Master of Science in Counseling: Clinical Mental Health

The Master of Science in Counseling: Clinical Mental Health program, offered 100% online, prepares graduates with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to be successful in a variety of counseling related settings. See the Career Opportunities tab below for a list of specific settings where clinical mental health counselors often work. Mental health counselors provide treatment to individuals, families, couples, and groups. Counselors can also choose to specialize and work with specific groups such as older adults, college students, children, or veterans. Mental health counselors treat clients with a variety of presenting concerns including but not limited to; mental and emotional health concerns such as anxiety, depression, grief, low self-esteem, stress, suicidal ideation; adjustment disorders; and relationship difficulties.

Employment of mental health counselors is projected to grow 22% from 2021 to 2031 per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, much faster than the average for all occupations. There is a high need for qualified mental health counselors to meet the growing demand for mental health care in North Carolina and across the United States.

This online program for adults is designed to allow students to develop clinical proficiencies through academic courses, clinical skills courses, and practicum and internship experiences.  Some evening weekly synchronous meeting times will be required.  Additionally, students must plan to be on-site at a clinical mental health facility during practicum and internships experiences to complete the required hours for these experiences under the supervision of an approved site supervisor.

This degree is a fit for individuals who have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and now seek a graduate counseling education. While students in this program come from a variety of educational backgrounds, many students have a background in psychology, sociology, or social work. Other qualities that can benefit students interested in clinical mental health counseling include analytical skills, compassion, interpersonal skills, listening skills, and speaking skills.

Graduates of the program will be eligible to pursue dual licensure: Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist (individual states and licensure boards may vary with regard to requirements. Check with the state licensure board in which you will seek licensure to ensure this program meets licensing requirements.

The program can be completed in two years, or seven semesters of full-time continuous enrollment.

What Will I Learn?

Students will complete coursework in the 8 core areas identified by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

  • Professional counseling orientation and ethical practice
  • Social and cultural diversity
  • Human growth and development
  • Career development
  • Counseling and helping relationship
  • Group counseling and group work
  • Assessment and testing
  • Research and program evaluation.
  • Specialized course work related to foundations, contextual dimensions, and practice in Clinical Mental Health Counseling including; addiction counseling; counseling children and adolescents; family systems; crisis and trauma counseling; and psychopathology, diagnosis & treatment planning.
  • The curriculum includes coursework, clinical skills training, a 100-hour practicum, and a 600-hour internship.

Classes are led by faculty with professional career experience who provide valuable industry insight.

Program Learning Outcomes

Demonstrate knowledge of the historical development, current and future trends of the counseling field including professional orientation, ethical, and legal aspects of the counseling profession.

Demonstrate knowledge, skills, and advocacy related to working with diverse populations including recognizing, understanding and responding to social and cultural differences and change in a pluralistic society.

Demonstrate knowledge, skills, and the application of a variety of counseling theories and strategies to effectively counsel individuals, groups, and families addressing multiple concerns in diverse settings including the use of technology.

Demonstrate knowledge and skills to identify, critique, and utilize ethical practices in assessment and testing, research, and program evaluation in counseling.

Demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to address a wide variety of circumstances within the context of clinical mental health counseling including foundational, contextual, and professional practice skills specific to clinical mental health counseling.

Demonstrate knowledge and skills to design, implement, and evaluate developmentally appropriate counseling interventions and programs informed by an understanding of human growth and development.

Program Details

UMO’s Master of Science in Counseling:  Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is in the CACREP accreditation application process and is aligned with the CACREP 2016 Standards.  However, the program is currently not CACREP accredited.  UMO’s CACREP application and self-study was submitted to CACREP on May 18, 2023, and a CACREP application addendum response was submitted on January 3, 2024.  We are currently awaiting a site team visit.  The award of CACREP accreditation status, while not guaranteed, is anticipated for mid-year 2024.

The program is designed to meet core counseling curricula and supervised professional experiences for licensure as clinical mental health counselor or licensed professional counselor as required by most state licensing boards.

In addition, UMO’s Master of Science in Counseling: Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is a designated Criteria-C school with the North Carolina Addictions Specialist Professional Practice Board (NCASPPB).  As such, graduates of this program interested in pursuing additional licensure as a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist (LCAS) are eligible for a reduction in post-graduate supervised practice hours (2000 versus 4000) required for full licensure upon completing a portion of their internship hours in addictions counseling.

Because state boards vary in their licensure requirements, graduates are encouraged to seek out information from their board in the state where they plan to practice.

Students will develop knowledge and skills related to clinical mental health counseling and addiction counseling. Graduates will be prepared to provide individual and group counseling services in a variety of settings; assess for trauma and provide crisis intervention; as well as administer a variety of psychological and educational assessments; diagnose, develop treatment plans, and evaluate client progress.

As a part of the Master of Science in Counseling:  Clinical Mental Health, applicants will be required to:

  • Submit response to two personal statements to include the following (250 word minimum for each question):
    1.  How does the Masters of Science in Counseling:  Clinical Mental Health program support your professional goals?  And, why is this graduate degree in counseling the right one for this season of your life?
    2.  Describe a time when you received feedback that was difficult to hear in the moment.  How did you respond?  How did the experience impact you directly?
  • Submit a resume.
  • Submit letters of recommendation from professional sources (e.g. undergraduate professors/advisers; employers; organizational leaders of volunteer organizations in which the applicant has worked; or clergy) that can speak to the applicant’s character, fitness for the counseling profession, ability to successfully manage graduate level coursework, two or three areas of personal and/or academic strengths of the applicant, and any areas for growth. Letters of recommendation submitted by the applicant should include the organization’s logo, a recommender signature, and recommender contact information (email and phone number).  Letters of recommendation should be submitted as a PDF document.
  • Bachelors degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum of 3.0 GPA. 2.5-3.0 will be considered based on submission of the personal statement. Official transcript required.
  • Invitation to participate in a pre-admissions interview conducted by program faculty. Invitation to interview does not guarantee acceptance into the program.
  • Online new student orientation is required prior to the start of the program.
  • GRE or GMAT are not required.

