- Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions
- What kind of jobs can I get with a graduate degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling?
- What is the difference between a graduate degree in Counseling, Psychology, or Social Work?
- I was wondering if any of your counseling programs could be completed in Owensboro (or Elizabethtown).
- What are the reasons I need to meet with my advisor?
- What are the licensing requirements?
1. What kind of jobs can I get with a graduate degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling?
Mental health includes many type careers, depending upon the individual's interest. Below is a brief listing of some of the possible areas for pursuing a career.
- Career centers Community counseling centers (rape crisis, domestic violence, and community mental health centers)
- Criminal justice system (prison, probation, parole)
- Group homes (children or the elderly)
Additionally, individuals will find useful information at the American Counseling Association web site for career opportunities. On the Department’s web page is a listing of various professional organizations that provide information regarding career opportunities and the profession.
Good question and you are encouraged to ask this question from professionals holding one of these degrees. In the meantime, all three helping fields have advantages as well as disadvantages, sometimes it is about convenience of the courses being offered in a program, or an interest in the specific courses in the program, or length of study. With this in mind below are some broad differences in the three programs.
Counseling Programs – This program at WKU contains two options, Mental Health or Marriage & Family Therapy. Individuals will take many classes involving counseling applications. Frequently, counseling video tapes are used for reviewing progress, techniques, and application of counseling theory. Students would complete between 15 – 20 tapes in the 60-hour program. There is one course in testing assessment; however, individuals do have an option to take two additional courses in assessments, if this is an area of interest. Another choice would be to take assessment courses as electives within the Psychology Department. Individuals can obtain licensure as Professional Clinical Counselors or Marriage & Family Therapist upon completion of postgraduate training and supervision. Individuals with licensure would be eligible for third party insurance payments with many of the providers.
Psychology - The Psychology graduate program at WKU focuses more on testing and assessments. The program contains very few "skills type courses for counseling," students sometimes choose to take their electives under Counseling (e.g., group, techniques, or addictions). Secondly, if someone desires a more clinical practicum/internship experience, there are some options and opportunities. Individual can obtain licensure as a Licensed Psychologist, upon completion of postgraduate training and supervision; however, the training and supervision post graduation is for a longer period.
Social Work - The SW program at WKU emphasizes "macro" or organization. There are very few "clinical" type courses in this program of study; however, student can opt to take their electives under the Counseling program to obtain counseling type courses (Techniques, Addictions, Group, etc.). This program does have a fast-paced track, where a student combines their undergraduate and graduate studies for a 5-year program. Individual can obtain licensure as Social Worker upon completion of postgraduate training and supervision. A second advantage to SW degree is that insurance providers do like this licensure for third party payments.
3. I was wondering if any of your counseling programs could be completed in Owensboro (or Elizabethtown).
We offer program courses in Owensboro and Elizabethtown; however, I cannot say a person will not need to travel to Bowling Green or other off-campuses to take courses. Sometimes courses are offered and the enrollment is not adequate to keep the course on the books for the semester (need 6 students to continue to a course for the semester). A second concern in scheduling, students need or want 2 courses offered on the same night/day in Owensboro or Elizabethtown, and will choose to travel to BG or other off-campus site to take a course on another night/day. Next, there is great value in taking courses at the main campus (Bowling Green), a) full time faculty presenting at national and state conferences, and conducting research and publications, b) becoming acquainted with other students in the program, c) becoming recognized by the full time faculty to assist in the acceptance process in the counseling program. It is difficult for faculty to approve acceptance into the program, when they have not met the student through classes or other meetings.
Meeting with your advisor can avoid taking an extra semester because you took courses out of sequence, or not being able to start the practicum experience in a timely fashion, or not completing the required paperwork in a timely fashion. Your advisor would be a full-time faculty member of the department, who could advocate for your admittance into the Counseling Program. Lastly, individuals completing the program are job searching, and the advisor is another source for a potential reference, for a JOB.
This web site contains applications and regulations for numerous licensure and certification available in Kentucky. The site contains the complete listing of state requirements for full license status as a Marriage & Family Therapist (LM&FT) or Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).
Student opting for the general Mental Health degree, would be eligible to apply for the Associate status upon completion of the program, graduation, and obtaining their final transcript.
The board then reviews the application for Associate status and the application for
supervisor for the remaining training. A second application would be submitted after
completing the required training and supervision for full licensure status.
Students with the Marriage & Family Therapy specialization would be eligible to apply for the Associate status upon completion of the program, graduation, and obtaining their final transcript. The board then reviews the application for Associate status and the application for supervisor for the remaining training. A second application would be submitted after completing the required training and supervision for full licensure status.