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5 Benefits of Earning an MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling
You know you want to help others, and you’ve decided a career as a counselor is a great way to do that. Now, your next step is to choose a counseling degree program that will prepare you for the future you want.
But with so many possible career paths—from marriage and family counseling to addiction counseling to school and guidance counseling—how do you choose?
Do you want to become a licensed mental health counselor who works primarily in a clinical setting? Then search for a good master’s in counseling degree program at a college with a reputation for successfully preparing students for professional licensure. For example, the MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling online degree program at Walden University, accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), is the largest counselor training program in the U.S.
If you want to work with kids, then maybe an MS in School Counseling would be a good choice for you. As a licensed or certified school counselor, you could help children and teens deal with problems such as bullying, academic challenges, and family issues.
Or, instead of choosing between the two master’s degree programs mentioned above, consider expanding your career options by earning a dual degree in clinical mental health counseling and school counseling.
What Are the Advantages of a Dual Degree Program?
There are many benefits to enrolling in dual degree program. For instance, through Walden’s MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling online program, you can:
Prepare for licensure in two professions.
By earning master’s degrees at the same time from two CACREP-accredited programs, you can pursue state licensure or certification in both clinical mental health counseling and school counseling. Through the dual degree program, you’ll have the training to work with people of all ages in schools, mental health clinics, and other professional settings.
Another plus: There is a growing demand for counseling professionals in both disciplines. 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.
Gain career options and flexibility.
A dual degree program expands your career options after graduation and open doors to professional opportunities you may have never thought about. And if you’re like many working professionals, your career interests could change in the future. By earning degrees in two areas of counseling through a dual degree program in clinical mental health counseling and school counseling, you’ll have the field experiences and qualifications to shift directions as your needs and interests evolve throughout your career.
Make your résumé stand out from the rest.
Potential employers may view two degrees in counseling on your résumé as a major bonus. By earning both an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and an MS in School Counseling, you are demonstrating a deep understanding of both fields and a level of expertise that could help set you apart from the competition.
Save time and money.
An online dual degree program makes it possible to earn two valuable credentials simultaneously, which can expand your career options and marketability in the job market. If you were to earn two master’s degrees individually through two separate programs, the process would likely take much more time and require more money in tuition costs.
Avoid potential roadblocks in the future.
If you’re thinking about first earning an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree, and you plan to add an MS in School Counseling in a few years, the overlap in coursework may prevent you from doing so. Earning the two counseling degrees concurrently can help avoid potential problems with earning a second master’s degree in the future.
CACREP dictates the curriculum for accredited counseling degree programs. Walden’s MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling program is uniquely designed to meet CACREP guidelines for granting these two master’s degrees at the same time.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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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