School and Clinical Mental Health Counseling

"Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education and career goals.”

(20/20: A Vision for the Future of Counseling)

The Master’s programs in Counseling and Human Services provide the necessary training for graduate students who desire a career in School Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Substance Abuse or Rehabilitation Professional Counseling.

The Council for Accreditation and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredits both the School and Clinical Mental Health Counseling Programs.  CACREP accreditation offers greater recognition of quality professional preparation within the “job market”, as well as educational opportunities beyond a master’s degree, as well as provides students greater reciprocity for state/territory certifications and license beyond New York State.

Both programs provide a common core, and allows students to specialize in school counseling or mental health counseling with further specialization possible in substance abuse counseling or rehabilitation counseling.  With some extra coursework, students may meet the requirements of both programs.  Please contact your advisor if you have any questions.

Vision Statement

The vision of the Department of Counseling and Human Services at Canisius College is to offer leading regional educational programs for graduate students who aspire to be outstanding professional counselors and leaders employed in a variety of educational, agency, and mental health settings.  Students and professors in our program are personally inspired to contribute to the improving the lives of individuals, families and the broader social condition of men and women.  Our vision incorporates both national and state standards within the profession of counseling as embodied by the American Counseling Association, its divisions and the appropriate state certification and licensing bodies.  While promoting lifelong learning, we provide comprehensive training programs that integrate a core counseling curriculum coupled with clinical experience, and supervised internships.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Counseling and Human Services at Canisius College is to educate humanistic and professionally competent counselors who can provide services to clients from a wellness-oriented philosophy.  The programs are designed to prepare professional counselors to meet the educational, emotional, mental, psychological, social, and career needs of diverse populations. Programs are intended to educate counselors with a Master’s of Science degree who are qualified to provide school, agency and mental health counseling to a variety of clients in order to enhance their quality of life and optimize their functioning.

The ideals and values espoused by Canisius College and the Jesuit tradition are primary to the mission of the Department of Counseling and Human Services.  These ideals involve the following:

  1. Treating others with dignity and respect;
  2. Sensitivity to cultural differences;
  3. Ethical behavior;
  4. Promoting and maintaining healthy living;
  5. Contributing to the welfare of others; and
  6. Valuing Social Justice

The faculty recognizes that effective, counselors need a variety of clinical skills as well as professional competencies in the areas of leadership, advocacy, and consultation. Professional counselors must utilize all of these skills, while balancing professional development, creativity and accountability through data driven research to effectively deliver comprehensive counseling services in order to facilitate positive change at both the individual and systemic level. 

Areas of Specialization Include: 

School Counseling


Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The 48-credit degree meets the academic requirements leading to New York State Education Department Provisional Certification for school counselor K-12.  Permanent Certification requires an applicant complete 12 additional graduate credits and two years employment as a school counselor post-degree.  School Certification differs from State-to-State/US Territories.  Reciprocity exists among most State Education Departments.  Canisius Alumni professional school counselors live and work across the United States and abroad. The Canisius College School Counseling specialization enjoys a reputation for providing candidates with a practical, applied skill-set based upon “best practices” long research and evaluated as counselors working with individual and groups of school-age children.  In addition to direct counseling skills, we prepare candidates in their growth as leaders within a collaborative environment, advocating, and consulting with colleagues, on behalf of the children.     The 60-credit degree meets the academic requirements leading to the New York State Office of Professions Licensed Mental Health Counselor credential.  Additional requirements include 3000 hours of post-graduate employment as a counselor, registered with a “limited permit” and NYS-examination. In addition, our Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization meets the academic requirements for a U.S. Department of Defense TRICARE Certified Mental Health Counselor (TCMCH).  

In addition, students may elect to complete academic coursework required towards NYS OASIS Credentialed Alcohol Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) or be a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC).  Upon completion of one’s studies, both credentials require appropriate post-degree work experience and an examination.