation

Messiah College allows students to do their interviews in person or over the phone. It also asks that students take at least nine credits of social science and psychology courses before they apply.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Counseling majors enrolled in the college’s graduate program pay $690 per credit hour, which brings their total cost of attendance to $41,400. This is the total that students will pay to earn their degrees. The cost of attendance for undergrads is $35,280 per year for tuition and fees of $840 each year. Undergrads who want to live on the MC campus pay $10,500 per year or more for room and board. With the financial aid that they receive, the average cost of attendance is less than $21,000 a year. Students get financial aid once the college receives the FAFSA and processes the form.

Students can turn to the financial aid office for help with the FAFSA or if they have any questions about the process of getting financial aid. The college will usually grant students scholarships and grants before it asks that they take out any loans. Some scholarships go to students based on both their transcripts and test scores, but the college also offers scholarships based on the reported needs of students. Student employment provides students with another way to pay their costs. As students apply to the degree programs offered by Messiah College that can help them work in the ABA field, they can also apply for financial aid.