Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master of Arts

Objectives

The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is designed for those who are seeking to develop or refine job-related psychological skills and knowledge. There are two concentrations within the program. The first, the Adult Clinical Mental Health Counseling Concentration, is a traditional counseling degree, preparing students for work in the mental health field with adult populations. The second, the Child and Adolescent Clinical Mental Health Counseling Concentration, is designed to train students to provide counseling services to children, adolescents, and families in both public and private settings. Both concentrations apply theory and research to practical problems of human adjustment and development. Goals for the program follow the recommendations of the American Counseling Association and meet the State of Illinois requirements so that students can sit for counseling licensing exams. The program goals are to:

  • Provide a knowledge base in relevant areas of psychology and counseling, including personality, psychopathology, therapy, multicultural issues, and evaluation and assessment.
  • Expand student skills in interviewing, assessment and techniques of therapy.
  • Create student understanding of client uniqueness, multicultural sensitivity, and student attitudes of flexibility in their work with clients.
  • Endorse student development of appropriate ethics and professional identification.

Admission Standards

Admission to the graduate program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is based on academic and personal qualifications of the applicant. It is made without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, irrelevant handicap, national or ethnic origin, or disability.

All students must present evidence of a baccalaureate degree awarded by a regionally accredited institution of higher education and a completed application which includes a personal statement of professional goals. Because this program is directed toward adults, it is expected that personal maturity and experience are prime indicators of success in the program. Although the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program does not require a criminal background check, applicants should be aware that many internship sites and potential employers will. There are three enrollment categories for students in the program: full, provisional, and at-large.

Full Admission

Students in this category have:

  1. Completed at least 15 hours of psychology, including a course in statistics or research methods.
  2. Submitted a completed application with an accompanying personal statement, which serves as a writing sample.
  3. Submitted two letters of recommendation from professors, employers or supervisors.
  4. Submitted an official transcript of all academic work previously attempted or completed. An applicant’s GPA should equal a 3.0 Grade Point Average on a 4.0 scale.
  5. Certified their proficiency in reading and writing English by achieving a 550 on the TOEFL written exam; 213 on the computerized exam; 79 on the Internet-based exam or IELTS score of 6.0. ELS level 112 completed. Step Eiken (Japan) Pre-1 is also accepted. (Applicable only if student is from a non-English speaking country.)
  6. Received acceptance by the Graduate Council of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Provisional Admission

In select cases, a student who does not meet the requirements for full admission may be granted provisional admission. Students may apply for full admission after resolving the admission deficiencies. If the student must satisfy the psychology course requirements referenced above, those courses must be completed with a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA.) Students may be allowed to take up to 9 graduate credit hours as a provisionally admitted student. The student must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 in these courses.

Student-At-Large Status

A student-at-large is not a degree candidate. However, should a student decide to apply for full admission status at a later time, but within five years of course completion, only 3 courses (9 hours) will be accepted for credit toward the advanced degree. At-large students are allowed to take a maximum of 3 courses with permission from the Program Director.

Transfer Admission Procedures

Students may apply up to 12 semester hours of graduate-level work from other regionally accredited institutions to their program of psychology prior to their acceptance into Lewis Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. A transfer student, whether admitted as full or provisional, will follow the admission criteria described above and below. The following conditions apply to the acceptance of transfer credit:

  1. Only courses with a grade of B or better will be accepted.
  2. Coursework must have been completed at an accredited graduate school.
  3. Appropriateness of coursework will be decided by the Graduate Program Director at the time of the student’s application to the program.
  4. Courses from outside the United States will be considered if they are evaluated as graduate level by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Council on Education.

Transfer of Credit after Matriculation

Students who are already matriculated at Lewis University and wish to transfer in a course must seek written approval from the chairperson or Program Director before the course is attempted. Only courses with a grade of B or better will be accepted. Students may transfer in up to 2 courses.

Course of Study Overview

To obtain a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, students must specialize in one of two concentrations. Concentration A, Adult Clinical Mental Health Counseling, offers a traditional counseling curriculum designed to prepare the student to work in a wide variety of mental health settings. Concentration B, Child and Adolescent Clinical Mental Health Counseling, offers a counseling curriculum designed to prepare students to work with children, adolescents, and families in both public and private settings.

Course Formats and Credit

Courses are offered in the evening and workshops are offered on weekends each semester and summer. The normal load for a full-time graduate student is three courses, or nine semester hours. For those who are working full-time, the normal semester load is two courses, or six semester hours.

