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Master of Arts in Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The Master of Arts in Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) is a 60-credit hour program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Graduates of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program qualify for the Kentucky Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPCA) credential, the first post-graduation step in obtaining full licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in Kentucky. Additionally, graduates meet the educational requirements to become a National Certified Counselor (NCC). The Department offers both a residential (including a mix of face to face, web-based, and live synchronous zoom course offerings); as well as an online pathway (including a mix of web-based and live synchronous zoom course offerings). Live synchronous zoom courses will be offered at the same time and dates as those meeting face to face. See TopNet for the Department’s schedule of classes.

Admission to the online/digital pathway is only open each fall semester. (Residential applications are accepted for both the fall and spring.) Therefore, those seeking admission to the online pathway should submit their application by the March 1 deadline and when applying to Graduate School, applicants must select digital (Versus selecting residential). Upon completing the admissions requirements (including being invited to and attending the Admissions Interview) and being accepted into the fully digital program, students will be immediately registered for the fall courses and should consult financial aid regarding tuition and respective due dates.


Elective Options: Graduate Certificates and Areas of Specialty

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program offers elective courses in which students can specialize in different areas (i.e., School Counseling; Addictions Education; College and Career Readiness; Play Therapy; Couples and Family Counseling. Elective courses are offered pending faculty availability and enrollment; and may not include online offerings.

Students enrolled in the residential Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) pathway can be eligible for both the KY Professional Clinical Counselor License and the Kentucky School Counseling Certification by fulfilling all elective requirements with School Counseling courses.

This interdisciplinary certificate program prepares students to provide counseling, education services, and/or support services to individuals experiencing addiction issues. Individuals who complete the program will be knowledgeable about the various components of addictions and gain skills related to their professional field such as prevention strategies, assessment procedures, intervention skills, treatment planning, and recovery support. This program is appropriate for both licensed eligible mental health professionals (i.e., Professional Counselors, Social Workers), as well as bachelor level employees (i.e., mental health support professionals, human resources administrators and staff).

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This certificate program is for graduate students who are interested in the college and career readiness of P-12 students; with a specific focus on interacting and intervening with this target population, as well as developing professional relationships with school-related stakeholders. The College and Career Readiness (CCR) certificate is created to support the career and college readiness needs of local, regional, and national P-12 students. It is offered online through WKU’s Bowling Green campus; courses are taught by CNS faculty with the integration of experts from local businesses and schools. Students will have opportunities to participate in action research and service learning consultation activities. This certificate program plays a leading role in Kentucky’s economic and social development by preparing CCR graduates to prepare P-12 students to join a high quality educated workforce in an area of local, regional, and national need. Additionally, it meets the needs of area schools by providing specific training to the personnel being hired or asked to work with students in the areas of college and career readiness. It also serves to help build and maintain networks between districts and industry in Bowling Green.

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Students enrolled in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program who take courses that meet Kentucky state requirements can be eligible for both the KY Professional Clinical Counselor License and the Kentucky School Counseling Certification (Provisional-Rank I). Additional courses beyond the 60-hour CMHC program are required to acquire the Standard School Counseling Certification. Students should work with their advisor upon being accepted into the CMHC program to make sure they are following the appropriate Planned Program and courses to meet the requirements for both.

The following Play Therapy courses are offered pending enrollment and instructor availability.

  • CNS 569 Play Therapy (3 credit hours) Provides an overview of the essential elements and principles of play therapy including history, theories, and techniques. Assists students in understanding the development, social, cognitive, and emotional issues that impact children's behavior.
  • CNS 611 Advanced Play Therapy (3 credit hours) Prerequisite: CNS 569. In-depth study of advanced principles of play therapy theories and techniques. Application of advanced knowledge of developmental, social, cognitive, and emotional issues that impact children's behavior.
  • CNS 612 Expressive Arts Techniques in Counseling (3 credit hours) Introduction to principles of sandtray technique. Provides overview of history, theory, and interventions across the lifespan.

Scholarship Opportunities & Financial Support

WKU offers generous scholarships that may help you further reduce the cost of the Hilltopper experience.

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Department of Counseling
and Student Affairs

Gary A. Ransdell Hall 3036
1906 College Heights Blvd. #51031,
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1030
(270) 745-4953

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 Last Modified 6/18/24