Mental Health Counseling Objectives & Structure
Building on the mission of St. John Fisher College, the Mental Health Counseling program’s mission is to deliver personalized instruction to a diverse student body regarding essential counseling knowledge and skills, as well as facilitating the development and enhancement of personal qualities and characteristics necessary to become an outstanding professional mental health counselor.
Upon graduation from the Mental Health Counseling Program, you will be able to:
- Demonstrate professional skills and personal qualities required for working as an effective counselor in an interdisciplinary mental health setting.
- Demonstrate a variety of differential diagnostic assessment skills consistent with the most current diagnostic manual.
- Demonstrate the ability to use a diverse range of evidence-based intervention strategies.
- Develop appropriate intervention plans based upon knowledge of culturally relevant variables in client care, including ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic levels, gender, sexual orientation, and disability status.
- Demonstrate professional behavior consistent with ethical guidelines of Mental Health Counseling professional organizations and regulatory agencies.
You may take courses on a full-time or part-time basis (see Program Requirements). You are required to complete 60 credit hours of coursework, including a supervised practicum experience with a minimum of 100 clock hours and a supervised internship with a minimum of 900 clock hours. This supervised application of counseling skills in various community sites will gives you the opportunity to grow into an effective mental health counselor.
Because of the demands of our program and sequencing of courses, students are admitted for fall semester only. Our curriculum was developed according to the New York State Department of Education requirements for licensure as a mental health counselor.
The reason why I chose St. John Fisher's Mental Health Counseling (MHC) Program was because I was in search of a Graduate level degree that would reinforce much of what I have already learned professionally, but to also develop new and more advanced skills. I attended an information session at SJFC and was very impressed by the comprehensiveness of the coursework, professionalism and personality of the faculty, and the testimony of a current student. The decision to attend SJFC was clear, I ‘m glad that I made that choice and I am excited about the rest of my journey.
There are three things that stand out in my mind when I think of what I like best about the MHC Program. The most significant part is that the program has made me take a serious look at ME. Not only the professional part of my life but my personal beliefs, values, experiences, and goals. A large part of who I am as a person reflects the how and why I became a Counselor. The program has allowed me to take a good look at my strengths and weaknesses in both areas, which have given me much more confidence in my abilities to help people help themselves.
The second major component of the program that I like best is the interactiveness of the faculty, staff, and students. The faculty and staff have made me feel very comfortable, are open to answering questions, and are very approachable. Their competency, experience, and professionalism are demonstrated in a variety of ways and permeate throughout the program. I am also gaining a great deal from the courses being set up so that I have a lot of interaction with my peers. The group exercises, presentations, out of class activities, and simply having fun learning have been extremely beneficial for me.
Lastly, the facilities at SJFC are the best I have seen. MHC students have access to beautiful classrooms, computers labs, and lounges. It makes the experience so much better when you are in an environment where a large investment has been made in resources for the students.