Study Format

  • Hybrid

Program Length

  • 60 Credit Hours

Application Deadlines

Apr, 29

Domestic Students

Summer 2024 Application Due | Classes Start May 6,2024

Mar, 13

International Students

Summer 2024 Completed File Due | Classes Start May 6, 2024


The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program (CMHC) at Concordia University Chicago prepares graduates with the professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to address complex human issues and to empower optimal wellness and growth working with diverse populations. The CMHC core curriculum and clinical activities highlight excellence in the vocation of counseling and emphasize the Christian beliefs of integrity, truth, and freedom. CMCH program faculty promote student personal and professional growth through encouragement of self-reflection, clarification of values, technique development and engagement in the field of counseling.

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program prepares candidates as qualified entry level counselors able to practice in a variety of contexts. These settings may include community agencies, residential settings, social service agencies, hospitals, religious organizations, and private practice. Candidates from the program exhibit high standards of professionalism while integrating theory, technique, and ethics into every aspect of their careers. The program requirements reflect current educational components of the Licensed Professional Counselor examination in the State of Illinois. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree also holds special and unique accreditation by the Council of Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP).

The mission of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Concordia University Chicago is to prepare graduates with the professional knowledge, skills, and practices necessary to address the wide variety of complex issues and empower diverse populations to promote optimal wellness and growth. Graduate students receive a high-quality education emphasizing Christian beliefs through integrity, competency, and leadership skills. The program also recognizes, values, and instills the development of techniques, conduct, and self-reflection imperative to effectiveness as professionals within a diverse community and world.

The CACREP-accredited CMHC program at CUC is based on objectives that provide students with curricular and clinical experiences rooted in reflection, multicultural competence, and professional identification.

Program Objectives Measurement
Provide candidates with a core academic array of courses in compliance with national standards of counseling programs.
  • NCE Pass Rates
  • Capstone Exam Pass Rates
Training through the utilization of various techniques and approaches to assist graduates in building therapeutic counselor/client relationships and effecting change.
  • CCS-R Part I (x 4 in skills & all clinical courses)
  • Alumni Survey
  • Group Counseling Leadership Rubric
Advance opportunities for student personal and professional growth in appropriate counselor dispositions through timely and effective feedback throughout the program.
  • CCS-R Part II (x 8 spread throughout the program)
  • Yearly student reviews by faculty
Enhance student professional identity by encouragement in professional counseling organizations and offering more opportunities to work with core faculty in presentations, etc.
  • Membership in ACA
  • Professional activities
Provide counselor education training for a diverse student body with quality clinical experiences and supervision.
  • Student Demographics Report
  • Candidate evaluation of site experience
Prepare students to serve and collaborate with integrity as professional counselors with multicultural, diverse and marginal populations.
  • Student Exit Survey
  • Case Conceptualization Rubric
  • Candidate Evaluation of Site Experience
  • Group Counseling Leadership Rubric
Timely review and updating of course content and delivery approaches based on best practice and changing needs.
  • Annual departmental review of 80% of course content
Create and support a diverse faculty instructional environment.
  • Faculty & adjunct demographic
Encourage greater use of technology and key program data collection by students and faculty in the instructional process.
  • Training students on assessment software during first course
  • Training faculty on assessment software annually
  • Utilization of assessment software in all courses and clinical training
  • Candidate evaluation of site experience

The Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a counselor education program and is one of six degrees offered within the Division of Human Services.


Program Information

Required Courses (48 Hours)

The following courses are part of the Counselor Education curriculum and relate to a program within the Division of Human Services.

Introduction to the Counseling Profession

Training, role and professional identity of counselors and other professions in the helping profession. Professional organizations, publications, certification and licensing. Roles and functions of counselors in various settings. Ethical and legal issues in counseling.

Counseling Theory and Practice

Individual, couple and systems theories of counseling/psychotherapy. Examination of the helping process, client and counselor characteristics that influence the process consistent with current professional research and practice in the field allowing the development of a personal model of counseling.

