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Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS

Keiser University

This program is available in the following Florida campuses:

Fort Myers, Graduate School, Lakeland, Port St. Lucie, West Palm Beach

The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is designed to provide students with comprehensive preparation for professional practice as a counselor through rigorous coursework and carefully supervised practical experiences in field settings. The program integrates mental health counseling theories and approaches, principles and practices of diagnosis, evidence-based treatments, and strategies for referral, prevention, and advocacy to meet the needs of diverse clients. Graduates will be prepared to assume a variety of positions in the counseling field and be equipped to model the highest standards and ethics of the profession.

Program Objectives

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program enables students to contribute to the profession through independent learning, scholarship, and research. Upon completion of this program, student’s will:

  • Understand the role, function, and professional identity of counselors, understand professional issues unique to mental health counseling, and promote the growth and development of the field of professional counseling.
  • Acquire an understanding of and adhere to the ethical and legal considerations and the principles and professional values related specifically to the practice of clinical mental health counseling.
  • Be able to articulate an informed comprehension of a variety of theoretical perspectives on human behavior as well as articulate their personal rationale for and approach to counseling.
  • Develop self-awareness, knowledge, and skills related to issues of diversity and multiculturalism to serve more effectively a broad spectrum of individuals, families, and communities, including demonstrating effective strategies for client advocacy and matters of equity and accessibility.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of appropriate individual, family, group, and systems modalities for counseling, including the use of prevention, crisis intervention strategies, career/occupational counseling, and encouragement of self-help.
  • Develop knowledge and application of principles and models of biopsychosocial assessment, case conceptualization, theories of human development and concepts of psychopathology leading to diagnoses and appropriate counseling plans.

Program Outline

To receive a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, students must earn 60 graduate semester credit hours. Fifty-four of the program hours must be completed through Keiser University. Program requirements are as follows:

Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Major Courses (60.0 credit hours)
Core Counseling Courses (36.0 credit hours)
Foundations of Counseling 3.0 credit hours
Counseling Across the Lifespan 3.0 credit hours
Counseling Skills and Techniques 3.0 credit hours
Counseling Theories and Practice 3.0 credit hours
Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling 3.0 credit hours
Group Theories and Practice 3.0 credit hours
Career Counseling 3.0 credit hours
Counseling Advocacy with Diverse Populations 3.0 credit hours
Crisis Counseling 3.0 credit hours
Counseling Intervention and Treatment Planning 3.0 credit hours
Assessment in Counseling 3.0 credit hours
Research and Program Evaluation 3.0 credit hours
MHC501 is taken in the first semester of the program. Students must successfully complete all core courses prior to enrolling in MHC660.
Specialization Courses (15.0 credit hours)
Psychopathology and Diagnosis 3.0 credit hours
Counseling in Community Settings 3.0 credit hours
Couples and Family Counseling 3.0 credit hours
Foundations of Addiction and Addictive Behavior 3.0 credit hours
Counseling and Sexuality 3.0 credit hours
Clinical Experiences (9.0 credit hours)
Practicum in Counseling 3.0 credit hours
Internship in Counseling 3.0 credit hours

Students take two MHC661 courses after completion of MHC660. MHC661 is taken in the final two semesters of the program.

NOTE: Courses in the program are 16-weeks in length. Most courses are asynchronous in nature, however some courses may require students to participate in activities at set times (e.g., group supervision). Students are required to attend four on-campus residencies at specified times during the program prior to taking practicum and internship courses.

Residency Requirement

The M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling requires four weekend-long, on-campus residencies. During residency, students will focus on skill development in individual and group counseling, applying knowledge gained in coursework. Students will receive individual interaction, direction, and feedback from faculty members, opportunities to share experiences and insights with peers, and preparation for clinical work in practicum and internship settings. Residencies are taken with specific courses and therefore are offered at specific times during the program. When following a typical student program plan, students will complete one residency per semester during the first year of the program and a final residency while completing the practicum experience. Students may not be allowed to continue with coursework until the required residency experiences are completed.

Clinical Experiences

Toward the end of the program, students will complete clinical experiences, referred to as practicum and internship. During this time, students have the opportunity to put into practice what they have learned in their coursework and residency experiences. Students will practice foundational counseling skills and gradually integrate more advanced skills, while receiving individual and group supervision.

Students will be responsible for selecting an appropriate site that can provide the types of activities, clients, and clinical supervision required. Students should consult with their academic advisor and the program handbook for details regarding their required experiences and supervisor qualifications.

