Clinical Mental Health Counseling in Schools and Communities Emphasis

Information for students in master's emphasis in clinical mental health counseling in schools and communities.

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling in Schools and Communities emphasis in the Counselor Education (M.Ed.) Master's Program at Penn State is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP). This program prepares professionals to work with and in schools as well as other community settings such as non-profit organizations, government agencies, and hospitals. This emphasis does not lead to certification as a school counselor in Pennsylvania. Students interested in working as a school counselor should consult the Elementary or Secondary master's emphases. It takes two-years of full-time graduate study, or its equivalent, to complete this 60 credit hour master’s degree. For additional information about this emphasis, please contact:

Coordinator: Dr. Seria Chatters, , (814) 863-2413

The purpose of this emphasis is to prepare counselor trainees for:

  • promoting optimal human development, wellness, and mental health through outreach, prevention, and early intervention strategies in schools and community settings
  • implementing a wide range of culturally responsive, early intervention and intervention services to maximize the potential of children, adolescents, adults, and families
  • providing crisis intervention services to schools, families, and communities
  • promoting social change through the development of cross-system collaborations that contribute to school and community improvement initiatives
  • National Certification as a Professional Counselor
  • Licensure as a Professional Counselor

A well-rounded program is attained through emphasis on:

  • the holistic development of children, adolescents, adults, and families
  • addressing mental health concerns and related social problems through the provision of both direct and indirect services to individuals, schools, families, and communities
  • outreach, prevention, and early intervention; individual, group, and family counseling; addiction; crisis intervention; collaborative practice; social networks; school and community systems
  • incorporating counseling theory, skills and techniques into experiential learning modes including role-playing and genuine counseling situations through practicum at the CEDAR Clinic and supervised internship in school and community settings
  • social justice and culturally responsive mental health counseling