Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program
Program Director: Dr. A. Renee Staton
Minimum admissions requirements for entry to the clinical mental health counseling program include the following:
- Completion of a baccalaureate degree with a satisfactory grade point average.
- Satisfactory scores on the general portion of the Graduate Record Examination.
- A personal statement.
- A resume.
- Three completed reference forms from individuals familiar with the student's potential for graduate education.
- A minimum of 18 credit hours of undergraduate preparation in psychology or related behavioral sciences.
- A personal interview and a screening session with the program committee.
- As a part of the final admissions process, applicants must complete a criminal history check.
As members of the clinical mental health counseling program of James Madison University, we have formed our own learning community of faculty, staff and students. We vary in abilities, age, class, gender, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation and place of birth, but we share a common vision of achieving a vitally important mission – transforming students into successful mental health counselors.
Our alumni are dedicated to providing competent, caring and ethical services to diverse clients in public agencies, community programs and private practices. Putting our principles into practice, we strive to create a caring community in which we can thrive personally and grow professionally. While many of our graduates work in rural communities in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley or among the mountains of West Virginia, many more have moved on to serve in other communities throughout the mid-Atlantic region and across the nation. We invite our students to embark on a life-long journey of exploring new possibilities, refining their skills and staying fresh throughout their careers. We encourage them to support one another in the vital task of facilitating the change process in individuals, couples, families, groups and communities as licensed professional counselors. We challenge our graduates to advance the clinical mental health counseling profession through service, research, innovation, advocacy and training.
The clinical mental health counseling program provides the course work necessary to become licensed professional counselors in Virginia and to practice in such settings as community mental health centers, community agencies, psychiatric facilities and private practice. The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). At the end of the three year, 60-credit-hour program, students receive both the Master of Arts in Counselor Education and the Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology and Counselor Education, both with concentrations in clinical mental health counseling. Graduates are also eligible to become national certified counselors.