Master of Science: Clinical Mental Health CounselingProgram Description
The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) is an online 60 credit degree program that is designed to be consistent with the requirements for licensure as a professional counselor in Pennsylvania (049 PA Code § 49.13)
Upon graduation from the program, you will have completed the educational requirements for licensure and be ready to fulfill the remainder of the Pennsylvania state requirements for licensure as a counselor. The program is consistent with other state licensure codes and a non-Pennsylvania student may be license eligible in another state as a counselor.
Click here to visit the program Clinical Mental Health Counseling website.
Licensed professional counselors and licensed mental health counselors have limitless career opportunities. Whether you work with children, adolescents, families, adults through individual or group work you have a variety of settings to choose. With third party payment available through insurance agencies, medicaid and veterans affairs, clinical mental health counselors can work in private practice or in one of the many mental health institutions, social service agencies, schools, veterans outreach centers and/or hospitals.
Graduates of the program will demonstrate advanced knowledge and appropriate skills in the following areas:
- Foundations of Counseling
- Intervention and Prevention
- Diversity and Advocacy
- Human Development
- Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
- Research and Evaluation
The program will educate students to provide therapeutic interventions to a diverse population across the spectrum of cognitive, emotional and behavioral disorders. The program will provide opportunities for students throughout the Commonwealth to become eligible for licensure to practice counseling independently or as members of interdisciplinary teams in Pennsylvania and nationwide. Students seeking licensure outside of Pennsylvania must contact their state licensing boards for requirements.
This 60 credit, two year full-time (or four year part-time) graduate program is offered primarily online and consists of 51 credits of common core courses related to counseling, assessment, differential diagnosis and treatment planning. Nine additional credits of courses related to concentrations such as counseling in rural areas or counseling veterans and their families are also required. Within the common core curriculum is a practicum and internship requirement that may be conducted in the student’s local area with face-to-face supervision in a site approved by the university faculty.
Shared Core (45 credits)
Mental Health Counseling as a Profession
Theories and Models of Counseling
Lifespan Development: Implications for Counseling
Skills and Techniques in Mental Health Counseling
Psychopathology and Differential Diagnosis
Research and Evaluation
Assessment & Testing in Mental Health Counseling
Career Development and Counseling
Methods and Principles of Group Counseling
Family and Social Systems
Psychopharmacology & Biological Bases of Behavior
Practicum (100 clock hours-3 credits)
Internship (600 clock hours-9 credits)
Rural Track – (9 credits)
Clinical Mental Health Counseling with Rural Populations
Military/Veteran Track – (9 credits)
Diagnosis &Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Counseling Women Veterans
Other Generalized Track - Upon Advisement
A course sequence is proposed that will allow full-time students to complete the degree within two full years (including summers) and part-time students in 4 years.
Student Learning Outcomes
All students, regardless of track, will complete core coursework that will provide them with advanced knowledge and skills as required by the accreditation body, in the following areas: foundations of counseling; intervention and prevention; diversity and advocacy; assessment; diagnosis and treatment planning; and research and evaluation. Additionally, you will take separate required classes specific to your chosen track and will obtain appropriate “hands on” clinical skills through the completion of supervised practicum experience(s) totaling a minimum of 100 clock hours and a supervised internship totaling a minimum of 600 clock hours.
Program graduates will:
- Use the principles and practices of diagnosis, treatment, referral, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders to initiate, maintain, and terminate counseling.
- Apply multicultural competencies to clinical mental health counseling involving case conceptualization, diagnosis, treatment, referral, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders.
- Demonstrate skill in conducting intake interviews, mental status evaluations, biopsychosocial and mental health histories, and psychological assessments for treatment planning and caseload management.
- Apply relevant research findings to inform the practice of clinical mental health counseling.
- Analyze and use data to increase the effectiveness of clinical mental health counseling interventions and programs.
- Develop and use measurable outcomes for clinical mental health counseling programs, interventions, and treatments.
- Differentiate between diagnosis and developmentally appropriate reactions during crises, disasters, and other trauma-causing events.
- Apply and adhere to ethical and legal standards in clinical mental health counseling.
- Apply knowledge of public mental health policy, financing, and regulatory processes to improve service delivery opportunities in clinical mental health counseling.
- Apply current record keeping standards related to clinical mental health counseling.
Successful applicants to regular matriculated status will have:
- An undergraduate degree in psychology (or a related discipline such as education, criminal justice, sociology, etc.) from an accredited institution.
- A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.Completed coursework in
research/statistics and abnormal psychology at the undergraduate level with a minimum
grade of B in each course prior to matriculation into the program.
- Applicants with a 2.85 - 2.99 undergraduate GPA with relevant life experience may be considered for an interview and if admitted to the graduate program, would be required to achieve a 3.0 GPA or better in their first 9 credit hours to remain in good academic standing.
- Work and/or life experience relevant to the study of clinical mental health counseling.
- Strong letters of reference from individuals knowledgeable about the applicant’s academic preparation and/or relevant experience.
- A strong personal interview with a CMHC faculty member (either in in person on campus or through computer software that allows real-time, face to face meetings).
To complete the admissions process, students must submit:
Official college transcripts
Three letters of recommendation, At least one letter will discuss the candidate's ability to succeed academically and all letters must be specific to the program at LHU.
Statement of professional goals - One page in length.
After applicants have submitted all admissions material, if deemed qualified, will be scheduled for a 30 minute phone interview with the faculty.
Upon admission into the program you will be assigned a faculty mentor. The faculty mentor will meet with you on a regular basis and serve as a resource regarding all aspects of your program, including coursework, practicum and internship placements, and questions regarding policies and procedures. Students will be responsible for scheduling regular meetings with their faculty mentor.
Students will be evaluated continuously throughout their time in the program. You will be evaluated based upon grades, professional performance standards (including ethical practice), demonstrated mastery of learning outcomes, and other issues deemed relevant by CHMC faculty. The full evaluation process will be outlined in a student manual that will be handed out at the orientation prior to the startup of the program.
Program delivery will consist of a blend of distance, ITV and face-to-face cyber instruction through synchronous collaborative tools. Courses offered via distance education modalities will utilize the latest technologies in online instruction including (but not limited to) streaming audio, streaming video, threaded discussion, real time chat , face-to-face interactions and document sharing. In addition, the online delivery software has a campus pack allowing the development of course wiki’s, blogs, journals and podcasts.
Online, web-based delivery enables working adults the flexibility to progress through the program on a part-time basis, at a reasonable pace, without interrupting their career. The program will also accommodate traditional and non-traditional students to attend on a full-time basis. Lock Haven University’s distance instructional methods are designed to maintain a personal, one-to-one mentoring and supervision relationship with degree candidates and make it possible to create active and engaged learning communities.
No campus visits or on-campus residencies are required.