There are nine not-for-profit schools offering degree programs in community counseling and clinical mental health counseling in Georgia. With the exception of Thomas University, each of these programs is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs; Thomas University's program is accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education. The schools listed below offer community counseling master's degree programs, which include practicum and internship experiences. One school offers a fully online degree program, with the exception of hands-on training components. Read on for details about schools offering counseling degrees.
Clark Atlanta University
Clark Atlanta University is located in Atlanta and offers a Master of Arts in Community Counseling through its School of Education. This program's curriculum includes a practicum, two internships and a comprehensive exam. Courses in the program cover counseling couples and families, group counseling, counseling diverse populations and relationship skills.
Columbus State University
Situated in Columbus, Columbus State University features a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that includes 48 credit hours of study. In addition to coursework, this program includes an internship, applied practice experience and exit exam. Courses in the program focus on subjects like human growth and development, counseling theory, diagnosis in counseling and individual analysis. Students also get to select from a variety of elective options, such as counseling children, gender issues in counseling and marriage systems theory.
Augusta University is located in Augusta. The university is the result of a recent merger between Augusta State University and the Georgia Health Sciences University.
The school offers a Master of Education in Counselor Education with a focus on Clinical Mental Health Counseling that requires 48 credit hours of study. Core courses in this program include human development for counselors, career development theory and crisis intervention counseling. Coursework related to community counseling includes assessment and intervention, community counseling and family counseling. The program's curriculum also includes a practicum and two internships.
Georgia Southern University
This university is situated in Statesboro and offers a Master of Education in Counselor Education with a specialization in clinical mental health counseling that includes 48 credits of coursework. The program's curriculum includes courses in lifespan development, career counseling, addiction counseling and family counseling. Students also complete a practicum and a 600-hour internship prior to graduation. Although the school has a list of potential internship sites, it is the student's responsibility to secure an internship.
Mercer University is located in Macon. The school offers a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling that includes 56 semester hours of study. In addition to coursework, the program includes an internship and a practicum. Coursework covers community counseling, psychological helping skills and counseling theory. Students must also pass the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam before graduation.
Full-time students can complete the program in two years, and part-time students typically finish in three years. Courses are offered once per week during the evening.
University of North Georgia
This school is situated in Dahlonega and provides a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. This 49-semester-hour program includes courses in psychopathological diagnosis, family counseling and counseling ethics. Students must also complete a 100-hour practicum and 600-hour internship. Before graduation, students are also required to pass the comprehensive exam with a score of 75% or higher.
Located in Thomasville, this university offers a fully online Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling. This 60-semester-hour program includes coursework in topics like counseling theories and techniques, crisis counseling, human sexuality and case management. Even though all of the coursework is offered online, the curriculum still includes an internship and a practicum. Students in the program may elect to focus their studies in addictions and alcoholism counseling, human resources management or rehabilitation counseling, or they may design a specialization according to their interests.
University of Georgia
The University of Georgia is located in Athens. This university offers a Master of Education in Professional Counseling with a specialization in community counseling program that requires 48 credit hours of coursework. In addition to coursework, this full-time program includes a 600-hour internship. Courses in the program cover cross-cultural counseling, interpersonal relations, psychodiagnosis and individual appraisal. Students must also mentor a first-year student and pass a comprehensive exam prior to graduation.
University of West Georgia
This university in Carrollton has a 48-credit-hour Master of Education in Professional Counseling with a specialization in Clinical Mental Health program. This program includes coursework focused on subjects like advocacy and leadership, psychological appraisal and psychopathology. Students must also complete a practicum and internship experience before graduating.
Georgia requires all professional counselors to be licensed. Although the state does not mention 'community counselors' in its licensure rules, it has specific licensure requirements that apply to all professional counselors.
To become licensed as an associate professional counselor, an individual must possess a master's degree from a recognized institution, have completed an internship as part of that degree program and pass an exam. To become a licensed professional counselor, an individual must have a doctoral degree in counseling, have completed two years of post-master's directed experience and pass an exam.
Master's degree holders can also become professional counselors, but they need at least four years of post-master's experience instead of two. The Georgia Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists oversees counselors in the state.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Community Counseling Programs Offered||Graduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Clark Atlanta University||4-year; private, not-for-profit; large city||M.A. in Community Counseling||$17,634*|
|Columbus State University||4-year; public; midsize city||M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling|| $7,612 in-state;
|Augusta University||4-year; public; midsize city||M.Ed. in Counselor Education with a focus on Clinical Mental Health Counseling|| $7,064 in-state;
|Georgia Southern University||4-year; public; distant town||M.Ed. in Counselor Education with a specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling|| $8,728 in-state;
|Mercer University||4-year; private, not-for-profit; midsize city||M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling||$14,674*|
|University of North Georgia||4-year; public; fringe town||M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling|| $5,926 in-state;
|Thomas University||4-year; private, not-for-profit; distant town||M.S. in Clinical Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling||$12,490*|
|University of Georgia||4-year; public; midsize city||M.Ed. in Professional Counseling with a specialization in community counseling|| $10,982 in-state;
|University of West Georgia||4-year; public; fringe town||M.Ed. in Professional Counseling with a specialization in Clinical Mental Health|| $6,110 in-state;
Source: *NCES College Navigator