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  1. #1
    joanie is offline Registered User
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    Master's in Mental Health Counseling (with intent to work in NYS)

    Hello,

    I'm currently looking at programs for a master's in mental health counseling to be done primarily via distance (although I know residencies and internships are required).

    Based on the language on the New York State professions page, I'm unsure if it's even possible to do the internships as a student of an out-of-state school. It seems like only in-state students are allowed to complete internships in the field.

    Does anyone have experience with this, or know if there's some kind of work around?

    I am specifically referring to question no. 8, on this page: NYS Mental Health Practitioners:FAQ Education Requirements.

    Thanks,

    Joanie
    MSW - Adelphi University (exp. 5/2015)
    MA Human Resources Management, w/ honors - Webster University 5/2012

    "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

  2. #2
    Garp is offline Registered User
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    This is unfortunate but it seems it is possible for out of state programs to get approved, etc. A work around would be if NY had reciprocity with an adjoining state and you could become licensed there (eg NJ) and then transfer that permit to NY.

    Liberty University had a well developed Masters in Counseling that could be done mostly by distance with some short summer session classes in Virginia. They also at one time produced a great book that detailed licensure requirements in most states. If I were you I would call them and speak to the dean or someone who might be able to answer your questions. Liberty University Christian College Education
    They may be able to work with you or help you in some way. Liberty is a religious school but their distance learning programs do not push religion and they are affordable. Also a bricks and mortar school with a football team, law school and so on.

    Keep us up to date as it is an interesting situation.

  3. #3
    Hadashi no Gen is offline Registered User
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    Unfortunately NY State has not yet approved online counseling programs.

    Below is what the New York State Mental Health Counselor Licensing Packet has to say. I don't notice anything about needing to attend an in-state school to complete a practicum/internship. It simply states that you need to have a minimum of one year/600 hours in a graduate clinical internship. However, it also states that the state of New York has not approved any on-line programs. It might be best to find a program near you, or seek out one of the online MSW programs that are out there and become a therapist/counselor that way. That is, if NYS accepts CASWE-accredited online MSW programs... which definitely do exist.

    EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

    To meet the professional education requirement for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor, you must present evidence of receiving a master's or doctoral degree in counseling from a program that is:

    • registered by the Department as licensure qualifying;
    • accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency*; or
    • determined by the Department to be the substantial equivalent of such a registered or accredited program.

    *The Department has designated the Commission on the Accreditation of Counseling Related Education Programs (CACREP) as an acceptable accrediting agency. New York has not approved any on-line programs to offer a degree leading to licensure in this profession.

    A program located outside the United States and its territories may be used to satisfy the professional education requirement if it:

    • prepares individuals for the professional practice of Mental Health Counseling ; and
    • is recognized by the appropriate civil authorities of that jurisdiction; and
    • can be appropriately verified; and
    • is determined by the Department to be the substantial equivalent of a registered licensure qualifying or acceptable accredited master's or doctoral program in counseling .

    Substantial Equivalence

    To be considered substantially equivalent, your program must include at least 60 semester hours, or the equivalent, of graduate study that contains curricular content that includes but is not limited to the following areas:

    • human growth and development;
    • social and cultural foundations of counseling ;
    counseling theory and practice;
    • psychopathology;
    • group dynamics;
    • lifestyle and career development;
    • assessment and appraisal of individuals, couples, families and groups;
    • research and program evaluation;
    • professional orientation and ethics;
    • foundations of Mental Health Counseling and consultation;
    • clinical instruction; and
    • include a minimum one year supervised internship or practicum in Mental Health Counseling where one year means at least 600 clock hours.

    Note: The education requirement for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor can only be met through completion of graduate level courses at an acceptable degree granting institution. Training in an institute or by a registered individual does not meet the education requirement for licensure even if the training is accredited by a private organization.

    Evidence of receipt of your degree(s) must be presented on Form 2 - Certification of Professional Education - and must be submitted directly to the Office of the Professions by the school(s) where you obtained your degree(s). In most cases, an official transcript is also needed.

    A degree in school counseling , school psychology , social work or a related field does not meet the education requirements. An applicant with a degree in another field must be individually evaluated to determine what additional graduate coursework, including supervised internship/practicum, must be completed to constitute an equivalent degree.

    In addition to the professional education requirement, every applicant for Mental Health Counseling licensure or a limited permit must complete coursework or training in the identification and reporting of child abuse in accordance with Section 6507(3)(a) of the Education Law. You must submit a certificate of completion from an approved provider or file a certification of exemption before a New York State license or limited permit can be issued. Additional information and a list of approved providers are available on
    our Web site at OP:Training:Mandated Training Related to Child Abuse. You may be eligible for exemption from the training if you can document, to the satisfaction of the Department, that your practice does not involve professional contact with persons under the age of 18 and that you do not have contact with persons 18 or older with a handicapping condition, who reside in a residential care school or facility. An exemption form (Form 1CE) is included in this application packet.

