School Adjustment & Mental Health Counseling

  • Credits for Licensure: 60
  • Credits: 60
  • Degree:
    Master of Education

Program Description

The School Adjustment and Mental Health Counseling program trains mental health professionals to work within the school culture and in clinical settings serving the mental health needs of PreK-12 students and their families. The use of evidence-based counseling strategies when working with children and adolescents in school settings is emphasized.

Concentration Options

Students have the ability to augment this degree with the concentration options listed below.  Descriptions for some of these options can be found in the School of Psychology and Counseling Certificate offerings.  Options will vary per location. To learn more about the available options contact the Admissions Office at 1-800-829-4723.

  • Addictions Counseling
  • Geriatric Mental Health
  • Holistic Counseling
  • Pastoral Counseling
  • Trauma Studies

Learning Outcomes

Students learn and apply the principles and best practices of counseling, including various psychotherapeutic techniques for work and individuals, couples, families and groups; group counseling; and consultation to organizations and communities. They study human development, dysfunctional behavior and mental illness. They learn to assess, diagnose and treat within the scope of the counselor’s practice, and become able to utilize community resources for referrals. They learn and apply strategies for prevention and treatment of substance abuse, domestic violence, the spectrum of mental illnesses; and learn to use psycho-educational techniques aimed at preventing such disorders. They become familiar with state regulations applicable to mental health practice and licensure.

Careers and Further Study

Students are prepared to meet the licensing standards of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health Professionals and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. In addition, graduates may apply for the following credentials:

  • School Social Worker/School Adjustment Counselor (all levels) Program approved by the Mass. Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education as preparation for initial licensure
  • Mental health counseling licensure by the Mass. Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health Professionals. Candidates must also pass an exam and complete two years of post-master’s supervised clinical practice.
  • Students completing the Alcohol/Drug concentration are eligible for CADAC certification by MBSACC and LADC licensing by the Mass. Dept. of Public Health
  • Students completing the Trauma concentration are eligible for Certified Trauma Specialist (CTS), a credential from the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists, International Certification Board (ATSS)

