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.

Program Objectives

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.

Program Structure

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.

Lee Cocco

Lee Cocco

As an older student coming in from another profession and without a degree in psychology, I was concerned about how I would fit in to this program. Almost immediately, I felt encouraged and appreciated for the life experience that I could bring to this field. I trusted that I would get the training and guidance that I needed to succeed, and I have!

The faculty are dedicated to helping each student discover her or his unique capability to be effective in this broad-ranging field of mental health counseling. I also appreciate their solid training and experience, which they share expertly, generously, and with great heart.

My field placements taught me that the knowledge and skills that I learned in class were right on target for application to the work setting. My field placements and the supervision I received were excellent, and these experiences also validated what the faculty had indicated to me -- that this work is right for me!


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