The questions below apply to all of our sexual and gender health programs: MPS in Sexual Health, the Human Sexuality Certificate, the Sex Therapy Certificate, and the Transgender and Gender Diverse Health Certificate.
Who are these sexual and gender health courses aimed at?
The courses in the sexual and gender health programs are for students interested in health, wellness, social science, education, medicine, and culture. Previous experience in health care is not required to enroll. Nurses, pharmacists, physicians, therapists, educators, advocates, and many others have taken these courses. The final project in each course is flexible in order to allow students to focus on their own area of professional interest.
What’s it like to take an online class?
Taking an online course at CCAPS is an interactive, supportive experience. We deliver our courses through a system called Canvas. Once you are admitted to a program, you will be invited to attend a virtual orientation that includes an introduction to using Canvas.
There are also extensive resources within the course to introduce new users to classroom tools such as discussion boards, online readings, and video recordings. The University of Minnesota IT Help Desk is available via chat, email, and in person. There may be a learning curve as you begin your first online course, but once you’ve mastered the tools, you’ll use those same skills on all of your future courses.
How much interaction with faculty is there in an online course?
Sexual and gender health program courses are asynchronous, which means you’re not required to be present online at specific times each week. You'll interact with your instructor and classmates through recorded videos, discussion boards, and peer review of written work. You’ll also receive written or recorded feedback from the instructor on your assignments. Your instructors are available by email and phone, and you will schedule a one-on-one virtual meeting with them at least once during each course. Some courses have the option to attend one or more synchronous sessions of the class to enrich discussion.
I haven’t been in school for a while. Will I be able to succeed in a graduate program?
Our students are a diverse group, ranging from those recently graduated from a bachelor’s program to those who’ve been in the workforce for many years. Some folks are new to the field of human sexuality, while others already have experience. The courses are structured so that you can approach the material from where you are and focus your work on areas that apply to your career interests. People from very different backgrounds have been successful in these courses.
What is the course format like?
Sexual and gender health program courses are fast paced and require an independent work ethic. Many courses are offered in a 7-week course format, which means that a semester’s worth of class is compressed into a shorter time period. Assignments are structured so they're due on different days rather than all at once. There is also flexibility to work ahead, which might help you balance other responsibilities. Our students report spending 9−12 hours each week on these compressed courses. Some courses in the MPS in Sexual Health are offered in a 14-week format.
I’m an LPC or LPCC in Minnesota. Do these courses count towards the 12 postgraduate semester hours I need in my first four years of licensure?
The Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy (MBBHT) is the final authority on what fulfills these requirements. However, we have had students use approved courses from the sexual and gender health programs toward these requirements. Please contact MBBHT for full requirement information.
Can I take a course if I’m not admitted to a sexual health program yet?
Yes! If you’d like to try a course to see what it’s like or want to get started before the next admissions cycle, you can enroll as a nondegree student for graduate credit. That course may then be applied to your program requirements if you are admitted. However, we cannot retroactively confer a certificate to students who take all the courses without applying to the certificate. To enroll in a course as a nondegree student, contact our graduate enrollment advisor.
What kind of jobs could I get with a sexual health credential?
Anyone pursuing a career in education, health care, health care administration, wellness, or direct service would benefit from a deeper understanding of human sexuality. Some examples of jobs you might pursue include teaching adults or youth; providing outreach and education in community-based, health care, corporate, and faith-based settings; or providing coaching or one-on-one client education sessions.
These programs can also complement your existing work in:
- health care (pharmacists, physicians, nursing home administrators, nurses, physician assistants, etc.);
- education (K−12 teachers, school counselors, faith-based education providers, etc.);
- wellness (coaches, consultants, etc.);
- mental health (therapists, crisis counselors, psychiatric nurses, school counselors, etc.);
- direct service (social workers, youth outreach workers, etc.);
- policy (activists, lobbyists, lawmakers, etc.).
Can I get Continuing Education (CE) credits for courses in the sexual and gender health programs?
Depending on the organization granting the CE credits, yes. The University of Minnesota is an AASECT-approved continuing education provider. Continuing education credits earned through HSEX courses may be applied toward AASECT certification and renewal of certification. Check with the organization that requires your CE credits to see if they will accept academic credits from the University of Minnesota. The usual 3-credit course is the equivalent of 45 CE hours.
How many credits should I take per term?
The number of credits you take should be based on your work demands, family, and other commitments, as well as the difficulty of the coursework. At the graduate level, full-time status is 6 or more credits. About half of our students take one course (3 credits) per semester. The University of Minnesota’s policy on expected graduate student academic work per credit is that it will exceed 3 hours per credit per week.
What is AASECT? Is an AASECT certification the same thing as a credential from the University of Minnesota?
The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) is a not-for-profit, interdisciplinary professional organization devoted to the promotion of sexual health by the development and advancement of the fields of sexual therapy, counseling, and education.
AASECT offers different certifications for sexuality educators, counselors, and therapists. The University of Minnesota is an AASECT-approved continuing education provider. Our sexual and gender health programs fulfill some of the requirements for AASECT certification. Completion of these programs does not ensure or guarantee AASECT certification. Visit the AASECT website to learn more.