Welcome to the Mental Health Counseling program at Alfred University! A career in Mental Health Counseling is a rewarding career in many ways. Alfred’s program, with its emphasis on quality programming and student-centered faculty, prepares and trains students to meet the challenges of providing high quality mental health care to a variety of populations across a variety of settings.
Nationally, mental health counseling is a rapidly growing profession. The Department of Labor reports that mental health counseling jobs are projected to grow 19% over the next decade, much faster than the average of all professions. This is not surprising as mental health counselors have a skillset that is unique among other human service disciplines – with its holistic approach that emphasizes wellness, diversity competence, development, prevention and the medical model.
Mental health counselors work in a variety of settings including community mental health agencies, inpatient settings, college counseling centers, and private practice. Practitioners work to empower diverse individuals (adults, children and families) who present with a variety of issues that can include relationship and career concerns, as well as serious mental illness and addiction. Mental health counselors are fully trained to provide a comprehensive set of services that includes psychotherapy, assessment and diagnosis, psychoeducation, and crisis intervention.
Alfred University’s Masters of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling consists of 60 credit hours of coursework and supervised practicum and internship experiences. As a CACREP accredited program, Alfred’s coursework addresses the eight common core curricular experiences as well as several specialization areas including:
- Foundations of mental health counseling
- Psychopathology and differential diagnosis
- Counseling special populations/evidence-based practices
- Mental health assessment
- Substance use disorders
The practicum and internship courses, which occur across three semesters of training, provide students with over 700 hours of applied experiences in area community mental health agencies and college and university counseling centers.
Alfred’s mental health counseling program is registered with New York State as a Licensure Qualified Program. Thus, graduates of the program will have completed all of the educational requirements necessary to obtain their limited permit as a Mental Health Counselor. Graduates are eligible to pursue full licensure (LMHC) by accumulating the required post-graduate contact hours and passing the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination.
Graduates can gain meaningful employment in a variety of New York State Office of Mental Health programs, exempt settings, and even as private practitioners, as most of the major insurance companies in New York accept LMHC’s as providers. And, given our CACREP accreditation, graduates have found it easy to gain licensure and employment in other states throughout the country.