Academic Catalog

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A.

 “Mental Health Counselors combine traditional psychotherapy with a problem-solving approach that creates a dynamic and efficient path for change and problem resolution.” (American Mental Health Counselors Association)

Program Description

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) is a 60-credit course of study in which students are required to take a fixed sequence of courses including a one-year, 9-credit supervised internship and pass a comprehensive examination (MHC 800 Clinical Counseling Comprehensive Examination) in order to be awarded the MA degree.

The program is designed to fulfill the goals of providing students with a thorough grounding in advanced principles of mental health counseling at a graduate level, and instilling students with an understanding of the tools of counseling that is suitable for building careers in private and public mental health agencies. Students will also gain advanced research-based knowledge in the area of group and individual counseling, counseling techniques, and testing and diagnosis. In addition, the program will fulfill an understanding of the professional and ethical issues relevant to mental health counseling and consultation, as well as detailed knowledge of multicultural and career issues in counseling.

Program Objectives

  • Provide students with advanced research-based knowledge in the areas of group and individual counseling, counseling techniques, and testing and diagnostics.
  • Provide students with a full understanding of the professional and ethical issues relevant to mental health counseling and consultation.
  • Provide students with detailed knowledge of multicultural and career issues in counseling.

Registering for Courses

Students in the CMHC Program are “block registered” for each class by the Registrar’s Office. If the student has a hold on their account (for financial, business or health office reasons), the Registrar will not be able to register the student for the term. It is the student’s responsibility to work with the appropriate office to remove the hold, and then contact the Registrar’s Office at 716-880-2365 to ensure they are registered for classes.

Transfer of Coursework Taken at Other Institutions or as an Advanced Special Student

Transfer courses must carry the same/or a similar title and have covered the same/similar objectives and goals as the course the student wishes to waive at Medaille College. Students must be aware that since this is a New York State licensure-qualifying program, very strict criteria are followed when transferring in courses. Graduate level coursework earned from regionally accredited institutions prior to or after matriculation may be applied towards a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

All transfer credits must meet the following criteria:

  • Courses must have been offered at the graduate level.
  • Courses may not have been used to meet degree requirements for previously earned graduate degrees.
  • Courses must have been completed within the last five years of matriculation in the Department.
  • Courses must receive approval from the Registrar, the Department Chair, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee.
  • A grade of “B” or above must have been earned in the requested transfer courses.

Note:

  • The student may be subject to final review of all coursework transferred into the M.A. degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
  • No credit is granted for correspondence courses or for “credit-by-examination” courses.
  • A copy of the transfer course syllabus and textbook table of contents may be required for both New York State and the Program.

Evaluation Process

Evaluations of students occur on an on-going basis, informally and formally, throughout a student’s time in the CMHC program. The core faculty members assess the acquisition of content knowledge and professional development within the program.

Formal evaluation occurs specifically at five checkpoints within the program, as outlined below. These checkpoints serve as an informed consent, assuring not only continued development as a mental health professional, but also guaranteeing transparency of the collective evaluation of an individual’s progress. At each evaluation checkpoint, the student either will be making satisfactory progress or will need a plan for retention. The plan for retention may include focused advising, remediation, or dismissal.

Formal Evaluation Checkpoints

An example of materials collected at each checkpoint is listed below:

  • Admissions Application: Written proficiency as evidenced by written statement, academic potential as noted by transcripts, and dispositional potential as evidenced by letters of reference.
  • Academic / Behavior Review (Ongoing): Faculty Assessments & Evaluation of Counselor Behaviors Checklist. Faculty members continually assess each student’s attainment of content knowledge, skills and dispositions through exams, papers, projects, observations, and journals.
  • Practicum Application: Pre-Practicum Clinical Skills Evaluation Form, resume, cover letters, proof of ACA insurance, and proof of Child Abuse Mandated Reporter Training.
  • Clinical Internship: Site visits and written evaluations from site supervisor.
  • Graduation: Successful completion of 60 credits and passing the comprehensive exam.

