Jul 21, 2024  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
2022-2023 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.S.

Rachel Martinez

Interim Dean

Katherine Bacon

Associate Professor / Coordinator of Counselor Education


The mission of the Professional Counseling (*) program at the University of Houston- Victoria is to educate, train and mentor students from diverse backgrounds to earn a master’s degree in Professional School Counseling or Clinical Mental Health Counseling. UHV students are primarily drawn from urban and rural areas surrounding Victoria and the Greater Houston region. The UHV Professional Counseling faculty members expect our students to engage in academic and experiential learning, and to develop a strong professional identity and multicultural sensitivity. The faculty members are committed to promoting the development of student competence in the provision of counseling, professional advocacy, and community outreach. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Professional School Counseling programs require 60 semester hours of course work to satisfy the Texas LPC educational requirements for licensure.


The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs in both Clinical Mental Health Counseling (formerly Community Counseling) and Professional School Counseling (formerly School Counseling) at the University of Houston-Victoria were accredited in July 2010 and reaccredited in 2018 by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

What is CACREP Accreditation?

The Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognizes specialized accrediting bodies that examine professional preparation programs with institutions of higher learning. CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs) is a specialized accrediting body that grants accredited status to graduate-level programs in the professional counseling field.

CACREP was formed in 1981 in cooperation with the American Counseling Association (ACA) to promote the advancement of quality in counselor education programs. For a program to receive accreditation, it hosts a CACREP survey team of counselor educators who review the program to see that it meets national standards in eight core areas of counseling: human growth and development, social/cultural foundations, the helping relationship, group dynamics/counseling, career development, appraisal, research, and professional orientation/issues. In addition to the core areas, the team reviews additional standards of instruction and supervised clinical experiences for the counseling specialty training offered by that program.

In addition, students graduating from a CACREP accredited program qualify to take the National Counselor Exam (NCE), used by states for LPC licensure. Advantages of attending CACREP accredited programs include: the highest counselor training standards, exclusive job opportunities, licensure portability (ability to move to other states), and doctoral program admission preference.

Why is CACREP Accreditation important for students?

Students have many options when it comes to choosing where to pursue an advanced degree. Selecting to enroll in a CACREP accredited program ensures students will receive quality instruction and clinical experiences in various contexts from a distinct professional identity as a counselor.

In addition, students graduating from a CACREP accredited program qualify to take the National Counselor Exam, used by most states for LPC licensure. For students pursuing a doctoral degree, graduation from a CACREP accredited program will meet application preferences in doctoral programs in counseling and counselor education.

Comprehensive Examinations for Professional Counseling Students:

The Professional Counseling Program at UHV requires that all master’s level students pass a comprehensive examination. The Professional Counseling Program uses the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE), a national examination developed and provided through the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE). Students are recommended to meet with their assigned faculty advisors early in the program to begin planning for taking the CPCE. Students are recommended to pass the exam before proceeding to COUN 6303 Practicum but are not required to. However, students are required to take the CPCE at least one semester before they graduate.

Students take the exam off-campus at a Pearson-VUE testing center. The purpose of the exam is to assess student knowledge of counseling to ensure minimum competence before proceeding to Practicum. The CPCE will also provide collective feedback that can be used by the program in developing/adapting curriculum.  Students must receive a favorable disposition (i.e., pass) on the comprehensive exam in order to be eligible to graduate. Students may retake their comprehensive examination the semester immediately following their first failed attempt. Students may take their comprehensive examination up to 2 times before being required to take an oral examination.

Students are given the opportunity to take the National Counselor Exam (NCE) before graduation. The NCE is a 200 items multiple choice examination designed to assess knowledge and skills determined to be important for providing effective counseling services. Passing the NCE is a requirement for licensure in Texas and many states. Students are responsible for the cost of this exam. Students do not have to take the NCE to graduate. This is not the comprehensive exam.

Admission Requirements

The Professional Counseling Program within the College of Education & Health Professions follows specific admission procedures for the Master of Science degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with specialty concentrations in Professional School Counseling and/or Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The GRE is not required. Admissions requirements are based on an evaluation by the program’s admission committee of the following information:

1. Application: Completed on-line application for graduate admission. Complete online at Apply Texas.

2. Official Transcripts: Official transcripts of all non-UHV coursework and degrees conferred. Send transcripts directly to:

University of Houston-Victoria
Attn: Admissions & Student Recruitment
3007 N. Ben Wilson St.
Victoria, TX 77901

Transcripts can also be emailed to admissions@uhv.edu.

