M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Guidebook

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1 M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Guidebook NOTE: 1) This guidebook is subject to change. If it does, students will be notified via and will be provided with the revised version. 2) Policies and program information are located in the Student Handbook and Academic Catalog, to access click on the URL: 1

2 Table of Contents Program Overview... 3 TCSPP Individual and Cultural Differences... 3 Program Learning Outcomes... 4 Statement of Ethical Guidelines... 4 Ethical Behavior and Student Comportment... 5 Comportment in Courses and Field Experience:... 5 Advising... 6 Assignment of Advisor(s)... 6 Comprehensive Exam... 6 Field Experience... 7 Description... 7 Requirements to Apply... 7 Requirements for Completion... 9 Campus specific information... 9 Online Residency

3 Program Overview The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program consists of 60 credit hours of course work and supervised clinical training experiences. Students learn to promote mental wellness, prevention, and resilience in individuals and communities. Students in the MA CMHC program gain experience and training in general counseling competencies including ethics, research, program evaluation, diagnosis, theories, career development, assessment, and counseling interventions. Students receive specialized training that focuses on community, prevention, and early intervention in community settings. Students are prepared in the requisite knowledge, skills, multicultural competence, and self-awareness required of professional counselors. The MA CMHC program is based upon the standards developed by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The program also incorporates the eight content areas outlined by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). Acknowledged for its commitment to diversity, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology recognizes that service to a diverse community plays a vital role in psychology. Through its programs, the Counseling Department embraces this commitment through the integration of multicultural education and diversity across its curriculum; successful students demonstrate an appreciation for and competency in this area. Likewise, the faculty reflects experience in graduate level teaching and counseling practice with diverse clinical populations. This program seeks to serve a diverse student body throughout the country. TCSPP Individual and Cultural Differences The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is committed to preparing professionals for practice in a multicultural and diverse society. In keeping with this commitment, the content of all courses is informed, where appropriate, by knowledge of individual and cultural differences (e.g., age, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental disability, race, religion, sexua lorientation, and socioeconomic status), so that students develop the skills that enable them to provide professional services to individuals of diverse backgrounds. Faculty conveys attitudes respectful of these individual and cultural differences. 3

4 Program Learning Outcomes 1. Upon successful completion of this program students will be able to: Diversity and Advocacy: demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and practices to deliver culturally appropriate counseling services, advocate for clients, and understand how to influence policy to enhance the practice of clinical mental health counseling. 2. Foundations: show a commitment to their identity as counselors through membership and activities in professional organizations, and through ethical behavior in their work with clients and other professionals. 3. Counseling, Prevention, and Intervention: demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and practices of culturally appropriate diagnosis, treatment, referral, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders. 4. Assessment: demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and practices of culturally appropriate and holistic clinical evaluation and assessment of normalcy and psychopathology. 5. Diagnosis: demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and practices of culturally appropriate diagnosis of both psychopathology and normal developmental challenges, including appropriate use of diagnosis during trauma-causing events. 6. Research and Evaluation: competently and critically evaluate clinical mental health counseling research, demonstrate understanding of evidence-based treatments and outcome evaluation, and apply appropriate models of program evaluation. Statement of Ethical Guidelines Students are expected to develop a working knowledge of the ethical and legal issues pertaining to, but not limited to, American Counseling Association s Code of Ethics (2014); relevant federal, state, and local laws, statutes, regulations, and legal precedents (e.g., the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission s Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, 1978) as well as the professional norms, standards, and guidelines relevant to the profession. 4

5 Ethical Behavior and Student Comportment Students are expected to behave in a professional and ethical manner at all times. If a student has an issue with a colleague or instructor, the student should first attempt to address the issue with the colleague or instructor. If no resolution occurs, the student should consult with their advisor or a faculty member from the program. If the issue then remains unresolved, the student should contact the department chair. If an instructor deems that a solution or intervention a student recommends in an assignment would be unethical, the instructor may deduct points from the grade for that assignment so long as feedback is provided to the student as to why the solution/intervention would be professionally inappropriate. Students are expected to develop a working knowledge of ethical issues relevant to Clinical Mental Health Counseling and to adhere to the ethical principles described in the ACA Code of Ethics. Students displaying improper conduct in person or in electronically mediated communication (telephone, webinar, Canvas) will be referred to the Department Chair for remedial action. Instructors may request that a student rephrase an in a professional manner if tone is deemed unprofessional or disrespectful. If a student has an issue with a colleague or instructor, the student should first attempt to the issue with that colleague or instructor. If no resolution occurs, then the student should consult with their advisor or a program faculty member. If the issue still remains unresolved, the student should contact the Department Chair. Comportment in Courses and Field Experience: Attendance and professional behavior in all scheduled classes is expected. Professionalism is expected in all communication related to coursework including communication in person and in electronic form (e.g., ). A student may be subject to disciplinary review or action including dismissal from the Program or the School when: The student s behavior has been disruptive or is detrimental to the learning environment The student s health or emotional stability interferes with progress in course work The student fails to meet appropriate standards of performance (e.g. punctuality, interpersonal communication with faculty, staff, and on site visits, timely completion of responsibilities) The student s behavior negatively impacts the reputation of the Program or School The student s conduct has been judged to be in violation of professional or ethical standards 5

