Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Master of Science in Education
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program is a 60 credit program leading to a Master of Science in Education degree. The New York State Department of Education Office of Professions has approved the program as license qualifying and thus it meets the education requirement for Licensed Mental Health Counselor. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program (CMHC) is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. In addition it should be noted that the degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling has been approved by the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) as a qualifying curriculum for the Certified Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor in Training (CASAC-T).
- To teach mental health counselors to assume leadership and advocacy roles in the profession.
- To adhere to CACREP standards.
- To develop caring and competent mental health counselors who can provide efficient mental health services to children, adolescents, adults and families.
- To teach mental health counselors to have knowledge, awareness, and skills related to the counseling needs of culturally diverse clients and communities.
- To educate mental health counselors regarding the etiology, diagnosis, assessment, treatment, and prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders.
- To train mental health counselors to work collaboratively with treatment teams.
- To inspire mental health counseling students to engage in on-going professional development.
- To provide mental health counselors with in-depth knowledge of professional ethics, including and an understanding of ethical issues and applications.
- To encourage mental health counselors to maintain their professional identities by participating in professional organizations (e.g., ACA, AMHCA, etc.), attending conferences, and presenting at conferences.
Please see a list of our Counselor Education faculty.
Admission to the graduate program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling requires:
- A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with Undergraduate scholastic achievement indicating a reasonable assurance of Success in work for an advanced degree. Normally this will be a “B” (3.0) in the general average and in the major field.
- A minimum of 18 credits in behavioral and social sciences that includes a course in statistics and another course in research design. Students who do not fully meet this requirement will need to make up the deficit credits by completing the course work during their first year in the program. These credits are in addition to the usual program requirements.
- Two letters of recommendation from college instructors or field supervisors.
- The interest, ability, and personality to function successfully in the field of mental health counseling.
- Participation in an interview with Counselor Education faculty.
- An additional graduate entrance examination is not required.
How do I apply?
Download the program planning sheet.
48 Credits- Courses with * must be completed before taking field courses. Students taking PSY 627 get to take an extra elective. Students taking PSY 726 must take 727 to complete psychopathology requirement.
- 6121: Orientation to Mntl Hlth Counseling*
- 6205: Group Dynamics*
- 6264: Counseling Skills & Technique*
- 6262: Assessment in Counseling*
- 6651: Foundations MHC & Consult*
- 6206: Psychosocial Development*
- PSY 621: General Psychopatholoy* or
PSY 726: Psych. Across Lifespan 1
- 6301: Career Development*
- 6530: Counseling in Multicultural Settings*
- 6424: Case Studies & Comm. Resources
- 6208: Counseling & Personality Theory*
- 6307: Research in Counseling *
- PSY 727: Psychopathology II or
- 6270: Case Concept, Trt Plan, & Pharm
- 6364: Counseling the Substance Abuser
- PSY 636: Oobj. Personality Assessment.
- 6310: Practicum
- 6311: Internship I
- 6312: Internship II
3 credits- The courses below are a sample of possible elective courses.
- PSY 850: Cognitive Therapies.
- PSY 749: Behavior Therapy
- PSY 631: Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
- PSY 760: Marital & Family Therapy
- PSY 845: Group Therapy
- PSY 838: Addictive Behaviors
- 6125: Brief Therapy Child & Adolescent
Career & Program Outcomes
What is a Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CMHC)?
Students applying to the CMHC program at St. John’s University should recognize that the Mental Health Counseling profession is distinct from other mental health professionals, such as social workers or psychologists. Counselors have a unique counseling identity, specifically,
“Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.” Source: counseling.org
“Clinical mental health counseling is a distinct profession with national standards for education, training and clinical practice. Clinical mental health counselors are highly-skilled professionals who provide flexible, consumer-oriented therapy. They combine traditional psychotherapy with a practical, problem-solving approach that creates a dynamic and efficient path for change and problem resolution.” Source: amhca.org
Job Outlook for Mental Health Counselors
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), the job outlook for mental health counselors is expected to grow 20% from 2014-2024. For more information on the work environment, training, and other components of the job, visit the OOH website: bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mobile/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for Mental Health Counselors in 2015 was $41,880, with a range of $26,300 - $68,790. New York State is one of the top five states with the highest level of employment of Mental Health Counselors in the country, and the New York City metro region offers the highest employment of Mental Health Counselors out of any metropolitan region in the country. For more information on salary, employment, and geographic outcomes for mental health counselors, visit the BLS website: bls.gov/oes/current/oes211014.htm
Mental Health Counseling Licensure in New York
The CMHC program at St. John’s University is approved as a license-qualifying education program for New York. The St. John’s program fulfills the educational coursework required to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in New York state. In order to become fully licensed in New York, applicants must complete three components:
- Education: Obtain a Master’s degree from an approved license-qualifying program, such as St. John’s University,
- Experience: Complete 3,000 hours post-masters in an approved mental health setting under the supervision of a qualified mental health practitioner, and
- Examination: Obtain a passing score on the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE).
Please note that licensing requirements are established by the Office of Professions of New York state and are subject to change per state requirements. For the most up to date information on licensing requirements, visit the Office of Professions website for Mental Health Counseling License Requirements: op.nysed.gov/prof/mhp/mhclic.htm.
