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Frequently Asked Questions

What does "accelerated" mean?
Acceleration means classes run consecutively with a more intense focus on one class at a time. Few breaks are scheduled in the program with the exception of national and religious holidays and between terms.
Do I have to take an entrance examination for admission?
Since Concordia University emphasizes experience and work history, a resume, essay and faculty interview are required in place of entrance exams.

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What is a cohort?
The cohort is a group of approximately 10 to 15 people who travel through the graduate program together. The members of the cohort attend each class together (online or in-class). Other students do not drop in and out of individual courses. The members of the cohort start together and graduate together. Throughout the program, cohort members interact with each other and the university in discussion groups, e-mails, bulletin boards and phone conferences.
What does a cohort look like? Who are the students?
Each cohort differs from the next. Graduate cohorts have a blend of eclectic professional and personal experiences. Some students come from private for-profit settings while others have non-profit experiences. Many students have commitments outside of work and school including families, children, hobbies and so forth. It is common to have students from profit (3M, Medtronic, Target) and non-profit (Lutheran Social Services, government agencies, law enforcement) industries represented.

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Are the programs offered online?
Many of Concordia University's graduate programs are offered exclusively online with the exception of the required residency on campus. Graduate programs offered in the conventional in-class format are: Leadership and Management, Human Resource Management, Strategic Communication Management, MBA, and MBA- Health Care Management emphasis.
What is the residency requirement?
Residency is considered a significant value-added element to our programs. Students meet face-to-face (on-campus), meet core faculty members, receive technological training and begin program coursework. Residencies range from one to three days depending on individual programs. Not all programs require residency.

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Are the programs offered only on campus in St. Paul?
The in-class programs mentioned above are offered on campus in St. Paul.
What financial aid is available to graduate students?
Financial aid to graduate students is limited to Federal student loan programs. Students apply to loan programs through the same process as undergraduate financial aid. See the financial aid process.

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Are the programs accredited?
All programs are fully accredited through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Can a student start online and move to an in-class cohort?
We strongly encourage students to understand their learning style, work travel schedules and personal commitments prior to selecting a program's delivery. Navigating from one delivery to the other is generally not permitted.

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What happens if I have to drop out for a brief period of time?
Life happens! Concordia University faculty understand that unintended interruptions arise. Students are encouraged to work with faculty and academic advisors to plan how best to put studies on hold. In some cases students drop out for a term or two. In other cases students have had to delay enrollment for a year in which readmission to the university is required.
What happens when I have to miss a class?
Naturally, attendance is expected whether it is in-class or online learning. Students take responsibility for their own learning by communicating with faculty about time missed. Generally make-up assignments or other substitute learning experiences are given to the student.

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Are the programs full-time or part-time?
All graduate programs at Concordia University are structured for full-time enrollment. Financial regulations for student loans require a minimum of 6 semester credits for full-time enrollment. Programs at Concordia typically have 10 credits per term.
If I enroll online will the transcripts or diploma indicate I took the program online?
Concordia University transcripts and diplomas only record academic classes attempted, dates of enrollment and grades earned. Your transcript and diploma will indicate you earned a graduate degree from Concordia University.

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What computer skills will I need for graduate study?
Technology skills are a necessary element of a successful educational experience. Students should understand basic internet navigation, personal computer use (i.e. send/receive e-mail, cut/paste in word processing programs). While user skills vary, one can be assured technology is an integral part of both conventional (in-class) and online learning environments.
Can I transfer graduate courses into the M.A. program?
Concordia University allows for a ceiling of two classes or 6 semester credits for transfer into a graduate program. Students desiring more details should seek counsel from a graduate academic advisor after admission to the program.

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Christian Outreach Questions

What does a Christian Outreach cohort look like? Who are the students?
Our outreach cohorts are made of 10-18 students from around the country, and often with one or two international students. MACO students range in age from early twenties to mid-sixties and come from a wide variety of educational and vocational backgrounds. Here are a few examples of some of the vocational backgrounds of MACO students: teacher, lawyer, church and community volunteer, banker, Director of Christian Outreach, Director of Christian Education, economist, current and future missionaries, computer specialist, pastor, music therapist, bishop. What all these students have in common is their passion for sharing the love of Christ and equipping others to do the same.

What are possible career paths for people who complete the Christian Outreach program?
The possibilities are endless, but here are a few of the most common choices: Director of Christian Outreach (DCO) is the most common career path for MACO students. Full-time mission work (either overseas or stateside), working within a ministry organization, teaching at a bachelor's or potentially a master's level. Others feel called to stay in their current vocation as well-trained disciples who are better equipped to shine the light of Christ in dark places.

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Criminal Justice Leadership Questions

What does a "practitioner-focused" program mean?
A practitioner-focused program means that applicants must have current experience in the field. The experience can take the form of full-time employment, part-time employment or volunteer positions in the criminal justice field.

What does a Criminal Justice Leadership cohort look like? Who are the students?
A Criminal Justice Leadership cohort is generally made up of students who are currently employed or volunteering in the fields of law enforcement, courts, corrections, security, military and social services.

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Early Childhood Questions

What does a "practitioner-focused" program mean?
A practitioner-focused program means that applicants must have current experience in the field. The experience can take the form of full-time employment, part-time employment or volunteer positions in the field.

What types of experience would qualify as "current experience?"
Examples of current field experience would include: Children's hospital volunteer; position in child care as assistant teacher, lead teacher, director; regular child care volunteer work in a center; position as a family child care owner/worker; classroom teacher; center owner; trainer or curriculum specialist; director of children's ministry; preschool, kindergarten, or primary teacher; any leadership role at an educational/child care setting; community college instructor; principal of a school; and/or classroom volunteer.