Note: Additional materials may be requested.

Clinical Internship

Students are required to complete the courses MHC 669 Psychopharmacology / Micro Skills Counseling and MHC 670 Helping Relationships - Advanced Clinical Counseling Skills to prepare and reinforce the skills and training for clinical work in the field. A student who does not pass MHC 669 Psychopharmacology / Micro Skills Counseling will not be permitted to take MHC 677 Practicum In Clinical Mental Health Counseling. MHC 677 Practicum In Clinical Mental Health Counseling is taken with the first clinical course MHC 677 Practicum In Clinical Mental Health Counseling, which is held over the course of one semester and includes 100 hours of clinical practice on site in an approved community setting; 40 of those hours must be direct contact hours with clients. A student must pass MHC 677 Practicum In Clinical Mental Health Counseling and complete the hours to receive a grade in both MHC 670 Helping Relationships - Advanced Clinical Counseling Skills and MHC 677 Practicum In Clinical Mental Health Counseling and to move on to the next phase.

In the next phase of clinical training, students are required to complete over the course of two (2) full semesters a minimum of 600 total hours between MHC 678 Internship In Clinical Mental Health Counseling I and MHC 679 Internship In Clinical Mental Health Counseling II (240 of which must be direct contact hours, including both individual and group counseling). The campus supervisor will evaluate hours completed by the end of the year. Should a student need additional time, they will register for a third section of Internship to finish. On average, to finish within the year, a student will be required to spend approximately 14 hours per week toward the practicum and internship.

Practicum and Internship placements will be chosen in a collaborative effort between students and the Clinical Coordinator, Advisor, and/ or their campus supervisor. Each placement is considered on an individual basis and must first meet the approval of the Director of Clinical Training.

Students are expected to complete their Practicum (100) hours and are strongly encouraged to start their Internship 1 and 2 immediately after finishing the Practicum. Students are expected to complete at least half (300) of their 600 internship hours in MHC 678 Internship In Clinical Mental Health Counseling I, and the remaining (300 hours) in MHC 679 Internship In Clinical Mental Health Counseling II. The campus supervisor will evaluate hours completed by the end of the year and if more time is needed, the student will register for a third section of Internship to finish.

If a student does not meet the required hours in any term of MHC 677 Practicum In Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MHC 678 Internship In Clinical Mental Health Counseling I, or MHC 679 Internship In Clinical Mental Health Counseling II she/he will receive an Incomplete (I) grade for that term. If the student does not complete the full requirements of Practicum and Internship by the end of the third term, she/he must register for again for MHC 679 Internship In Clinical Mental Health Counseling II in order to complete the requirements. Students who do not complete their Practicum and Internship requirements due to problems associated with professional competency and have failed twice to meet competency requirements, will be terminated from the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program and will not be recommended for graduation. Guidelines for the Clinical Placement and professional competency can be found in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Clinical Placement Manual.

Degree earned: M.A.
Total number of credits: 60
Delivery format: On-ground (day and evening), Online, Hybrid (online and on-ground)
Locations: Buffalo, Rochester

Licensure-Qualifying Curriculum Areas

Required Content Areas Course & Credits

  • Human Growth and Development:
  •  Social and cultural foundations of counseling:
  •  Counseling theory and practice:
    • MHC 600 Counseling Theory and Practice
  •  Psychopathology:
  • Group dynamics:
  • Lifestyle and career development:
  • Assessment and appraisal of individuals, couples, families, and groups:
  • Research and program evaluation:
    • MHC 652 Research & Program Evaluation
  • Professional orientation and ethics:
    • MHC 630 Professional, Ethical & Legal Issues In Counseling
  • Foundations of mental health counseling and consultation:
    • MHC 650 Professional Orientations and Practice
  • Clinical instruction:
    • MHC 670 Helping Relationships - Advanced Clinical Counseling Skills
    • MHC 669 Psychopharmacology / Micro Skills Counseling
  • Recognition and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment; and:
    • MHC 649 Child Abuse Mandated Reporter Training​ (online workshop)
  • One-year (at least 600 clock hours) supervised internship or practicum in mental health counseling:
    • MHC 677 Practicum In Clinical Mental Health Counseling
    • MHC 678 Internship In Clinical Mental Health Counseling I
    • MHC 679 Internship In Clinical Mental Health Counseling II

