Professional Specialization Options
The 60-unit graduate program in counseling offers two professional specialization options. The Clinical Mental Health specialization prepares students for careers in the mental health field and marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and/or professional clinical counselor (LPCC) licensure. The School Counseling specialization prepares students for a career in school counseling and the professional personnel services (PPS) credential. The program relies on interpersonal skill training and field experience, beginning during the first semester and culminating with an intensive supervised traineeship/field experience in a counseling setting, which fosters the integration of theory, research, and practical application.
The Department is prepared to assist CMHC students in obtaining field placements relevant to their projected professional goals. These placements include, but are not limited to: marriage and family counseling agencies, mental health clinics, counseling centers, public schools, and college-level counseling centers. For the School Counseling program, field placements are at a minimum of two of the three K-12 levels: elementary school, middle school, and high school.
Unique Characteristics of the Program
- Early observation of and involvement in actual counseling practice.
- Development of core knowledge and experience in individual, family, and group counseling theory and practice.
- Support for each student in the development of their individual counseling style.
- A commitment to student self-exploration and personal growth through participation in peer counseling, individual counseling, and group experiences. This aspect of the program is seen as crucial to the development of adequate counseling skills and is given special consideration by the faculty as part of its evaluation of student readiness to undertake traineeship/fieldwork responsibilities.
- A strong emphasis on multicultural awareness and cultural humility in counseling practice.
The intention of the Counseling Program is to provide students with a solid foundation for a lifetime of continued personal and professional development as they enter into an entry-level counseling position. The program emphasizes the integration of theory, research, practice, and self-exploration across the curriculum. Students find that in most of their coursework, faculty expect students to be able to articulate their personal histories (e.g., relationships with family, peers, significant others) and the unique experiences related to their intersecting identities. It is the faculty’s belief that self-understanding and awareness of our own cultural identities, and the experiences of privilege and marginalization associated with those identities, is crucial to effective, ethical, and meaningful counseling work.
We are committed to the personal and professional development of students in the Counseling Program,and see our graduates as more than counseling professionals—they are leaders who advocate for and facilitate change at individual, family, community, institutional, and societal levels. We believe counselors are uniquely positioned to promote the health and development of diverse children, adolescents, adults, and older adults, and that they play an active role in fostering a more just and equitable world for all members of our community.
The CMHC and School Counseling programs are nationally accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) in the core curriculum and in the respective program specialization areas. The School Counseling program is also accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC). The CMHC program meets the educational requirements of the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) toward licensure in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) and Licensed Professional Clinical Counseling (LPCC). The CMHC program is not designed to meet criteria for CACREP’s Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling-Therapy (MFC/T) specialization.