Mental Health Counseling Program Gains Accreditation
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Feb. 11, 2008) - SUNY Plattsburgh's new Mental Health Counseling program, one of the first license-eligible programs in the state, has received accreditation without condition through Oct. 2012 from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.
Mental Health Counseling is a 60 credit-hour master's degree program that allows students to prepare for a career as a licensed mental health counselor working in community health settings. It began in 2006, after the state legislature formally recognized mental health counseling by providing a means of licensure.
"We responded by being one of the first license-eligible programs in the state," said Dr. Stephen Saiz, chair of counselor education at SUNY Plattsburgh.
Being "license eligible" meant that that the program would already satisfy the state's educational requirements for licensure as a mental health counselor. The new accreditation, however, goes even further in validating the work that is done in the program.
"Programs receiving accreditation without conditions deserve to be commended for the work they completed throughout the accreditation process," wrote Carol L. Boby, executive director of the accrediting council in a letter to SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling. "This is indeed a worthy achievement. Congratulations."
"While all of us contributed in part to the accreditation effort, it is important to note the efforts of Dr. Richard Schnell and a recent graduate, Sheri Beckwith-Trombley," said Saiz. "They both worked throughout the spring and summer of 2007 to compile the self study. While all of us in the department benefit from this achievement, special recognition should go to those two individuals."
Mental Health Counseling is one of four programs at SUNY Plattsburgh that have been accredited by the council. The other three are Student Affairs Professional Practice, School Counseling and Community Counseling. All are accredited through 2012.