In a master's degree program in community counseling, students learn how to analyze human behavior and mental health issues. Programs provide general instruction in the field of counseling, but they also allow students to choose a specialization, such as mental health, family counseling, or career development counseling. Students in these programs can expect to spend at least one year gaining hands-on experience in the field.
In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree and submit a personal statement. Most programs also require students to have volunteer experience, such as working at shelters or food banks or participating in a mentoring program.
Master's Degree in Community Counseling
The program's core courses focus on theories in counseling, human behavior, research techniques and psychology. After finishing these core courses, students take elective courses in their field of concentration. Common course titles include:
- Counseling theories and techniques
- Principles of community counseling
- Counseling families, groups, or individuals
- Human development and psychology
- Life and career development counseling
- Cultural diversity and counseling
Popular Career Options
This highly specialized degree prepares students for a few specific careers. These occupations include:
- Mental health/crisis management counselor
- Child and family counselor
- Career development counselor
- Life planning counselor or coach
- Marriage or relationship counselor
Continuing Education Information
Before students can begin a career in counseling, they must pass the National Counselors Examination, which is administered by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). If students want to sit for the Licensed Professional Counselor of Mental Health (LPCMH) exam, they must specialize in mental health counseling.
In conclusion, a master's degree in community counseling provides aspiring practitioners with focused training in the field so that they are ready to pursue licensure and start practicing after graduation.