This respecialization certificate prepares students who already have a master's degree in School Counseling for work as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor and is designed to satisfy the curricular requirements for the Connecticut Department of Public Health Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPCA) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The certificate includes 20 credits of required coursework – 12 credits of course content and 8 credits of fieldwork. Candidates are required to complete a two semester 600-hour supervised internship placement within a clinical mental health counseling setting.
Candidates for this certificate program must hold a master's degree in School Counseling. In addition, candidates must complete prerequisite courses in psychology and have a course related to the treatment of substance abuse. No comprehensive exam or thesis is required.
Each student is responsible for understanding the Connecticut State Department of Public Health licensure requirements, as described on their website. Further, students seeking board certification by the National Board of Certified Counselors are responsible for understanding requirements for this optional certification.
A criminal record is a required component of Licensure as a Professional Counselor. Additionally, some sites require fingerprinting and a criminal check when working vulnerable populations, such as children or prisoners.
Admissions Criteria for Post-Master's Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Candidates for the program are evaluated on the following criteria:
- Applicants should have a strong academic background and/or potential, as evidenced by a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. For applicants with undergraduate GPAs between 2.5 and 3.0, GPA Waivers may be possible under certain circumstances, with program faculty and university approval. For information on how to increase your undergraduate GPA to above a 2.5, you can use a GPA calculator to identify how many courses you would need to improve your GPA.
- Applicants must have a Master’s Degree in School Counseling.
- Applicants should have should be strongly recommended by 2 individuals who have known them in a professional and/or academic setting and can speak to their potential as a graduate student and clinical mental health counselor, including an assessment of their interpersonal skills and commitment to diversity. At least one recommendation must be from an academic reference (e.g., professor).
- Applicants should submit a clear, well-written 500-word essay describing the basis of their interest in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at SCSU.
- Applicants should have some experience, either volunteer or professional, in a helping role, as demonstrated on their resume.
- Applicants should illustrate potential as a counselor, interpersonal skills, and knowledge of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling field within an admissions interview, if invited.
In order to be considered for admission to the program the following fall, all admissions materials must be received by January 15. In order to be considered for admission to the program in the following spring, all admission materials must be received by September 1.
For further information: CMHCGrad@southernct.edu.
Please note, this certificate program is not accredited by CACREP.