New Mexico Highlands University’s counseling program offers four exciting concentrations in our master’s programs, tailored to suit your passion: clinical mental health counseling, clinical rehabilitation counseling, rehabilitation counseling, and school counseling.
The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, commonly known as CACREP, is an independent accrediting agency that assures graduate counseling programs throughout the United States and the world meet standards within the counseling profession.
CACREP accreditation indicates that a program’s content and quality have been evaluated and meet strict, consistent standards set by the profession. Choosing a CACREP-accredited program also means the curriculum contains the academic knowledge necessary for professional licensure in many states.
Program at a glance
Ready to explore some options? The Department of Guidance and Counseling in the School of Education offers a master of arts program in counseling, which lets you specialize in one or more of four concentrations in addition to the core curriculum.
Concentrations are listed below:
Clinical mental health: 60 credit hours
Clinical rehabilitation counseling: 60 credit hours
Rehabilitation counseling: 48 credit hours
School counseling: 60 credit hours
Rehabilitation counseling with vocational evaluation specialization: 54 credit hours
To be a premier counselor education program that prepares counselors as agents of social change who transform the lives of individuals and communities they serve.
The mission of the Highlands’ counselor education program is to train entry-level counselors who are prepared for positions in community service agencies as mental health counselors, in school systems as school counselors, and in rehabilitation settings as rehabilitation counselors. We are committed to continuous improvement of quality and excellence that fosters critical reflection, integrates theory and practice, and promotes advocacy through a culturally responsive and inclusive approach.
The Highlands’ counselor education program is designed to prepare students to be effective, proactive professionals who can develop, organize, and implement outstanding and comprehensive counseling services and programs. The program prepares students who:
- Demonstrate the ethical practice of counseling aligned with a professional counseling orientation in accordance with the standards and credentials of the counseling profession;
- Understand multicultural and pluralistic characteristics within and among diverse groups nationally and internationally while developing strategies for identifying and eliminating barriers, prejudices, and processes of intentional and unintentional oppression and discrimination;
- Demonstrate knowledge of factors associated with human growth and development across the lifespan;
- Understand career development theories and strategies for personal growth and vocational opportunities in a global economy;
- Utilize theoretical foundations of individual counseling, and skills in essential interviewing, counseling, and case conceptualization to promote client understanding of and access to a variety of community-based resources;
- Utilize theoretical foundations of group counseling and group work to plan ethical and culturally relevant strategies for designing and facilitating groups;
- Utilize methods of effective assessment relevant to academic, educational, career, personal, and social development;
- Understand the importance of research in advancing the counseling profession, including how to critique research to inform counseling practice; and,
- Exhibit a capacity for self-reflection and an openness to feedback to evaluate and improve personal and organizational practices.
Annual Reports & Outcomes Assessment Reports
NMHU’s counseling program is evaluated annually through several assessments with the aim of improving and maintaining the program. These evaluations reflect students’ ability to utilize comprehensive counseling knowledge, skills and theory in their practice.
Counseling Program Annual Reports
Outcomes Assessment Reports
Online and in-person classes
Work towards your goals in a combination of learning styles. You’ll take online real-time and online asynchronous sessions through Zoom, as well as in-person on-the-ground classes. This variety of possibilities offers more accessibility to potential, current and returning students and ensures a diversity among students that cannot be matched by on-ground classes alone. In fact, we have students attending from all over the state of New Mexico and beyond.
The practicum is designed to provide you with 100 hours of valuable in-field experience. Forty of these hours are in direct service with clients, giving you a hands-on education in real-life settings.
With the internship, you’ll have 600 hours of in-field experience within your chosen concentrations, and 240 hours of direct service with clients. Both the practicum and internships build counseling skills and allow practice within a theoretical framework, all while you are supervised by a working professional in the field.
These are great opportunities. Many of our students are hired at the facilities where they did their practicum and/or internships after graduation.
The counseling program cares about your health. If you are experiencing distress and would like counseling services, please contact HU CARES.