Counseling Interventions and Techniques

This course addresses the competencies, attitudes, and skills essential to developing the character and identity of a professional counselor. Foundational and advanced counseling skills and therapeutic interventions examined as they apply to the personal, social and academic realms. Counseling techniques from the major schools and orientations including crisis intervention, multicultural and ethical issues. This course will use role playing and videotaping to fortify burgeoning skills and interventions.

Career Counseling and Education

Career counseling approaches through the lifespan. Developmentally appropriate career programming in educational and agency settings. Occupation information sources and self-awareness emphasized.

Counseling and Human Development

Students are provided with an understanding of the nature and needs of persons throughout the lifespan including developmental and multicultural domains. Counseling approaches and issues are discussed in relation to developmental stages. Resiliency factors and ethical issues are applied across the lifespan.

Ethics, Law and Morality for Counselors

Addresses the competencies, attitudes and skills essential to the developing character and identity of a professional counselor. This course is designed to give the student an understanding of ethics and applicable laws in the profession of counseling as well as allowing them to examine their own moral values. Prerequisite: Introduction to the Counseling Profession.

Multicultural Counseling

Assessment and therapeutic treatment of diverse populations with special emphasis on understanding of the cultural context of relationships, issues, and trends in a multicultural society. Emphasis on specific problems associated with age, race, disability, religious preferences, etc., and how these affect the counseling relationships.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Profession

History and trends in community mental health. Program development and service delivery to diverse clientele. Intake and treatment plan interventions emphasizing current psychological criteria.

Transforming Crisis to Wellness

An understanding of personal wellness and how it relates to ones’ daily encounters with different areas in life. This course is intended to explore the areas of optimal wellness and life events. An emphasis is placed on the role of the counselor in providing optimal health resolutions for clients in times of crisis. Prerequisite: Introduction to the Counseling Profession and Counseling Techniques and Interventions.

Clinical Group Counseling

Will provide an understanding, both theoretical and experiential, of group purpose, development, dynamics, theories, methods, skills, ethics, and other group approaches in a multicultural society. Students will experience and participate as group members in small group activities. Prerequisite: Counseling Theory and Practice and Counseling Techniques and Interventions.

Brief Therapy

Identification and application of brief therapy models to a variety of disorders with individuals, groups and families. Develop an understanding of techniques, assessment instruments and ethical issues. Issues and models of crisis intervention. Prerequisite: Counseling Theory and Practice.

Substance/Alcohol Abuse and Treatment

Students will be introduced to the history of substance abuse and attempts at social control. Pharmacology, signs and symptoms, screening and assessment, treatment models and the profession of substance abuse counseling and ethics will be introduced and processed. Students will be required to attend an out-of-class support meeting. Prerequisite: Counseling Theory and Practice.

Family Systems Theory and Therapy

Psychotherapy from a systems perspective focusing on the competencies, cognitions, and skills to developing the orientation of a family systems counselor. Strategic and systems theories of family therapy are examined in light of multicultural and ethical issues. Family systems counseling techniques and interventions are described and demonstrated including crisis interventions, multicultural and multigenerational considerations related to the family life cycle. Prerequisite: Counseling Theory and Practice.

Assessment Techniques

History, purpose, principles and methods of assessment; techniques and instruments employed in measuring abilities, achievement, interests, and personality; statistical procedures, limitations of measurement, especially among children. Relationship of assessment to the objectives of the school and counseling procedures.

Applied Psychopathology and Diagnosis

This course addresses the principles of diagnosis of normalcy and psychopathology through the use of current diagnostic tools, including the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) and the current edition of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD). Introduction to principles and models of bio-psycho-social-spiritual assessments, case conceptualizations, and theories of human development.

Research in Psychology

Introduces the purpose, methods, and ethics for conducting and interpreting research in psychology and behavioral sciences. Emphasis on understanding research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment and program evaluation allowing the development of necessary knowledge to critique research studies.

Elective (3 hours)

Choose one 6000-level course from CED and PSY in consultation with your faculty advisor. 

