cmhc

Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling

LHU’s 100% online CACREP accredited Clinical Mental Health Counseling program will enable you to become license-eligible for the counseling profession in many states throughout the country. The program’s primary goal is to prepare you to function independently and successfully as a clinical mental health counselor in a variety of professional settings.

Kristin Vincenzes 

PROGRAM Director

Kristin A. Vincenzes, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, ACS

117 Akeley Hall, Lock Haven University
(570) 484-2473
kav813@lockhaven.edu 

 


100% Online Delivery - CACREP Accredited

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Program Overview

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PROGRAM MISSION

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) Program is consistent with the mission and strategic plans of Lock Haven University (LHU) and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). Through the use of synchronous and asynchronous modalities, the CMHC Program follows the ACA Code of Ethics (2014) and promotes students’ educational, professional, and personal development by supporting their overall wellness and encouraging a lifelong journey of professional learning and self-reflection.

Program Overview

The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) is an online, CACREP accredited 60 credit degree program that is designed to be consistent with the requirements for licensure as a professional counselor in Pennsylvania (049 PA Code § 49.13). The program’s online, year-round (fall, spring, summer) web-based delivery enables working adults the flexibility to progress through the program on a part-time or full-time basis, at a reasonable pace, without interrupting their career.

Upon graduation from the program, you will have completed the educational requirements for licensure and be ready to fulfill the remainder of the Pennsylvania state requirements for licensure as a professional counselor. The program is consistent with other state licensure codes and a non-Pennsylvania student may be license eligible in another state as a counselor.  In addition, upon successful completion of the program and passing the National Counselor Examination, you will be able to submit your final transcript to NBCC and receive your National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential.

WHY CLINICAL MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING?

  • Help people manage and overcome mental and emotional disorders and problems with their family and other relationships
  • Help clients understand their problems and develop strategies to improve their lives
  • The need for mental health counselors is projected to grow 20 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.  (Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition)

WHY OUR PROGRAM?

  • Accredited by CACREP
  • The only public university in Pennsylvania to offer an online CMHC program
  • Have the opportunity to be a national certified counselor (NCC) upon successful completion of the program and passing the National Counselor Examination
  • No campus visits or residencies
  • Synchronous technology promotes the best of both worlds (flexibility for working professionals and/or families and real-time interactions and collaboration with faculty and peers)
Core Curriculum

Core Curriculum

The program consists of 60 credits total. 51 of those credits are common core courses related to counseling, assessment, differential diagnosis, and ethics. Topics covered include:

  • Professional Orientation to Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Theories and Models of Counseling Across the Lifespan
  • Research and Program Evaluation
  • Individual, Family, Couples, and Group Counseling
  • Assessment, Differential Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
  • Addiction Counseling
  • Ethical, Legal and Professional Issues in Counseling

In addition to the common core credits, nine credits are required in one of three specialization areas.

View full CLINICAL MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING curriculum
Specialty Tracks

Counseling Military/Veterans and their Families

Topics covered include:

  • Trauma and Crisis Counseling
  • Issues Facing Military Veterans
  • Reintegration and Recovery for Veterans and their Families 

VIEW FULL CLINICAL MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING CURRICULUM

COUNSELING CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

Topics covered include:

  • Trauma and Crisis Counseling
  • Children and Adolescent Counseling
  • Creative Therapies for Children and Adolescents

VIEW FULL CLINICAL MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING CURRICULUM

GENERAL CLINICAL MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING

Topics covered include:

  • Trauma and Crisis Counseling
  • One course from Military/Veteran Specialization
  • One course from Children/Adolescent Specialization

VIEW FULL CLINICAL MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING CURRICULUM

Graduate Certificates

All graduate certificates are 100% online and offered every summer.

 

FOUNDATIONS OF TRAUMA-INFORMED CARE CERTIFICATE (6 CREDITS)

The foundations of trauma-informed care certificate is geared toward anyone in the human services field that may work with or around trauma. This includes, but is not limited to: ER personnel, doctors, nurses, first responders, police, case managers, child and youth workers, counselors, educators, individuals working in the criminal justice system, and many others. Students will comprehend the history of trauma theory to include various types of trauma that may impact an individual and the trauma-informed care model.  Furthermore, students will conceptualize trauma and crisis situations to include assessment procedures, crisis interventions, trauma-informed, and community-based strategies such as Psychological First Aid. 