Counselor Education Student Outcomes
Students admitted to our Counselor Education programs are highly successful in the classroom. The majority of our students are eligible to join our counseling honor society, indicating that they have an academic GPA of 3.5 or higher (see “Current Students” for more information on our honor society). In recent years, the Counselor Education program has had 100% passing rate on the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE), a national exit exam required for graduation. St. John’s University’s Counselor Education program also participates in the Graduate Student Option for the National Counseling Exam (NCE). Many of our students decide to take this optional national counseling exam offered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). Reports from NBCC indicate that St. John’s students enjoy a nearly 100% passing rate on the exam, which allows them to utilize the title, Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) upon graduation. Several states (although not New York) utilize the NCE as their counseling licensing exam. Thus students who take and pass the NCE while at St. John’s have an opportunity to expand their job and licensure opportunities in other states.
CMHC Alumni Career Outcomes
St. John’s Alumni are reporting successful outcomes in their clinical practice post-graduation. Of CMHC graduates surveyed in 2016, 100% of responses indicated that they began working in the Mental Health Counseling field within one to two months post-graduation, with the majority of respondents indicating that they were hired prior to graduation by their internship site. Alumni report working in a multitude of settings including inpatient settings, outpatient settings, PROS programs, community clinics, university settings, and private practice. A sample of recent CMHC alumni employers include: Northwell-Zucker Hillside, Calvary Hospital, York College, Lutheran Social Services, and New York Psychotherapy and Counseling Center (NYPCC). Additionally, a majority of our CMHC alumni report passing the NCMHCE on their first attempt. More information on our alumni career outcomes can be found in the CMHC Coordinator’s Report as well as out Stakeholder Report.
Approximately every three years, the Counselor Education program surveys our current stakeholders. Stakeholders include current students, site supervisors, alumni, and employers of our alumni. These surveys include evaluation of our students and programs in areas such as clinical competence, cultural awareness, ethics and professionalism, among others. This information is compiled in to our Stakeholders Report, which is made available to the public by clicking on the link above. Information from our Stakeholders Report may also be of interest to perspective students, prospective site supervisors, other Counselor Education programs, and interested individuals.
Current Student and Supervisor Information
Current students are responsible for reviewing the following information.
- Counselor Education Student Handbook: Before beginning your academic program, students must review the Counselor Education Student Handbook. Students will be required to sign a verification document indicating that the handbook was reviewed.
- Clinical Mental Health Practicum and Internship Handbook: Before beginning any field placement course (EDU 6310, EDU 6311, and EDU 6312) students must review the Clinical Mental Health Practicum and Internship Handbook. Students will be required to sign a verification document indicating that the information was reviewed each semester of field placement.
Current Site Supervisors
Thank you for agreeing to host a St. John’s CMHC student at your field placement site, including internship and/or practicum. The student should have provided you with the following items prior to their starting field work.
- Practicum and Internship Site Supervisor Manual: This manual outlines St. John’s University’s protocols and practices regarding supervision in Counselor Education. The manual also provides an overview and training in various types of supervision models.
- Site Supervisor Training for Internship & Practicum Supervisors: This document is a PowerPoint slide show that corresponds to the Practicum and Internship Site Supervisor Manual.
- Site Supervisor Verification form: This form must be completed by the site supervisors for each semester that they host a field placement student. This form verifies that the site supervisor has received the training information outlined in the Practicum and Internship Site Supervisor Manual and Site Supervisor Training for Internship & Practicum Supervisors. Signed verification is required for our CACREP compliance.
Site supervisors may also be interested in reviewing the Stakeholders Report or the CMHC Coordinator’s Report for information on program and alumni outcomes.
Sigma Tau Upsilon Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, Counseling Honor Society
St. John’s University’s Counselor Education program hosts a vibrant and active chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, a national counseling honor society. Our university chapter is the Sigma Tau Upsilon Chapter. Information on CSI events is posted on the CSI bulletin board next to the elevator on the G Level of Sullivan Hall. Information and events can also be found on our Sigma Tau Upsilon Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota social media sites including a LinkedIn© page, Facebook© group, and Instagram© account. For more information, contact the CSI chapter advisor, Dr. Robertson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Events and Activities
St. John’s University’s Counselor Education program hosts in a variety of events throughout the academic year, including social events, professional development events, advocacy events, and CSI events. Examples of student events during the last year include: hosting a Crisis Intervention workshop on campus, hosting a Substance Abuse in Adolescence workshop in conjunction with the American Counseling Association of New York (ACA-NY), attending state counseling conferences with faculty including the New York Mental Health Counselors Association (NYMHCA) and the New York State School Counselors Association Conference (NYSSCA), walking in the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) NYC Metro Walk, as well as the Overnight Walk for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Other events included bake sales, t-shirt sales, end of the year socials, and comprehensive examination preparation workshops with alumni involvement. For information on Counselor Education program events, see the bulletin boards on the Ground Level of Sullivan Hall, including the CSI board, the School Counseling board, and the Mental Health Counseling board. Information is also disseminated via faculty to their classes, posted in Sullivan G-6 and Sullivan G-9, as well as on the Sigma Tau Upsilon Chi Sigma Iota Chapter’s social media pages.