The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), has granted accreditation to the Mental Health Counseling (MA) program at Hofstra University.
The preferred application deadline for the fall semester is August 15 and for the spring semester is January 15. All others will be reviewed based on available space.
Students who require an F-I visa are able to apply for and enroll in the MA program, however, they will not be able to complete the mandatory 3,000 hours in the field post-graduation within the required 2-year time frame to receive licensure and practice within New York state. Skills learned within the program can be exercised within home countries and in other areas of the US.
Mental Health Counseling, MA
The MA in Mental Health Counseling (MHC) is a 60-credit program designed to provide students with the educational preparation to qualify as a licensed mental health counselor in the state of New York. MHC's practice in a variety of settings, including private practice, community agencies, managed behavioral health care organizations, government and not-for-profit organizations, integrated delivery systems, hospitals, employee assistance programs and substance abuse and rehabilitative centers.
The program also offers the opportunity for matriculated students to complete the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services' (OASAS) educational requirements for the Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC). This prepares students to work with individuals, families, and groups in myriad settings focusing on mental health, substance abuse, and alcohol and drug counseling. Students who take advantage of this focus are eligible to register for the CASAC designation and thus qualify for the clinical experience component of the certification. Alumni of the MHC program or those with a bachelor's or master's degree in another area can also fulfill the educational requirements of the CASAC by completing the Advanced Certificate in Addiction and Substance Abuse.
Mental Health Counseling Program Evaluation
Mental Health Counseling Alumni Survey Executive Summary
The MHC Alumni Survey was distributed to 69 graduates online via an email link to a Qualtrics survey on January 8, 2020. Follow-up reminder emails were sent on January 15 and February 4. A total of 21 responses were obtained for a response rate of 30%. Note that not every respondent answered every item, so sample sizes may vary by question.
Of the 21 total responses received, 94% identify as a woman while only 1 respondent, 6%, self identify as a male. Two thirds (75%) are white, 13% are black/African American, and 6% are Hispanic/Latino. In terms of experience, the majority of respondents (44%) reported having 3-5 years of overall experience in the counseling field, with 0-2 years experience a close second (38%). Nineteen percent had 6 or more years of experience.
The results are consistently positive. Graduates of the program report, overall, that they are very satisfied or satisfied (top two box) with the program (94%) and are likely to very likely (top two box) to recommend the program (94%). Specifically, graduates self reported that they were very satisfied or satisfied (top two box) with faculty student relations and the support they experienced in the program (89%), the instruction provided by faculty (100%), advisement (95%), Chi Sigma honor society (87%), faculty mentorship (82%), and the counseling club (81%).Almost ¾ of respondents were at least somewhat satisfied with the opportunities for research collaboration with faculty. Importantly, almost all respondents, 94 % (n=16), report they are very likely or likely to recommend Hofstra’s program in Mental Health Counseling to others.
On average, alumni rated the knowledge they gained in the program across a wide variety of course topics as either adequate or more than adequate (top two box), with very few exceptions. They reported being prepared or very prepared (top two box) to conduct intake evaluations and clinical interviews (95%), develop treatment plans (85%), write clinical case notes (85%), provide individual counseling (95%) and group counseling (95%), conduct diagnostic assessments using the DSM (85%), apply multicultural knowledge to practice (100%), work with other mental health professionals in consultation (95%) and act in accordance with ACA (and other relevant) ethical standards (100%).
When asked how difficult it was to find a job after graduation, the majority of respondents (69%) felt it was at least somewhat easy (top three box). Fifty percent of alumni respondents report that it took them 1-2 months to find a job in mental health counseling after graduation, with a full 86% reporting having found a job within the first 4 months. Only 2 respondents reported that it took more than 1 year to get a job In their current employment settings, over ¾ of respondents report spending at least 75% of their time doing individual counseling while slightly less than half (42%) spent at least 50 % of their time doing intake evaluations/initial clinical interviews and diagnosis/assessment (48%). Over half of respondents spend at least half their time engaging in group counseling (54%) and consultation (51%). Alumni generally report being very adequately or adequately prepared (top two box) for their current positions in the field of mental health counseling (82%).
Of the 21 respondents, 9 report having taken the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam and all of them passed. Eight did so on their first try.
Mental Health Counseling Site Supervisor Survey Executive Summary
The MHC Site Supervisor survey was distributed to 43 site supervisors and graduate employers online via an email link to a Qualtrics survey on January 8, 2020. Follow-up reminder emails were sent on January 15 and February 4. A total of 16 responses were obtained for a response rate of 37%. Note that not every respondent answered every item, so sample sizes may vary by question. Attitude/evaluative items were presented on 7 point Likert scales (1-7) where higher numbers indicate more positive responses.
The majority of site supervisors have been supervising for more than 5 years (67%) and have been in the counseling/psychology/human services field for more than 10 years (67%).
Overall, the survey results are extremely positive. Supervisors and employers reported that Hofstra MHC interns and/or graduates demonstrated adequate to more than adequate (top two box) strengthened sense of self (80%), appreciation for the contribution of all individuals and cultural groups (94%), commitment to be culturally responsive (93%), commitment to advocacy and being a change agent (80%), and commitment to continued learning and professional development (93%).
In terms of knowledge acquisition, supervisors and employers also report that Hofstra MHC interns/graduates demonstrate adequate to more than adequate knowledge acquisition (top two box) in the areas of counseling theory and practice (93%), human development and behavior (93%), socio-cultural foundations (93%), ethical and legal standards of practice (100%), and contemporary issues in counseling (100%). Supervisors and employers were less complimentary when asked if Hofstra’s MHC interns/graduates demonstrated adequate to more than adequate knowledge in the areas of group counseling and dynamics and testing, measurement, assessment, and research, rating them at 80% and 60% respectively. The latter two areas represent opportunities for program improvement.
Supervisors and employers report that the Hofstra MHC interns/employees they have supervised generally demonstrate adequate to more than adequate role and skill development (top two box) in the following areas: counseling process (100%), career and educational planning (93%), individual assessment (93%), consultation (86%), advocacy and accountability (93%), multicultural competence (86%), professional role development and behavior (86%), and integration of knowledge and skills in professional practice (86%). Interns/employees demonstrate somewhat adequate role and skill development in technological application in counseling and guidance (21%) and evidence-based interactions (21%). Hofstra MHC interns/students demonstrate somewhat adequate to neither adequate nor inadequate role and skill development in referral (28%) and action research methodology (36%). Again, the latter represent opportunities for improvement and also parallel the results for knowledge acquisition.
Respondents rated Hofstra MHC interns/employees as prepared to very prepared (top two box) to perform the tasks expected of them in the following areas: provide individual counseling (84%), applying multicultural knowledge and concepts to counseling (100%), act in accordance with ethical standards (100%), and work with other mental health professionals (100%).
Further, interns/employees spend much of their time on the job performing these functions. They engage in individual counseling (85%) and group counseling (69%) at least half of the time. They also do intake evaluations, initial clinical interviews (46%), and diagnosis/assessment (39%) at least 75% of the time. It is clear from the reports of supervisors that interns/employees are gaining relevant clinical experience.
Overall, supervisors/employers are very satisfied with Hofstra's M.A. Program in Mental Health Counseling (62%), and are very likely to recommend the program to others (73%).