Study Format

  • Hybrid
  • On Campus
  • Grayslake

Program Length

  • 60 Credit Hours

Application Deadlines

Jan, 06

Domestic Students

Spring 2021 Completed file due | Classes start Jan. 11, 2021

Nov, 23

International Students

Spring 2021 Completed file due | Classes start Jan. 11, 2021


The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Concordia University Chicago prepares 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 program requires 60  semester hours.

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

  • Articulate and assume the professional and ethical role of a counselor.
  • Discuss and demonstrate techniques of cross-cultural counseling and advocate on behalf of multicultural populations.
  • Describe the role that human growth and development plays in counseling interventions and modify these interventions as appropriate.
  • Explain theories of career development and implement career interventions.
  • Define and utilize counseling skills and advanced counseling interventions.
  • Articulate theories of group counseling and utilize leadership skills in facilitating various types of groups.
  • Identify and utilize various types of counseling assessments.
  • Describe and conduct methods of research and program evaluation.
  • Use and deconstruct techniques and interventions for prevention and treatment of a broad range of mental health issues.

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.

Meet the Faculty


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)

Currently, there are 151 students enrolled in the Concordia University Chicago’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) Program. The graduation rate for years 2018-2019 has been 85%. The NCE examination pass rate is 60% this academic year.

The program has been growing since 2016. Concordia-Chicago's Clinical Mental Health program increased admission rates during the year past year (2018-2019). A total of 80 students applied for the program.

Classes in the CMHC program are offered based on the need of the adult learner. Most classes are offered in an evening or week end format to accommodate the needs of both full and part time students.

Outcome Indicator

Academic Year 2018-2019

Currently Enrolled

151

Number of Students Admitted

48

Number of Graduates

18

Graduation Rate

85%

NCE Exam Pass Rate

60% *

Job Placement Rate

95%

Average Class Size

9

 

*The licensing examination pass rate was calculated using the numbers of students who took the state licensure exam between 2018-2019 academic years.

Seminar in Higher Education (EDU 6015)

In addition to the base program curriculum, international students attending face-to-face classes on the CUC campus are required to take the Seminar in Higher Education, a 3-credit course.

Course Description

This course will serve as an introduction to the U.S.-based higher education learning environment. Students will work to understand Concordia University Chicago’s academic conventions, technological systems and communication culture while developing English grammar, reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

The Seminar in Higher Education is an excellent opportunity for students to further develop critical skills to help them to be successful in their academic program. This 3-credit course is mandatory for international students attending face-to-face classes on the CUC campus. 

Course Objectives

  • Developing knowledge about local and academic culture
  • Building grammar, reading, writing, speaking and listening skills
  • Conducting graduate-level research with the use of electronic and library resources
  • Developing note-taking strategies for coursework
  • Reflecting on the U.S.-based education system

Academic support for work in students’ current coursework will also be provided during or after class. Guest speakers include representatives from the campus library, writing center and technology services.

Student feedback for the Seminar in Higher Education

  • After taking the Seminar, I have the ability to perform more professionally in my assignments.

  • The instructor was very dynamic and a good listener. He gave feedback and made sure all the students understood.

  • The hands-on activities after the lessons helped my learning experience.

  • The professor truly cares for the students. He helps students individually and encourages us to support our peers.


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