Gannon University Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022

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Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master of Science (M.S.) Degree Director: Rebecca A. Willow, Ed.D.

INTRODUCTION Gannon University offers the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 60 credit-hour program accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The program is designed to prepare individuals for careers in a variety of professional counseling settings such as outpatient mental health, human service agencies, college and university counseling, and residential treatment. The curriculum includes a blend of counselor training experiences designed to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to become a professional counselor. The program prepares graduates to pursue National Counselor Certification (NCC) and licensure as a Professional Counselor (LPC).

MISSION STATEMENT The mission of Gannon University’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program is to educate and train students to become professional counselors who are committed to the wellness of individuals, families, groups, and the greater community. The philosophy of the program focuses on the development of the competencies required of professional counselors. The program objectives are (a) enhancing students’ knowledge of counseling theory and concepts; (b) developing strategies to facilitate human growth and development over the lifespan; (c) providing skills and training requisite of generalist entry-level counseling practitioners; (d) developing multicultural competencies; (e) promoting the development of sound legal and ethical decision-making skills; and (f) preparing individuals for national certification and professional licensure. Although students typically are drawn from the regional area, applicants with diverse backgrounds and from outside the region are encouraged to apply. Students are guided to embody and contribute to the spirit of diversity to which the program and profession are committed.

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES Learning outcomes are statements of knowledge, skills and abilities an individual student possesses and can demonstrate upon completion of a program of study. Students graduating from the


Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Gannon University are expected to achieve the following learning outcomes: 1. Demonstrate understanding of the ethical, legal and professional spheres of counselor roles, responsibilities, and identity. 2. Demonstrate understanding of the complexities of social and cultural contexts for individuals and their implications for relationships. 3. Demonstrate understanding of human development across the lifespan and its significance for counseling relationships and strategies. 4. Demonstrate understanding of career development appropriate to diverse needs and life experiences. 5. Demonstrate counselor characteristics, behaviors, interviewing, and counseling skills that influence the helping relationship. 6. Demonstrate understanding of the dynamics, strategies, and conditions associated with group work effectiveness 7. Demonstrate competent use of assessment and diagnosis of mental and emotional disorders and conditions. 8. Demonstrate competent use of research methods, needs assessment, and program evaluation skills important to the counseling profession. 9. Demonstrate case conceptualization, diagnosis, and treatment planning skills within the context of clinical mental health counseling. 10. Demonstrate self-awareness and self-development through engagement in active learning and reflectivity.

DIVERSITY STATEMENT The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program establishes and supports an environment that values the diverse and unique nature of human experiences and backgrounds. We enrich our personal and professional lives by exemplifying Gannon University’s call to demonstrate professional respect for the dignity of every person.

PROGRAM ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS Students must have a bachelor’s degree from an approved institution. A complete application for admissions includes: a resume, three letters of recommendation from appropriate professionals, an essay, and participation in an admissions interview. To be admitted into the program, applicants must have a minimum grade point average of 2.8 in undergraduate coursework. Students must also have Pennsylvania Child Abuse History clearance and the Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check (ACT 33 & ACT 34 clearances) dated within a year of application. Formal admittance to the program is required before enrolling in courses. Program director approval may be given for students to transfer up to 12 semester hours of credits earned at a CACREP accredited program. Program director approval may be given for students to transfer up to six semester hours of credits earned at a non-CACREP accredited institution, subject to Gannon University Graduate program policy.