What is the 60-credit HCMHC Program?
The HCMHC Program is for students who want to seek licensure within the
Mental Health Counseling field. This program has a mind/body/spirit focus that
is incorporated throughout the program. Mental Health Counselor Licensure
exam requirements vary state-to-state. Students should review current
licensure laws for the state(s) in which they would like to become licensed.
Is the HCMHC program religious based?
Although this program is housed at Salve Regina University, a Sister of Mercy
school, we welcome students from all different religious traditions as well as
those who identify as agnostic, atheist, secular humanists, non-practicing, and
spiritual but not religious.
What is the primary focus of the HCMHC program?
The program prepares students to become Holistic Clinical Mental Health
Counselors. Training focuses on working with the whole system. This includes:
teaching students about the helping relationship; human development; social
justice; working with diverse clients; client and counselor wellness; professional
counseling orientation; meaning making; counseling theory; assessment; group
counseling; working with couples and families; research; and career counseling.
What is the difference between the 60-credit HCMHC program and the 48-
credit + 12 credit CAGS Holistic Counseling program?
To sit for licensure, a student must have 60-credits in a Mental Health
Counseling academic program. In some states, this can be a 48+CAGS program,
and in others, it must be a 60-credit program. Several state licensure boards
have decided to only license students who have graduated from a 60-credit
program (this number continues to grow). Our decision to create the 60-credit
program was, in part, due to this change. As an example, students who start a
Mental Health Counseling Program after July 1, 2017, MUST be enrolled in a 60-
credit program to apply for licensure in the state of Massachusetts. Those who
started a program prior to July 1, 2017, can apply for licensure in MA having
completed a 48+CAGS program. The requirements for licensure vary state-tostate.
Students should review the state licensure laws to see about licensure
What are the advantages of doing the 60-credit program over the 48-credit
+ 12 credit CAGS program?
The primary advantage of making this decision is that there will be less
speculation about your ability to get licensed within various states. Currently,
all states require a student to have 60-credits of academic classes to be eligible
for professional counseling licensure. Most states still allow 48+CAGS, but there
is movement towards accepting 60-credit degrees only. The requirements for
*Updated January 2018 page 2
licensure vary state-to-state. Students should review the state licensure laws to
see about licensure eligibility.
What are the advantages of doing the 48-credit +CAGS program over the
The primary advantage of doing the 48+CAGS program is that, specifically within
RI, students can obtain a Master’s degree at 48-credits, which means they can
theoretically start working after they have completed their practicum field
experience and graduated from the program. After September 2017, we
recommend the 60-credit program. It will be imperative that students consider
what state(s) they want to practice in and thoughtfully review the licensure laws
for that state. State regulations are subject to change.
If students are not interested in obtaining a license as a mental health counselor,
the 48+CAGS may be an option economically.
Can I still enroll in a 48-credit program after September 2017?
Students can enroll in the 48-credit program, however, the course schedule will
look different to those who enrolled before September 2017. Students who
enrolled prior to September 2017 can follow the new course schedule. Either
way, it will be imperative you speak with your advisor ASAP to review your
options, specifically if you enrolled before September 2017.
How long will the 60-credit program take?
This depends on the pace the student takes to finish the program. For students
who are going full time (3 classes each semester, with summer courses) the
program typically takes three years. For students going part-time or slower, it
will take longer.
What is the difference between the “old” practicum and the “new”
The “old” practicum (HLC 530 & HLC 531) are what many current students who
had planned on doing the 48-credit program take. The “old” practicum (6-
credits) is equivalent to a combination of the new Ethics and Professional
Orientation (HLC 506) course and the Advanced Helping Skills (HLC 550) course.
In the summer of 2018, HLC 506, HLC 530, HLC 531, and HLC 550 will all be
offered. The “new” practicum (HLC 551) is 3-credits and will include clinical
fieldwork training (similar to Internship). Students will meet for a seminar
course and will be required to complete 150 hours at a clinical fieldwork
placement site. HLC 506 and HLC 550 serve as prerequisites for HLC 551. We
are in the process of phasing out HLC 530 and HLC 531 and replacing it with HLC
506 and HLC 550. Please speak with your advisor about questions more specific
to your unique situation.
Are the courses different in the 60-credit vs. 48-credit + 12 CAGS?
For students who have started the program after September 2017 the courses
are the same.
What are my elective options?
Elective options are listed in the Graduate Catalogue and are discussed with
faculty and staff during advising.
Is this a CACREP accredited Program?
We are not currently a CACREP accredited Program. However, we are actively
planning on applying for CACREP accreditation. Currently, our courses follow a
What is clinical fieldwork?
Clinical fieldwork is your opportunity to work as a practicum and internship
student within the field. You will enroll in a weekly seminar course as well as
have field hours and supervision at an organization that provides mental health
Old vs. New Course Clinical Coursework Comparison:
○ HLC 530 (Practicum I) → HLC 506 (Professional Orientation and Ethics)
○ HLC 531 (Practicum II)→ HLC 550 (Advanced Helping Skills)
○ HLC 570 & HLC 571 (Internship I & II) → HLC 551 (Practicum)
○ HLC 608 (Advanced Internship I)→ HLC 590 (Internship I)
○ HLC 609 (Advanced Internship II)→ HLC 591(Internship II)