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UT Tyler Graduate Counseling Program Nationally Accredited

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August 26, 2014

Media Contact:  Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.565.5769 or 903.539.7196 (cell)

August 26, 2014

The University of Texas at Tyler clinical mental health counseling graduate program has received national accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, Dr. Ross Sherman, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, announced.

The CACREP is a specialized accreditor for counseling degree programs at the master’s and doctoral levels. To date, UT Tyler’s program is one of only seven accredited CMHC programs in Texas, and the only one within UT System.

“This accreditation is an important development, as it will expand the professional opportunities for our graduates,” said Dr. Charles Barké, UT Tyler Department of Psychology and Counseling chair. “With a clinical mental health counseling degree from UT Tyler, graduates will be eligible not only for state licensure, but also to work nationwide in the VA mental health system with veterans and with active duty military members and their families where there has been a shortage of mental health service providers. Only graduates from CACREP accredited programs are eligible for that work.

“Our faculty and staff members are committed to providing excellent graduate training in the mental health professions,” he added. “They, along with our stakeholders, alumni and current students, have worked hard for the past two years to prepare for this accreditation. We also appreciate the enthusiastic support and resources we received from our administration throughout the process.”

CACREP recognized the graduate program housed within the College of Education and Psychology after a careful self-study examination, full on-site peer review and final vote by the council.

“The programs and faculty in the Department of Psychology and Counseling are exceptional, and this accreditation is recognition of this fact in the mental health counseling discipline,” said Dr. Wesley Hickey, college interim dean.

The UT Tyler master of arts in clinical mental health counseling program prepares students to counsel persons experiencing psychological disturbance due to developmental, educational, career, cognitive, emotional, behavioral, cultural, relational or environmental issues.

Students develop competencies in diagnosis and assessment, evidence-based counseling/psychotherapy techniques, group processes, human development, cultural diversity and career counseling. They may complete a general program or complete a specialization in couple and family counseling.

The UT Tyler Department of Psychology and Counseling also offers the master of science in clinical psychology, with subspecialties in general clinical, neuropsychology and school psychology as well as an online master of arts in school counseling.

Those who complete their master’s degrees in any of these programs and meet state certification or licensing requirements may be employed in a variety of mental health, social service and educational settings. UT Tyler program graduates have a 100 percent pass rate on the state licensure exam for the past several years, Barké added.

Through the UT Tyler Psychology and Counseling Training Clinic, located at the Andrews Center in Tyler, graduate-level students also receive hands-on, real world experience by providing low-cost or no-cost counseling services to the community, under the supervision of professors in the department. The university also places graduate student interns by collaborating with many area health clinics and non-profit organizations that provide mental health services and assistance for those in need.

For more information, visit the program webpage.

The vision of CACREP is to provide leadership and to promote excellence in professional preparation through the accreditation of counseling and related educational programs. As an accrediting body, CACREP is committed to the development of standards and procedures that reflect the needs of a dynamic, diverse and complex society.

For more information about CACREP, visit the council's website.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler features excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 7,500 high-ability students. UT Tyler offers courses at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine as well as a location in Houston.

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