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Columbus State University

Master of Science
Clinical Mental Health Counseling

College of Education and Health Professions

Department of Counseling, Foundations, and Leadership

Program Description

The M.S. program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The 60 semester hour degree program is designed around the eight areas of (1) Human Growth and Development, (2) Social and Cultural Foundations, (3) The Helping Relationship, (4) Group Dynamics and Processes, (5) Lifestyle/Career Development, (6) Appraisal of Individual, (7) Research and Evaluation, and (8) Professional Orientation. Curricular experiences include clinical supervision of a 100 hour practicum and two 300 hour internships in a field of setting.

The M.S. program is designed to prepare persons to function as counselors in a variety of community settings including, but not limited to, mental health centers, community agencies, hospitals, residential treatment centers, corrections or other helping or human service oriented programs.  

A number of counseling courses are moving to an online format. Most courses, however, require an in-class experience.

Career Opportunities

Employment Opportunities for all counselors are expected to grow faster than average until 2010. The need for employment/vocational counselors will continue to grow as the welfare program continues to require beneficiaries to find jobs. There will be a strong demand for counselors in the following specialty areas: substance abuse, behavioral, mental health, marriage and family, and rehabilitation counselors. Employers seem to be providing more EAP (Employee Assistance Programs) programs to employees and their families. The overall growth rates for counselors, social and religious workers is expected to be 18.8% change from 2000-2010. The highest growth rates are expected to be in residential care (70%), health and allied services (58%), and job training and related services (35.4%).

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements:
  • An earned undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
  • A 2.75 (regular admission) or 2.5 (provisional admission) cumulative undergraduate GPA
  • Minimum GRE scores of 143 (141 for provisional) on Verbal, 142 (141 for provisional) on Quantitative, and 3.0 Analytical Writing
  • CSU and departmental applications

Candidates for the program must complete departmental screening that includes an interview process. Departmental screening will be conducted after potential candidates have applied for admission to Columbus State University. Contact the Department of Counseling, Foundations, and Leadership for additional information.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will:
  • Demonstrate foundational knowledge of the role and functions of the professionalmental health counselor regarding theprovision of mental health treatment services.
  • Develop and demonstrate proficiency in mentalhealth counseling, interpersonal relationships, development, prevention andintervention including proficiency in issues of diversity and advocacyand counseling theories andchange strategies.
  • Develop and demonstrate skills in assessment,group therapy, program and clinical evaluation and clinical diagnosis.
  • Develop and demonstrate skills in research andevaluation of counseling services and outcomes.

Additional Program Requirements

Evaluation of the student's performance is continuous and involves consideration of the student's coursework, as well as the student's performance in laboratory, practicum, and internship classes. All of these experiences are considered aspects of the student's academic performance, related to his/her professional development as a counselor. Furthermore, counseling faculty members hold staffing meetings each semester to review students' progress in the program. In order to graduate, students must also complete the required student portfolio assessment and a comprehensive exit exam. A student may be dropped from the program upon the recommendation from program faculty to the Dean of the College of Education and Health Professions or if the welfare of the student's clientele, prospective clientele, or the functioning of a school or agency is, in the judgment of the Counseling faculty, in jeopardy as a result of the student's behavior.