Program Delivery Format

Medaille’s CMHC on-ground delivery is offered as a fixed sequence of 19 courses (60 credits) over 6 semesters, with 9 credits taken each Fall and Spring and 12 credits taken each Summer (Fall starts) and 9 credits taken each Spring and Summer and 12 credits taken each Fall (Spring starts). Three of these courses (9 credits) are taken concurrently online. Online courses are comprised of professor-guided independent study, often combined with assigned group projects. Fourteen of these courses (48 credits) are taken on-ground, unless approval is granted to take online, due to extenuating circumstances. On-campus courses run 7 weeks and include 38 in-class hours (split between 2 weekends) and appropriate amounts of professor-guided study.

Medaille’s CMHC online delivery is offered as a fixed sequence of 19 courses (60 credit) over 6 semesters, with 9 credits taken each Fall and Spring and 12 credits taken each Summer (Fall starts) and 9 credits taken each Spring and Summer and 12 credits taken each Fall (Spring starts). Students will proceed through the program as a cohort.

Email Policy Within the Program

Upon registration into the program, all students are given a Medaille College email address. It is the student’s responsibility to check this account every day. Important Program and College information will be sent to this address, (not to a personal email account). Students may decide to forward their Medaille email to a personal account. Students should contact helpdesk@medaille.edu or the IT Department on campus if they need assistance setting up their Medaille email account.

Course Sequence

On-Ground Course Sequence Chart

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterHours
(15 weeks)  
MHC 650 Professional Orientations and Practice 3
MHC 600 Counseling Theory and Practice 3
MHC 631 Human Growth and Develpment 3
MHC 640 Cultural & Social Diversity 3
 Hours12
Second Semester
(15 weeks)  
MHC 605 Group Work 3
MHC 630 Professional, Ethical & Legal Issues In Counseling 3
MHC 649 Child Abuse Mandated Reporter Training (Note: non-credit bearing) 1 0
 Hours6
Third Semester
(15 weeks)  
MHC 620 Psychopathologies 3
MHC 669 Psychopharmacology / Micro Skills Counseling 6
MHC 670 Helping Relationships - Advanced Clinical Counseling Skills 3
 Hours12
Fourth Semester
(15 weeks)  
MHC 622 Assessment and Evaluation 3
MHC 652 Research & Program Evaluation 3
MHC 677 Practicum In Clinical Mental Health Counseling 3
 Hours9
Fifth Semester
(15 weeks)  
MHC 634 Grief, Trauma and Crisis Counseling and Therapy 3
MHC 610 Introduction to Substance Abuse Counseling 3
MHC 678 Internship In Clinical Mental Health Counseling I 3
 Hours9
Sixth Semester
(15 weeks)  
MHC 680 Family Counseling and Therapy 3
MHC 660 Career Development 3
MHC 679 Internship In Clinical Mental Health Counseling II 3
MHC 727 Counseling Supervision and Practice 3
MHC 800 Clinical Counseling Comprehensive Examination (Note: non-credit bearing.) 2 0
 Hours12
 Total Hours60
1

Taken concurrently with MHC 630 Professional, Ethical & Legal Issues In Counseling

2

Taken concurrently with MHC 727 Counseling Supervision and Practice

Note: Online Sequence is the same. The actual dates may be different from the on-ground schedule.

