NU Establishes Dual Degree Program in Psychology and Clinical Mental Health Counseling

February 18, 2014  |  by Michael Freedman

Niagara University’s College of Education and College of Arts and Sciences are partnering to offer a new dual-degree program designed to train the next generation of mental health practitioners.

The 4+2 program allows individuals pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology to take graduate courses in clinical mental health counseling during their senior year, thereby accelerating their progress through the master’s program.

Graduates of the dual-degree (4+2) program will possess a B.A. in psychology and an M.S. in clinical mental health counseling.

Classes for the new program will begin this summer.

Dr. Peter Butera, department chairperson, indicates that, “The department of psychology is pleased to partner with faculty in the College of Education to make this opportunity available to our current students and future NU psychology graduates. Our students typically have high rates of acceptance into graduate programs in psychology and related fields, and this new dual-degree program will provide psychology majors with another option for a career in mental health counseling.”

Ideal for individuals seeking employment in an agency counseling setting, the 60-credit master’s program qualifies students for licensure in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C.

Clinical mental health counselors may also be employed in:

  • Community mental health adult and child-serving programs.
  • Family service programs.
  • School-based intervention programs.
  • Alcohol and drug programs.
  • Criminal justice correctional settings.
  • Hospitals and residential service programs.
  • Employee assistance programs.
  • Crisis intervention centers.
  • Vocational and career development programs.
  • Private practices.
  • College and university counseling centers.

“Clinical mental health counseling is one of the fastest-growing professions in the United States, which is part of the reason why our graduates are employed at a rate exceeding 90 percent,” said Dr. Debra Colley, dean of the College of Education. “Furthermore, it’s a profession that allows practitioners to simultaneously achieve personal, educational and relational goals. It’s very rewarding.”

Clinical mental health counseling is the provision of professional counseling services, involving the application of principles of psychotherapy, human development, learning theory, group dynamics, and the etiology of mental illness and dysfunctional behavior to individuals, couples, families and groups for the purposes of treating psychopathology and promoting optimal mental health.

For more information, please call Dr. Shannon Hodges at 716.286.8328 or email ude.aragainnull@segdohs.