As you prepare for starting courses in one of our Master of Science in Counseling degrees, we wanted you to be aware of two possible fees that will be required as part of your professional experiences courses (practicum and internship) that occur approximately mid-way through your program.

  1. Registration for Tevera data system- a one-time, lifetime fee of $220 will be required when enrolling in COUN 500. This will allow you lifetime access to an online platform that will allow you to manage all of your clinical and licensure information. You will be able to track your progress and begin to build your professional identity through this rea-time activity tracker.In addition, the Tevera video system – a one-time fee of $50.00 will be required when enrolling in COUN 591. This fee allows you to upload and store counseling session videos in a HIPAA secure platform in your Tevera account.
  2. Liability Insurance- this will be required to participate in your professional experiences courses. The liability insurance can be obtained at a student rate of approximately $105 through the American Counseling Association. Obtaining a membership in this organization will allow you to utilize liability insurance.
  3. Criminal Background Check- this requirement is agency specific and some but not all agency’s require this before you will be eligible to complete your practicum and internship. The average cost is $50 or less.
Click here for faculty bios
Click here for the 2022-2023 Annual Report


The mission of the Master of Science in Counseling: Clinical Mental Health program at the University of Mount Olive is to provide graduates with the knowledge, skills, and appropriate attitudes to competently engage in professional clinical mental health counseling as culturally responsive practitioners and advocates in an increasingly diverse society.


The vision of the faculty is a commitment to purposefully provide learning opportunities that facilitate the development of counselor identity and ethical practice utilizing a variety of research-based counseling interventions and assessments to address the individual needs of diverse clients in an empathetic and culturally sensitive manner.  Faculty mentoring, programming that aligns with the profession’s accrediting body, and supervised clinical experiences further support counselor identity development.


The values espoused by the faculty are reflective of the University Covenant and The American Counseling Association.  We value the following:

  • Respect for diversity of thought, values and principles
  • The whole person through the Biopsychosocial-spiritual perspective
  • Effective collaboration between faculty and students
  • Modeling examples of service to the profession, individuals in crisis, and society
  • Scholarship in research that promotes competent scientist-practitioners
  • High quality, inspiring, and engaging learning environments
  • Ethical standards of honesty, trustworthiness, integrity, justice, responsibility, caring, and respect
Counseling Advisory Board Minutes – Fall 2023

The Counseling Program Advisory Board consists of counseling program faculty, other UMO faculty out, current students, alumni, site supervisors, and community professionals.  The Board meets at least once a year to evaluate the overall effectiveness of UMO’s Counseling Program in meeting its established goals and learning objectives; ensure CACREP accreditation standards and the training requirements of the counseling profession are upheld; and ensure the educational and developmental needs of our students, and the needs of the communities in which we, and our students serve are met.

Current Advisory Board Members:

Mary Affee, EdD, LCSW, CTP, RPT-S, CHC, CFSW
Employer/Position: Horizon Integrated Wellness Group – Owner & Therapist; Cary, NC

Deborah Buchanan, PhD, NCC, LCPC
Employer/Position: University of Mount Olive – Counseling Department Chair & Program Director

Wendi Ferrell
Employer/Position: University of Mount Olive – Counseling Program Graduate Student

Employer/Position: Simplicity Counseling – Co-Owner & Therapist; Goldsboro, NC

Angela Johnson, PhD, LPC
Employer/Position: University of Mount Olive – Counseling Program Core Faculty

Gregory Jones, MS, LCAS-A
Employer/Position: University of Mount Olive – Counseling Program Alum (2023)

Tyshayla Joyner
Employer/Position: University of Mount Olive – Counseling Program Graduate Student

Christina Kelley, MA, LCMHC
Employer/Position: Pride in NC – Lead Regional Director; Kingston, NC

Natalie Kemp, MS
Employer/Position: University of Mount Olive – Psychology Department Faculty

Barbara Kohler, LCMHC
Employer/Position: The Kohler Group, PLLC. – Owner & Therapist; Greenville, NC

Arianna Lay
Employer/Position: University of Mount Olive – Counseling Program Graduate Student

Raychelle Lohmann, PhD, NCC, LCMHCS (NC), LPC (SC), ACS, GCDF, BC-TMH
Employer/Position: University of Mount Olive – Core Faculty & Interim Clinical Coordinator

Employer/Position: Preferred Choice Healthcare, Inc. – Executive Director & Therapist; Shelby, NC

Julie Smith
Employer/Position: University of Mount Olive – Counseling Program Alum (2023)

Joshua Smith, PhD, NCC, LCMHC
Employer/Position: University of Mount Olive – Core Faculty

Suzan Wasik, PhD, NCC, LCMHC, BC-TMH
Employer/Position: University of Mount Olive – Core Faculty

Mysha Wynn, MS, MA, CADC, LCMHC-A
Employer/Position: Project Momentum, Inc. – Founder/Executive Director; Rocky Mount, NC
University of Mount Olive – Counseling Program Alum (2023)

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