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CACREP Accreditation

Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP)

The M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The program has been CACREP accredited since 2007. For more information on CACREP, please visit their website at

Program Mission

The M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is designed to train a diverse body of service-oriented graduate students (largely from New Jersey and nearby areas) to be practitioners, leaders, and advocates in the field of mental health counseling. The members of the faculty are committed to graduating students who have exemplary theory-based knowledge and skills in counseling and who have demonstrated competence in providing counseling services to people from diverse populations. The department’s goal is to offer a program of study that seeks to stay consistent with the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards, as well as the academic and skill requirements of state licensing and national certification for counseling.

The M.S. program is intended for students seeking licensure as Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) in New Jersey. It is the first clinical mental health counseling program in the state to be accredited by CACREP. Accreditation is a significant consideration for the New Jersey State Board of Examiners for LPC licensure.

If desired, students can also later pursue a doctorate in counselor education.

Program Objectives:

  1. Students will gain the knowledge and skills associated with professional orientation and ethics in counseling.
  2. Students will gain the knowledge and skills associated with culturally competent counseling practice.
  3. Students will gain knowledge of human development across the lifespan and its application within the counseling process.
  4. Students will gain the knowledge and skills associated with career development and its applications in the counseling process.
  5. Students will gain the knowledge and skills associated with the establishment of therapeutic relationships and the facilitation of client growth.
  6. Students will gain knowledge of major counseling theories, evidence based practices, and skills in applying this knowledge to the counseling process.
  7. Students will gain knowledge and skills associated with group facilitation and the group counseling process.
  8. Students will gain knowledge and skills associated with appraisal and testing.
  9. Students will gain knowledge and skills associated with research and program evaluation to inform counseling practice.
  10. Students will gain the knowledge and skills associated with working in multidisciplinary mental health systems.
  11. Students will gain the knowledge and skills associated with mental health diagnosis.
  12. Students will gain the knowledge and skills associated with providing crisis counseling.
  13. Students will gain the knowledge and skills associated with providing substance abuse treatment.
  14. Students will demonstrate an awareness of self and personal values, aptitude for graduate study, success in forming effective counseling relationships and growth in ethical and culturally competent practice.
Summary of Program Evaluation

Admission and enrollment for the 2023-2024 academic year have been consistent with previous years with an average of 35 students in the fall and 12 in the spring. Our racial and ethnic demographics have improved with this year with both faculty and students.

We continue to use the Tevera program to collect Knowledge Outcome Assessments (KOAs). These 13 knowledge objectives match with 13 program objectives. Students are assessed in all core classes based on the Clinical Mental Health area. Faculty members assess students using the criteria: 1-Fails to meet developmental level; 2-Meets developmental level; and 3-Exceeds developmental level. Any student that falls below 2 will be counseled toward more academic success.

Enrollment for field placement courses were congruent with patterns of enrollment admission and graduation. Evaluation of site placement via student feedback, outreach to site supervisors via verbal and electronic communication, and formal evaluations in Tevera, was on-going and reflected overall satisfaction with quality of supervision and student experiences. Efforts to increase site partnerships is on-going. New sites have been added through the department’s vetting process and are communicated to student regularly. Graduates in the program continue to express the value of and role of field placement in their success in gaining employment.

Our department strives toward achieving and maintaining the 12:1 CACREP FTE ratio. The pandemic and subsequent ripple effects have created a challenge. The university is committed to hiring three more faculty to maintain and achieve the proper ratio fall 2025.

Substantial Program Changes

Faculty Changes:

Dr. David Burkholder left the university and Dr. David Julius Ford, Jr., is the chair of the department as July 1, 2023. Several faculty members have left to pursue other endeavors, retirement, or due to administrative decisions. Dr. Joanne Jodry remains the program director. We have hired two new highly qualified faculty members. Dr. Amelia Shannon was hired as Specialist Professor. Dr. Sumedha Therthani was hired in tenure track position. Because Testing and Assessment is our weakest area on the CPCE, we hired Dr. Therthani who has expertise in that area. The Department Professional Counseling boasts as the most racially/ethnically diverse department on campus.

We sadly lost our office manager to death. We have hired Cally Sherman who is highly qualified and skilled as our office manager.

Matt Tirrell left as the Director of Field Placement and has been replaced by Jennifer Trimarchi on an interim basis. The university is committed to filling the permanent position by July 1, 2024.

Lisa Himmelmen, our Director of Professional Development and Special Projects, left to pursue a similar role at another university and the university closed the line.

