Jun 29, 2022  
2021-2022 South University Academic Catalog Version II 
2021-2022 South University Academic Catalog Version II

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, West Palm Beach Campus, 10 Quarter (MA)

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Curriculum for South University, West Palm Beach campus only

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 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. Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice:  Demonstrate knowledge and application of all aspects of professional functioning, to include ethical standards, legal implications, advocacy and social justice, counselor roles, and professional credentialing.
  2. Social and Cultural Diversity: Demonstrate the ability to apply multicultural research and core theory to issues and relationships in the context of culturally competent counseling.
  3. Human Growth and Development Through the Lifespan: Apply research and core theory to the needs of diverse individuals across the lifespan, to include atypical personality and neurological development, addictive disorders, family and social relationships, and crisis response.
  4. Lifestyle and Career Development: Demonstrate implementation of research and  core theory related to the processes of decision-making in career development and planning in the context of the psychology of work.
  5. Counseling and the Helping Relationship: Demonstrate knowledge and skill application of the major theories of change, consultation practices, diagnostic impressions, and evidence-based interventions to a diverse clientele for the delivery of effective and ethical treatment.
  6. Group Dynamics and Group Work:  Apply culturally appropriate group skills, techniques, and theory-based interventions in the context of group counseling dynamics while exploring effective facilitation styles.
  7. Assessment and Appraisal: Analyze historical and current testing and assessment methods for implementing ethical and accurate appraisal of diverse clients by individual or group methods.
  8. Research and Program Evaluation: Apply needs assessment, program evaluation, and research methods to ethical and effective practice and to add to the body of literature in the counseling profession.

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.

Sample Administrative Course Outlines (ACOs)

CNS6002 ACO  CNS6850 ACO  CNS7010 ACO  CNS7510 ACO  

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program: 95 Credits, 10 quarter program

Quarter 1: 8.5 Credits

Quarter 2: 8.5 Credits

Quarter 4: 9 Credits

Quarter 5: 9 Credits

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