Certificate Courses Include:

  • CMHC670 Trauma and crisis counseling
  • CMHC671 Foundations of trauma-informed care

TRAUMA-INFORMED COUNSELING CERTIFICATE (12 CREDITS)

The trauma-informed counseling certificate builds off the first certificate and includes two more courses specifically geared toward mental health therapists as it focuses specifically on therapeutic techniques.  The program will include:  a history on trauma informed care to include death and dying issues, assessments, diagnoses, evidence-based treatment strategies for trauma-informed care, crisis intervention and grief counseling, and self-care for mental health professionals working with trauma.   

Certificate Courses Include:

  • CMHC670 Trauma and crisis counseling
  • CMHC671 Foundations of trauma-informed care
  • CMHC672 Grief and loss counseling
  • CMHC673 Advanced interventions in trauma-informed counseling

MILITARY RESILIENCE AND TRAUMA COUNSELING CERTIFICATE (9 CREDITS)

The purpose of the Military Resilience and Trauma Certificate Program is to expand professionals’ knowledge and training to work with military clients and their families. This program will focus on both the resilience and trauma that military families may experience.

Certificate Courses Include:

  • CMHC670 Trauma and crisis counseling
  • CMHC675 Issues facing military Veterans
  • CMHC680 Reintegration and Recovery for Veterans and their Families

ENROLL NOW

Application Process and Deadlines

 APPLICATION PROCESS AND DEADLINES

Applications are currently being accepted for the spring and fall 2021 cohorts. Completed applicants that meet minimum requirements will be interviewed on a rolling basis until the cohort is full.

To complete the application process, students must submit:

    1. Online application
    2. Official college transcripts (3.0 GPA or higher)*
    3. Three letters of recommendation that include the following:
      (a) Letters must be professional and diverse (please include letters from individuals who can attest to your professional and educational experience)
      (b) Letters need to be personal to the candidate and our program.
      (c) Letters must discuss the applicant's inter and intra personal skills.
      (d) Letter must discuss the applicant's aptitude for success in an online graduate program.
    4. Statement of professional goals
      (a) Describe your preparation for graduate school work (education, work and/or volunteer experience)
      (b) Your professional career goals.
      (c) How this graduate program will help you meet your goals.
    5. Successful completion of a faculty and group interview

      *Applicants with a cumulative GPA between 2.75-2.99 will be offered an interview and considered for probational acceptance.  Applicants with a GPA below a 2.75 may be considered for an interview following the submission of a letter to the program director, Dr. Vincenzes  (KAV813@lockhaven.edu). This letter will be reviewed by the admissions committee to determine if an interview will be granted.  The letter must discuss all of the following: a. What happened in your undergraduate experience that led to the low GPA? b. What have you learned about yourself with regards to your needs as a student? c. What specific plan do you  have in place to make sure you will be successful in the graduate program? (include specific supports) and d. What have you done in the mental health field since graduating from your undergraduate institution?   Note: All students accepted with an undergraduate GPA less than 3.0 will begin the program on probational acceptance.  This means that students will start part-time and must earn a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all courses for the first 9 credits before they can be full-time.

All application materials must be submitted to:

Lock Haven University- Office of Admissions
Lock Haven, PA  17745
gradadmissions@LockHaven.edu

For additional information, please contact Dr. Kristin Vincenzes at kav813@lockhaven.edu

 Tuition

 THE RIGHT VALUE

We are an affordable, quality educational institution that offers low faculty to student ratios.  Being part of the Pennsylvania State System allows us to charge lower tuition than private schools, while still providing a quality educational experience.  

