Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.S./C.A.S
Student Affairs and Higher Education, M.S.
Department Chairperson and Graduate Program Coordinator:
Dr. J. Davis, 518-564-4179
Ward Hall, Room 106A
General college requirements and admissions procedures for graduate study must be met and openings in programs must be available. Specific additional provisions require that the applicant:
- Has earned at least 12 credit hours in psychology, human services, education, or closely related areas and completed specific coursework in statistics;
- Presents a Graduate Record Examination or a Miller Analogies Test score which falls in the upper three quartiles of national norms;
- Meets a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.8; and
- Provides evidence through statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and personal interviews of potential for success as a professional counselor.
Monitoring of Student Progress
Upon acceptance into the program, each student is assigned an advisor who guides the student in selecting courses to fit the student’s program. Courses in the counseling programs are planned to give a balanced selection of academic and experiential education and to encourage each student to achieve maximum professional competence.
Academic and professional development evaluations are made of all students each semester to ensure compliance with program standards. If a student’s cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0, or he/ she receives a failing grade in any course, the student may be dismissed from the program or prohibited from completing the clinical aspects of the program until the deficiency is made up. In addition, students who exhibit deficits in counseling performance and/or professionalism, regardless of grade point average, will be identified by the faculty and decisions for action will be specified. These decisions will be communicated to the student by either his or her advisor or the assembled faculty.
A “Handbook for Students and Advisors” is available to matriculated counseling students to explain further the options and procedures within the counseling program.
The entire period of a student’s matriculation in a graduate program is a continual professional development experience. Students are expected to behave during this time in a manner which is consistent with accepted standards of professional and ethical behavior of the department and of the American Counseling Association. Any deviation from these standards will be reviewed by the department for a recommendation of corrective action, including possible dismissal from this college.
Candidates for the M.S., and the C.A.S. must satisfactorily complete a comprehensive assessment. Students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs may use one of the following to show their growth as a counselor: a formative and summative professional portfolio, the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE), written comprehensive essay questions or a thesis/research project paper. Students in the Student Affairs and Higher Education Program may use one of the following to show their growth as a student affairs professional: The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE), written comprehensive essay questions, or a thesis/research project paper.
A counseling practicum in which the counselor candidate is engaged in the provision of supervised counseling to clients is required of all candidates; this experience must total a minimum of 115 clock hours, of which 47 must be in direct counseling services. Also, a six-credit, 600 clock hour internship must be completed prior to graduation. Students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program will complete an additional 300-hour internship, for a total of 900 internship hours. Internship sites are specific to the program in which the student is enrolled. The practicum and internship schedules do not necessarily correspond with the college calendar. As noted above, generally a full-time commitment is required. A grade of B or better is required in the Counseling Relationships and Skills, pre-practicum, practicum, and internship classes. These courses may be repeated.
Approval must be obtained from counseling faculty to enroll in the required practicum and internship courses. The criteria used to evaluate entrance into these courses include performance in the prerequisite courses, responsibility, maturity, and professional behavior.
Students matriculated in the counseling programs who are engaged in the provision of individual or group counseling services, either on campus or off campus, must be supervised by program faculty at all times; this includes obtaining written approval from supervising faculty for any counseling services offered outside of regular practicum or internship coursework. Counseling graduate students are required to carry professional liability insurance through membership in an approved professional association prior to participating in practicum and internship courses.
The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), has conferred accreditation on the Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs (effective 2012-2020). The programs described in this catalog have been revised to remain current with the CACREP standards. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program will undergo the reaccreditation process in 2019-2020. The Student Affairs and Higher Education program follows the competencies outlined by ACPA/NASPA. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program continues to be recognized by the New York Education Department as preparing license eligible graduates.
Counselor candidates at SUNY Plattsburgh are eligible during the last semester of their academic programs to take the National Counselor Examination (NCE) of the National Board for Certified Counselors. Satisfactory completion of this examination and graduation from one of the counseling programs confer certification as a National Certified Counselor. At the time of this publication, many states administer the NCE for licensure purposes.
Additional certifications available to graduates after further supervised work include the Master Addictions Counselor, and Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor, and National Certified School Counselor.
A graduate of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program has satisfied all of the academic requirements for licensure as a mental health counselor in the state of New York. Graduates may apply for a limited permit as the first step toward mental health licensure.