Program Chair

Vita Golub
vita.golub@go.cambridgecollege.edu

Curriculum


Mental Health Counseling Core Courses and Practicum
30
Credits
Research Design and Evaluation
CCP 518 3 credit(s)
This course provides students with a foundation in research and evaluation methodologies and strategies, program evaluation and needs assessment. Students will gain an understanding of different types of research and research design, procedures for data collection and analysis, analysis of both hard and soft data, and ethical and legal considerations associated with research. Students will leave the course prepared to conduct and be discriminating consumers of research.
Personality and Counseling Theory
CCP 540 3 credit(s)
Pre Practicum: 15 hours of directed field-based training required for DESE licensure. This course explores personality and counseling theories, identifying strengths and weaknesses in each theory. Cultural elements are stressed. Theories are approached from an eclectic standpoint, including normal and abnormal, social, intellectual, and emotional development. Students are encouraged to identify an approach or approaches which are compatible with their history, current philosophy, clients and counseling settings. We also explore modern notions of cultural and family identity, increasing our ability to adapt counseling theory to the strengths and needs of individuals in our contemporary, diverse client population. The on-line library is employed in this course to gather evidence and support project development and presentations. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: b: Theories of normal and abnormal intellectual, social, and emotional development. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Guidance Counseling: e. Theories of normal and abnormal intellectual, social, and emotional development.
Rogerian Person-Centered Therapy: Basic Counseling Skills
CCP 550 3 credit(s)
The basis of therapeutic relationships is seen in Carl Rogers’ theory of personality with its stress of self-actualization, development of the self, phenomenological field, validation, and conditions of worth is the basis for the techniques that are taught, practiced and modeled in this course. These techniques are empathic understanding, unconditional positive regard, and consequence. These techniques are central to any effective relationship from any theoretical perspective. The student will become practiced at these and related aspects of person-centered theory. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: Standard a: Principles of therapeutic relationships.
Human Development Across the Lifespan
CCP 630 3 credit(s)
This course will address the psychological and biological aspects of human development from conception through childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, mid-life and aging. Familial, environmental and cultural factors will be explored as they impact the development of people across the continuum of life. Theory will combine with application related to physical, emotional, intellectual, learning, social, normal and abnormal development; plus cognitive, moral, and vocational adjustment. The processes of physical and psychological development including ethnic and gender differences will be studied. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: b: Theories of normal and abnormal intellectual, social, and emotional development. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Guidance Counseling: c. psychology of learning, and e. theories of normal and abnormal, intellectual, social, and emotional development.
Child & Adolescent Psychopathology
CCP 614 3 credit(s)
This course deals with the nature of normal and abnormal intellectual, social, and emotional development and learning in childhood and adolescence. Particular attention is given to ego-defensive, adaptive and socio-cultural aspects of behavior, health and wellness, and ways in which adaptive behavior becomes symptomatic. This course organizes disorders according to DSM IV. Web-based projects involving learning disorders, including emotional issues affecting student achievement and their treatments are investigated. Case studies provide experience in classifying, diagnosing and categorizing various mental and emotional disorders common to children and adolescents. Attention is focused on differential diagnosis, treatment planning and best practices in applied settings. Discussions focus on health and wellness, multicultural issues, plus variables related to resiliency and student learning. Topics in psychopharmacology related to knowledge of medical conditions, and medications related to physical disabilities and learning disorders is presented. Also, the effects of abuse, violence, ADD, childhood depression; theories of normal and abnormal behavior and development are examined. Current research that can assist the school counselor in developing a plan of action for referral and treatment that relates to personal, social, and academic functioning of students will be procured through the online library. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: b: Learn and be able to apply theories of normal and abnormal intellectual, social and emotional development. c: Learning disorders, including emotional issues affecting student achievement, and their treatment. h: Knowledge of medical conditions and medication related to physical disabilities and learning disorders. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Guidance Counseling: e. Theories of normal and abnormal intellectual, social, and emotional development. c. Psychology of learning.
Group Dynamics/Group Counseling & Human Systems
CCP 650 3 credit(s)
Pre Practicum: 15 hours of directed field-based training required for DESE licensure. This course involves the study of the dynamics common to all small groups, through examining their structural and interactional properties and learning the bases for understanding groups as therapeutic, organizational, social, psychological, and collective phenomena. The class will be divided into two groups. All students will participate in an experiential, interactional group for one half of the term and observe another interactional group for one half of the term. Each experiential phase of a group will be followed by a didactic analysis of the process. The instructor will demonstrate various techniques as leader of all experiential sessions. Leadership styles will be examined as they influence group process. Students are required to write journal analyses of group sessions, complete assigned readings, and attend every session. Students are taught to develop self awareness, sensitivity to others, and skills needed to relate to individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds.(No one will be admitted to the course in the event of failure to attend the first session.) Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: a: Principles of therapeutic relationships. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Guidance Counseling: l. group counseling and group leadership.
