Counseling & School Psychology

Counselor Education

CE Faculty

The Counselor Education Program awards Master of Education Degrees in Clinical Mental Health, School Counseling (Elementary and Secondary) and Student Affairs. We invite you to explore each program area and look forward to helping you advance your degree at UNK.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Make a Difference in Someone's Life!!

We are excited that you are interested in a career in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The Clinical Mental Health degree program is designed to prepare students for employment at the entry level as a professional counselor in diverse community settings such as community mental health, treatment centers, and corrections. Graduates of the program are prepared to provide:

  • Individual, group, career, couples and family counseling.
  • Inpatient and outpatient care.
  • Assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness.
  • Emergency/crisis response.
  • Client and public policy advocacy.
  • Prevention education.
  • Social, emotional and mental health services for needs of a diverse population.

One of only two programs in Nebraska that is nationally accredited by CACREP.

  • Meets the highest educational standards for clinical training and supervision.
  • Most state licensure regulations across the country require CACREP approved training.
  • Recognized by TRICARE for provider status.

The CACREP-accredited Clinical Mental Health degree program prepares graduates for the following professional certification and licensure*:

  • Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC)
  • NE Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP)
  • NE Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner (LIMHP)
  • NE Licensed Alcohol & Drug Counselor (LADC)

*Graduates are eligible for these credentials after successfully passing the appropriate exams and completing required post-degree supervised counseling experiences.

A minimum of 60 hours of graduate coursework is required for the Clinical Mental Health program. Please find additional information within our CMHC Brochure. We are looking forward to learning more about you and your interest in clinical mental health. The faculty would be glad to talk with you about the clinical mental health program and the profession. Come learn with us!

Internationally recognized by the International Registry for Counselor Education Programs (IRCEP).

School Counseling

Welcome to the Department of Counseling & School Psychology at UNK! We are excited that you are interested in a career in School Counseling. The program is designed to prepare dynamic, experienced teachers for employment as counselors in elementary, middle/junior and high school. Graduates of the program are prepared to:

  • Know the role and function of a school counselor.
  • Understand diversity within the school environment and recognize the needs of children from special populations.
  • Be familiar with the legislation and policies relevant to school counseling.
  • Understand the legal and ethical issues of the school counseling profession.
  • Implement the Nebraska Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Program Model.
  • Organize their work schedules around the following basic interventions:
    • Individual counseling
    • Small group counseling
    • Large group guidance
    • Consultation for parents, families & school personnel
    • Student advocacy
    • Referrals
    • Career exploration

Department Strengths

  • Our Students - we attract outstanding graduate students.
  • Our Faculty:
    • Licensed and certified faculty with clinical experience in mental health agencies, private practice, in-patient, and out-patient mental health programs, schools, and college student affairs.
    • Nationally and internationally renowned faculty members offer a wide range of interests and expertise.
    • Commitment to professional and personal development of students.
    • Foster and mentor student involvement in professional associations, membership, leadership, presentations, and publications.
  • Accredited by the National Council For Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) for School Counselor Endorsements at PK-6 and 7-12 levels.
  • State of the art, on-site clinic for counselor training that involves client sessions, live and post hoc supervision, reflecting teams, and field-based experiences.
  • Flexible course scheduling to accommodate students who are employed full-time including evening, blended, on-line and video conferencing courses.
  • Active chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, the international counseling honorary society.
  • Successful history of career placement of interns and graduates.

A minimum of 43 hours of graduate coursework is required, most of which can be taken in the summer. Please find additional information within our School Counseling Brochure. We are looking forward to learning more about you and your interest in the School Counseling program at UNK. The faculty would be glad to talk with you about the counseling program and profession. Come learn with us!!

