Frequently Asked Questions About the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program
Before a new student may begin graduate-level coursework, he/she must have earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. To gain 'full' admission applicants must have received at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA for all undergraduate coursework, OR at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA for the last 64 credits of undergraduate coursework. To gain ‘provisional’ admission applicants must have received an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5 or better. In addition to official undergraduate transcripts (stating the applicant’s GPA and bachelor’s degree received), application packets must include: (1) a Department of Counseling application supplement form and (2) three letters of reference on Department of Counseling reference forms. Once all application materials have been received/reviewed, applicants will be contacted for a face-to-face or phone interview. All application materials, including the personal interview, will be considered during the program's acceptance process. International student applicants must also submit official TOEFL scores as part of their application materials.
- Graduate School Application
- Official Undergraduate Transcripts (may not be emailed; send official copies to the address below)
- Official TOEFL Scores - ONLY INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS (may not be emailed; send official copies to the address below).
- Department of Counseling Application Supplement Form
- Three Letters of Reference using Department of Counseling reference forms
Items #1-3 must be sent to the Graduate School. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or details.
The University of Akron
302 Buchtel Common
469 Polsky Building
Akron, OH 44325-2101 (USA)
Item #4-5 must be sent ot the Department of Counseling. Email the program coordinator for questions or details:
Department of Counseling
The University of Akron
302 Buchtel Common
27 South Forge Street
Akron, OH 44325-5007 (USA)
New students are admitted to the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master’s Program both Fall and Spring semesters. The program offers rolling admissions. There are no deadlines to apply (i.e., first come, first interviewed with no formal admission deadlines). Once the next semester’s cohort is filled the admission process is closed until the following selection process begins. Applicants are encouraged to complete their application materials early, before admission limits have been reached. We strongly encourage applicants to submit all application materials one semester prior to the semester they wish to begin.
The Program Coordinator will review each applicant’s admission materials once they are received by the Department of Counseling. Then, a faculty member will contact each applicant to schedule a face-to-face or phone interview. The University of Akron’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is one of only a few programs that interviews all applicants meeting the minimum application requirements. We strongly believe that it is important to speak with and learn about each applicant in person (beyond what is written on paper). This also provides applicants with the opportunity to ask questions of their own, and to make sure that the program will fit their professional goals.
Approximately 40 students are accepted to the program annually - approximately 20 each Fall and Spring semester. The Admissions Committee attempts to maintain a small cohort of students accepted each semester in order to provide individualized attention and a positive learning experience for each student. Students in the Clinical Mental Health program range in age from early to older adulthood, and non-traditional students are sought among applicants. The majority of student in the program live in or near the Greater Akron area. However, students are from a variety of cultural backgrounds (Euro-American, African-American, Asian-American) and the program is known for accepting international students from a variety of countries (e.g., South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Nigeria, and European countries). The program encourages applications from diverse student populations and actively attempts to mentor students from underserved ethnic cultures.
The primary goal of the Admissions Committee is to choose students who have the potential to become successful community counselors. Therefore, admission decisions are made by considering (a) the applicant’s GPA, (b) recommendation letters from past employers and professors, (c) the applicant’s statement of intent and professional goals (listed on the application supplement form), and (d) interactions during the interview process. Each of the four areas above are considered during the application process. Although admission is competitive, it is our intention to give all qualified applicants (until enrollment limits are reached) the opportunity to serve society as community counselors.
The program consists of 60 semester credits, and the average student attends the program for 2-1/2 years before graduating. Students may attend the program full-time or part-time and may take any number of credits desired each semester. Students who work part-time while taking coursework may attend the program for 3 to 3-1/2 years.
The Graduate School allows master’s degree students a total of 6 years to complete their degree.
The Graduate School allows master’s degree students to transfer graduate credits equaling up to 1/3 of their total program credits. Since the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is 60 semester credits, students can transfer up to 20 credits from another program/university. However, in order to transfer credits into a master’s degree program:
- the course must have been at the graduate level (i.e., not an undergraduate course)
- the course must have been a graded course (i.e., not pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory),
- the student must have received a grade of “B” or better in the course,
- the course must directly substitute for one of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master’s Program courses, AND
- the transfer must be approved by the student’s Faculty Adviser.
First, the Department of Counseling at The University of Akron is one of only a few departments in the U.S. which houses accredited master’s degree programs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy (also AAMFT-accredited) as well as doctoral programs in Counselor Education (CACREP-accredited), Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy (AAMFT-accredited), and Counseling Psychology (APA-accredited). Therefore, students in the Community Counseling program receive instruction from a variety of different faculty members with diverse professional experiences and philosophies.
Second, the Department of Counseling houses the renowned Clinic for Individual and Family Counseling, which is a training facility that functions as a community mental health agency. The Clinic provides Clinical Mental Health Counseling students with a "real world" Practicum experience before they embark on their Internship. Very few counseling programs around the U.S. host their own mental health training facility, and among these few are as large and diverse as the Clinic.
Third, Clinical Mental Health Counseling students receive many free out-of-class professional training opportunities throughout the program. These seminars and workshops are hosted by the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master’s Program itself, by Chi Sigma Iota’s Alpha Upsilon Chapter, and by the Clinic for Individual and Family Counseling.
Fourth, students may become members of Chi Sigma Iota - Alpha Upsilon Chapter counseling honor society. Out of over 220 chapters around the world, the Alpha Upsilon Chapter is one of the largest and most internationally awarded. For example, our chapter won the 2007 International Outstanding Chapter Award, presented to the Executive Board at the American Counseling Association National Conference.
Finally, Clinical Mental Health Counseling students are routinely honored with being among the top in pass rates for all counseling programs in Ohio on the Ohio Professional Counselor licensure examination. In 2012 Community Counseling students boasted a 97% pass rate on the state licensure examination.
During Fall and Spring semesters most didactic (non-clinical) coursework is offered in the evenings. During Summer semester most courses are offered during the daytime. During Practicum and Internship students are usually required to take coursework and/or perform clinical work some morning/afternoon hours and some evening hours.
Each new student accepted in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master’s Program is assigned a Faculty Adviser before their first semester begins. This provides each student with a contact person for program-related questions. During their first semester in the program students receive their Clinical Mental Health Counseling Student Handbook, as well as information about the Department of Counseling, the faculty, and student organizations. Students also register for a Professional Orientation and Ethics (5600:600) course during their first semester in order to learn more about the Department of Counseling and the counseling profession. The Introduction to Clinical Counseling course (5600:635) provides in-depth information about the professional identity, roles, ethics, and history of Clinical Mental Health Counselors.
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