Students are required to obtain a minimum of 100 hours of practicum experience and 600 internship hours. In some states, including Florida, students who do not graduate from a CACREP- accredited program may be required to obtain a greater number of practicum/internship hours to fulfill licensure requirements. Students are encouraged to obtain a minimum of 1000 hours of clinical experience (of which 40% should be face-to-face client contact hours) to meet various state requirements.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS program links:

Mrs. Percy and Mr. Williams believed in me. They were more than instructors, they tried to get to know you as a person and tried to understand your goals so they could push you towards them. And Mrs. Crawford from student services helped me find a job before I even graduated. She was dedicated to my overall success.

Jessica Kircher

Going to Keiser University was one of the greatest experiences in my life. All of my deans, professors, and staff made me feel that I was a part of something very special, and I am. I would recommend for anyone to get their education at Keiser University.

Belinda Haney

The two instructors that have impacted my life are Mr. Williams and Mrs. Percy. Both of them believed in my ability to become a great graphic designer, regardless of how I felt about my skills. I appreciate their motivation to get me to where I am today.

Justin Pugh

Beyond the curriculum of the courses, the lessons the instructors have taught me have paid dividends in my real work experiences. How to respond to criticisms, project and time management, interview skills, the list goes on and on. At the end of the day, they not only showed me how to design, but they taught me how to be a professional.

Ryan Bushey

If not for my education at Keiser I probably would not be where I am today, in both life and career. It is because of going to Keiser and the instructors I had that I joined a club started by Mr. Williams, The Lakeland Shooters Photography Group, which allowed me to venture into an amazing and very creative field that I use to enhance all aspects of my life.

Anthony Sassano

The Design program at Keiser University was filled with real world learning and hands on instruction… Based on the portfolio I created while a student at Keiser University, I landed a job in Graphic Design for a major online retailer immediately after graduation.

Ty Fitzgerald

The year and a half I spent in the program better prepared me for attaining a job in the field…As a hands-on learner, the project-centered teaching was perfect for me.

Jackson Tejada

Keiser University has given me the opportunity to embrace a career change… It has opened the door for a timely graduation and quick return to the work force…

Dale Caverly

Without the education I received at Keiser University, I would not be where I am today!

Meisha Ebanks, R.N.

I not only received an excellent education but also encouragement and training that built my self-confidence every day.

Nidia Barrios

I realize the amount of knowledge I gained and feel that the educational experiences have developed me in to a person who can move higher up the career ladder.

Carlos Ramirez Flores

Keiser University’s MBA program has renewed my mind, changed the way I think, and given me a new sense of purpose.  The professors transformed my attitude and behavior, gave me the self-confidence I was lacking, and restored my energy.

Connie Sue Centrella

It has been great attending and graduating from Keiser University.  Because of the small class sizes, I was able to build good relationships with classmates and professors.  The PA professors care very much about the progress and success of the students and have been great advisors every step of the way through the program.

Annelise Merriner, PA-C

Attending Keiser University and getting my degree was the best decision I have ever made.  The small class sizes and personalized attention helped me get my degree quickly.  The hands-on experience and the education landed me a job at a neighboring law firm.

Dedrick Saxon

I chose Keiser because it had everything—small classes, caring professors, hands-on learning, and counselors that are really there for you.  I feel like I’m part of a family here, not just a number.

Natalie Dou

After being denied for several promotions at my current employer, I decided that I needed to further my education.  Since graduating from Keiser with my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, I have been promoted and I am able to obtain positions that weren’t available to me before.

Laurie Williams

Keiser helped change my life by getting my education at the right school! I had been going to another school before, I dropped out because I felt that I was not getting enough information. When I found out about Keiser, I was pleased because the instructors were great.

Nadege Dor

My decision to attend Keiser University has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. I chose to enroll in the Information Technology program… The one-class-a-month pace helped incredibly with my self-discipline.

Marla Hadley

The BA for Business Administration at Keiser has to be one of the best in the nation. Keiser takes the basics that are taught at the Associates level and uses them to strengthen your skills and knowledge.

Vivian R. Howard, BA in Business Administration Graduate

I found that Keiser University’s Nuclear Medicine program of advanced studies and small class size was a perfect fit. I never came across a faculty member who wasn’t truly interested.

Gustavo Gonzalez, Nuclear Medicine Technology Graduate