Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A.
Graduate Studies

Clinical Mental Health Counseling accreditation by CACREPImmaculata’s 60-credit Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and is also in alignment with the requirements for the State of Pennsylvania’s professional counselor licensure (LPC).

Upon program completion, successful students will demonstrate professional knowledge, skills, and practices necessary to address a wide variety of circumstances within the clinical mental health counseling community. Specific knowledge outcome areas include the following:

  • Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice
  • Social and Cultural Diversity
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Career Development
  • Helping Relationships
  • Group Work
  • Assessment
  • Research and Program Evaluation
  • Diagnosis
  • Crisis Intervention and Trauma

The National Counselor Examination is offered on campus every year in April and October.

Each state has different processes and requirements for obtaining a counseling license. You will need to pass your state’s licensure exam and complete the required number of post-graduate supervised hours in order to be fully licensed. Learn more about national certification and state licensure for counselors.

Our graduates work at geriatric centers, rehabilitation hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, drug and alcohol treatment programs, school districts, private practice, outpatient clinics, crisis centers, and residential treatment centers.

Course Preview

Psychopathology

Review of moderate and serious pathological and diagnostic schemas using DSM, with secondary emphasis on treatment implications. Strategies for assessing and formulating clinical and cultural material are examined. Students are introduced to symptom clusters which distinguish different mental health problems and are presented with a dimensional model for understanding diagnosis within the context of personality styles.

Substance Abuse Education and Counseling

Examination and exploration of drug-and alcohol-related issues in relation to self, significant others and professional roles across the life span. Discussion of basic concepts in understanding alcoholism and drug addiction, dual diagnosis and medications, including effects on mental health and relationships, counseling strategies and an understanding of clinical settings that service these populations.

Crisis Intervention and Trauma

The purpose of this course is to prepare the students to deal with the inevitable crisis situations they will encounter as counselors. Students will reflect on how people deal with crises, explore their crisis experiences, and start to develop their skills in crisis intervention. The students will also examine some of the relevant research on crisis, resolution, and resilience. However, the major focus throughout the course will be on learning the practical skills and requisite knowledge and attitudes of helping people in crisis. It is important for students to self-monitor because the course could be emotionally challenging

Diversity Counseling

This course will provide students with an understanding of multicultural and pluralistic trends within and among diverse groups nationally and internationally. Theories of multicultural counseling, identity development, multicultural competencies, social justice, and strategies for working with and advocating for individuals, couples, families, groups, and communities will be reviewed. Specific attention to counselors’ self-awareness, beliefs, understandings, and acculturative experiences will be facilitated through assignments and experiential learning activities to increase understanding of self and culturally diverse clients. Students will gain an understanding of their role in eliminating biases, prejudices, and intentional and unintentional oppression and discrimination

Admissions Information

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program holds group interviews as a part of the admissions process. Here are the upcoming interview dates:

  • Fall Interviews: October 29 and November 26 (start in Spring or Summer)
  • Spring Interviews: February 4 and March 25 (start in Summer or Fall)
  • Summer Interviews: June 3 and August 5 (start in Fall or Spring)

All group interviews are held on campus, by program faculty, from 11:00am – 1:00 pm.

Program Highlights

  • All core faculty members are counselors themselves. Their experience as practitioners informs the counselor education they provide.
  • Our faculty are approachable, student-centered, supportive, and available to meet with you to discuss personal and professional goals.
  • Faculty specialize in a range of areas related to mental health, including addictions counseling, play therapy, at-risk youth programming, multicultural/social justice issues, trauma, family counseling, and LGBTQ counseling.
  • You may choose to participate in faculty-mentored research projects and present your work at local, national, and international conferences. Immaculata provides some funding to allow students to attend conferences. Recent student research projects have focused on parenting styles and self-regulation, autism and family support, and evaluating supervision feedback instruments. Our students have presented at the American Counseling Association National Conference and at Immcaulata University’s annual research posters event.
  • Immaculata has a local chapter, Beta Mu, of Chi Sigma Iota, the international honor society for counseling students, professionals, and educators. Acceptance into the chapter will give you opportunities for networking, service, professional development workshops, and mentorship from experienced counselors as you begin your profession.
  • All classes are taught in the evenings, allowing you to work during the day. Our students generally complete the program in three years.
  • If you choose to pursue a specialty area within the counseling field, Immaculata offers a certification in PreK-12 School Counseling and a certificate in Addiction Studies and Therapeutic Practice.

CACREP Statistics for Clinical Mental Health Counseling Graduates

Year2017*2018
Number Enrolled159147
Number of Graduates4155
Completion Rate92%89%
LPC Examination Pass Rate100%95%
Job Placement Rate64%**80%
*2017 was the first year the program collected data from alumni since its CACREP status as of July 2016. **May 2017 alumni were asked if they were employed in the field. Of the 11 responses, 7 alumni replied “yes”; 2 alumni replied “no”; and 2 alumni chose not to respond.