    Packet: http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/mhp/men...ctober2010.pdf

    Other NY State MHC licensing information: http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/mhp/mhcforms.htm
    Last edited by Hadashi no Gen; 07-09-2011 at 07:07 PM.

  4. #4
    Hadashi no Gen is offline Registered User
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    Here are the licensing requirements to practice Masters-level Social Work in the state of New York. It does not mention anything about online education , like it does for Mental Health Counseling . All it states is that the school needs to be accredited by CASWE.

    Education Requirements

    To meet the professional education requirement for licensure as an LMSW, you must present satisfactory evidence of having received a masters degree in social work (M.S.W.), or its equivalent, (e.g., a higher degree from a social work program that is registered by the Department as licensure-qualifying, accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) or determined by the Department to be substantially equivalent to a registered program as defined in Sections 74.1 and 52.30 of the Commissioner's Regulations.)

    For education to be determined substantially equivalent, the applicant must present satisfactory evidence of having received a masters degree, or its equivalent, in social work through completion of a satisfactory graduate program in social work which includes two years of full-time study (at least 60 semester hours, or the equivalent), of graduate study. No more than half of the total semester hours for the program may be advanced standing credit granted for social work study at the baccalaureate level. The graduate program must include curricular content in the following areas:

    social work values and ethics;
    diversity, social justice, and at-risk populations;
    human behavior in the social environment;
    social welfare policy and service delivery systems;
    foundation and advanced social work practice;
    social work practice evaluation and research; and
    a field practicum of at least 900 clock hours in social work integrated with the prescribed curricular content.

    In addition to the professional education requirement, every applicant for LMSW licensure or a limited permit must complete coursework or training in the identification and reporting of child abuse in accordance with Section 6507(3)(a) of the Education Law. See additional information and a list of approved providers for this training.
    Read the education requirements here: http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/sw/lmsw.htm#edu

    Fine CASWE-accredited online MSW programs here: http://www.cswe.org/cms/39516.aspx

    Good luck!!
    Last edited by Hadashi no Gen; 07-09-2011 at 07:14 PM.

  5. #5
    Hadashi no Gen is offline Registered User
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    Er... "Find".

  6. #6
    joanie is offline Registered User
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    The way I understood it is that since NYS does not approve out-of-state programs, neither do they approve online. They evaluate them on a case-by-case basis if they contain the required coursework.
    MSW - Adelphi University (exp. 5/2015)
    MA Human Resources Management, w/ honors - Webster University 5/2012

    "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

  7. #7
    joanie is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by joanie View Post
    The way I understood it is that since NYS does not approve out-of-state programs, neither do they approve online. They evaluate them on a case-by-case basis if they contain the required coursework.
    This is from the link I posted above:
    . Can I complete a distance-learning program to meet the education requirements for licensure in New York?

    At this time, the Department has not registered any distance-learning program in these professions as leading to licensure in New York. If you complete a distance-learning program at a regionally accredited school outside New York we will review the transcript, course syllabi and internship to determine whether the program is equivalent to a New York licensure-qualifying program after the application for licensure and fee have been received
    MSW - Adelphi University (exp. 5/2015)
    MA Human Resources Management, w/ honors - Webster University 5/2012

    "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

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  9. #8
    Hadashi no Gen is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by joanie View Post
    This is from the link I posted above:
    . Can I complete a distance-learning program to meet the education requirements for licensure in New York?

    At this time, the Department has not registered any distance-learning program in these professions as leading to licensure in New York. If you complete a distance-learning program at a regionally accredited school outside New York we will review the transcript, course syllabi and internship to determine whether the program is equivalent to a New York licensure-qualifying program after the application for licensure and fee have been received
    The link that you posted above is to the FAQ for NYS "Mental Health Professionals," where Mental Health Counselors are categorized (along with Creative Arts Therapists, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Psychoanalysts). View the list of "Mental Health Practitioners" here.

    Social Workers are listed in their own category. View the entire list of NYS licensed professions here. According to this Social Work FAQ (NYS Edu. Dep. Office of Professionals), enrollment in a "licensing-qualifying program" is all that you need to secure a graduate-level Social Work internship. According to the link that I posted above, a "license-qualifying program" is one that is CASWE-accredited. Again, you can view the list of online CASWE-accredited MSW programs here: www.cswe.org/cms/39516.aspx.

    As a LICSW, you will be able to perform most (or more) of the same functions as a Mental Health Counselor. Licensed Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists are all able to practice "counseling " and psychotherapy at the masters level... and Social Workers often have better reciprocity.