Counseling Practicum and SAC Field Experience I
CCP 520 3 credit(s)
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts specifies that this practicum be supervised by an “approved Supervisor” as described in (CMR) 262 in order for students to meet requirements for licensure. (Enrollment limited to 10) This course is intended for students beginning their master’s program fieldwork. Counselor trainees become familiar with following: review the principles of therapeutic relationships and basic professional counseling skills and behaviors; developing techniques for communicating and working with families, agencies/systems, and school and community personnel; the use of supervision; beginning diagnostic skills; and DSM-IV-TR. Participants complete case presentations, process notes, and treatment planning. Students take an active part in the didactic and demonstration parts of the class. This course will stress philosophy, principles, and practice of mental health/school adjustment counseling; therapeutic relationships; and federal, state, municipal and school laws. One contact hour of weekly supervision is required. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. For SAC students in school sites: Onsite training supervised by a state-approved licensed/certified school adjustment counselor who also has clinical licensure as an LMHC, LICSW, LMFT, clinical psychologist or psychiatrist is required. SAC students in school sites must pass MTEL Communication and Literacy Tests before entry. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Adjustment Counseling: 3: A practicum of 900 hours, 450 of which must be working with children, adolescents, and families in an educational setting. (Cambridge requires Practicum fieldwork of 100 contact hours and Internship fieldwork of 600 contact hours). (Cambridge College recommends that students in the SAC track have 225 site hours for each of the four field experiences). 4: A passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills test. Standard a: Principles of therapeutic relationships. Standard f: Techniques for communicating and working with families and school and community personnel. Standard i: Federal and state regulations addressing the legal rights of students and families.
Career Counseling
CCP 670 3 credit(s)
This course provides an experiential approach to analyzing the stages responsible for successful career development. The course enables students to identify, assess, enhance, and act upon data pertinent to career fulfillment and success in individual and group counseling settings. Topics examined include job values and interests, experiences and skills, specification of career targets, research with the online library, analysis of career targets, and developing a comprehensive plan of action. Students can apply such information to develop and assess career goals and to make use of appropriate career resource materials. Course experiences include worksheets, sub-grouping, completion and study of interest inventories (including an examination of basic psychometric issues and discussion of strengths and weaknesses of standardized instruments), and discussion of computer resources which enhance the career guidance process. Students are taught to advocate for learning necessary to promote career development of students. This includes accessing and consulting with viable resources of community, parents, and schools. Students will also explore multicultural issues connected to career development. All students should have access to the book What Color is Your Parachute? or How to Create a Picture of Your Ideal Job or Next Career. The course stresses a practical approach to career development; underlying career development theories are discussed. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Guidance Counseling: h. Career counseling.
Perspectives in Cross Cultural Counseling
CCP 754 3 credit(s)
This course focuses on the role of culture in the development of psychological health and in psychopathology. Variations among diverse cultures in defining mental health and deviant behavior are discussed. The importance of understanding the cultural context is emphasized, both in the prevention and in the resolution of psychological problems. Students become aware of their own cultural beliefs regarding mental health issues, and the impact of their perspective in working with culturally different people. Techniques for working with families and schools are also discussed. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: Standard f: Techniques for communicating and working with families and school and community personnel.
Ethics & Professional Issues for School Couns. & Mental Health Prac.
CCP 622 3 credit(s)
This course explores several models of school counseling and mental health counseling and the relationship to relevant ethics, federal, state, municipal, state laws, and standards and regulations. The course emphasizes best practices and strategies for dealing with ethical and legal dilemmas, including the ability to apply and practice ethical and legal standards in school counseling. School counseling and systems models are examined along with consultation, harm prevention and reduction, and the evaluation and utilization of community resources. Focal areas include professional roles and functions, ethical standards including accountability, responsibility, client/student welfare, emotional health, laws and regulations, institutional policies including crisis/disaster preparedness and response, cross cultural, cross social class practices and their impact on mental health and school counseling. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: i: Federal and state laws and regulations addressing the legal rights of students and families. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Guidance Counseling: i. Federal, state, municipal, and school laws and regulations.
School Adjustment core courses and internship
15
Credits