IU Annual CACREP Evaluation Report (August 2018)

Clinical Training

Immaculata offers over 100 practicum and internship experiences in a variety of settings, including psychiatric hospitals, outpatient mental health clinics, addiction treatment centers, veterans administration facilities, and correctional facilities. Many students are hired by the organizations where they completed their practicums and internships. Your 100-hour practicum experience provides an introduction to the field of counseling, allowing you to practice working with clients under supervision. Our faculty provides training to your on-site supervisors so that they are well equipped to support you as you begin your work. Your two internships, totaling 600 hours, provide in-depth counseling experience with on-site, faculty, and peer supervision.

Required Curriculum (60 credits)

The courses build upon one another from year to year. Year 1 courses are to be taken prior to beginning Year 2 courses, all Year 1 and 2 coursework must be completed prior to Year 3 and beginning Practicum.

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Semester 1
COUN 618 Professional Orientation and Ethical Issues (3)
GEN 503 Interpersonal Relations (3)
GEN 501 Human Development (3)
Semester 1
COUN 604 Group Counseling (3)
COUN 614 Substance Abuse Education (3)
COUN 641 Assessment for Counselors (3)
Semester 1
COUN 691 Practicum in Counseling (3)
Elective (3)
Semester 2
COUN 640 Diversity Counseling (3)
COUN 601 Counseling Skills and Techniques (3)
COUN 600 Research & Program Evaluation (3)
Semester 2
COUN 606 Family Counseling (3)
COUN 630 Crisis Intervention and Trauma (3)
Elective (3)
Semester 2
COUN 692 Internship in Counseling I (3)
Semester 3
COUN 602 Theories of Counseling (3)
COUN 608 Psychopathology (3)
Semester 3
COUN 609 Career Counseling (3)
Elective (3)
Semester 3
COUN 693 Internship in Counseling II (3)
COUN 599 Comprehensive Examination (0)

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to complete the master’s degree in CMHC?

  • Our CMHC master’s degree is a 60-credit CACREP accredited program. Most students take three classes (9 credits) per semester for a full-time status and to receive financial aid. Depending upon the students’ commitments beyond the program (i.e., family, work), some students choose to take two classes (6 credits) per semester, which qualifies for part-time financial aid. The program will generally take three years to complete, which is dependent upon student course load and life obligations and commitments. The program courses are rigorous and faculty do not encourage students to take more than three classes per semester.

Can I work while I am in the program?

  • Generally speaking, most students work part or full-time while in the program. Classes are offered at 4:30 pm – 7:10 pm, as well as from 7:20 pm – 10:00 pm. Course schedules are designed to support students working.

Are classes offered online?

  • Our program offers classes on campus in a classroom format. Immaculata University offers two GEN courses, required within the CMHC program curriculum, that can either be taken on-line or on campus.

How many students are in a class?

  • Immaculata University prides itself on a smaller class size to support our student-focused approach to teaching. Classes other than Practicum will have a minimum of 10 students per class. Typically, class size ranges from 10-22, with Practicum and Internship being the exception. The CMHC program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and requires a student to faculty ratio of 6:1, while Internship student-faculty ratio is 12:1.

Can you tell me about the Practicum and Internship experiences?

  • Practicum and Internship occur in your last year in the program. Practicum is considered a ‘gradual entry’ into the profession. Students complete at least 100- hours at their chosen site. Typically, students are on-site at least 10 hours/week where they focus on the application of counseling skills with actual clients. Internship I and II are each 300-hour experiences. Practicum and Internship typically occur at the same setting. Students will spend approximately 22-25 hours/week at their Internship setting.

What else should I know about your program?

  • The CMHC program holds required events throughout the program to orient and support our students. We require all new students to attend the New Student Orientation, which is held on the first Monday of the fall and spring semesters. The orientation provides an overview of the program, course planning, discussion of the National Counselor Examination and state licensure, Practicum and Internship, the national counseling honor society (Chi Sigma Iota) as well as an opportunity to meet your assigned academic advisor in a small group setting.
  • Practicum Tips is offered every fall and spring semester on a Monday night. This event is primarily a student-mentoring experience where Internship students serve on a panel to share their experiences and tips for finding the right setting for you. Panelists are reflective of various professional interests to include, but not limited to: working with children and adolescents; substance abuse settings; outpatient mental health settings. We have had panelists who have also worked in alternative school settings, juvenile detention facilities, and geriatrics, to name a few. Students attending the event have the opportunity to engage in small group discussion with a panel member to deepen the conversation, ask additional questions, and begin networking with one another.
  • All CMHC faculty hold doctoral degrees in Counselor Education and Supervision from CACREP programs. We were taught how to teach students to become professional counselors as well as how to supervise student-counselors. We all hold a professional identity as Counselors, and therefore infuse our counselor identity and experiences into the classroom, and in our supervision of your counseling development.

 

Inside the classroom, my professors and colleagues distributed academic knowledge, transferred counseling skills and techniques, and provided challenges that supported personal and professional growth. Outside of the classroom, my professors and colleagues welcomed me to a professional network, which provides connections to professional growth through consultation, conferences, and continuing education experiences.

Angel Myers, ’18 M.A., NCC

Outpatient Counselor, Child Guidance Resource Centers

Just the facts

95%

LPC Exam Pass Rate

100%

NCE Pass Rate (Fall ’17)

700

Hours of hands-on counseling experience

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