GRADUATE COST & TUITION

Program Highlights
  • 100% Online Delivery: LHU’s distance instructional methods are designed to maintain a personal, one-to-one mentoring and supervisory relationship with degree candidates while making it possible to create active and engaged learning communities. No campus visits or on-campus residencies are required. The coursework is completed via a blended format of virtual synchronous technology and asynchronous instruction. 
  • Professional Preparation: The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) is an online, 60 credit degree program designed to be consistent with the educational requirements for licensure as a professional counselor in Pennsylvania. In addition, students will have the opportunity to take the National Counselor Examination during their internship experience.  Once the student passes the NCE, they can apply for their National Certified Counselor credential.  If seeking licensure, additional supervised hours will be required post-graduation and is not connected to the program.  If you will be seeking licensure outside Pennsylvania, you will want to contact your state licensing board for requirements. Find your state requirements here.
  • Practicum & Internships: As part of this program you will complete nine credits of practicum and internship experience. Practicum will consist of 100 hours onsite and internship will consist of 600 hours onsite.  These requirements will be completed in your local area with face-to-face supervision in a site approved by university faculty. You will be responsible for identifying an approved site but the program does provide an on-going list of approved sites to help you in finding one that will meet your interests as well as the program requirements.  The practicum and internship coordinator, Dr. Weaver, also works with students to identify and solidify an approved site and site supervisor.  
  • Transfer Students:  The CMHC program welcomes students interested in transferring to LHU.  Students can transfer up to 12 credits (4 courses) into the program. Transfer courses must have earned a B or higher and be from a CACREP accredited program.  Eligible courses for transfer will be formally reviewed by faculty prior to approval.        
  • Licensure Track:  The CMHC program also welcomes individuals interested in taking additional courses to apply for their state license or for continuing education.  Individuals interested in doing this need to have successfully completed a Masters degree in counseling with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.     
  • Certificates: The CMHC program now offers two certificates focusing on trauma and one certificate focusing on military resilience and trauma.  The first certificate, Foundations of Trauma-Informed Care, is geared towards anyone in the human services field (ie: first responders, healthcare personnel, educators, social services, etc.) who would like to be more trauma-informed as they work with children, adolescents, families, and communities.  The second certificate, Trauma-Informed Counseling, is for mental health therapists who have experience and knowledge working in the mental health field (to include masters level mental health counseling students in practicum and/or internship). This certificate builds off the first two courses in the foundations certificate. It includes two more courses on grief and loss counseling as well as advanced therapeutic interventions for working with survivors of trauma.  The third certificate, Military Resilience and Trauma Counseling, is for any individual who wishes to work with Military Veterans and their families.  This certificate includes three courses on crisis and trauma, issues facing military Veterans, and reintergration and recovery for Veterans and their families. 
  • Scholarly Activity Mentoring:  Students are offered opportunities to be active in faculty research, presentations, and publications.
  • Careers: As a graduate of LHU’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program you will be equipped to provide therapeutic interventions to a diverse population across the spectrum of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral disorders. You will be able to work in a variety of settings such as:
    • Mental Health Agencies
    • Rehabilitation Centers
    • Prisons
    • Private Practice
    • Veterans Outreach Sites
    • Hospitals
Testimonials
“My experience having a LHU student under my supervision is positive. She has incredible knowledge of the helping profession, is responsible and dedicated, and consistently demonstrates preparedness as she enters the field. Her level of preparedness has opened doors to other students in the future. She represents the quality of training received at the Masters level counseling program at LHU. She entered practicum with knowledge of intake, assessment, and professional ethics; she has demonstrated the ability to apply theory and counseling modalities with real cases; skills that facilitated delivery of service. LHU has prepared students well on technology, which has facilitated a smooth transition to telehealth services.” -Dr. Sanchez (Site Supervisor), CONCERN Counseling Services, Bethlehem, PA
 
“Having Erin as our intern has been a great experience for our program, and my director said I can take as many LHU interns as I want after this experience! It was really nice to be able to earn CE's [free from LHU's CMHC program] prior to Erin starting, and the requirements and expectations were very clear and easy to understand and follow. Our student was motivated and willing to participate and gain experience in every aspect of the program and was great to work with, for both staff and clients. My staff actually forgot she was our intern at one point and said they just viewed her as part of our team. It was nice to have the bi-weekly check-ins from faculty (even though we never had anything but great things to report!) and all of the paperwork required from site supervisors was straightforward and easy to complete and submit. Our program has definitely had a very positive experience.” -Lauren Williams (Site Supervisor), Glade Run Lutheran Services, Zelienople, PA
 