Clinical Experience (9 hours)

Practicum: Clinical Mental Health Counseling (3 hours)

On-site and campus-based experiences to introduce the student to various functions of clinical mental health counselors. Students will be applying prior classroom knowledge to working with clients under the supervision of a university or community supervisor. Supervision will be provided by video/audio taping of professional interventions with clients and live and/or group supervision. Prerequisite: Counseling and Human Development, Ethics, Law and Morality for Counselors, Multicultural Counseling, Group Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Applied Psychopathology and Diagnosis.


Internship: Clinical Mental Health Counseling (6 hours)

On-site and campus-based experiences to introduce the student to various functions of clinical mental health counselors. Students will be applying prior classroom knowledge to working with clients under the supervision of a university or community supervisor. Prerequisite: Completion of all required coursework.

Capstone Experience

The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) is the capstone experience for students matriculating in the Counseling programs within the Division of Human Services. Students must be approved by the University to take their exam and post a passing score during CED 6930 Practicum: Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The fee for the CPCE is set by the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE). Payment must be by money order and be made payable to the Center for Credentialing and Education.

Students in the clinical mental health program have participated in internship clinical experiences at locations listed below. These sites provide real-world professional experiences, making their classroom education come alive as they work with clients in individual, group and family counseling.

In Chicago

  • Advocate Hospice
  • Auburn Counseling Center
  • Helping Hand Center
  • Interim Housing Program for Women
  • Loretto Hospital
  • Loretto Outpatient Mental Health Center
  • Re-entry Program for Ex-Criminal Offenders
  • Thresholds

In the Greater Chicago Area

  • Alexian Brothers’ Partial Hospitalization Program (Rolling Meadows, IL)
  • Arden Shore Child & Family Services (Waukegan, IL)
  • Bridge Youth & Family Services (Palatine, IL)
  • Center for Emotional Wellness (Arlington Heights, IL)
  • Elmhurst Hospital Guidance Center, (Elmhurst, IL)
  • The Family Connection (Naperville, IL)
  • Guiding Light Counseling, Inc. (Bolingbrook, IL)
  • Hinsdale Hospital (Hinsdale, IL)
  • Linden Oaks at Edwards Hospital (Naperville, IL)
  • Lutheran Brooks Academy (Addison, IL)
  • Lutheran Child & Family Services (Oak Park, IL)
  • New Foundations Center (Northfield, IL)
  • ProCare (Melrose Park, IL)
  • Riveredge Hospital (Forest Park, IL)
  • Silver Cross Hospital, (Joliet, IL)
  • Thresholds (Oak Park, IL)
  • Way Back Inn (Broadview, IL)
  • Youth Crossroads (Berwyn, IL)

During the Academic Year of 2022-2023 there were 121 students enrolled in Concordia University Chicago's 60-credit hour MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) Program. The number of CMHC graduates was 30. The academic completion rate for the CMHC program in AY 22-23 was 78%. The CMHC student rate of passing the National Counselor Exam to qualify for the Licensed Professional Counselor in Illinois was 89%. The job placement rate for CUC CMHC graduates was 98%.

We are proud to offer classes in the CMHC program to assist adult learners in accomplishing their goals. We focus heavily on both academic and personal growth in this program! Our face-to-face and online synchronous courses are offered in the evenings. Nearly all summer semester courses are offered asynchronously online to accommodate for busy personal and family schedules.

Outcome Indicator

Academic Year 2022-2023

Minimum Number of Credit Hours Required

60

Currently Enrolled

121

Number of Graduates

30

Completion Rate

78%

Licensure Exam (NCE) Pass Rate

89%

Job Placement Rate

98%

Average Class Size

11

 

Proficiency Exam Requirements for DOSE

In order to obtain a DOSE endorsement students will be required to show evidence that they have taken and passed Illinois DOSE content test.

The CMHC program has the full eight-year cycle of accreditation from CACREP which concludes in October 2027. The CMHC program will begin our reaccreditation process about two years before the CACREP end date.

CACREP Student Notification

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