    BTW... Just in case you may think that I may have some sort of profession bias here (as it could seem), I am a Mental Health Counseling Student. I hope that you are able to find a program that works for you and your situation!! Mental Health Counseling is a somewhat new license in NYS... so the regulations might change in the future and allow online programs. As a counseling student, though, I really feel like a face-to-face learning environment is the best. As a former online student, though, I also understand that online learning is sometimes better for some people. Good luck!!
    Last edited by Hadashi no Gen; 07-09-2011 at 08:12 PM.

  10. #9
    Hadashi no Gen is offline Registered User
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    OOPS!!!... it does not need to be CASWE-accredited, just registered with the state as "licensure-qualifying." However, most online MSW programs that I have seen are CASWE-accredited. I guess you would obtain a full list of licensure-qualifying programs by contacting your state.

  11. #10
    joanie is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for the advice. I am a recruiter for allied health professionals, including LCSW and LMHC, and while I know LCSW can also counsel, I haven't found an MSW program with a strong counseling focus that would match what I hope to do in the future. I may end up doing a B&M, but some hybrid would have been best.
    MSW - Adelphi University (exp. 5/2015)
    MA Human Resources Management, w/ honors - Webster University 5/2012

    "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

  12. #11
    Hadashi no Gen is offline Registered User
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    Regarding B&M programs... since NY State identifies CACREP as an "acceptable accrediting agency," here is a list of all of the CACREP programs in the state: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs - Directory.

    I am sure there are others around that are non-CACREP but are still good programs, leading to licensure. Fordham, NYU, and other schools in the state have high quality counseling programs, but are not CACREP-accredited.
    Last edited by Hadashi no Gen; 07-09-2011 at 08:47 PM.

  13. #12
    Hadashi no Gen is offline Registered User
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    Touro College seems to have a M.S. in Mental Health Counseling that can work in a hybrid format, depending on the faulty (see paragraph #2 under "licensed mental health counseling ").

    http://www.touro.edu/edgrad/mentheal...menthealth.asp

    Brooklyn College, which may be closer to you, also has a MHC program (B&M).

    http://mhc.brooklyn.cuny.edu/
    Last edited by Hadashi no Gen; 07-09-2011 at 09:13 PM.

  14. #13
    joanie is offline Registered User
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    Thanks Hadashi. I'm considering Touro as a last resort, but Brooklyn doesn't do part-time (as much as I'd love to go there since it's 5 min from my home). Touro got into some trouble for selling degrees, and also, in the area in which I live and work, Touro grads are a dime a dozen.

    I wish there were something formated like Medaille College's program,just not 7.5 hours away from me. It's online with one weekend (Friday-Sunday) of butt-in-seat courses per month.
    MSW - Adelphi University (exp. 5/2015)
    MA Human Resources Management, w/ honors - Webster University 5/2012

    "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

  15. #14
    Hadashi no Gen is offline Registered User
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    I did a google search in Mental Health Counseling programs in New York City and came up with quite a few results. Maybe there is one that can work for you!

    Considering where you are in Brooklyn, this might be close to you: M.S. in Mental Health Counseling - Long Island University

    Good luck!

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  17. #15
    joanie is offline Registered User
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    For future reference to any students looking for something similar:

    It seems most of the colleges in NY offering the mental health counseling degree want full-time students only.

    Two programs in the NYC area that offer many online courses are Touro College and Mercy College. (Mercy offers all but 4 of the courses online, not including internships). Neither is CACREP accredited, and Mercy is much more expensive than Touro, but I am going to go with Mercy because they have a director of clinical internships that assists in internship placements, whereas Touro told me that they prefer students who are already working in clinical positions with access to supervision because they do not provide assistance in this. Neither is a great school, and both have low admission standards.

    Hope that helps any future folks.
    MSW - Adelphi University (exp. 5/2015)
    MA Human Resources Management, w/ honors - Webster University 5/2012

    "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

  18. #16
    japhy4529 is offline House Bassist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hadashi no Gen View Post
    Below is what the New York State Mental Health Counselor Licensing Packet has to say. ...SNIP

    *The Department has designated the Commission on the Accreditation of Counseling Related Education Programs (CACREP) as an acceptable accrediting agency. New York has not approved any on-line programs to offer a degree leading to licensure in this profession.
    I would contact NYS MHC department. The above statement (in bold) doesn't jive with reality, as there are now several online CACREP-accredited Masters in Counseling programs available. I believe that this regulation is outdated, as it was probably written before there any CACREP programs were available online.

    Also, while not CACREP accredited, Touro University Worldwide (accredited as a division of Touro College Los Angeles, e.g. WASC) now offers an online MA in MFT. Given Touro's connection to NY, perhaps the NYS MHC dept would accept this program. It's worth a shot!
    Last edited by japhy4529; 07-13-2011 at 05:17 AM.
    Tom
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