“Lock Haven University's Clinical Mental Health Program is very unique, as it is web based only program, yet manages to be more personal than a face to face University. With the incorporation of regular time in the zoom classroom for each course, you will quickly get to know your Professors and they will get to know you. Teachers will learn your strengths and your areas with need of improvement, which aids your development and personal growth. Teachers are always available to help you succeed in the program and are always willing to meet via zoom to go over questions. The program is CACREP accredited and lays the groundwork for a successful career in the field of Mental Health. I am happy I choose LHU and am truly grateful for this amazing learning experience, for all the professional relationships I was able to develop, and for all the trust from fellow students and teachers. If you are looking into CMHC programs, join the Lock Haven CMHC family, don't be a nameless face or number, join this unique and personal program and enjoy your learning experience." -Stefanie Juten, Current Student

 

“My name is Ian MacGregor and I’m a second-year student in the CMHC Program at Lock Haven University. There are a variety of reasons why this Masters in Counseling program ended up on the top of my list. First, this program is CACREP accredited. Next, this is one of the few programs in the United States that offers a specialty track focusing on military servicemembers and veterans. Finally, LHU offers something I was unwilling to negotiate on...a 100% completely online format. As of today, there are 788 CACREP accredited Masters in Counseling Programs in the U.S., of which, very few are wholly online. Lock Haven University has the only fully online Masters in Counseling Program in Pennsylvania. The online format of this program gives me the freedom and flexibility I desire to complete my graduate degree. With this fully online platform, I have submitted coursework from 5 different time zones, both domestically and abroad. During the COVID global health pandemic where every school in the U.S. closed or moved online, I incurred not a single setback, delay, or adjustment. I am fully in control of my learning experience and get my schoolwork done when and where I choose. Our program makes every effort to connect students with each other and with faculty through live video meetings, recorded video demonstrations, message boards, discussion posts, peer mentoring, and a CMHC club. Since being at LHU, I have collaborated with my professors on professional conference material, research papers, and publication opportunities. I am incredibly fortunate for this opportunity to study in the CMHC Program at LHU. I feel strongly that I have been given everything I need to succeed and thrive in this program and beyond.” -Ian MacGregor, Current Student

Jason Kuna, Current Student - Video Testimonial

Nikole Klatka, Current Student - Video Testimonial

"LHU’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program provided me with a unique and comprehensive graduate experience.  I was able to connect with peers both professionally and personally.  The program ensured that learning content not only met our academic needs but enriched our experience.  The hands on nature of instruction and use of innovative technology left me well prepared to support clients in any environment.  I use the skills I learned in the program on a daily basis in working towards supporting others in leading their best lives.  Having worked with other from different universities and programs, I would place this one among the best!" - Emily (Raymond) Burger (Class of 2018), NCC, Director of Behavior Supports at Skills of Central PA Inc.
 

"I loved being in the CMHC program at LHU! It was easy to be a student, single mom, and keep a job. Professors were (and still are) supportive and kind and have helped me grow in personal and professional ways. I am thankful to have been part of the program and still have the ability to feel comfortable reaching out with questions. I recommend the program to anyone interested in working in mental health counseling; the classes are informative and are imperative while beginning to work in the professional field."  -Katelyn Traxler (Class of 2017) 

"Invaluable, supportive, and flexible are three words that immediately come to mind when I reflect upon my time in the CMHC program at Lock Haven University as well as my journey moving forward. The program granted me the opportunity to receive a quality education while also working full-time and supporting my family. As a student, the professors of the program created an influential experience by displaying, modeling, and relating to me with the exact qualities that I also needed to become a successful counselor; compassion, support, encouragement, and genuine observance of individualized value in others. The CMHC program also assisted in setting up essential practicum and internships that allowed for identification of my niche and paved the way for a fulfilling and successful career." - Breann Cummings (Class of 2016), LPC, Anchored In Hope Counseling Services, LLC  (Class of 2016)

 

 Contact Us!

Graduate Admissions

 
401 N. Fairview Street, Lock Haven, PA
(570) 484-2027

Office Hours

8:00am to 4:00pm Monday-Friday

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