Take CCP 561 or CCP 715.

Take CCP636 Psychological Testing (replaces CCP624 and CCP626).

Counseling Internship / SAC FieldExperience II
CCP 641 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: CCP 520. (Enrollment limited to 10). This course provides a real life experience of providing mental health counseling services to clients/students. A minimum of 200 hours of field placement (225 for SAC students in school placements) gives the student intern an opportunity to learn, apply and sharpen diagnostic, treatment planning, counseling and consultation skills under the supervision of a qualified on-site field supervisor and overseen by a Cambridge College internship facilitator. (Students in SAC placements are also visited three times over the course of 2 sequential semesters by the Cambridge College visiting site supervisor). Coursework integrates the practice of mental health counseling from screening through aftercare planning and discharge from treatment, with content areas necessary for appropriate client/student treatment including but not limited to: review the principles of therapeutic relationships, developing techniques for communicating with and working with families, agencies/systems, and school and community personnel; the use of supervision; diagnosis and application of DSMIV-TR treatment planning, application of appropriate counseling theories and related clinical interventions, methods and techniques, documentation of progress, referral and collaboration and treatment of treatment professionals and families. Case presentations, biopsychosocial histories, progress notes and other relevant documentation of the field placement will be presented in class. The diagnosis and treatment of learning and behavioral disorders, when to recommend an educational evaluation, an IEP or a 504 will also be discussed. SAC Interns will learn to develop plans for the prevention, treatment and referral of students engaged in legal or illegal substances, school violence, school crises and other situations. Students will share experiences with their internship seminar cohort. This internship must conform with Massachusetts regulations 262 CMR. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. For SAC students in school sites: Onsite training supervised by a state-approved licensed/certified school adjustment counselor who also has clinical licensure as an LMHC, LICSW, LMFT, clinical psychologist or psychiatrist is required. SAC students in school sites must pass MTEL Communication and Literacy Tests before entry. The fieldwork experiences in this course address the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Adjustment Counselors: 3: A practicum of 900 hours, 450 of which must be working with children, adolescents, and families in an educational setting. (Cambridge requires practicum fieldwork of 100 contact hours and internship fieldwork of 600 contact hours). (Cambridge College recommends that students in the SAC track have 225 site hours for each of the four field experiences). 4: A passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills test. Standard a: Principles of therapeutic relationships. c: Learning disorders, including emotional issues affecting student achievement, and their treatment. d: Prevention and treatment of substance abuse, physical and sexual abuse, and violence in PreK-12 students. f: Techniques for communicating and working with families and school and community personnel.
School Adjustment Counseling/School Social Work
CCP 617 3 credit(s)
Offered in Fall and Summer only. This course explores the roles and functions of school adjustment counselors with students identified as having emotional, behavioral, and social problems. This course operates on the assumption that such students are best served using personal, systems, family and group counseling approaches, with strong emphasis on identifying, assessing and utilizing community and family resources. Techniques for working with families, school and community personnel are emphasized. Clinical school counseling and systems issues are explored as well as: consultation, harm prevention and reduction, and the evaluation and utilization of community resources. Assessments such as genograms, biopsychosocial assessments, functional behavior assessments and behavior intervention plans, will be taught as well as treatment planning and goal writing. The understanding of the diagnosis and treatment of learning, emotional and behavioral disorders, when to recommend an IEP, when a 504 is most appropriate, and when students do not qualify for services is emphasized. Knowledge of IEP/special education time lines is conveyed. The referral process for students and their families to obtain services and supports in the community is a focus of discussion, as well as advocating and facilitating relationships with community and government agencies. The course addresses a working knowledge of the juvenile justice system with regard to criminal justice, child protection, CHINS laws and regulations, as well as federal and state regulations addressing the legal rights of students and their families. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: c: Learning disorders, including emotional issues affecting student achievement, and their treatment. f: Techniques for communicating and working with families and school and community personnel. g: Knowledge of the criminal justice system with particular reference to the juvenile justice system and organizations. i: Federal and state regulations addressing the legal rights of students and families.
Internship Seminar and SAC Field Experience III
CCP 700 3 credit(s)
This course is restricted to students who have completed and received credit for their Independent Research Project (IRP). Exceptions require approval of the Dean of the School of Psychology and Counseling. Prerequisites: CCP 520 and CCP 641, (Enrollment limited to 10). This course focuses on students’ counseling practice which is conducted in the field from week-to-week during the course. A minimum of 200 hours of internship experience (225 hour minimum for SAC track students in school sites) are required under the supervision of a qualified supervisor (Massachusetts Regulations 262 CMR). (Supervisors of School Adjustment Counseling students in school sites must also have DESE licensure as a School Adjustment Counselor.) Goals for each student will be established with their College internship facilitator at the beginning of the experience. A self-assessment of these appropriate learning goals will be conducted by the student and their college internship facilitator throughout the term. Casework, note taking, diagnostic and treatment planning will be analyzed and explored in the classroom with a focus on enhancing students’ clinical skills in these areas, as well as a review of the principles of therapeutic relationships, developing techniques for communicating with and working with families, agencies/systems, and school and community personnel, and the use of supervision. The diagnosis and treatment of learning and behavioral disorders, when to recommend an educational evaluation, an IEP or a 504 will also be discussed. SAC Interns will learn to develop plans for the prevention, treatment and referral of students engaged in legal or illegal substances, school violence, school crises and other situations. This course may be combined with CCP 701. The internship must conform to Massachusetts Regulations 262 CMR. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. For SAC students in school sites: Onsite training supervised by a state-approved licensed/certified school adjustment counselor who also has clinical licensure as an LMHC, LICSW, LMFT, clinical psychologist or psychiatrist is required. SAC students in school sites Students pass MTEL Communication and Literacy before entry. The fieldwork experiences in this course address the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Adjustment Counselors: 3: A practicum of 900 hours, 450 of which must be working with children, adolescents, and families in an educational setting. (Cambridge requires practicum fieldwork of 100 contact hours and internship fieldwork of 600 contact hours). (Cambridge College recommends that students in the SAC track have 225 site hours for each of the four field experiences.) 4: A passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills test. Standard a: Principles of therapeutic relationships. c: Learning disorders, including emotional issues affecting student achievement, and their treatment. d: Prevention and treatment of substance abuse, physical and sexual abuse, and violence in PreK-12 students. f: Techniques for communicating and working with families and school and community personnel.
Counseling Techniques with Multi-Problem Families in Changing Communities
CCP 561 3 credit(s)
It is strongly recommended that students participate in a practicum/internship while enrolled in this course. This course is for those beginning work with “multi-problem” families, and for those with some experience who wish to adopt a systemic, strengths-focused model of counseling. Techniques for communicating and working with families in school and community settings are emphasized. Instructor and student generated case studies are supported by role-playing and outside readings. Students go step-by-step through assessment, contracting, and counseling processes. They learn how to evaluate resources and needs, how to identify and collaborate with outside helpers and agencies, and how to deal with conflicts between the needs of family members. Issues relating to family violence, substance abuse and the use of home visiting are also discussed. In addition to class participation and readings, two papers analyzing families and the counseling process are required. This course emphasizes approaches which honor the socioeconomic, linguistic and cultural differences which may affect families and relationship between the family and therapist. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: f: Techniques for communicating and working with families and school and community personnel.
Multicultural Counseling: Children and Adolescents in Context
CCP 715 3 credit(s)
Pre Practicum: 15 hours of directed field-based training required for DESE licensure. This course explores the counseling process with children and adolescents from two perspectives: first from the experiential world of the child or adolescent, and secondly, from an ecological/systems perspective, with strong emphasis on cultural strengths and concerns. Topics include: the world of the child in a multicultural society; exceptionality, techniques for communicating and working with diverse families, school and community personnel; play/activity techniques, multicultural group work. Also: assessment; diagnosis; gathering and communicating information; sensitivity to others; self awareness; culturally congruent educational programs; stereotyping; economic, social and political issues surrounding diversity; relevant state, municipal and school laws and regulations relating to ethnic, linguistic, racial, gender and religious diversity; interviewing; dealing with research; resources and referrals within schools and community; hazards and problems of normal and abnormal development; enhancing a positive school climate in a multicultural school setting. The course also addresses issues impacting learning, achievement, and diversity with a final presentation utilizing the online library and other online researched based sites. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: f: Techniques for communicating and working with families and school and community personnel. i: Federal and state laws and regulations addressing the legal rights of students and families. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Guidance Counseling: i. Federal, state, municipal, and school laws and regulations. j. Resources within the school system or the community for referral. m. Development of skills for consultation with parents, teachers, and administrators.
SAC Electives and/or concentration
15
Credits

