||Social and Behavioral Sciences
||Master of Arts
||60 semester credits
The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is designed to prepare students to serve their communities as licensed Mental Health Counselors in the State of Washington as well as in other capacities. The professors draw from their academic studies and professional experiences to provide students with the background they will need to be successful in the field of clinical mental health counseling. Students learn through lecture, discussion, and research, and then put their new knowledge to work in their internship or thesis, all guided by their professors. The program has a unique multicultural focus with an emphasis on social justice. Instructors seek to equip students to serve individuals from different backgrounds with widely different needs.
Upon completion of the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program students will achieve competence in the following areas:
Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice
- Develop comprehensive understanding of the identity of the professional counselor including history, roles, advocacy, credentialing, and ethical practice in a variety of private, inter-organizational, and interdisciplinary settings.
Socio-Cultural Diversity and Social Justice
- Demonstrate culturally competent socially aware counseling skills through the integration of scholarly research, application of multicultural counseling theories, and the examination of the concepts of social justice and privilege.
- Integrate knowledge of biological, cognitive, emotional, personality, and social development across the lifespan into the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of mental health issues.
Counseling Theories, Skills and Helping Relationships
- Incorporate knowledge of counseling skills, case conceptualization, suicide prevention, and treatment planning into counseling practice in both in-person and technology assisted settings for general populations and those in crisis.
- Integrate theories and research of career development, assessment, and planning into the practice of career guidance for diverse people groups in wide range of vocational fields.
- Apply group counseling theory in the creation, recruitment, and facilitation of culturally relevant groups.
- Utilize differential diagnostic processes and systems.
Assessment and Testing
- Apply basic statistical concepts, principles of test design and selection, interpretation of psychological reports, and demonstrate ability to select appropriate assessments relevant to education, employment, and personal situations.
Research and Program Evaluation
- Evaluate counseling interventions and counselor education programs and develop outcome measures by utilizing knowledge of the principles of statistics, research methods and design, and current models of evidence-based practices.
First Year Psychotherapy
CMHC students are required to participate in 10 hours of individual psychotherapy within the first year of the program and to provide written verification of the completion of these hours from their psychotherapist (see CMHC Student Handbook for specific requirements and appropriate forms).
Masters Level Counseling State Licensure
Students must complete an internship during the program to be eligible for Washington State licensure. Since licensure requirements differ slightly from state to state, the required course sequence may not fulfill all educational licensure requirements for every state. Given this, it is the student’s responsibility to determine the licensure requirements for the state through which he or she desires to become licensed and to determine whether or not the required course sequence meets those requirements. The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences may be able to offer electives to students in order to meet licensure requirements not met by the required course sequence; however, students must work in conjunction with the Director of Academic Programs and Dean and have their expressed permission in order to enroll in electives for the purpose of meeting licensure requirements.
Program Delivery Models and Curriculum
Applicants to the MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling choose between Online and On Campus program delivery models. Both versions of the CMHC program are identical in terms of their programmatic requirements and learning outcomes. The program is designed to prepare students for state licensure as professional counselors.
The CMHC online program is a 36-month, 9-semester, year-round online program with three required on-campus residency experiences (one in the first semester, one in the first summer, and one in the second summer of the program The program enrolls students in fall and spring. It takes 3 years of full-time enrollment to complete the CMHC online program across three annual terms (fall, spring, and summer semesters). Enrolling in the program part-time will extend the program to 48 or more months as every course is not offered every semester..
The CMHC on campus program is a two year program that meets twice a week and on occasional weekends.
- A baccalaureate degree of arts or science (or an equivalent degree) from a regionally accredited college of university is required to qualify for admission to the program. A major in counseling, psychology, social science, or a closely related field is preferred, but not required.
- Grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- Complete application online
- Current resume or curriculum vita
- Three references
- Participate in an individual interview and group interview
- In addition to program-specific admission requirements, international students must meet the criteria stated in the international student admissions requirements section if this catalog.
- Letter of Interest
Interest Letter Prompts and Instructions
Potential students provide a typed response to each of the following essay questions. Typical responses for each question are approximately 250 to 300 words:
- Provide a brief introduction to you and why the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Northwest University interests you.
- Describe your future career goals in the counseling field, and how you see the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Northwest University preparing you to meet those goals.
- Describe experiences that have led you to a career as a counseling professional. Include a how these experiences have prepared you for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program and what strengths you bring with you to the program.
- Describe cross-cultural experiences that have shaped your awareness of cultural differences and how those differences may be represented in the counseling setting.
Applicants who meet or exceed the above criteria must also exhibit qualities consistent with the ethos of the counseling profession. Students must be committed to personal responsibility, time management, professional ethics, interpersonal integrity, and social justice to be successful in the program. It is the responsibility and authority of the admissions review board to determine an applicant’s degree of compatibility with the program.
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Master’s students may transfer up to 6 credit hours of eligible graduate level coursework (subject to Program Chair’s approval) from an accredited institution towards their degree requirements. This must done prior to beginning the program and students interested in transferring graduate credits should contact the MACMHC Program Director.
APA Proficiency Requirement
Before enrolling COUN 5000-level courses, students must show APA writing proficiency before enrollment by passing the CMHC APA assessment test or providing verification of successfully completion of the APA online course Basics of APA Style.