Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Director: Whitney Akers
The Master of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is designed to assist graduate students in the development of competencies necessary for functioning in the role of professional counselor in a variety of settings. The M.A.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling meets the standards established by the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors for Professional Counselor licensure (LPC) and the National Board of Certified Counselors' standards for national certification as a professional counselor (NCC). The program is located in the College of Health Sciences, Department of Counseling, and shares a common core of classes with the Professional School Counseling Program.
The M.A.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is organized into three curriculum components:
- Core counseling courses: Core counseling courses provide a foundation of professional knowledge and skills for all counseling students. Students are required to take and pass a comprehensive examination before beginning CNS 6120, Clinical Mental Health Counseling Internship. The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE) is a standardized counseling exam that assesses student learning in the core areas. Students must submit the application and pay the application fee by the required deadline.
- Specialty area and elective courses: Specialty area and elective courses build on the foundation of knowledge and skills established in the core counseling courses by providing instruction in setting-specific and population-specific counseling practices. Specialty area courses may be taken concurrently with clinical field placement courses. Students consult with their academic advisors to determine the specialty and elective courses that will meet degree requirements and be best suited to the students' needs and interests.
- Clinical field placement courses: Clinical field placement courses integrate the knowledge and skills addressed during academic course work with real world, supervised experience. The clinical field experiences occur in university-approved community agency, mental health clinic, college counseling center, and private practice settings and include on-site supervision and university-based supervision. The Counseling Practicum is a 3-credit-hour course that consists of a 100-hour field placement experience in an approved site and on-campus group supervision and instruction occurring weekly. The Counseling Internship is a 3-credit-hour course completed twice over two semesters and consists of a total of 600 hours of field placement experience, 300 hours per semester in an approved site with on-campus group supervision and instruction occurring weekly. Students must submit applications for participation in the clinical field placement courses during the semester prior to beginning their practicum courses.
Courses are scheduled in the evenings and during the summer months. The courses are delivered in a variety of modalities including online, face-to-face, and hybrid formats. The program is a 60-credit hour degree.
The mission of the Graduate Counseling Programs at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke is to improve mental health and well-being of individuals across the region and beyond through innovative, interdisciplinary, and effective research, service, and teaching that prepares culturally-responsive clinical mental health counselors and professional school counselors.
Program-Specific Admissions Standards (see also Graduate Admissions)
In addition to The Graduate School admissions requirements:
- Submit an essay detailing experiences and goals relevant to professional counseling;
- Submit three letters of recommendation from individuals with whom the applicant has professional affiliation, such as former faculty members or supervisors;
- Submit resume or CV; and
- Participate in an interview with program faculty.
Prospective students interested in registering for coursework to achieve credentialing or for continuing education in either of the graduate counseling programs should contact the Department Chair for information. Requests to take courses for credentialing or continuing education purposes must be made to the Department Chair and will be reviewed by program faculty. Non-degree-seeking students, including graduates of either UNCP counseling program, should complete the Graduate School application form following the procedures for Enrollment for Enrichment Purposes and consult with the Non-Degree-Seeking Student Coordinator (Department Chair) two months prior to the start of the semester in which the students would like to register for courses. Students seeking to enroll in courses for summer and fall semesters should apply by April and students seeking to enroll in courses for spring semesters should apply by October. Students who are permitted to take courses as non-degree-seeking students may be required to attend an orientation session with the Coordinator. Non-degree-seeking students are not permitted to take field placement courses at UNCP in either counseling program.