Curriculum

Master’s Degree Program (60 credit hours)

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Planning Guide

Niagara University’s offers the master of science degree in clinical mental health counseling. This program requires 1,000 hours of practicum/internship. Clinical mental health counselors work in clinics, hospitals, public and private agencies and college and university settings. Currently, 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico license mental health counselors. A Certificate of Advance Study is available for individuals with a related master’s degree.

Graduate students in the clinical mental health counseling program may also transfer in nine (9) graduate credit hours from another university.

Required Coursework

60 credit hours

This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the principles of research in education. Students will become effective consumers of educational research by analyzing the literature in a particular area of study and synthesizing the results into material that can be applied to diverse educational settings. Students will also develop practical research skills that they might use to assist them in their own professional development. Preservice teachers and practitioners enrolled in this course will complete a field-based research project pertaining to their area of study.

Credit Hours: 3

This course explores the basic counseling process, including developing active listening skills, building rapport, and facilitating client awareness. The course will also examine the settings in which a professional counselor can practice, such as schools, community and mental health agencies, career counseling centers, rehabilitation programs, and addiction programs. Professional roles, ethical standards and professional credentialing will be introduced in this course.

Credit Hours: 3

As an introduction to the issues which arise in counseling multicultural and diverse populations, this course will focus upon understanding the differences and similarities in values, goals and challenges of individuals from diverse and behaviors toward others from different backgrounds will be emphasized.

Credit Hours: 3

This course will examine the various theoretical perspectives and techniques in the field of counseling. Through application of various counseling theories to the analysis of case studies and personal growth challenges, the student will begin to develop a personal style of counseling.

Credit Hours: 3

This course examines the theories of development from psychology, biology, sociology and cultural anthropology. Emphasis is placed on understanding how normal and abnormal behavior develops. Through learning about the developmental milestones and crises in the human experience, the counselor will develop skills to plan effective intervention strategies.

Credit Hours: 3

Fundamentals of educational/psychological tests. This course also examines foundational principles of standardized testing and assessment.

Credit Hours: 3

This course is designed to give students the opportunity to practice the various counseling strategies and techniques learned in previous courses. Focus will be on developing the skills necessary to select the counseling intervention methods most appropriate for the specific life challenges facing the client(s).

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: EDU 651, EDU 654

This course will introduce the student to the counseling experience as an active participant. This personal growth experience will utilize the programs and services of the NU counseling center with primary focus on the personal wellness process.

Credit Hours: 3

This course critically examines the factors involved in career development including intellectual ability, aptitudes, personality, interests, and environmental influences. The value of theories of career development and what theories can be used to understand career development are also stressed.

Credit Hours: 3

Understanding the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV will be the focus of this course. Some prior knowledge of the etiology of behavioral disorders and the impact of these differential diagnostic skills through the analysis of case studies will be emphasized.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: EDU 655

The theoretical perspectives guiding counselors will be examined. Exploration of personal family dynamics through the use of different theories will facilitate the student’s awareness of various family system models. Beginning skills in family intervention will be developed through role-playing, small interaction groups and case studies.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: EDU 651, EDU 658, EDU 654, EDU 617

This course examines the various counseling theories applicable to group counseling. Through an experimental mode of learning, the student will develop beginning skills for facilitating groups and in planning intervention strategies.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: EDU 651, EDU 654, EDU 658, EDU 617

Students will develop advanced skills in diagnosis through integrating material for the intake, initial interview, social histories, and psychiatric/psychological reports. In addition, they will develop the crucial skills in client care/management including creating and implementing appropriate treatment programs, writing reports, keeping records and consulting with all professionals in the total managed care system.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: EDU 655, EDU 657

This course is an overview of the field of pharmacology. Physiological effects, psycho- logical effects, withdrawal characteristics, drug interactions and treatment applications are the focus of the course.

Credit Hours: 3

Examination of the psychological, sociological and biological reasons for addictions will lead to understanding the models for treating addictions. One focus of the course is on recognizing physical, behavioral, emotional, social and spiritual symptoms of chemical dependence and other addictions. Another focus is on learning the counseling and treatment methods commonly used in treating the chemically dependent and addicted.

Credit Hours: 3

This course is designed to provide graduate counseling students with an introduction to mental health practice in preparation for practicum (EDU 679) and internships (EDU 685, EDU 686, & EDU 678). This course addresses ethical, legal and professional issues in counseling and adheres to the Code of Ethics of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and those of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA). Canadian students may wish to consult the Canadian Counseling Association (CCA). Students are also expected to gain relevant skills, especially in the realm of consultation with other mental health professionals.

Credit Hours: 3

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to mental health practice in preparation for the subsequent counseling internships (EDU 685, 686, 687). Students will be placed in a counseling setting for 100 clock hours, and will have weekly individual supervision as well as biweekly seminars/group supervision.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: EDU 651, EDU 654, EDU 658

Students will be placed in mental health settings consistent with their personal goals for growth in the field of mental health. Each internship experience will be uniquely designed to meet the needs of each individual student. Basic commonalties across intern- ships include 300 clock hours on site for each internship (total 900 clock hours); 80 hours of direct service with clients for each internship (total 240); a minimum of one hour per week of individual supervision throughout all internships and biweekly seminars/group supervision of three hours in length throughout the internships.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: EDU 679, EDU 651, EDU 654, EDU 658

Students will be placed in mental health settings consistent with their personal goals for growth in the field of mental health. Each internship experience will be uniquely designed to meet the needs of each individual student. Basic commonalties across intern- ships include 300 clock hours on site for each internship (total 900 clock hours); 80 hours of direct service with clients for each internship (total 240); a minimum of one hour per week of individual supervision throughout all internships and biweekly seminars/group supervision of three hours in length throughout the internships.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: EDU 679, EDU 651, EDU 654, EDU 658

Students will be placed in mental health settings consistent with their personal goals for growth in the field of mental health. Each internship experience will be uniquely designed to meet the needs of each individual student. Basic commonalties across intern- ships include 300 clock hours on site for each internship (total 900 clock hours); 80 hours of direct service with clients for each internship (total 240); a minimum of one hour per week of individual supervision throughout all internships and biweekly seminars/group supervision of three hours in length throughout the internships.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: EDU 679, EDU 651, EDU 654, EDU 658

Defend a portfolio

Prior to completion of the Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Mental Health Counseling, a student will complete and successfully defend a portfolio.

Certificate of Advanced Study  (CAS)

A CAS program is available for persons with a related master's degree. Advisement and permission from the department are necessary before acceptance.

Internships

The program includes a three credit hour counseling practicum and a nine credit hour internship for a total of 1,000 clock hours of supervised experience.

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

LMHC New York State Niagara University’s program meets New York state requirements and graduates are license eligible after 3,000 post master’s clock hours and passing of the state test. Also, graduates may take the Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination to be a certified clinical mental health counselor (CCMHC). The mental health program is aligned with the standards of the Council for the Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).