Online Course Sequence Chart: Fall Start

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
First SemesterHours
MHC 650 Professional Orientations and Practice (7 weeks) 3
MHC 600 Counseling Theory and Practice (7 weeks) 3
MHC 631 Human Growth and Develpment (14 weeks) 3
 Hours9
Second Semester
MHC 640 Cultural & Social Diversity (7 weeks) 3
MHC 605 Group Work (7 weeks) 3
MHC 630 Professional, Ethical & Legal Issues In Counseling (14 weeks) 3
MHC 649 Child Abuse Mandated Reporter Training (Note: non-credit bearing) (14 weeks) 1 0
 Hours9
Third Semester
MHC 620 Psychopathologies (14 weeks) 3
MHC 669 Psychopharmacology / Micro Skills Counseling (7 weeks) 6
MHC 670 Helping Relationships - Advanced Clinical Counseling Skills (7 weeks) 3
 Hours12
Second Year
First Semester
MHC 622 Assessment and Evaluation (7 weeks) 3
MHC 652 Research & Program Evaluation (7 weeks) 3
MHC 677 Practicum In Clinical Mental Health Counseling (14 weeks) 3
 Hours9
Second Semester
MHC 634 Grief, Trauma and Crisis Counseling and Therapy (7 weeks) 3
MHC 610 Introduction to Substance Abuse Counseling (7 weeks) 3
MHC 678 Internship In Clinical Mental Health Counseling I (14 weeks) 3
 Hours9
Third Semester
MHC 680 Family Counseling and Therapy (7 weeks) 3
MHC 660 Career Development (7 weeks) 3
MHC 679 Internship In Clinical Mental Health Counseling II (14 weeks) 3
MHC 727 Counseling Supervision and Practice (7 weeks) 3
MHC 800 Clinical Counseling Comprehensive Examination (Note: non-credit bearing.) (7 weeks) 2 0
 Hours12
 Total Hours60
1

Taken concurrently with MHC 630 Professional, Ethical & Legal Issues In Counseling

2

Taken concurrently with MHC 727 Counseling Supervision and Practice

Online Course Sequence Chart: Spring Start

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
First SemesterHours
MHC 650 Professional Orientations and Practice (7 weeks) 3
MHC 600 Counseling Theory and Practice (7 weeks) 3
MHC 631 Human Growth and Develpment (14 weeks) 3
 Hours9
Second Semester
MHC 640 Cultural & Social Diversity (7 weeks) 3
MHC 605 Group Work (7 weeks) 3
MHC 630 Professional, Ethical & Legal Issues In Counseling (14 weeks) 3
MHC 649 Child Abuse Mandated Reporter Training (Note: non-credit bearing) (14 weeks) 1 0
 Hours9
Third Semester
MHC 620 Psychopathologies (14 weeks) 3
MHC 669 Psychopharmacology / Micro Skills Counseling (7 weeks) 6
MHC 670 Helping Relationships - Advanced Clinical Counseling Skills (7 weeks) 3
 Hours12
Second Year
First Semester
MHC 622 Assessment and Evaluation (7 weeks) 3
MHC 652 Research & Program Evaluation (7 weeks) 3
MHC 677 Practicum In Clinical Mental Health Counseling (14 weeks) 3
 Hours9
Second Semester
MHC 634 Grief, Trauma and Crisis Counseling and Therapy (7 weeks) 3
MHC 610 Introduction to Substance Abuse Counseling (7 weeks) 3
MHC 678 Internship In Clinical Mental Health Counseling I (14 weeks) 3
 Hours9
Third Semester
MHC 680 Family Counseling and Therapy (7 weeks) 3
MHC 660 Career Development (7 weeks) 3
MHC 679 Internship In Clinical Mental Health Counseling II (14 weeks) 3
MHC 727 Counseling Supervision and Practice (7 weeks) 3
MHC 800 Clinical Counseling Comprehensive Examination (7 weeks) 2 0
 Hours12
 Total Hours60
1

Taken concurrently with MHC 630 Professional, Ethical & Legal Issues In Counseling

2

Taken concurrently with MHC 727 Counseling Supervision and Practice