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Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Virginia Beach, VA

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Degree Overview

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Charlotte Singh | MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling | South University, Savannah 2022
Charlotte Singh | MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling | South University, Savannah 2022

The field of mental health needs compassionate professional counselors to help people through the challenges of life. South University’s Master of the Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program provides the opportunity to learn how to counsel others. The coursework for the master’s degree in counseling program focuses on learning through experience, as well as comprehensive studies of theories and principles, dynamic applications in the field, training in effective assessment and treatment practices, a thorough understanding of the significance of research in the field and competence in ethical, legal, and professional standards.

The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is designed to prepare graduates to sit for licensure in their state and the opportunity to become certified as a National Certified Counselor by the National Board for Certified Counselors*.

* It is up to each student to review the national and state licensure requirements for licensure, as well as the eligibility criteria to sit for licensure exams.  South University cannot guarantee each graduate will pass the required licensure examinations.  Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensing exams and are subject to change without notice to South University.

South University does not promise or guarantee employment.

South University, Richmond, and South University, Virginia Beach, are certified to operate in the Commonwealth of Virginia pursuant to Title 23, Chapter 21.1, §23-276.4 of the Code of Virginia by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (James Monroe Building, 101 North 14th St; Richmond, VA 23219; 804-225-2600; www.schev.edu).

Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

The Master of Arts (MA), Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program at South University is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, 1001 North Fairfax Street, Suite 510, Alexandria, VA 22314, phone (703) 535-5990.)



Admission Requirements

Procedure for Admission to the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program

Admissions criteria for the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program are consistent with those required in other master's degree level programs at South University. As the admissions process also takes into consideration the characteristics deemed essential to becoming a clinical mental health counselor, material is also required which will enable a determination to be made of the applicant's personal integrity, maturity, interpersonal skills, and ability to communicate effectively. The criteria used in determining admission to the graduate program include:

  1. Completion of a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.
  2. A grade point average of at least 2.7 (on an Admissions scale of 4.0) for the last 60 semester hours/90 quarter hours of coursework (including relevant graduate work), or, a bachelor's degree with an overall CGPA of 2.7, or, an earned graduate degree from an accredited institution with a CGPA of 3.0 or higher.
  3. A minimum score on a South University preapproved English language proficiency test is required for all applicants whose "first" language is not English as specified in the English Language Proficiency Policy.
  4. Interview with the Clinical Mental Health Counseling department chair/program director or designated faculty member.
  5. Approval of the campus program admissions committee.
  6. Completion of an application for admission.
  7. Submission of a personal/professional statement addressing the applicant's interest in counseling, professional goals, along with a self-appraisal of academic and professional qualifications.
  8. Submission (within 5 weeks of class start dates) of official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended (refer to Conditional Acceptance).
  9. Current résumé (or career summary).
  10. Background Check

All required admissions documentation and criteria will be reviewed and evaluated. Applicants will be notified regarding acceptance. Applicants should review the published general graduate requirements listed in the South University catalog. Students who are citizens of countries other than the United States should also refer to the section in the South University catalog entitled International Student Admissions Policy.

Provisional Admission
Applicants with an undergraduate degree CGPA of less than a 2.70, but not lower than 2.30, for the last 60 semester hours/90 quarter hours of coursework (including relevant graduate work), or, a bachelor's degree with an overall CGPA of 2.70, but not lower than 2.3, or, an earned graduate degree from an accredited institution with a CGPA of less than 3.00, but not lower than a 2.70, will be considered for provisional admission. Students who do not attain a 3.00 GPA in the first quarter will be dismissed. Students cannot appeal the dismissal from the university as a result of failure to meet the conditions of provisional admission.

The applicant will need to provide evidence of academic and professional potential demonstrated by career and/or personal accomplishments indicated in a personal statement of academic and professional goals, a career resume or curriculum vita, and two letters of academic and/or professional recommendations. The Program Chair in consultation with the Campus Director & Dean of Academic Affairs and Operations and College Dean or designee must approve exceptions. The College Dean serves as the final decision maker. Students are required to complete the provisional admissions form for entry as a provisional admission student.

For additional admissions information please see the admissions section here.

Course Requirements

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program: 91 Credits, 10 quarter program

Curriculum for Columbia; Richmond; Savannah and Virginia Beach campuses only

Quarter 1: 8.5 Credits
Quarter 2: 8.5 Credits
CNS6018 Psychopathology 4.5 Credit Hours
Quarter 3: 9 Credits
Quarter 4: 9 Credits
Quarter 5: 5.5 Credits
CNS6509 Group Dynamics 4.5 Credit Hours
CNS7010 Pre-Practicum IA 1.0 Credit Hours
Quarter 6: 9 Credits
Quarter 7: 9.5 Credits
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program: 91 Credits, 8 quarter program

Curriculum for Columbia; Richmond; Savannah and Virginia Beach campuses only

Quarter 1: 13 Credits
Quarter 2: 13 Credits
Quarter 4: 13.5 Credits
Quarter 7: 12 Credits

Mission, Goals & Outcomes

Offered at Columbia, Richmond, Savannah, and Virginia Beach.

Program Overview

The Master of Arts program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at South University is intended to train professional counselors for evidence-based practice to meet the needs of a diverse population. This program highlights advanced theories, principles, and evidence-based practice within the counseling field. Students cultivate necessary skills for effective assessment and treatment, but also attain competence in navigating ethical, legal, and professional nuances.

The primary goals of the program are as follows:

  1. Equip graduates with the clinical skills and knowledge for contemporary clinical mental health counseling assessment and treatment in a multicultural society.
  1. Develop graduates to be critical thinkers who ground their counseling practice in theory and research related to a variety of clinical issues, populations, settings, and modalities.
  1. Prepare graduates for the integration of technology in contemporary counseling practice and critical/analytical thinking regarding concepts and applications in the field.
  1. Empower graduates to embody a strong professional counseling identity and commitment to ethical practice.

