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LHU’s clinical mental health counseling program named in the top 20 in the nation and adds new certificate programs


The clinical mental health counseling (CMHC) program at Lock Haven University recently was recognized by Human Services Edu as one of the top 20 programs in the U.S. for 2019-20.

Human Services Edu identified the top 20 programs in the country that have the highest proportion of online courses and the finest academic quality. LHU ranked ninth on the list.

The clinical mental health counseling program at LHU is a CACREP accredited 100 percent online program that provides quality education, low faculty-to-student ratios and meets the educational requirements for many states’ licensing boards. Since the time of the program’s inception in fall 2012, it has grown to more than 120 students. 

Dr. Kristin Vincenzes, the program director, attributes the program’s tremendous success to a team effort from the faculty, administration, staff, students, alumni and community partners that support the program. “The program’s mission seeks to equip students with the skills to meet the ever-changing and demanding mental health needs of our nation while also teaching students the vitality of one’s own wellness,” Vincenzes said.

“The recognition of clinical mental health counseling at Lock Haven University as one of the top national programs demonstrates the success that any university can have when its resources are geared towards innovation and excellence,” said Dr. John Nauright, dean of the Stephen Poorman College of Business, Information Systems and Human Services. “The CMHC program at Lock Haven attracts students from around the country and placement of our online faculty in New Mexico, Colorado and Illinois in addition to Central Pennsylvania has expanded our ability to serve our students and provide quality clinical placements nationally. Dr. Vincenzes and her team continue to inspire students and colleagues with their passion, professionalism and proven results.”

In addition, two new certificate programs recently were added to the clinical mental health counseling program this spring semester with students currently enrolled. The programs are foundations of trauma-informed care, for six credits, and trauma-informed counseling, for 12 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, and others. The trauma-informed counseling certificate builds off the first certificate and includes two more courses specifically geared toward mental health workers as it focuses specifically on counseling techniques with grief and loss, as well as advanced trauma techniques. 

“Trauma is a global issue. The foundations of trauma-informed care will support individuals’ understanding of the impacts of trauma and creating a system that understands these impacts,” Vincenzes said. “Trauma-informed counseling will benefit current CMHC students, alumni and community therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers as they work with survivors of traumatic experiences. Students who take these certificates will not only be able to help the individuals who survived the trauma but also support a systematic change enhancing the understanding of trauma.”

For more information about the clinical mental health counseling program at LHU, visit

For more information on Lock Haven University, visit, email, or call 570-484-2011. 

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Lock Haven University’s main campus is located on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in the scenic mountains of Pennsylvania. The university offers 49 undergraduate majors and certifications with 47 minors and five graduate programs.

LHU is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System, the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas of study. Nearly 520,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.

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Executive Director of Strategic Communications

Elizabeth Arnold
213 Durrwachter Alumni Conference Center
(570) 484-2293

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