Jul 17, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, C.A.S.

Certificate of Advanced Study
Curriculum 0909 Requirements

Counselor Education Department  

Certificate of Advanced Study (C.A.S.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The Certificate of Advanced Study (C.A.S.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 24 credit hour program that prepares persons for work in a broad range of positions calling for counseling expertise in private and public agencies. It is designed as a bridge program. Therefore it provides students who already hold a master’s degree in a related counseling area (e.g. school counseling, student affairs and higher education, substance abuse counseling) with the opportunity to become eligible for licensure as clinical mental health counselors in the State of New York. This program is not open to holders of the master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Requirements of the Program

The Certificate of Advanced Study program will typically consist of 24 credit hours of graduate level course work and internship, as illustrated under Course Requirements below. The length of the program is determined by the number of curriculum deficiencies noted in the department faculty’s assessment of each applicant’s previous program. Review of applicants’ transcripts by program faculty will determine the particular courses that each student will need to complete. This approach allows the certificate program to be flexible in meeting student needs while at the same time assuring both the student and the Office of the Professions that the recipient of the advanced certificate has met all licensure requirements.

The State of New York Office of the Professions identifies the following competencies as necessary for mental health licensure:

  1. human growth and development
  2. social and cultural foundations of counseling
  3. counseling theory and practice
  4. group dynamics
  5. lifestyle and career development
  6. professional orientation and ethics
  7. clinical instruction
  8. assessment and appraisal of individuals, couples, families and groups
  9. research and program evaluation
  10. psychopathology
  11. foundations of mental health counseling and consultation
  12. a clinical mental health internship of a minimum 600 hours

Typically, graduates of 48-60 credit hour counseling programs have fulfilled requirements 1 through 9 in their initial master’s degree work. For the C.A.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at SUNY Plattsburgh, a review of each applicant’s course syllabi and course descriptions (conducted by department faculty) will establish if each specific requirement has been met. If a curriculum criterion has not been met it can be remediated by completion of one of SUNY Plattsburgh’s core courses. For example, the curriculum requirement that each SUNY Plattsburgh core course fulfills is noted below:


Requirements 10-12 above are specific to the clinical mental health field. They are addressed through completion of the following courses which make up the curriculum for SUNY Plattsburgh’s 24 credit hour Certificate of Advanced Study in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Total Credit Hours 24

Admission Requirements

If students have completed a master’s degree in a related counseling discipline (e.g., school counseling, community counseling or student affairs and higher education), either from SUNY Plattsburgh or another institution, they may petition through the Graduate Admissions Office for acceptance into the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Certificate of Advanced Study (C.A.S) program. Upon acceptance, a course of study will be determined by the counselor education faculty, and the C.A.S. will be awarded when all the requisite courses and an appropriate internship are successfully completed.

Applications for spring matriculation are due by October 15th of each year. Applications for fall matriculation are due by February 1st. Admission requirements include:

  • Completed Application for Certificate Programs, including the 3-page application, a resumé, and a 2-4 page personal statement.
  • Copies of all licenses and certificates related to counseling, if applicable.
  • A master’s degree from an accredited higher education institution, as evidenced by an official transcript in a sealed envelope. The master’s must be in a counseling related field, but cannot be in Mental Health Counseling. Your master’s degree should have been completed within the past 10 years. Contact Dr. Burnell if you have questions.
  • A minimum graduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale.
  • Three letters of reference, indicating the candidate’s ability and suitability to pursue graduate studies in counseling. The letters should be from former faculty, supervisors, and employers from positions related to your counseling experience.
  • An interview may be requested.
  • You may be required to complete more than 24 credit hours, based on a review of your transcripts by the departmental faculty.