Dr. Rachel Jordan, Program Director


Building on the mission of St. John Fisher College, the mental health counseling program’s mission is to deliver personalized instruction to a diverse student body regarding essential counseling knowledge and skills, as well as to facilitate the development and enhancement of personal qualities and characteristics necessary to become an outstanding professional mental health counselor.

Program Overview

The mental health counseling program at St. John Fisher College educates students to provide therapeutic mental health interventions in the community. The program prepares students for work in community agencies, clinics, hospitals, managed behavioral healthcare organizations, outpatient mental health programs, residential treatment and rehabilitation settings, employee assistance programs, substance abuse treatment programs, colleges, and private practice. The program is designed to emphasize the strengths of individuals and families in order to facilitate recovery and resilience when faced with emotional, mental, or physical challenges. Students will develop a strong understanding of the psychological foundations of mental health and the related developmental issues. Diagnostic assessment, including both its strengths and limitations, is emphasized. The program offers two courses of study: one leads to a Master of Science (M.S.) in Mental Health Counseling; another leads to a Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in Mental Health Counseling.

In accordance with standards recommended by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and New York State requirements for licensure as a mental health counselor, the Master of Science (M.S.) curriculum focuses upon counseling areas such as professional identity, social and cultural diversity, human growth and development, helping relationships, career development, group work, assessment, research, program evaluation, and evidence-based intervention skills used in the practice of mental health counseling. Student learning is facilitated through a variety of teaching methodologies, including class discussions, role playing, small-group work, case-study analysis, community integration activities, and classroom simulations. Students also have the opportunity to apply this knowledge in supervised clinical settings. The Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) curriculum is intended to build on the educational foundation of persons who already possess a master’s degree in counseling or a related field and employs similar methods of training to help students meet the full educational requirements for licensure as mental health counselors in New York State.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the materials and credentials outlined in the general admission requirements, the following are also required

Master of Science Degree Program

  • References from references from individuals acquainted with the applicant's abilities.
  • A satisfactory interview with the Admissions Committee of the mental health counseling program.

(The main goal of the interview process is to determine the suitability of the candidate for the field of mental health counseling and for the specific program at St. John Fisher College.)

Certificate of Advanced Study Program

  • An earned master’s degree, or higher, in counseling or a related field from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.00 (evidenced by an official transcript from the master’s-granting institution).
  • Completion of master’s-level academic course work that includes: human growth and development; social and cultural foundations of counseling; counseling theory and practice; group dynamics; assessment and appraisal of individuals, couples and groups; research and program evaluation; and lifestyle and career development; and clinical instruction in the form of a supervised practicum or fieldwork experience in a counseling setting as part of their graduate program.
  • Work experience in the field of counseling (evidenced by a current resume).
  • References from two individuals acquainted with the applicant’s professional and/or academic abilities.
  • A satisfactory interview with the Admissions Committee of the mental health counseling program. (The main goal of the interview process is to determine the suitability of the candidate for advanced study to include a thorough review of the person’s prior master’s level course work, relevant counseling experiences and professional goals).

For more information regarding application and admission to the mental health counseling program, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at (585) 385-8064 or by email at grad@sjfc.edu.

For specific questions regarding the Master of Science or the Certificate of Advanced Study in Mental Health Counseling, please contact Dr. Rachel Jordan at rjordan@sjfc.edu or (585) 899-3858.

Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling (M.S.)

For More Information

(585) 385-8064