Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
The MS in Mental Health Counseling is designed to train a diverse body of service-oriented graduate students (largely from New Jersey and nearby areas) to be practitioners, leaders, and advocates in the field of mental health counseling. The faculty are committed to graduating students who have exemplary theory-based knowledge and skills in counseling and who have demonstrated competence in providing counseling services to people from diverse populations. The department's goal is to offer a program of study that seeks to stay consistent with the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards, as well as the academic and skill requirements of state licensing and national certification for counseling.
The MS program is intended for students seeking licensure as Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) in New Jersey. It is the first mental health counseling program in the state to be accredited by CACREP. Accreditation is a significant consideration for the New Jersey State Board of Examiners for LPC licensure.
If desired, students can also later pursue a doctorate in counselor education.
The MS program offers a curriculum that explores foundations of counseling procedures, intervention skills, assessment methods, and quantitative skills necessary to read relevant research findings. The program allows students to enhance their skills with field experiences, which can include counseling actual clients at University-approved sites.
Students are required to take 60 credits: 42 credits of core courses, 9 credits of elective courses, and 9 credits of clinical placements (1 practicum, 2 internships). They must also complete a comprehensive examination. It is possible for students to complete the MS program in six terms (two years, including summers).
In order to advance through the program, PC 505 Mental Health Counseling must be taken during the first term of study. From the 9 credits of elective courses, students can pursue specialty areas and further enhance their counseling experience.
The curriculum covers the nine core areas required for LPC licensure in New Jersey. This program is also an especially good option for those who may move to another state and seek LPC licensure. Because the licensing board is the final arbiter of your eligibility of licensure, each student must verify with the board that his/her studies are acceptable for licensure. All students in the program are assigned an academic advisor who will guide them in the licensure process.
Last year, there were 92 graduates of Monmouth University's Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Our graduates consistently achieve high pass rates on licensing examinations. The pass rate for graduates taking the NCE examination was 96%. Of the admitted students, 90% graduate from the program in the expected time period and 85% of those program graduates responding to surveys who are actively seeking jobs are employed.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job prospects for counselors are well above average, with the field expected to grow 21% between now and 2018. Those with a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling are well poised to take advantage of the expected boom.
The curriculum prepares graduates to be professional practitioners in a variety of community settings and institutions: