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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

With a focus on gaining experience through coursework, South University’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares students to become compassionate professional counselors. The master’s degree in counseling holds itself to a professional standard through classes that follow the 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*.

The South University West Palm Beach (WPB) campus relinquished its Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) programmatic accreditation with the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) on March 31, 2023.  While we plan to re-seek accreditation under a new delivery modality, it will not occur until late 2023.

* 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.

 

Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

WPB CMHC Accreditation Disclosure:
The South University West Palm Beach (WPB) campus relinquished its Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) programmatic accreditation with the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) on March 31, 2023.  While we plan to re-seek accreditation under a new delivery modality, it will not occur until late 2023.

By selecting to enroll, you understand that you are currently enrolling a CMHC program that is not programmatically accredited.  You also understand that with our reapplication for accreditation in late 2023, we cannot guarantee you would graduate from an accredited program as the CACREP accreditation process can take 18 to 24 months from the time of application.  

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.
  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.

*Effective August 14, 2023 – Students beginning classes at Online Programs will have five weeks to submit acceptable documentation.

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.

Program Course Requirements

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, West Palm Beach Campus, 10 Quarter (MA)

Curriculum for West Palm Beach campus only

Quarter 1: 8.5 Credits
CNS6002 Counseling Theory 4.5 credit hours
CNS6425 Clinical Mental Health Counseling 4 credit hours

Quarter 2: 8.5 Credits
CNS6018 Psychopathology 4.5 credit hours
CNS6161 Counseling Techniques 4 credit hours

Quarter 3: 9 Credits
CNS6050 Lifespan Development 4.5 credit hours
CNS6051 Diagnostics of Psychopathology and Treatment 4.5 credit hours

Quarter 4: 9 Credits
CNS6313 Professional Orientation and Ethics 4.5 credit hours
CNS6565 Multicultural Foundations 4.5 credit hours

Quarter 5: 9 Credits
CNS6509 Group Dynamics 4.5 credit hours
CNS6535 Clinical Mental Health Appraisal I 4.5 credit hours

Quarter 6: 9.5 Credits
CNS6529 Research and Statistical Evaluation 4.5 credit hours
CNS7010 Pre-Practicum IA (100 clinical hours) 1 credit hour
CNS7970 Crisis and Trauma 4 credit hours

Quarter 7: 9.5 Credits
CNS6602 Lifestyle and Career Development 4.5 credit hours
CNS6850 Psychopharmacology 4 credit hours
CNS7011 Practicum IB (100 clinical hours) 1 credit hour

Quarter 8: 12 Credits
CNS6800 Human Sexuality 4 credit hours
CNS7510 Internship IA (200 clinical hours) 4 credit hours
CNS7950 Child/Adolescent Psychopathology and Treatment 4 credit hours
CNS8202 Comprehensive Examination 0 credit hours

Quarter 9: 8 Credits
CNS6901 Diagnosis and Treatment of Addictive Disorders 4 credit hours
CNS7610 Internship IIA (200 clinical hours) 4 credit hours

Quarter 10: 12 Credits
CNS6709 Couples, Marital, and Family Dynamics 4 credit hours
CNS6775 Counseling Administration, Advocacy, Supervision and Policy 4 credit hours
CNS7611 Internship IIB (200 clinical hours) 4 credit hours


Clinical Mental Health Counseling, West Palm Beach Campus, 8 Quarter (MA)

Curriculum for West Palm Beach campus only

Quarter 1: 13 Credits
CNS6002 Counseling Theory 4.5 credit hours
CNS6050 Lifespan Development 4.5 credit hours
CNS6425 Clinical Mental Health Counseling 4 credit hours

Quarter 2: 13 Credits
CNS6018 Psychopathology 4.5 credit hours
CNS6161 Counseling Techniques 4 credit hours
CNS6565 Multicultural Foundations 4.5 credit hours

Quarter 3: 13.5 Credits
CNS6051 Diagnostics of Psychopathology and Treatment 4.5 credit hours
CNS6313 Professional Orientation and Ethics 4.5 credit hours
CNS6535 Clinical Mental Health Appraisal I 4.5 credit hours

Quarter 4: 10 Credits
CNS6509 Group Dynamics 4.5 credit hours
CNS6529 Research and Statistical Evaluation 4.5 credit hours
CNS7010 Pre-Practicum IA (100 clinical hours) 1 credit hour

Quarter 5: 9.5 Credits
CNS6602 Lifestyle and Career Development 4.5 credit hours
CNS6901 Diagnosis and Treatment of Addictive Disorders 4 credit hours
CNS7011 Practicum IB (100 clinical hours) 1 credit hour

Quarter 6: 12 Credits
CNS6800 Human Sexuality 4 credit hours
CNS7510 Internship IA (200 clinical hours) 4 credit hours
CNS7950 Child/Adolescent Psychopathology and Treatment 4 credit hours
CNS8202 Comprehensive Examination 0 credit hours

Quarter 7: 12 Credits
CNS6850 Psychopharmacology 4 credit hours
CNS7610 Internship IIA (200 clinical hours) 4 credit hours
CNS7970 Crisis and Trauma 4 credit hours

Quarter 8: 12 Credits
CNS6709 Couples, Marital, and Family Dynamics 4 credit hours
CNS6775 Counseling Administration, Advocacy, Supervision and Policy 4 credit hours
CNS7611 Internship IIB (200 clinical hours) 4 credit hours

 

Mission, Goals & Outcomes

Offered at West Palm Beach.

Program Overview

The South University Master of Arts degree program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is intended to meet the local and regional need for qualified counselors. The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is designed to provide advanced and broad training for South University graduate students regarding theories, principles, and dynamic applications in the field. Students develop the skills necessary to engage in effective assessment and treatment practices, achieve competence for ethical, legal, and professional issues, and understand the significance and utility of research to the field. Faculty members are dedicated to maintaining high teaching standards, developing intellectual curiosity, advancing critical thinking, and engaging in service to the University, community, and profession.

The primary goals of the program are as follows:

  • Promote the development of broad and comprehensive knowledge of the field of Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
  • Promote critical/analytical thinking regarding concepts and applications in the field.
  • Promote a thorough understanding of mental health assessment and treatment.
  • Raise awareness of professionalism and issues impacting the profession.

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. By way of illustration, the track offered at the Columbia campus is 91 credit hours and is designed to meet current state requirements for counseling programs in South Carolina. The program is 91 credit hours at the Austin, Richmond, Savannah and Virginia Beach campuses, which is designed to meet current licensure requirements for counseling programs in Texas, Georgia and Virginia. The state of Florida offers licensure for Counselors in Mental Health Counseling and also requires extra classes in Human Sexuality and Treatment of Substances Abuse. Therefore, the track offered at the West Palm Beach campus is 95 credit hours, which is designed to meet current state licensure requirements. After becoming licensed as a Mental Health Counselor in Florida for three years, dual licensure can be pursued through attaining a License as a Marriage and Family Therapist by taking the LMFT state exam.

The delivery structure of the program provides the opportunity for students who wish to balance the rigors of work and home while pursuing their master's degree. Although delivery will vary by campus location, classes generally meet during the week in the evenings and Saturdays as needed. The program is designed for students to complete the curriculum in 10 quarters (the program is offered in 8 quarters, but the majority of students complete in 10 quarters). Each quarter, classes will be held on a weekly basis for a 10 week period with the 11th week designated for final exams.

Students who enroll in the program will be taught via two primary modes of instruction. The majority of the program will involve didactic and experiential classroom instruction. The second mode of instruction will focus on supervised field experiences. Students will be placed in actual counseling settings in the community and will practice counseling under the auspices of an onsite supervisor. Students in field placements will also receive weekly individual and group supervision from qualified faculty supervisors.

The objectives of the South University Clinical Mental Health Counseling program are to recruit eligible students from all areas and provide fair and equitable admissions criteria; make available a variety of instructional models and resources to provide the student with the most effective learning arrangements and to provide appropriate learning opportunities for counseling students that will prepare them to perform their expected competencies in an ethical, legal, safe, and effective manner upon graduation; prepare counseling students to communicate effectively; instill the importance and value of continued education and involvement in appropriate professional and community affairs after graduation; and encourage the counseling students to recognize their own strengths and limitations.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice: Demonstrate knowledge and application of all 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 the Helping Relationship: Demonstrate knowledge and skill application of 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.

Courses are taught according to the matriculation sequences provided by each campus and at the discretion of the school. Courses must be attempted in the curriculum sequence as defined by each campus. Curriculum content and sequence are subject to change with notification.

Core Faculty

West Palm Beach Campus Core Faculty

Bridget Glass, Ph.D., LMHC, ACS
Program Director


Dr. Bridget Glass is a licensed Mental Health Counselor and Approved Clinical Supervisor specializing in the treatment of childhood trauma, relationship abuse, and workplace distress in the helping professions. She received a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and Marriage, Family, and Couple Therapy and a Doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision. Dr. Glass currently serves as a private practitioner; however, her clinical experience extends to community settings such as schools and women’s shelters. She has provided consultation and training on topics such as parenting, intimate partner violence, trauma-informed systemic practices, and secondary traumatic stress in the helping professions for regional and national forums. She is a contributing author to the book, Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Throughout the Lifespan: A Clinician’s Guide to Treatment Considerations, and articles that expand on the literature for Counselor Education. In addition, Dr. Glass is an active member of the Florida Counseling Association and the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association. Dr. Glass’ self-care practices include traveling abroad with her husband of 22 years, playing with her 2 Golden Doodles, Cooper and Barkley, and practicing the piano.

Bridget Glass, Ph.D., LMHC, ACS Program Director

Julia Lancaster, Ph.D., LPC, ACS
Clinical Coordinator/Assistant Professor


Julia L. Lancaster, Ph.D., LPC, ACS, is a licensed professional counselor in Virginia. She utilizes wellness, CBT, and Solution-Focused interventions with a post-modern perspective. She is a board approved clinical supervisor and a Clinical Coordinator, Assistant Professor in the CMHC program at South University's West Palm Beach campus. She is a member of the editorial review board for the Association for Counseling Sexology and Sexual Wellness. Her research interests include social determinants of health and mental health, invisible stigma, identify formation, crisis/ trauma and human sexuality education in CACREP programs. She is a mother of two daughters and in her spare time, she instructs yoga classes, travels, and reads.

Julia Lancaster, Ph.D., LPC, ACS Clinical Coordinator/Assistant Professor
 
Julie Vogel, LPC, NCC, BCPC, EdD
Full-Time Faculty


Dr. Julie Vogel is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Masters in Mental Health Counseling and a Doctorate in Counseling Education and Supervision. Dr. Vogel has over thirty years of experience working with clients through community agencies and private practice in both rural and urban settings. She has served as the Regional Director for an agency focusing on adoption and has managed a facility focused on the treatment of chronic and severe mental illness. Dr. Vogel has distinct expertise in the treatment of substance abuse disorders. She facilitates educational workshops on topics related to parenting, adoption, emotional regulation and personal safety.  She is also a qualified supervisor for professionals seeking licensure in the field of mental health. Dr. Vogel has previously provided course instruction at South University in Virginia Beach, VA. Dr. Vogel identifies as an advocate for those who seem to have no voice in our society due to systemic barriers.  Her philosophy for clinical treatment is derived from a place of strength and optimism, as she believes all individuals have the capacity to create a meaningful and fulfilling life based on their vision of the future. 
 

Julie Vogel, LPC, NCC, BCPC, EdD Full-Time Faculty

 
 
 

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, West Palm Beach Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) Program Guide, click HERE.

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.

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”