Lynn University offers an M.S. in clinical mental health counseling. Students enrolled in the M.S. in clinical mental health counseling (CMHC) can earn their 61-credit degree in two years of coursework taken year round during the fall, spring and summer semesters. Entry into this program is annually in the fall semester. Full-time enrollment in this program is defined by a minimum of 9-credits per semester.
Admission into the program is competitive and requires an interview with the clinical mental health counseling program admissions committee which is comprised of program faculty. Students will be evaluated and admitted based upon their: Aptitude for graduate-level study; relevance of career goals; potential for developing effective counseling relationships; respect for cultural differences and all prior academic performance. The clinical mental health counseling program makes continuous and systematic efforts to attract and enroll a diverse body of students.
The program and its faculty have primary responsibility for the preparation of the students in the program. The program provides various opportunities to meet student needs and to foster an environment of inclusivity through faculty-student research projects, scholarly endeavors, attaining sites with varying specializations, and mindful admissions decisions. Students enrolled in the master’s in clinical mental health counseling are provided with a faculty mentor and an academic advisor. Mentors, advisors, and students have direct access to the Coordinator of the Graduate Program and the Practicum and Internship Coordinator. Students are taught, primarily, by Core faculty with the assistance of experts in the fields of research, individual assessment, neuroscience, experimental psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology and personality psychology.
During the second year of the program, students enroll in three full semesters of fieldwork experience at which time they have the opportunity to train as counselors in community mental health agencies. Substantial resources are invested in enhancing the learning environment and improving professional skills development. The program’s faculty and students have a multitude of teaching and learning resources at their disposal specific to the field and related specialties.
As is true of Lynn University, the program in clinical mental health counseling employs cutting edge technology for training and learning purposes. which are used to enhance their learning experience.
Students accepted to the graduate program in clinical mental health counseling have the opportunity to apply for graduate assistantships within the department and throughout the University.
Students in the program may have the ability to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida. Students interested in pursuing licensure or postgraduate employment are responsible for researching the specific requirements to attain these outcomes. As employment requirements and licensing requirements may change, it is incumbent upon students to be aware of their specific academic needs. In the State of Florida, the current requirements and process for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor may include:
- Students must graduate with a 60–credit Master’s degree that includes 1,000 hours of fieldwork at an approved site.
- Upon graduation, students register as a Mental Health Intern with the State of Florida. This is post-Master’s and must be completed by the Student. Part of this process includes verification of practicum and internship hours through a letter generated by the Registrar’s Office at the university.
- Students may need copies of their syllabi or course descriptions from the Academic Catalog. This may be true when attempting to become licensed in other states as well.
- In the State of Florida, once students are Registered Mental Health Interns, they must complete a minimum of two years post graduate work under appropriate supervision. Students must check with the Licensing Board for details and specifics on these requirements.
- During this two-year post-Master’s clinical experience, students will have the opportunity to sit for the state approved licensing exam.
- Upon successful completion of all licensing requirements, students may be approved by the State Board and offered a license as a Mental Health Counselor.
The title, requirements and procedures in other states may differ from Florida and students need to explore this information prior to beginning their academic preparation. International students on an F-1 visa are eligible to work in the U.S. for up to 12 months after they complete their degree through Optional Practical Training (OPT). Currently, the length of OPT cannot be extended past 12 months for international students in this degree program.
M.S. in clinical mental health counseling completion requirements:
- Students must complete the required course curriculum. Satisfactory completion of these courses must be in compliance with University Academic Standards for Graduate Work as well as Program Competency Standards (See Statement of Competence).
- In order to move on to Practicum/Internship students will need to have the endorsement of the faculty and appropriate evaluations on the Professional Performance Evaluation instrument and successfully complete the Practicum Entrance Exam.
- Students must satisfactorily complete the experiential components of their curriculum based upon the standards outlined in the CMHC Student Handbook, the Practicum/Internship Handbook, and the University Academic Standards for Graduate Work.
- Students must satisfactorily complete a standardized exit exam and skills-based exit exam commensurate with all program expectations and policies. No graduate degree will be conferred without the satisfactory completion of the exit exams.
Statement of competance: In graduate work, the grade earned in a course not only represents a grade but is also a symbol of mastery of the work and competence in the field. It is for this reason that the Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling has instituted a competence requirement for satisfactory completion of a course. This requirement is stated as achieving a grade consistent with knowledge at the 80 percent threshold (on a 100 percent scale) or higher in a course. This competency requirement applies to a course deemed essential for counseling professionals. Students who do not achieve this level of mastery are considered to be lacking in the necessary competency for this course and are required to retake the course until they can document appropriate competence (defined as at least a grade of 80 percent). The courses to which this competency requirement applies are:
- CSL 510 Professional Counseling Identity and Issues
- CSL 640 Social and Cultural Foundations
- CSL 520 Psychopathology
- CSL 690 Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling
- CSL 610 Counseling Theories
- CSL 615 Group Theories
- CSL 680 Techniques and Interventions in Counseling
- CSL 605 Practicum in Counseling
- CSL 681 Diagnosis and Advanced Counseling Techniques
- CSL 685 Career Development
- CSL 660 Community Counseling
- CSL 695 Internship in Counseling I
- CSL 700 Internship in Counseling II