The Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program is a practitioner-oriented program that enables students to become professional clinical mental health counselors as well as social justice advocates. The program is firmly focused on teaching students to work affirmatively and effectively within different communities while developing a commitment to social justice through a combination of preparation in core areas: knowledge and skill building, clinical training, and field experiences via practicum and internship.
Embedded throughout the curriculum are social justice principles and values associated with advocacy and leadership. Students move from simply understanding social injustice to actively engaging in improving systematic inequities on local, national and global arenas. Small cohorts and class sizes ensure close and enduring relationships with peers and faculty. In addition, students have the option of choosing from three concentrations:
- Working with Persons of African American/Black Heritages
- Working with Persons of Latinx Heritages
- Working with Persons of LGBTQQIA+ Identities and Communities
This program goes far beyond preparing students for individual counseling interventions teaching students how to understand the whole person or persons across multiple identities and contexts. For example, emphasis on the role of sociocultural and sociopolitical climate as forces that affect individuals’ access to services and or resources that support well-being are prominent in every course and training experience.
The unique distributive learning model features face-to-face experiences including the New Student Orientation (NSO) as well as face-to-face residencies where students focus on fundamental and advanced skill-building as well as preparedness to enter into field training through practicum and internship. There are monthly online/face-to-face cluster meetings designed to augment the course material, examine contemporary theories and evidence-based practice as well as discuss real-world clinical experiences provided by our distinguished faculty, many of whom are leaders in the field of professional counseling.
Each course has both synchronous and asynchronous aspects. Faculty host weekly video conference meetings with students to discuss course materials, provide additional resources and explore pertinent and current topics.
Graduates are able to work in a variety of clinical settings including community mental health agencies, correctional facilities, hospital settings, college/university counseling centers, group homes, foster care agencies, and private practice settings. Moreover, our graduates will serve as culturally responsive practitioners and social change agents with the unique ability to apply the tenets and principles of counseling of social justice and advocacy for their clients, communities, and the profession.
The CMHC program of study aligns with the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards and generally meets state licensure requirements; however, it is of note that certain states have different requirements. State licensure board contact information is available through the American Counseling Association: http://www.counseling.org/knowledge-center/licensure-requirements.
Please note that a pathway to dual licensure (LMFT and LCMHC or LPCC or LPC) may be available in some states. Students may work with both the program directors of this program and the Couples/Marriage and Family Therapy, MA to design a unique program of study that can meet credentialing requirements for practicing marriage and family therapy and professional counseling as a way of increasing employability in the mental health care market.