What does an Early Childhood cohort look like? Who are the students?
Students in an Early Childhood cohort are practitioners who are currently working in the field of childhood education. Previous cohort members have held positions of: elementary teacher, secondary learner assistant, youth specialist, early childhood special education teacher, daycare center program coordinator, and daycare owner/worker.

    What are possible career paths for Early Childhood Educators?
  • Child Development Consultant
  • Director or Assistant Director of an Educational Setting
  • Director of Children's Ministry
  • Early Childhood/Child Development Faculty
  • Early Childhood Family Enrichment Coordinator
  • Early Childhood Regional Manager
  • Early Intervention and Family Specialist
  • Early Childhood Trainer
  • Education Director
  • Family Child Care Owner
  • Family and Child Services Coordinator
  • Family Ministry Director
  • Head Start Disabilities Coordinator
  • Higher Education
  • Home-based Program Regulator
  • Military Family Support
  • Parent Educator
  • Program Administrator and Coordinator
  • Quality Enrichment Consultant
  • Research Director
  • School Principal
  • Social Research Assistant
    Social Service Professional
  • Teacher (infant, toddler, preschool, kindergarten, primary)
  • Training and Curriculum Specialist
  • Youth Worker


Will the M.A. in Education lead to licensure?
Presently none of the MA Education programs lead to licensure.

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Differentiated Instruction Questions

What does a "practitioner-focused" program mean?
A practitioner-focused program means that applicants must have current experience in the field. The experience can take the form of full-time employment, part-time employment or volunteer positions in the field.

What does a Differentiated Instruction cohort look like? Who are the students?
Differentiated Instruction graduate cohorts may be composed of individuals from various areas of the field of education. Some students are general education, special education, or ESL teachers. Others work as counselors in group homes or camp settings or provide psychological assistance in clinical school settings.

What are possible career paths for people who complete our Differentiated Instruction program?
The Differentiated Instruction program is intended for individuals working in various contemporary classroom settings. Students in the program will enhance their knowledge and ability to assist K-12 students with special needs in the area of literacy, second-language learning, and social-emotional development.

Do you need to have a degree in education to be admitted to the Differentiated Instruction program?
Though many members of the Differentiated Instruction graduate cohorts will be from the field of education, a degree or license in education is not required.

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Family Life Education Questions

What does a "practitioner-focused" program mean?
A practitioner-focused program means that applicants must have current experience in the field. The experience can take the form of full-time employment, part-time employment or volunteer positions in the field.

What types of experience would qualify as "current experience?"
Generally speaking, a viable field work experience in FLE needs to take into account more than one person in the client family system. We recognize it may not be feasible to be working with all family members, but it is necessary to be working in a situation where other family members are considered or obviously impacted by the work done with the client or by the education program. Examples of volunteer and paid positions include: child care, Head Start, family ministry, teacher, military family support, youth worker, parent educator, health care settings, hospice care, and/or the social services arena.

What does it mean to be a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE)?
A CFLE is a family life educator (FLE) who has met requirements for certification established by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). The CFLE designation is advancement in the field, giving family life educator's professional credentials and standards. While CFLE's may work specifically in one discipline, such as parent education or marriage enrichment, their understanding of the many areas that affect today's families enables them to be more effective in their efforts to educate and work with individuals and families.

What does a Family Life Education cohort look like? Who are the students?
Students in a Family Life Education cohort are practitioners who are currently working in the field of family education. Previous cohort members have held positions of: family service assistant, family program coordinator, director of children and family ministry, Head Start specialist, recreational youth specialist, teacher, school attendance counselor, living skills instructor, family child care owner, child birth educator, and family and marriage educator.

    What are possible career paths for Family Life Educators?
  • Social Services
  • Parishes and Congregations
  • Child Care
  • Health and Welfare
  • Legal System
  • Recreation
  • Youth Programs
  • Pre-school
  • School-Age Child Care
  • Drug/Alcohol Rehab Centers
  • Child and Family Advocacy
  • Domestic Abuse/Violence Prevention
  • Funeral Homes
  • Senior Citizens Programs
  • Military Family Support
  • Parent Education
  • Community Education
  • University and Colleges
  • Family Service Agencies
  • Retirement/Convalescent Care Centers
  • Elementary or Secondary Schools/Head Start/Education Service Centers
  • Hospital/Medical/Health Care Services
  • Court System/Law/Policy/Civil Service

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Leadership and Management Questions

How does the M.A. in Leadership and Management compare to an MBA?
An MBA (Master of Business Administration) is considered by some as the "science of management" where as MLM (Leadership and Management) is "the softer-side of management." Presently the MLM program is serving students well in both profit and non-profits settings where the degree compliments those with MBA's perfectly!

What do Leadership and Management cohorts look like? Who are the students?
Leadership and Management cohorts have a blend of eclectic professional and personal experiences. Some students come from private for-profit settings while others have non-profit experiences. Many students have commitments outside of work and school including families, children, hobbies and so forth. It is common to have students from profit (3M, Medtronic, Target) and non-profit (Lutheran Social Services, government agencies, law enforcement) industries represented.

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Human Resource Management Questions

What does a Human Resource Management cohort look like? Who are the students?
A Human Resource Management cohort is comprised of HR professionals from various functions within human resources (HR). The students in our program have direct and indirect HR experience. Students in a typical cohort have roles that tend to span many HR functions (HR Directors, HR managers, compensation and benefit specialists, human resource development professionals, recruiting and selection, etc.). Moreover, each cohort may have organization leaders who have experience performing HR responsibilities who would like to strengthen their HR leadership skills or transition into an HR role.

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