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Choosing a Counseling Degree? Consider a Dual Degree Program Before You Enroll

Two degrees. Multiple possibilities. Discover the benefits of earning an online master’s dual degree in clinical mental health counseling and school counseling.

You’re called to help others be their best and achieve their full potential. You’re ready to go back to school and gain the knowledge and skills you need to build the counseling career you’ve dreamed of. Except: What if you’re not exactly sure what that career looks like? Which online degree in counseling do you need—and what happens if you pick the wrong one?

What if you didn’t have to choose? With a dual degree program, you might not have to.

Here at Walden University, we understand that deciding to further your education—and committing to earning a master’s degree—is a big deal. It requires a real investment of time and money that, for busy adults like you, can be significant. That’s one reason why we offer a uniquely designed counseling dual degree program online. In fact, we’re one of the few accredited universities to do it. When you enroll, you’ll have the opportunity to build a breadth of knowledge and skills that can open the door to a variety of career choices in a range of settings, whether you’re interested in working as a licensed clinical mental health counselor, a school counselor, or both.

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Ready to learn more? Our fully online MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling program offers a variety of advantages. For example, when you enroll, you can:

  • Earn two accredited master’s degrees at once.

    Our dual degree program curriculum is designed to meet Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) requirements for granting two distinct credentials: an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and an MS in School Counseling. This means you’ll have the chance expand your expertise and professional impacts. You’ll also enjoy greater freedom and flexibility as your life and interests change.

  • Prepare for licensure in two disciplines.

    Gain the knowledge and practical skills you need to open new professional doors as both a school counselor and a clinical mental health counselor. In our counseling dual degree program, you can academically prepare to pursue licensure or certification in both fields. Why limit where you can practice, and what clients you can work with, when you can help people thrive at all stages of life?

  • Save time and money on your education.

    Because of institutional policies held by universities that restrict students from earning a second degree in a similar field due to an overlap in coursework, it would be difficult and potentially cost prohibitive to earn these two degrees separately. The best way to obtain two master’s-level degrees from CACREP-accredited programs is to complete them in a dual degree program in adherence with the CACREP dual degree policy. Walden meets the dual degree policy outlined by CACREP.1

    If you were to pursue two master’s degrees in two different programs, both with a singular focus, you’d probably need to pay a lot more in tuition and spend much more time earning the credits you need for graduation. A dual degree program can help address those concerns.

  • Keep your career options open for the future.
    Right now, you might know exactly the types of clients you want to work with and in what kinds of settings—but what if you change your mind in the future? Unfortunately, going back to school to earn another counselor’s degree may not be very simple. Because CACREP sets the curriculum standards for accredited counseling degree programs, there can be significant overlap among some of them. This means that CACREP also disallows students from earning one type of counseling degree now, such as an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and returning to earn another, such as an MS in School Counseling, later. If you’d prefer not to limit your options, then concurrently earning these two master’s degrees could be an excellent career strategy for you.

Why earn your MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling at Walden?

For more than 50 years, Walden University has been providing working professionals with the support they need to broaden their career options and inspire social change. And because Walden is an accredited university offering fully online master’s degrees, you don’t have to put your educational goals on hold. Balance work, school, and family life by taking classes at whatever time of day and from whatever location works best for you. Prepare to sit for licensure in two distinct disciplines and get ready to help others thrive at all stages of life when you earn your MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling at Walden.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling degree program. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

1Source: https://www.cacrep.org/for-programs/cacrep-policy-document/#policy5.c

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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

Notes on Accreditation and 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/search/stateboarddirectory, 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 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 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 MS in 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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