Curriculum Changes

We have eliminated the M.A. in Addiction Students degree program and the Certificate in Professional Counseling program. Due to feedback from stakeholders, we have eliminated PC 535, Courageous Connections, and PC 670, Clinical Supervision. We have added PC 526, Case Conceptualization, to the M.S. core curriculum chart due to feedback from our alumni survey. We changed PC 510 to Community Counseling and Social Advocacy. With these changes, students went from having 9 credits of electives to 12 credits of electives, which was also due to student feedback. We added PC 650 and PC 651, Transformational Travel, which allows students to engage in international service to India. We added PC 505, Adventure-based Ecotherapy.

We revised the specialty areas to add Ecotherapy and aligned our Children and Adolescent specialty area to set students up to earn the Registered Play Therapy certification. We changed Coupes and Families to Relationship Counseling. In the Addictions Counseling specialization, we added PC 510, Community Counseling and Social Advocacy as a requirement, and eliminated PC 546, Substance Awareness in Schools.

Changes in Practicum and Internship

Due to student and stakeholder feedback, we tested PC 595, Practicum, to see if using a regular grading scale over a pass/fail grading scale, and overwhelmingly, feedback suggest we remain with pass/fail for all field placement courses (PC 595 and PC 680). In field placements courses, we continue to use Tevera to calculate hour logs and feedback, which eliminates human error. Doing so has benefited students applying for licensure.

Comprehensive Examination (CPCE)

Although students have a maximum of three times to pass the CPCE required for graduation, we have added a possible alternative for a student who has the rare occasion of not passing. This alternative includes not graduating on time and appealing to the chair the following semester for a comprehensive independent study to show competence in all core areas.

Program Accomplishments:

We have the most diverse faculty the department has ever had and at the university. We also have diversity faculty areas of expertise and research methodologies and interests. We have invested in our student’s education and future careers by partially funding their travel to the American Counseling Association’s International Conference. We took 10 students to the conference in Toronto spring 2023. We will continue to provide this opportunity annually.

Faculty/Student Collaborations:

Jodry, J. & Levitt, R. (2022). Feminist counseling theory and spirituality: Beyond patriarchal religious constructs. Accepted to Counseling and Values Journal.

Jodry, J. & Reid, M. (2020). Acting theory applied to counseling: Stanislavski continues to contribute to psychic healing. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 15(2), 223-234.

Jodry, J. & Reid, M. (2020). Ecospirituality in M. Delaney (Ed.), Nature is Nurture: Counseling and the Natural World (pp. 167-192). New York: Oxford Press.

Ford, D. J., Kerns, K. M., Joe, J. R., & Andes, M. R. (2023). Anti-Wokeness in the Fifth Force: Our Duty as Social Justice-Oriented Mental Health Professionals. NBCC Bridging the Gap Symposium, Atlanta, GA.

Ford, D. J., Kerns, K. M., Joe, J. R., & Andes, M. R. (2023). Anti-Wokeness in the Fifth Force: Our Duty as Social Justice-Oriented Mental Health Professionals. ACES Conference, Denver, CO

CSI Highlights

CSI induction was held March 3, 2024, and 40 students were inducted. Mu Upsilon Omega chapter is an active chapter and offers students the opportunity to serve the community while enhancing their careers.

Professional Development & Alumni Engagement

Due to the pandemic, we halted programs like the “From our Own” series and our biannual conference. We will continue both endeavors in 2025. We have been approved to be an on-site training ground for spring 2024 to allow our students to become Disaster Relief Crisis Counselors (DRCC), certified through the state of New Jersey.

Ongoing Initiatives:

  • The CAC’s Peer Consultation Group continued hosting monthly meetings for licensed counselors. These meetings were at the department’s offices in Fall 2019/early Spring 2020, then switched to virtual in Summer 2020. The group is open to LAC’s, LPC’s, and recent Clinical Mental Health Counseling program graduates from both within and outside of the Monmouth community. The group is facilitated by a department alumna.
  • The CAC’s Social Justice, Advocacy, and Community Service (SoJACS) Program re-convened in Summer 2020 to launch important initiatives centered on racial justice in the country. The group developed plans for a free educational series open to the public and hosted virtually as their long-term goal. They also worked on short-term plans such as future monthly or bi-monthly group meetings/activities to keep the community engaged in this work and discourse.

Program Outcomes: Vital Statistics (as of December 2023)

  • Number of graduates from spring 2023, summer 2023, and fall 2023: 34
  • Program completion rate (Fall 2020 cohort): 78%
  • Licensure exam pass rate: 100%
  • Job placement rate of graduates actively seeking employment: 98%

If you would like more information regarding any of this information, please feel free to contact Dr. David Julius Ford, Jr. (