3. Criminal Background Check: Completion of a background check. The Graduate Professional Counseling Criminal Background Check Form should be completed and mailed to:

Texas Department of Public Safety
Crime Records Service
P.O. Box 15999
Austin, Texas 78761

4. Statement of Purpose: The statement of purpose must be typed, double-spaced, in Times New Roman 12-pt font. The length of the statement should be 1-2 pages maximum (250-500 words) and should address the following criteria:

1. Your professional goals and the reason you are pursuing education and training in professional counseling, rather than in another mental health discipline (such as psychology, social work, or counseling psychology). Header: “Professional Goals”

a. Describe any significant life events and how they have contributed to the development of your professional goals.

2. Your major strengths and weaknesses with respect to being admitted into this program. Header: “Strengths & Weaknesses”

3. Your perspective on diversity including a) how would you contribute to and benefit from the richness of our Professional Counseling Program, and b) how would you increase inclusion of diversity in the counseling profession. Header: “Diversity”

Applicants must email their statement of purpose (in PDF format) to the School of Education at EduCertAnalyst@uhv.edu. Applicants should include their full name, UHV student ID (which will be received a few days after the Apply Texas application is completed) on the statement of purpose and in the subject line of the email. Applicants should also include in the body of the email an explanation for what they are submitting so that the College of Education & Health Professions can match it with the applicant’s admissions file.

5. Recommendation Forms/Letters: Submission of (3) three different recommendation forms and corresponding letters are required. Each of the three recommendation forms must have an accompanying recommendation letter that addresses your potential for success in the profession and your ability to complete a graduate program. Each form must be completed it its’ entirety, and each letter must provide clear evidence that addresses the candidate’s potential which will enable the individual to become a counselor. Forms and their corresponding letters of recommendation should be from an academic source, preferably a professor or academic official who is familiar with your academic history and achievement. If you have been out of school for several years, recommendations may come from your employer or supervisor.

Send Counselor Recommendation Form and Letter directly to:

University of Houston-Victoria
Attn: School of Education
3007 N. Ben Wilson St.
Victoria, TX 77901

Recommendation Forms/Letters can also be emailed to EduCertAnalyst@uhv.edu.

6. Program Interview: A program interview with UHV graduate faculty in professional counseling. The purpose of the interview is:

(1) to assess personal qualities useful for graduate and eventual professional work as a counselor; (2) to clarify questions that the committee may have about applicant’s admissions materials; (3) determine whether the applicant’s professional goals are in alignment with the objectives of the program; and (4) to share more information about the program with applicants.

If application materials are deemed satisfactory, applicants will be invited to interview with the admissions interview committee.

All applications must be complete to be considered for admission. All students must gain entry to the Professional Counseling program, School Counseling and/or Clinical Mental Health Counseling, through the admission procedures listed above. Graduate admission to UHV does not ensure students will be admitted to the Professional Counseling Program.

Program Application and Interview Schedule:

  • Term of Admission: Fall
  • Application Deadline: January 31
  • Program Interviews: March
  • Registration Opens: April

Due to adherence to faculty-to-student ratios, applicants may be accepted and waitlisted for spring or summer admission. Registration timelines are set by the UHV Registrar’s Office and are subject to change We encourage you to explore our web site. You may contact any of our faculty to inquire about the M.S. in Professional Counseling.

UHV-Professional Counseling Evaluation, Remediation, and Retention Policy

The Professional Counseling faculty members participate in an ongoing review of student progress in order to make decisions about student retention in the program. This review process helps to ensure that students, a) are completing program requirements successfully and making reasonable progress toward graduation, and b) have achieved an adequate level of professional and personal development in keeping with their future role as professional counselors. Faculty recourse to student’s failure to meet the academic or professional expectations may be either remediation or removal from the program. More detailed information is available from the faculty advisor or in the Professional Counseling Student Handbook.

Program Options:

The Professional School Counseling option prepares students for mental health counseling with children and adolescents in school settings, Pre-Kinder to 12th grade, for the TExES exam and the Texas School Counselor certificate.

Only 60 hour course credit programs meet the academic specification for Texas licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

Degree Requirements:


All Professional School Counseling students enrolling in COUN 6303  Practicum must have successfully completed 30 hours in the counseling program to include COUN 6310 Counseling in the Schools , COUN 6311 Multicultural Counseling , COUN 6321 Professional Orientation & Ethics in Counseling , COUN 6327 Theories of Counseling , COUN 6329  Group Counseling, and COUN 6333 Counseling Techniques .

Internship I & II

All Professional School Counseling students enrolled in COUN 6348  Internship I and II must have satisfactorily completed COUN 6303  Practicum

Additional Requirements for the School Counselor certificate:

  • Admission to graduate study within the College of Education & Health Professions and to the Counselor Education program must precede the completion of coursework.
  • Master’s degree in Counseling or closely related field (e.g., Education)
  • Pass the TExES #152
  • Proof of a minimum of two years of teaching experience in an accredited school.