6 Advising Assignment of Advisor(s) Students will be assigned a faculty advisor who will provide academic advising throughout their duration in the program. The MA CMHC program is developmental and lockstep; students should consult with their advisor prior to taking a course out of sequence. Change of Advisor In the event that a student wants to change advisors, the student will schedule a meeting with the current advisor to discuss his/her rationale for the request. If approved by the current advisor, the advisor will obtain the Request for Advisor Change form. Next, the Department Chair will assign a new advisor. The Department Manager will notify by the former advisor, new advisor, and the student that the advisor change has been finalized. If the request for a new advisor is denied, the student has the right to appeal the decision in writing to the Department Chair within 10 business days of notification of denial. The Department Chair has final decision making authority. Comprehensive Exam All students are required to successfully complete the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE). The information tested by the exam includes the program competencies. The comprehensive examination is generally administered twice a year and taken during the last year of enrollment in academic coursework. Students must be in good academic standing to be eligible to take this comprehensive evaluation. Additional information regarding registering, qualifying, format, and dates of the exam can be obtained from the Department Chair or the Director of APP. Students who are unable to pass the exam on the first attempt are permitted to retake the exam a maximum of two additional times. The exam may be retaken during the next scheduled administration of the exam. Students will receive information from the department regarding their performance on the examination. Any student who fails the Comprehensive Examination a third time is ineligible for degree conferral. If such a student believes s/he has a substantive reason to appeal this decision, not just dissatisfaction with the policy (i.e. evidence of improper procedure, failure to receive sanctioned accommodations, etc.) s/he must make a written appeal to the Department Chair within ten (10) business days of receiving their third failing score. This written appeal must include all supporting evidence which the student believes needs to be taken into account as justification for the appeal. The Department Chair has final decision making authority. If, in the opinion of the Chair, the request for an appeal 6

7 is clearly without merit or does not meet the requirements as stated, the appeal will be denied. Field Experience Description Practicum and internship, sometimes referred to as field training or applied professional practice experiences, provides for the application of theory and the development of counseling skills under supervision. These experiences offer opportunities for students to counsel and provide other professional services to diverse clientele in their communities. Typically, students complete their practicum and internship at the same site. The first 100 hours of this experience is called practicum. During this time, students gain skills and knowledge of the counseling experience. Students will practice foundational counseling skills and, over time, integrate more advanced skills through practice in classes, supervised recorded sessions, and direct service at their sites. Moreover, the practicum experience often focuses on the personal qualities needed to develop genuine and effective counseling relationships with a wide range of clientele. As such, students learn self-assessment skills as well as how to understand clients worldviews. After successfully accruing the 100 practicum hours, students begin their internship training. During the post-practicum 600+ hour internship, students integrate the skills and knowledge they have learned and developed throughout their academic preparation and practicum. The internship is intended to reflect the comprehensive work experience of a clinical mental health counselor, and students will participate in the full range of roles and responsibilities available at their sites. Note the practicum and internship experiences are conducted under the direction of a qualified on-site supervisor, and the minimum total number of hours accrued is 700 (i.e. 100 practicum hours internship hours = 700 total hours). An advanced internship course is available to students needing a full year of field work or 900 hours of internship hours to complete course work requirements for state licensure. Transfer of credit for the practicum/internship is not granted and practicum/internship requirements are never waived. Further details regarding practicum and internship are found in the Practicum/Internship Manual available from the CMHC Director of Applied Professional Practice. Requirements to Apply The CMHC program developed the following guidelines to help students prepare for successful professional practice. Adherence to these procedures is critical, and students 7

8 should consult the CMHC Director of Applied Professional Practice if they have questions. To be eligible for practicum training, all students (i.e. full-time, on a one-two schedule, or part-time) must: Complete at least 24 credits of core courses must be passed with a grade with a grade of B- or better before enrolling, Be in good academic standing, Complete of Advanced Treatment Planning and Psychopharmacology, Complete Residency II satisfactorily, and Receive the approval of Director of Applied Professional Practice. Ineligibility for Practicum/Internship Please note that any CMHC student may be withheld at any time from the practicum/internship search and training processes if: They have a cumulative GPA below 3.0., They are not in good academic standing, They have been referred to the Student Affairs Committee and are awaiting that hearing and/or the decision, and/or There is a significant concern about their professional development and/or ability to meet the demands of practicum training. Requirements to be a Practicum/Internship Site Supervisor A practicum or internship site supervisor must have: A minimum of a master s degree in counseling or a related profession (e.g., marriage and family therapist, social work, psychologist, psychiatrist) with equivalent qualifications, including appropriate certifications and/or licenses; A minimum of two (2) years of pertinent, post-master s professional experience in the program area in which the student is completing clinical instruction; Knowledge of the CMHC program s expectations, requirements, and evaluation procedures for students; Relevant training in counseling supervision. [Relevant training in counseling supervision can be defined as having a minimum of three clock hours (e.g. workshop, class) in counseling supervision, that includes an understanding of (a) models and theories of counseling supervision, (b) ethical issues relevant to counseling supervision, and (c) multicultural issues relevant to counseling supervision.]; and, Malpractice/liability insurance. Students can reference the Practicum and Internship Manual for additional information. 8

9 Liability Insurance The Chicago School of Professional Psychology provides liability insurance for all students engaged in practicum/internship. Should a site require documentation of this, please contact the CMHC Director of Applied Professional Practice (APP). Requirements for Completion The CMHC Director of Applied Professional Practice (APP) awards grades for practicum based on the evaluation of the site supervisor, the student's performance in practicum/internship seminar, the completion of the requisite practicum hours, and the submission of all required forms to the department s Office of APP. Complete adherence to ethical standards of the field is required of all students, especially those on practicum. Should a student show unprofessional or unethical behavior, or signs that he or she lacks suitability for the profession, he or she may be dismissed from a training practicum. Dismissal or student initiated termination from a practicum is considered extremely serious and will result in automatic referral to the Student Affairs Committee (SAC) for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the school. Campus specific information Online Residency Students in the online MA CMHC program attend two, four-day residencies at the Chicago campus. The first on ground residency occurs during the Helping Relationships and Skills course during year one in the program. The second residency occurs during the Group Theories and Processes of Counseling course, during the second year in the program. 9

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