Professor Sciarra, Graduate Program Director, 516-463-7451
The Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling degree is designed to provide students with the educational preparation to qualify as a licensed mental health counselor in the state of New York. The curriculum is designed to provide students with a critical knowledge base comprised of 11 content areas identified by the New York State Education Department in compliance with Article 163 of the Education Law which established mental health counseling as a licensed profession in New York state in 2006. As part of this 60 semester hour program of study, students will complete 48 credits of required coursework and, under advisement, 12 semester hours of elective coursework from an approved listing of courses, 6 credits of which are considered “preferred electives.” Each student will complete 600 hours of supervised internship experience in one or more approved mental health settings. An additional internship of 300 hours can be taken as a preferred elective. Graduates of this program will stand academically prepared to take the qualifying examination for mental health counselor licensure utilized in the state for license application.
The Mental Health Counseling Program is designed as a clinically focused experience aimed at building the knowledge, skills and dispositions/attitudes essential for mental health counseling practice in an increasingly diverse society. The counseling program has a state-of-the-art training lab that is centrally utilized for the skills development practice of its students. The sequenced curriculum is designed to be undertaken over the course of 2.5 years (including summer study); the final semesters of graduate study will be devoted to the clinical internship.
Upon completion of the master’s degree, students will qualify to meet the examination requirement for licensure and apply for a limited permit to practice for a period of not more than 24 months, with potential for a 12-month extension request, while completing the 3,000 hours of post-master’s supervised clinical experience that are required for full licensure.
Mental health counselors practice in a variety of settings, including private practice, community agencies, managed behavioral health care organizations, government and not-for-profit organizations, integrated delivery systems, hospitals, employee assistance programs and substance abuse and rehabilitative centers.