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Adv. Cert. in Mental Health Counseling

The 24-credit** Advanced Certificate in Mental Health Counseling is a bridge program that addresses the needs of two distinct cohorts, both requiring supplemental coursework and training to qualify for licensure as mental health counselors in New York State. Students with 36- or 48-credit degrees in mental health counseling will accrue the additional credits needed to meet the 60-credit education requirement for licensure, while those with 36-60-credit degrees in other areas of counseling (or a closely related helping-professions discipline) will acquire the specialized courses and fieldwork necessary to retrain as mental health counselors. All students complete the 12-credit practicum/internship sequence (COU530, COU771, COU772), which includes more than 600 hours of supervised mental health counseling experience, plus 12 additional credits based on review of their prior graduate transcripts and identification of specific courses needed to fulfill licensure requirements. Admission to the program is in spring only.

Consistent with the mission of the State University of New York at New Paltz, the advanced certificate program provides students with a challenging, student-centered, and personalized learning environment that enables them to gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence to contribute productively to their profession and communities. For those professionals interested in "retooling" within the broad field of counseling, the advanced certificate program facilitates mid-career changes in specialization to meet professional goals and local and regional needs. 

** Graduates of the SUNY New Paltz M.S. in School Counseling degree require only 18 credits to complete this advanced certificate

» Frequently Asked Questions *
» Steps for Applying
» Admissions Requirements
» Certificate Requirements
» Practicum and Internship
» Information for New Students *
» Counseling Graduate Program Handbook *
» Mental Health Counseling Licensure in New York
» Gainful Employment Disclosure

Admissions Requirements

The following constitute the minimum requirements necessary for an applicant to receive serious consideration for admission to the advanced certificate bridge program in mental health counseling:

  1. Master's degree in counseling or closely related mental health field from a regionally accredited institution.
  2. A grade of "B" or better in at least five (5) of the following prerequisite courses or their equivalents at other institutions:
    • COU510 Counseling Theories
    • COU515 Counseling Skills
    • COU520 Career Development, Counseling & Assessment
    • COU525 Multicultural Counseling
    • COU540 Psychopathology
    • COU545 Group Dynamics & Counseling
    • COU550 Couple & Family Counseling
    • COU555 Assessment
    • PSY527 Human Growth & Development
  3. Minimum grade point average of 3.0 for all graduate work.
  4. Completed application for admission. In the "Statement of Objectives" section, applicants should include relevant material demonstrating how their academic, professional, and personal experiences make them strong candidates for re-specializing in mental health counseling.
  5. One set of official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework.
  6. Three letters of recommendation.
  7. International students must meet these additional university-wide requirements for admission:

Applicants evaluated as having satisfactorily met the above requirements may be asked to interview as part of the admissions process.

Certificate Requirements 

Required Courses (12 credits)

  • COU530 Foundations of Mental Health Counseling (4 credits)
  • COU771Ethics & Professional Orientation: Mental Health Counseling Internship 1 (4 credits)
  • COU772Ethics & Professional Orientation: Mental Health Counseling Internship 2 (4 credits)

Supplementary Courses (12 credits; 6 credits if a SUNY New Paltz M.S. in School Counseling graduate)

  • 4 supplementary courses (3 credits each), based on advisement following transcript review; only 2 courses required if a SUNY New Paltz M.S. in School Counseling graduate

Child Abuse Identification Workshop

  • Must be taken on or off campus and documentation submitted to SUNY New Paltz so that proof of having completed this training can appear on the student's transcript.
  • For the on-campus workshop, pick up a registration form at SCB 105. For more information, contact Deb Gould in SCB 105 at 845-257-2874. She will assist students in making sure that proof of workshop completion is documented on their transcripts once the workshop is completed.
  • Otherwise, take the workshop online at www.childabuseworkshop.com and enter the registration code NewPaltz9 for the same rate as on-campus. This code only works for SUNY New Paltz students.
  • Students who take the workshop online or off-campus from an approved provider should have proof of workshop completion put on their transcript by sending copies of their workshop certificates of completion to Records & Registration in HAB 19 or faxing them to the attention of Elizabeth Shuipis at 845-257-3103.

Plan of Study

Courses are typically be offered on a Spring → Summer → Fall → Spring schedule, as follows:

  • Spring 1: COU530 Foundations of Mental Health Counseling (4 credits); Supplementary course, based on advisement (3 credits) 
  • Summer: Supplementary course, based on advisement (3 credits)
  • Fall: COU771 Ethics & Professional Orientation: Mental Health Counseling Internship 1 (4 credits); Supplementary course, based on advisement (3 credits)
  • Spring 2: COU772 Ethics & Professional Orientation: Mental Health Counseling Internship 2 (4 credits); Supplementary course, based on advisement (3 credits)

NOTE: SUNY New Paltz M.S. in School Counseling graduates only take 2 supplementary courses, based on advisement.

Certificate Plan of Study Form


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