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Mental health counseling program accredited

PLATTSBURGH A new mental health counseling program at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, one of the first license-eligible programs in the state, has received accreditation without condition through October 2012 from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. Mental health counseling is a 60 credit-hour masters 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 program in the state, said Dr. Stephen Saiz, chair of counselor education at SUNY Plattsburgh. Being license eligible meant the program would already satisfy the states 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 C. Ettling. This is indeed a worthy achievement. Congratulations. 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.

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