Students electing Addictions Counseling or Trauma Studies take only two school adjustment electives.

Core Faculty

Senior Instructor

Pages

Admissions

  • Admission Test:

    Passing grade on TOEFL (English language proficiency test) is required for international students.

  • Admissions Office:
    1-800-829-4723
  • Application:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students)

Program Requirements

Interview -  Applicants must be ready to demonstrate the following:

  • your competencies and knowledge appropriate to the subject area at the level of licensure sought
  • strong oral and written communication skills including organization and clarity of thought
  • ability to communicate ideas, and correct use of English
  • enthusiasm, sincerity, and serious intent to become a licensed educator

Matriculation - All new students must register for Mental Health Counseling until they pass the MA Communication and Literacy Test

General Requirements

Official Transcript
Two Completed Recommendation Forms
Current Résumé
Interview (for graduate and advanced graduate programs)

Learn more about General Requirements

State Requirements

College students are required to comply with state laws regarding individual health insurance and immunization. Compliance requirements currently exist for students in Massachusetts, Virginia and Tennessee. Learn more

International Students – Additional Requirements

International Students will need to complete supplemental documentation when applying. International transcripts must also be translated prior to submission in order to be evaluated for applicability. Learn more about international student requirements.

Transfer Credit Request Form

Only needed if you wish to have prior course work evaluated for transfer credit. Learn more about transferring credits.

 

Tuition

  • Credits for Licensure:
    60
  • Credits:
    60
  • Cost per credit hour:
    $485
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students)
  • Graduation Fee:
    $110 (charged in last term)
  • Health Insurance Fee:
    $1,497 - Required for Massachusetts students only. See waiver details on Tuition & Fees page.)

Note: Rates are as of September 2013, and are subject to change without notice. Rates apply to all students, unless otherwise noted.

Financial Aid

Cambridge College offers financial aid to students in our degree programs who are enrolled at least half time. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits each term. Graduate and doctoral students must be enrolled in at least 4 credits each term. Learn more

Grants, Scholarships and Loans

Cambridge College welcomes the opportunity to support your efforts to pay for college.  Federal, state and local resources in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study, including Cambridge College Scholarships, are available to help defray the cost of tuition. Learn more

Getting Your Company to Help

Many companies have tuition assistance programs, designed to help their employees with their professional development. Learn more