M.A/ED.S in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Clinical Mental Health Counseling FAQ

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How large are the classes?

Most classes range from 6 to 15 students.

What are the Financial Aid options?

Some good information on Financial Aid can be found on the JMU Graduate School Website and more can be found on JMU’s home page.

Are there Graduate Assistantships Available?

Yes! Information on types of assistantships and their benefits can be found here and the listings of open positions can be found here.

What research opportunities will be available in the program?

All Clinical Mental Health Counseling students complete either an EdS Research Project or Thesis, which requires independent research supervised by a faculty member and approved by a faculty committee. In addition, some students choose to develop educational sessions for state or national conferences and/or write articles for peer-reviewed journals. Faculty are happy to assist in these processes, and some faculty have ongoing opportunities for independent study that include research.

Do I get to choose my practicum site?

Clinical Mental Health Counseling students are asked to identify their preference for either the JMU Counseling Center or the JMU Counseling and Psychological Services Center for their practicum site.

Will I have help finding an internship site?

Faculty provide detailed guidance regarding the requirements for internship, so many students independently pursue internships based on their interests. The student handbook also includes a list of commonly used sites for internships.

Do I need to take the GRE for the MA/EdS program? For the Ph.D. program?

For the MA/EdS program: YES. Your GRE scores are required as part of the admission process.

For the Ph.D. in Counseling and Supervision Program: NO. Your GRE scores are not required for applicants who already have a Master’s Degree. All applicants are required to have successfully complete a CACREP-accredited Counselor Education program with a Master’s Degree, therefore GRE scores are not required as part of the admission process.

What can you do with this degree?

The M.A./Ed.S. Program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling provides the coursework necessary for students to become Licensed Professional Counselors in community mental health centers, community agencies, mental health facilities, and private practice settings.

How is counseling different from Social Work and Clinical or Counseling Psychology?

Although the fields of counseling, social work, and clinical or counseling psychology share a focus on helping clients respond effectively to mental health needs and challenges, counselors rely on a humanistic and developmental orientation toward prevention and wellness, as well as the remediation of mental health concerns.

What’s the average pay for LPCs?

Salaries range widely depending on geographic location and practice setting. For more information regarding counselor compensation and work in general, see this summary from the American Counseling Association.

How do you become an LPC?

Please see the Virginia Board of Counseling website for Licensure requirements, updates and news: https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/counseling/. Students are encouraged to check this site regularly as licensure regulations change over time.

I’ve been admitted; what are my next steps?

Keep checking the Applicant Center on MyMadison, as you should see the option to accept admission at JMU. You will also receive a letter in the mail confirming your acceptance and giving you instructions on how to accept.

It takes the Office of Admission around a month or more to change your status from applicant to student. Be patient, you will receive an email message notifying you when your status has changed.

You will also receive updates and news from the Program Director, including an invitation to our orientation and opening picnic.

Please note that you must also have a completed background check on file prior to taking courses in the program. You will receive more information about how to obtain the background check and the cost for the check after you have been admitted.

How/when do I get my Dukes email account?

You will receive a Dukes email account and instructions for logging in when the admissions office has completed the onboarding process and changed your status from “accepted applicant” to “student.” This process can take a month or more, but it will happen and you will receive an email.

Who can I contact if I have more questions?

Please contact the Program Director for more information. Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Dr. Renee Staton at statonar@jmu.edu