Statement on Transition to Master's of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

To all Current Community Counseling Services Students:

Due to the 2009 change in CACREP accreditation standards, the 48-semester hour Master’s Degree in Counseling Services with Community Counseling concentration will be replaced with a 60-semester hour Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

After January 2013, students will not be able to graduate with a 48-semester hour Counseling Services Degree with a concentration in Community Counseling. The Counseling Services Degree with a concentration in School Counseling will remain at 48 semester hours.

If you are a current student in the Community Counseling concentration, you need to tell us by November 15, 2011 of your intention to:

  1. Complete the current 48-semester hour Counseling Services Master’s Degree with a concentration in Community Counseling program by December 2012, OR
  2. Switch to the 60-semester hour Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

If you choose to stay in the 48-semester hour Counseling Services Degree with concentration in Community Counseling program, you must complete your coursework by December 2012 (or before), in order to graduate by January 2013. This program is accredited under the 2001 CACREP standards as a community counseling program.

After January 2013, Rider University will begin listing on diplomas the new program title of Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. If you choose to switch to the 60-semester hour Clinical Mental Health Counseling Degree program, your first potential date of graduation with this new title will be Spring 2013 (May 2013 graduation). If you complete this 60-semester hour program prior to December 2012, then your degree title will remain “Counseling Services,” due to requirements of the New Jersey State Department of Education.

During this transition period, the 60-semester hour Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is accredited under the 2001 CACREP standards for Community Counseling as a Community Counseling program. In 2014, we will seek re-accreditation for this program as a Clinical Mental Health Counseling program under the 2009 CACREP standards.

Currently, the regulations for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in NJ and PA require that applicants have a Master’s degree in counseling and have completed 60 graduate semester hours in counseling.

As of the Fall 2011 semester, new students will no longer be able to enroll in the 48-semester hour Master’s Degree in Counseling Services with concentration in Community Counseling. New students must enroll in the 60-semester hour Clinical Mental Health Counseling Degree program or the 48-semester hour Counseling Services Degree with concentration in School Counseling program.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Nancy Westburg, Director of Counseling Services, at Westburg@rider.edu or your advisor.