Aug 19, 2022  
2017-2018 South University Academic Catalog Version II 
2017-2018 South University Academic Catalog Version II [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MA)

Offered at South University, Austin; South University, Cleveland; South University, Columbia; South University, High Point; South University, Novi; South University, Richmond; South University, Savannah; South University, Virginia Beach; and South University, West Palm Beach.

South University
Austin, Columbia, Richmond, Savannah, and Virginia Beach Campuses
South University, Cleveland
South University, High Point
South University, Novi
South University, West Palm Beach
Program Overview

The South University Master of Arts degree program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is intended to meet the local and regional need for qualified counselors. The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is designed to provide advanced and broad training for South University graduate students regarding theories, principles, and dynamic applications in the field. Students develop the skills necessary to engage in effective assessment and treatment practices, achieve competence for ethical, legal, and professional issues, and understand the significance and utility of research to the field. Faculty members are dedicated to maintaining high teaching standards, developing intellectual curiosity, advancing critical thinking, and engaging in service to the University, community, and profession.

The primary goals of the program are as follows:

  • Promote the development of broad and comprehensive knowledge of the field of Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
  • Promote critical/analytical thinking regarding concepts and applications in the field.
  • Promote a thorough understanding of mental health assessment and treatment.
  • Raise awareness of professionalism and issues impacting the profession.

The program is designed to provide an opportunity for its graduates to achieve initial eligibility criteria to become licensed in their state and certified as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). The length of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program varies in accord with the licensing requirements of the states in which the program is offered. As a result, the program may not meet the licensing requirements of all states. The student should contact the licensing board in the state in which they anticipate seeking licensure to determine the appropriate program. By way of illustration, the track offered at the Columbia campus is 91 credit hours and is designed to meet current state requirements for counseling programs in South Carolina. The program is 91 credit hours at the Austin, Richmond, Savannah and Virginia Beach campuses, which is designed to meet current licensure requirements for counseling programs in Texas, Georgia and Virginia. The program is 91 credit hours at the Novi campus, which is designed to meet the current licensure requirements for counseling programs in Michigan. The program is 92 credit hours at the Cleveland campus, which is designed to meet the current licensure requirements for counseling programs in Ohio. The program is 95 credit hours at the High Point campus, which is designed to meet the current licensure requirements for counseling programs in North Carolina. The state of Florida offers licensure for Counselors in Mental Health Counseling and also requires extra classes in Human Sexuality and Treatment of Substances Abuse. Therefore, the track offered at the West Palm Beach campus is 95 credit hours, which is designed to meet current state licensure requirements. After becoming licensed as a Mental Health Counselor in Florida for three years, dual licensure can be pursued through attaining a License as a Marriage and Family Therapist by taking the LMFT state exam.

The delivery structure of the program provides the opportunity for students who wish to balance the rigors of work and home while pursuing their master's degree. Although delivery will vary by campus location, classes generally meet each Saturday and weeknights as needed. The program is designed for students to complete the curriculum in 8 quarters. Each quarter, classes will be held on a weekly basis for a 10 week period with the 11th week designated for final exams.

Students who enroll in the program will be taught via two primary modes of instruction. The majority of the program will involve didactic and experiential classroom instruction. The second mode of instruction will focus on supervised field experiences. Students will be placed in actual counseling settings in the community and will practice counseling under the auspices of an onsite supervisor. Students in field placements will also receive weekly individual and group supervision from qualified faculty supervisors.

The objectives of the South University Clinical Mental Health Counseling program are to recruit eligible students from all areas and provide fair and equitable admissions criteria; make available a variety of instructional models and resources to provide the student with the most effective learning arrangements and to provide appropriate learning opportunities for counseling students that will prepare them to perform their expected competencies in an ethical, legal, safe, and effective manner upon graduation; prepare counseling students to communicate effectively; instill the importance and value of continued education and involvement in appropriate professional and community affairs after graduation; and encourage the counseling students to recognize their own strengths and limitations.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge, comprehension, synthesis, and application of the major theories comprising the foundation of counseling from a historical and contemporary perspective.
  2. Demonstrate an awareness and comprehension of the normal and abnormal mechanisms of change within individuals across the lifespan.
  3. Demonstrate an ability to properly identify, assess, conceptualize, diagnose, and treat mental disorders in the context of the accepted diagnostic nomenclature.
  4. Gain an understanding and appreciation of the contributions of quantitative and qualitative research and the synergy among the theoretical, clinical and scientific components of the field.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of their personal view as it relates to their world view and the multidimensional nature of cultural influences as a Counselor Educator.
  6. Demonstrate effective verbal and written communication skills necessary to interface with various constituents including clients, treatment teams, and public entities.
  7. Demonstrate an appropriate level of professional development as evidenced by the knowledge and understanding of pertinent ethical and legal principles in the profession, in addition to current/emerging issues in the field.
  8. Demonstrate a level of proficiency concerning the knowledge, skills, and competencies deemed appropriate for use in the profession as identified by the ongoing need for education and training beyond graduation.

Courses are taught according to the matriculation sequences provided by each campus and at the discretion of the school. Courses must be attempted in the curriculum sequence as defined by each campus. Curriculum content and sequence are subject to change with notification. 

Transfer of Credit Guidelines for the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program

Graduate work completed at another institution will be reviewed by the Program Director for possible credit based on the following criteria/procedure:

  1. The course was taken at an acceptable accredited collegiate institution.
  2. The transferred course must be determined to be equivalent to the course listed in the South University catalog.

 Note: Students may be required to provide additional supporting documentation such as a course description or a syllabus for a class to be considered for Transfer of Credit.

  1. Courses that may be transferred are subject to the following conditions:
  • A course may be transferred if the student has earned a grade of "B" or better
  • The majority of credits earned toward a graduate degree in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program must be earned at South University. No more than 49% of courses may be transferred.
  • No course may be transferred if it was taken more than seven (7) years prior to the transfer request.
  1. South University reserves the right to reject any and all transfer credits from other institutions when it is determined that the quality of instruction is deficient or unsatisfactory as deemed by South University.
  2. The University reserves the right to disallow transfer credit for courses if the student's subsequent grades in required courses in the same subject fall below average.
  3. Final approval on transfer credit is required by the College Dean or his/her designee.