Earn your MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and MS in School Counseling

You can broaden your opportunities as a counseling professional with Walden’s MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling program. Gain the insights and hands-on training to positively impact the lives of children, individuals, and families in school settings, mental health clinics, or other environments. This unique program opens new career avenues by providing the academic preparation to allow you to pursue licensure or certification as both a mental health counselor and a school counselor.

Graduate With Two Counseling Degrees From an Accredited Program

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) dictates the curriculum for accredited counseling degree programs. If you receive an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree with the plan to obtain an MS in School Counseling in a few years, the overlap in coursework may prevent you from doing so. Walden’s MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling program curriculum is uniquely designed to meet CACREP guidelines for granting these two distinct degrees at the same time.

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Why Pursue Your MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and MS in School Counseling With Walden?

  • Prepare for two professions: With two CACREP-accredited programs—MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and MS in School Counseling—you have the academic preparation to pursue licensure or certification in both disciplines.
  • Enjoy unique career flexibility: With two counseling master’s degrees, you have the qualifications to switch career paths if your interests or needs change in the future.
  • Gain practical, hands-on experience in the field: Prepare for real-life counseling scenarios by building professional skills through two face-to-face pre-practica.
  • Be enriched by small, diverse classes: Connect with peers from a myriad of cultures, backgrounds, and interests. Intimate class sizes allow greater one-on-one interaction with faculty.

Choose the Specialization That’s Right for You

General Program

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Gain the confidence, qualifications, and critical thinking skills needed to help clients cope with daily life and overcome their greatest challenges. Strengthen your focus on helping them develop resilience and find their own solutions to issues.

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Meet Your Academic Team

Dr. Tracy SenstockDr. Tracy Senstock, Program Director

Dr. Tracy Senstock has been training counselors and counselor educators since 1988. In addition to teaching, she has a private practice where she provides counseling services to individuals, couples, and families. Dr. Senstock is a licensed professional counselor in Colorado and a National Certified Counselor.

 

Dr. Walter FrazierDr. Walter Frazier, Director of Academic Quality

Since 1988, Dr. Walter Frazier has practiced counseling at the Grace Christian Counseling Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi, where he holds the position of executive director. He has served as a counselor educator since 2008, and has worked at Walden since 2015.

 

Dr. Maranda GriffinDr. Maranda Griffin, Director of Clinical Skills Training

Dr. Maranda Griffin has been an integral part of Walden’s School of Counseling since 2012. Prior to joining Walden, she was highly engaged in the field of behavioral health as a state department of mental health director, program director, and practitioner.

 

Dr. Jason PattonDr. Jayce Patton, Director of Field Experience

Dr. Jayce Patton’s clinical work centers on clients of gender and sexual diversity. He served on the Institutional Review Board, is the associate editor for the Journal of Counseling Sexology and Sexual Wellness, and has published his work in several professional journals and textbooks.

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Change Lives for the Better—Starting With Your Own.

You’re ready to build a future helping people cope with life’s challenges. We’d like to help you reach your goals with the MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling program. Although you’re learning online, you’re never in it alone—we’re here to support you at every step. Get started today.

Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of the MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling program, you will be able to:

  1. Analyze the different roles and settings of a counselor.
  2. Apply sound ethical and legal practices in the work of a counselor.
  3. Analyze cultural development theories and models.
  4. Examine empirically based theories of human development.
  5. Evaluate approaches of career development appropriate to diverse needs and life experiences.
  6. Examine appropriate evidence-based counseling practices for prevention and intervention.
  7. Apply essential counseling skills across multiple settings.
  8. Select group facilitation strategies that are culturally and ethically relevant.
  9. Analyze assessment procedures to support planning for appropriate counseling interventions.
  10. Evaluate research methods commonly used in the counseling profession.

Additional Program-Specific Learning Outcomes

MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

  1. Evaluate effective treatment strategies for addressing the needs of mental health clients.
  2. Choose appropriate diagnostic intervention processes to meet a broad range of mental health issues.
  3. Assess the impact of biological/neurological mechanisms on mental health.
  4. Develop strategies for interfacing with outside stakeholders (i.e., the legal system and behavioral health professionals).

MS in School Counseling

  1. Examine the factors that put K–12 students at risk for mental health and behavioral disorders.
  2. Choose strategies to assist K–12 students in reaching personal, academic, and social growth.
  3. Assess data to inform decision making within the school setting.
  4. Critically examine the connections between social, familial, emotional, and behavioral problems and academic achievement.

Career Outlook

The counseling field is in need of qualified, compassionate professionals like you to meet the demand for services. Through 2028, jobs for mental health counselors are expected to grow 22%,1 while employment of school counselors is expected to grow by 8%2—both faster than the national average.

The MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling program allows you to earn two valuable credentials simultaneously. Elevate your resume and expand your career options with master’s degrees from CACREP-accredited programs that prepares you to pursue licensure or certification in your state.

An MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling can prepare you to pursue career options such as:

  • Mental health counselor
  • Clinical therapist
  • Licensed professional counselor
  • Mental health therapist
  • School counselor
  • Guidance counselor
  • Academic advisor
  • Counselor for college and career readiness

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.


An MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling can prepare you to work in settings such as:

  • Outpatient and inpatient mental health and substance abuse centers
  • Individual and family service organizations
  • Public or private hospitals
  • Courts/Government agencies
  • Public schools
  • Private schools
  • Preschools
  • Early learning centers

Interesting Facts

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$1
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for school and career counselors was $56,310 in May 2018.3
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In October 2018, 83% of Walden’s eligible MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling students who sat for the National Counselor Exam for Licensure and Certification earned a passing score.4

FAQ About Walden’s Online MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling Program

1Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors. National job growth estimates may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, do not guarantee actual job growth, and are subject to change.

2Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, School and Career Counselors. National job growth estimates may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, do not guarantee actual job growth, and are subject to change.

3Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, School and Career Counselors: Pay. National salary estimates may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, do not guarantee actual salaries, and are subject to change.

4Source: Walden University’s MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Outcomes Report

Note on Licensure

MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Walden University’s MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which is a requirement for licensure in many states. The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is designed to prepare graduates to qualify to sit for licensing exams and to meet the academic licensure requirements of many state counseling boards. Because no graduate program can guarantee licensure upon graduation, we encourage students to consult the appropriate agency to determine specific requirements. For more information about licensure, students should visit the National Board for Certified Counselors at www.nbcc.org/stateboardmap, the American Association of State Counseling Boards at www.aascb.org, and contact the appropriate licensing body. International students are encouraged to identify and contact their appropriate licensing body. Learn more about professional licensure.

MS in School Counseling: The MS in School Counseling program is offered by Walden University, an institution accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), which is a requirement to practice as a school counselor in some states. The MS in School Counseling program meets the standards for school counseling licensure or certification and is a state-approved program in Minnesota and Ohio. The MS in School Counseling program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which may also be a requirement to become licensed or certified as a school counselor in some states. In addition, some states require school counselors to have an existing teaching license or certification, and teaching experience, in order to be eligible for a school counseling certification/license. Learn more about professional licensure.

Further, many states require school counseling programs to be approved in at least one state, either their own or another state. The MS in School Counseling program is approved by the states of Minnesota and Ohio, and while this approval is accepted by the majority of states which require state approval, it may not be accepted by all states.

Walden is not approved to offer the School Counseling degree in Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Mexico, or Tennessee, so if you reside in one of these states, you will not be eligible for the dual degree.

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