Three MSU counseling degree programs again earn national accreditation

Contact: Harriet Laird

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Two counseling master’s degree curriculums and a doctoral program in Mississippi State’s College of Education have once again achieved national accreditation, ensuring professional licensure pathways for graduates in these fields.

Master’s programs in clinical mental health counseling and school counseling, along with the doctoral program in counselor education and supervision recently received the welcomed accreditation decision from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. All three curriculums are in the university’s Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations, with the two master’s programs offered at both the Starkville and Meridian campuses and the doctoral program offered in Starkville.

Department Head and Professor Dan Gadke said of CACREP’s extensive review and professional endorsement, “I am proud of the faculty and thankful for all their hard work throughout this process. Ultimately, being able to see firsthand the world-class work the counseling faculty does and the students they have, the decision is not a surprise. I am beyond pleased this was clear to CACREP, and faculty will be able to continue to do the much-needed work of creating professional counselors.”

Joan Looby, coordinator of the Graduate Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program, said, "To receive national accreditation without conditions is a commendable achievement that speaks to the quality of the counseling curriculums and excellent, dedicated faculty. Accolades also go out to MSU and CACREP Graduate Assistant Tinmuk Li, whose work ethic, commitment and contributions were exemplary even when challenges seemed never-ending during the process. This is strong confirmation that the program's mission of training graduates who contribute substantially to the improvement of the lives of others and the profession is being met successfully." 

Clinical mental health counseling trains graduates to provide services to individuals, couples, families and groups in numerous settings, including both mental health and child and family service agencies, public and non-profit human service facilities, inpatient psychiatric clinics, drug and alcohol centers, business and industry and private practice. A minimum of 60 credit hours is required, along with 700 hours of experience in a clinical mental health counseling environment.

Graduates in school counseling not only are employed in the pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education environment, but also obtain positions as child behavior therapists, counselors at the community college level and in the Armed Forces, and in university settings with career counseling and academic advising. In addition to the 60 hours required for degree completion, students must complete a practicum and internship.

The university’s Ph.D. program in counselor education and supervision further advances the knowledge, skills and work experiences students have acquired in undergraduate and graduate counseling-related fields. Those completing the minimum 81 credit hours are prepared to become highly competent practitioners, faculty researchers and scholars, administrators, profession leaders, and excellent teachers and clinical supervisors.

College of Education Dean Teresa Jayroe said of this department’s accreditation achievement, “I am so proud and appreciative of our faculty who do a phenomenal job of working tirelessly to educate and guide our students. Our faculty are committed to providing excellent programs so that our graduates are prepared to excel and make an impact on their communities. The CACREP accreditation process, which recognizes the quality of the program, faculty and students, validates their commitment to excellence.” 

The CACREP board made its accreditation decision based on an extensive self-study review, site review team’s report and MSU’s response to this report.

MSU’s College of Education can be found at, and the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations is at

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Monday, September 26, 2022 - 12:44 pm