UWS Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Updates

CMHC changes student photo

The University of Western States (UWS) clinical mental health counseling (CMHC) program is pursuing accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). This accrediting body is the gold standard for graduate counseling programs. Our process began with our self-study launched in 2020. Based on initial findings from the self-study, the CMHC program is making some updates to the curriculum and delivery of coursework to start July 2021. The CACREP application will be submitted in December 2021.

“We are so proud that UWS supports the pursuit of this important accreditation,” said Dr. Michelle Cox, CMHC program director. “Counselors contribute in significant and meaningful ways to the emotional, mental and holistic well-being of our community members across the United States. We want to make sure what our students are learning prepares them for exceptional careers of service in the mental health field. The process of pursuing CACREP accreditation causes us to review every component of our program and the supportive services of the university to ensure this academic and clinical excellence.”


Other CMHC program updates include:

  • Co-directed by the CMHC and sport and performance psychology (SPP) programs, the title of the Doctor of Education (EdD) in clinical mental health counseling degree will become EdD in sport and performance psychology with clinical mental health counseling specialization. 
  • Students in this degree program will be conferred a master’s in clinical mental health counseling after the first 90 credits are successfully completed, allowing students to apply for licensure earlier. After completion of the entire degree coursework they will also be conferred a doctorate in sport and performance psychology.
  • The master’s in CMHC that is conferred as part of the integrated EdD program now matches the standalone MS-CMHC program.
  • The credits of the EdD in sport and performance psychology with clinical mental health counseling specialization program will increase from 138 to 142.
  • The master’s in clinical mental health counseling remains 90 credits, but courses have changed to reflect CACREP requirements and to add elective options for students.

The CMHC department also recently hired Dr. Patrick Davis as an assistant professor. His skills and professional experience will elevate the CMHC program and offer students enhanced curriculum in the field of trauma-informed and systems-based approaches to counseling. Dr. Davis is passionate about the education of our children and has dedicated much of his professional career researching and explicating causes of the debilitating black and white academic achievement gap.

Hear more from Dr. Davis in this interview with Dr. Cox, program director and Erin Cochran, EdD SPP-CMHC specialization student.

If you have any additional questions or to learn more, please reach out to the UWS admissions department at [email protected]uws.edu or visit www.uws.edu/clinical-mental-health-counseling/