Student Affairs

Welcome to the Counselor Education Program at UNK! We are excited that you are interested in learning more about the Masters of Science Degree in Student Affairs. The program is designed to prepare practitioners for positions at community colleges, public and private colleges, and universities. Graduates of the program are prepared to:

  • Be aware of significant events in the development of higher education.
  • Understand the role and function of student affairs.
  • Know the major professional associations in Student Affairs.
  • Understand current issues and problems in higher education and student affairs.
  • Understand legal and ethical practice in higher education and student affairs.
  • Be able to conceptualize, administer, and evaluate a student affairs program.
  • Know major student development theories.
  • Be familiar with the diversity of the college population and higher education environments.
  • Assess the needs of college students.

Department Strengths

  • Our Students - we attract outstanding graduate students.
  • Our Faculty:
    • Licensed and certified faculty with clinical experience in mental health agencies, private practice, in-patient, and out-patient mental health programs, schools, and college student affairs.
    • Nationally and internationally renowned faculty members offer a wide range of interests and expertise.
    • Commitment to professional and personal development of students.
    • Foster and mentor student involvement in professional associations, membership, leadership, presentations, and publications.
  • State of the art, on-site clinic for counselor training that involves client sessions, live and post hoc supervision, reflecting teams, and field-based experiences.
  • Flexible course scheduling to accommodate students who are employed full-time including evening, blended, on-line and video conferencing courses.
  • Successful history of career placement of interns and graduates.
  • Active chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, the international counseling honorary society.

Assistantships in Student Affairs

Assistantships provide practical experience by employment in an office in the Student Life Division. Several of these experiences provide full out-of state tuition waiver and a monthly stipend, while others also include a meal plan and/or on-campus housing. Assistantships may be available in the following departments:

  • Counseling & School Psychology
  • Dean of Student Affairs Office
  • Multicultural Affairs
  • Office of Service-Learning
  • Peer Health Education
  • Residential & Greek Life
  • Student Support Services

A message from Program Chair, Dr. Matthew Mims, Ed.D, LMHP, LPC, NCC:

It is great that you are exploring the idea of gaining a student affairs degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Our program is dynamic in the fact that we offer our students an interactive experience between their work setting and the coursework in the area of student affairs. Our program has a counseling focus so students gain a strong understanding and development of advance skills in the area of counseling and helping others. The Department of Counseling and School Psychology offers degrees in Student Affairs, Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling and School Psychology.

The capstone courses for our student affairs program is our Student Development and Organization and Practice of Student Affairs courses. In our Student Development course we focused strongly on the development of college students and the patterns of behavior that can be examined during this time period. The course also covers development of humans throughout the lifespan. The second capstone course is Student Affairs: Organization and Practice where we examine the many dimensions of student affairs, the many offices or departments on a typical campus, and the business side of management skills. We are privileged to receive strong support from the administration of UNK. The class started off this semester at the top with our guest speakers so far being the Vice President for Academic Affairs and our Dean of Students. On a regular basis our students are able to speak directly with the leaders from across campus as they visit our classes to educate our students. The remaining coursework is based in the philosophy that we want to give our graduates a strong understanding of counseling skills, techniques, and theory as they strive to better themselves and be able to interact with students on a personal level. Our courses are integrated between the different majors in our department so students also have the opportunity to learn from many different perspectives.

Our graduate students are placed in assistantships in many different departments throughout our campus. A large number of our graduate students in Student Affairs work in Residential Life and Greek Housing, but many students also work in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Academic Success, the Career Counseling Center, Physical Education, the Registrar's office, and outside of UNK. UNK is a small program that works closely with departments across campus to make sure our graduate students are receiving experiences that complement their education.

As the major faculty member for Student Affairs, I was asked to join the department because of my 14 years of student affairs experience on college campus' working in the areas of residential life, international educational, university counseling centers, and leadership development. I have enjoyed working in Student Affairs in the United States and abroad and believe that you will enjoy the field of student affairs and the personal education you will receive at UNK. Our program is housed in the new College of Education building and enjoyed the newest technology available in education. Please find additional information within our Student Affairs Brochure

I look forward to discussing with you our program and answering any questions that you may have in regards to UNK. Please contact me if you have further questions or if I can provide other assistance.

Matthew Mims, Ed.D., LMHP, LPC, NCC
mimsmj@unk.edu