Incomplete Grades

Because practicum and internship courses are rarely completed in an academic calendar, Incomplete grades in 26-585 and 26-590 will not turn into the grade of “IF” after the first six weeks of the following semester. Incomplete grades in all other coursework follows the policy explained in the General Information section of this catalog.

 

Grade Point Requirement
Any student admitted to the graduate Clinical Mental Health Counseling program whose GPA falls below 3.0 will automatically be placed on academic probation. If the condition of the probation extends beyond 2 further courses, the student will be dropped from the degree program. Students may continue to take courses under special circumstances at the discretion of the Program Director.

Only grades attained in Lewis University graduate courses will be used in determining the GPA. No more than 2 courses in which a grade of C is earned will count toward degree requirements. A grade of D will not count toward the degree or certification requirements. A 3.0 cumulative GPA is required for graduation.

 

Time Limitations and Resident Requirement
Students must complete all requirements within seven years from the time of completion of the first graduate course at Lewis University.

Enrollment of Undergraduates in Graduate Courses
Registration by undergraduates in graduate courses shall be limited to a maximum of 2 courses. The student must be within 16 credits of completing the bachelor’s degree requirements, have at least a 3.0 GPA, and have the approval of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Graduate Director.

Credit earned in a graduate course may be considered as graduate credit or as undergraduate credit to be counted in the number of credits required for the baccalaureate degree. Credit earned in a graduate course may not be counted toward more than one degree.

Registration for graduate courses will be included in the student’s undergraduate registration form. It should be understood that credit earned in graduate courses completed while an undergraduate will not necessarily be applicable to a graduate degree at Lewis University.

 

Graduation Requirements
The students will be awarded the Master of Arts degree when they have:

  1. Completed at least 60 hours of graduate study as stipulated previously. 
  2. Successfully passed the comprehensive examination. (The comprehensive examination is normally attempted after 48 hours are completed; the comprehensive exam should be attempted in the student’s penultimate semester.)
  3. Assembled materials for a portfolio review consisting of, at a minimum, a supervisor’s clinical assessment, the comprehensive examination, and one case study from practicum or internship.
  4.  A GPA of 3.0 or above.

Concentration A: Adult Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Degree Offered: Master of Arts

Total Credit Hours: 60

Students in Concentration A must complete 57 hours of required core coursework. In addition, students choose 3 elective credit hours.

I. Core Courses (57)

26-505Research in Counseling

3

26-511Individual Appraisal

3

26-512Interviewing Skills

3

26-514Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling

3

26-520Advanced Developmental Psychology

3

26-522Career Development Theory

3

26-541Psychopathology

3

26-552Clinical Psychopharmacology

3

26-553Crisis Intervention and Treatment of Trauma

3

26-565Group Dynamics and Counseling

3

26-567Treatment of Substance Abuse

3

26-573Counseling Theories: I

3

26-577Counseling Theories: II

3

26-575Family Dynamics and Counseling

3

26-578Professional and Ethical Issues in Counseling

3

26-579Multicultural Issues in Counseling

3

26-580Models and Theories of Clinical Supervision in Mental Health

3

26-585Practicum in Counseling

3

26-590Internship in Counseling

3

II. Elective (3)

Three credit hours may be chosen from graduate psychology, education, criminal/ social justice, business, nursing, or leadership courses. Three one-credit workshops may take the place of this elective course.

CONCENTRATION B: Child and Adolescent Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Degree Offered: Master of Arts

Total Credit Hours: 60

Students in Concentration B must complete 57 hours of required core coursework.  In addition, students must choose 3 elective credit hours.

I. Core Courses (57)

26-505Research in Counseling

3

26-512Interviewing Skills

3

26-513Individual Appraisal: Child Emphasis

3

26-514Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling

3

26-520Advanced Developmental Psychology

3

26-522Career Development Theory

3

26-543Psychopathology: Child Emphasis

3

26-552Clinical Psychopharmacology

3

26-553Crisis Intervention and Treatment of Trauma

3

26-565Group Dynamics and Counseling

3

26-567Treatment of Substance Abuse

3

26-573Counseling Theories: I

3

or

26-577Counseling Theories: II

3

26-574Counseling Theories: Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

3

26-575Family Dynamics and Counseling

3

26-578Professional and Ethical Issues in Counseling

3

26-579Multicultural Issues in Counseling

3

26-580Models and Theories of Clinical Supervision in Mental Health

3

26-585Practicum in Counseling

3

26-590Internship in Counseling

3

II. Elective (3)

Three credit hours may be chosen from graduate psychology, education, criminal/social justice, business, nursing, or leadership graduate courses. Three one-credit workshops may take the place of this elective course.