MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Location: AU New England
Credits for Degree: 60 semester credits
Standard Mode of Instruction: Classroom or low-residency/online
Standard time to completion: 40 months
This CACREP-accredited counselor education program, with a specialty area in clinical mental health counseling, trains students in eight (8) core areas: professional counseling orientation and ethical practice, social and cultural diversity, human growth and development, career development, counseling and helping relationships, group counseling and group work, assessment and testing, and research and program evaluation.
The program is offered in two formats: (1) in-person, weekend model (75% in person; 25% online) on the AUNE Keene, NH campus and (2) online with two week-long, in-person clinical-intensive residencies held on an Antioch University campus. Elective courses targeting special focus areas are mostly offered online in the summer and shared by students from both delivery models. Students include a Capstone Seminar in the final semester that is a culmination and synthesis of the student’s knowledge, experience, skills and growth during the program. The CMHC Program is designed to be a full-time program, with students entering in the fall semester. Students in the online delivery can also enter in the spring semester. The CMHC Program typically takes students three and 1/2 years to complete; part-time study is available upon request. Students can expect to commit approximately 10 hours per class per week to readings, viewings, assignments, and class preparation.
Degree requirements are the same for all entry points and within both formats. The program begins with courses introducing the student to the counseling profession while also learning and practicing basic counseling skills and techniques. During the second year of the program, students continue to develop knowledge through more advanced coursework and practice counseling skills through a variety of experiential learning opportunities. The program concludes with clinical field experience totaling 700 - 1,000 hours, depending on state licensure requirements and career goals.
The CMHC curriculum also provides students with the option to choose from several elective course options that include more focused training in specific areas of interest. Students’ academic advisors work with students to help determine areas of interest and need best suited to their desired work setting. Some focus areas require students to earn related counseling experience during their internship.
The program includes practicum and internship experience in a clinical placement at approved sites, which students enter once they have completed the required prerequisites. Practicum and internship placements may require criminal background checks as well as verification of up-to-date vaccinations. Following successful completion of the 100-hour practicum experience, students advance and deepen their clinical training through supervised internship experiences. Over two to three semesters of internship, students accrue a minimum total of 600-900 supervised clinical hours, depending on state licensure requirements and career goals. Students are responsible for finding their own site and receive support from the Practicum and Internship team.
The Keene-based classes consist of lectures, small group activities, discussions, and a variety of experiential activities. There are supplemental online assignments in preparation for class time. At times students are required to use Zoom (provided by Antioch University) outside of class to work with their peers on class assignments.
The online delivery typically holds asynchronous classes with some required synchronous class sessions via Zoom. Online students can expect a variety of educational methods such as recorded lectures, small group activities, written discussions, and assignments that are experiential in nature. The online delivery includes two required clinical intensive residencies. The first clinical intensive residency occurs in the semester following successful completion of the Foundational Counseling Skills course. This intensive focuses on students’ basic counseling skills demonstration within small groups. The second clinical intensive residency occurs in the same semester following successful completion of the Group Counseling course, providing an opportunity to lead and/or co-facilitate a group. Clinical intensive residencies are typically held in May and December.
Regardless of delivery model, students are required to have access to reliable internet and technology to fully participate in the program. Students are held to the professional and ethical standards outlined in the CMHC Program Handbook and the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics.
Per CACREP, all students must experience being a group member for 10 hours prior to graduation. A process group with a licensed professional counselor is provided by the program to meet this requirement. In addition to completing the process group, it is highly recommended that students engage in their own individual counseling as they progress through the program.
Current Tuition and Fees
University Tuition and Fees