The program is designed to provide an opportunity for its graduates to achieve initial eligibility criteria to become licensed in their state and certified as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). The length of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program varies in accord with the licensing requirements of the states in which the program is offered. As a result, the program may not meet the licensing requirements of all states. The student should contact the licensing board in the state in which they anticipate seeking licensure to determine the appropriate program.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Professional Identity and Ethics: Apply aspects of professional functioning to include ethical standards, legal implications, advocacy and social justice, counselor roles, and professional credentialing.
  2. Social and Cultural Diversity: Demonstrate the ability to apply multicultural research and core theory to issues and relationships in the context of culturally competent counseling.
  3. Human Growth and Development Through the Lifespan: Apply research and core theory to the needs of diverse individuals across the lifespan, to include atypical personality and neurological development, addictive disorders, family and social relationships, and crisis response.
  4. Lifestyle and Career Development: Demonstrate implementation of research and core theory related to the processes of decision-making in career development and planning in the context of the psychology of work.
  5. Counseling and Helping Relationship: Apply the major theories of change, consultation practices, diagnostic impressions, and evidence-based interventions to a diverse clientele for the delivery of effective and ethical treatment.
  6. Group Dynamics and Group Work: Apply culturally appropriate group skills, techniques, and theory-based interventions in the context of group counseling dynamics while exploring effective facilitation styles.
  7. Assessment and Appraisal: Analyze historical and current testing and assessment methods for implementing ethical and accurate appraisal of diverse clients by individual or group methods.
  8. Research and Program Evaluation: Apply needs assessment, program evaluation, and research methods to ethical and effective practice and to add to the body of literature in the counseling profession.
  9. CMHC Specialization: Plan, implement, and evaluate evidence-based programs and counseling approaches that are designed to treat psychopathology and promote optimal mental health.

Core Faculty

Virginia Beach Campus Core Faculty

Dr. Ularsi Green-Baker Clinical Coordinator

Clinical Coordinator
Dr. Ularisi Green-Baker, PhD, LPC 

Dr. Ularisi Green-Baker is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Virginia, an approved supervisor through the Virginia Board of Counseling, and a counselor educator. She received her Doctorate in Counseling Education and Supervision from Old Dominion University, Master’s from Regent University in Community Counseling, and Bachelor’s in Psychology from Norfolk State University.

Dr. Green-Baker has over 10 years of clinical experience providing psychotherapy to adolescents and adults.  She specializes in treatment related to anxiety, depression, women's wellness, and workplace, college and career concerns. In the corporate world, she has been in executive leadership for Employee Assistance Programs providing work-life wellness for employers, employees, and to military Service Members and their families. Being a counselor educator, she has taught Master’s level clinical mental health counseling at CACREP accredited private, for-profit and public graduate schools.  

Dr. Green-Baker is passionate about working within her local community where she serves with non-profit organizations, churches, and public and private schools. She most loves being outdoors exploring and enjoying this wonderful life with her husband and 4 sons! 

 
 
 
 
 
 

CMHC Program Guide

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Guide contains information specific to students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at South University. It is the responsibility of all students to be knowledgeable about the policies, procedures, regulations and expectations contained within. If at any time there is a conflict between the Program Guide and the Academic Catalog, the Academic Catalog will take precedence.

This Guidebook has been prepared by the CMHC program. Information in it maybe be modified, supplemented or discontinued with or without notice.

To view the South University, Virginia Beach Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) Program Guide, click HERE.

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success stories

Outstanding Education for Remarkable Careers

We're committed to helping our graduates make an impact in their professional and personal lives. We applaud our alumni and the difference they make. Check out what some of our counseling and psychology graduates have to say.

Sandy S Johnson 2008
Sandy Johnson Grad Alumni
Class of '08
Master of Arts in Professional Counseling: South University, Montgomery

“Having [instructors] that are experts in the field was an inspiration to me and allowed me that firsthand experience of the day-to-day knowledge. I am elated that I had these professors, and when I have had to call on them post-graduation, they have always been so helpful. Having a master's degree has made me a competitive applicant…[and has] given me the confidence in myself to accomplish any goals I may set for myself.”

Mary Blevins 2014
Mary Blevins Grad Alumni
Class of '14
Master of Arts in Professional Counseling-South University, Columbia

“My education has made a huge difference in my life! Without my degree from South University, I would still be working a dead-end job. The professors had worked extensively in the field and incorporated real-life experiences into the textbook material. For the first time in my life, I can genuinely say I am happy with my career and where I am in life.”

LaDonna Cook 2011
LaDonna Cook Grad Alumni
Class of '11
Master of Arts in Professional Counseling-South University, Savannah

“South University impacted my life in numerous ways, from the phenomenal staff and faculty who helped me to believe in and challenge myself, to my amazing peers in my cohort, who became lifelong friends. My time at South University was the best. The faculty and staff encouraged us to excel in all areas of our lives, and it pushed me to be a better person and counselor.”

Ty White 2009
Ty White Grad Alumni
Class of '09
Master of Arts in Professional Counseling-South University, Savannah

“The teachers were so caring and personable. We all became family. We cried together. We laughed together. It was a domino effect: the people at South University were so helpful to me that I wanted to help others.”

blue cap and gown graduate icon
Niya Warner Calderon Grad Alumni
Class of '10
Master of Arts in Professional Counseling-South University, Columbia

“My professors at South University placed a great deal of knowledge and resources at my fingertips. My classes were never just a presentation of material; they were a discourse of experience where the instructor could answer the question directly when I asked.”