Stephen F. Austin State University

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program is a 60 hour CACREP accredited masters degree leading to the Licensed Professional Counselor credential. Graduates of the CMHC program are highly sought after to work in hospitals, agencies, non-profit organizations, and other mental health treatment settings. Employers recognize the quality of training received at SFASU, making our graduates the candidates of choice by hiring decision makers.

Program Mission Statement

The mission of the SFASU Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is to provide high quality academic and clinical training experiences for the purpose of developing licensed professional counselors who are prepared to serve the needs of a diverse client population. Program graduates will demonstrate competence in providing a wide variety of counseling services using evidence-based practices.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program strives to achieve the following competencies:

What is Clinical Mental Health Counseling?

In the State of Texas, Clinical Mental Health Counselors practice under the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential. The work of an LPC can be very diverse and ranges from working with well functioning individuals who would like to improve the quality of some aspect of life to working with individuals who deal with chronic mental illness. The LPC practice includes, but is not limited to, the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders, including addictions, psychoeducational techniques aimed at the prevention of disorders, consultation with individuals, couples, families, groups, and organizations, and research into effective treatment modalities.

In order to obtain the Texas LPC credential, you must hold a master's degree in counseling or a closely related field, pass the National Counselor Examination, pass the Texas Jurisprudence Exam, and complete a 3000 hour post-graduate internship under the supervision of an LPC Supervisor. The post-graduate internship is most often completed as a paid employment position.

LPC's are the largest provider of mental health services in the State of Texas. They are employed in community mental health centers, agencies, hospitals, and organizations, as well as private practice. They are covered by managed care organizations, health plans, and employee assistance programs.

The skills and techniques used by a Licensed Professional Counselor include:

Accreditation Information

The CMHC program has been fully accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) since 1993. It was the third counseling program in the state to receive accreditation. There are currently only 15 counseling programs in Texas that are CACREP accredited.

The current CACREP accreditation is from 2008-2016. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program is accredited under the 2001 Standards for Community Counseling. The program is currently aligned with the 2016 Clinical Mental Health Counseling Standards and has made preparations for transition to an accredited Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program upon application for reaccreditation in 2016.

Accreditation assures the quality of the academic preparation program and the associated curriculum has been reviewed against professionally approved standards. Graduation from a CACREP accredited program opens doors to some employment opportunities that would not otherwise be available. In addition, some third party payors require a CACREP degree in order to be eligible for payment reimbursement. CACREP accredited programs must engage in a systematic self review and continuous improvement process, as well as engage in a periodic peer review process.

Accreditation Documents

Potential Students

Potential students should demonstrate a strong desire to enter a helping profession. Preferred undergraduate degrees include rehabilitation services, psychology, sociology, social work, or other related human service fields. Students from other undergraduate majors who have personal or volunteer experience in a helping capacity will be considered. Admission criteria and application procedures can be found on the Counselor Education Program website.

Financial Aid

Students interested in applying for financial aid will need to complete the FAFSA and apply through the SFASU Financial Aid Services. There are no counseling specific scholarships available through the program. A limited number of Graduate Assistantships are available through the Graduate School.

The estimated cost of full time (9 hours) attendance is approximately $3000 a semester, plus the cost of fees, books, and materials. The tuition calculator can be used to determine the cost for a specific number of hours per semester.

Method of Delivery for Classes

The faculty of the SFASU Counselor Education Programs recognize the increasing demands on the time of many of our students. In consideration of that, approximately 40 percent of our classes are offered in an online format. However, we strongly believe face to face interaction and supervision is necessary in order to train highly qualified counseling professionals. Counseling classes meet one night a week for 2.5 hours. Classes begin at 4:30 or 7:15.

Graduate Curriculum

Exact sequencing of classes will be determined based upon full or part time attendance. The following is an example of a full time student who enters in the fall semester.

CMHC Sample Course Sequence

A full description of courses can be found on the Graduate Courses page.