Saybrook’s hybrid online M.A. Counseling is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP accreditation assures that the content and quality of our program has been evaluated and meets standards set by the profession. The current accreditation is good through October, 2026.
Mental health counseling is a helping profession with national standards required for education, training, and clinical practice. Graduate education and clinical training prepares counselors to provide a full range of services for individuals, couples, families, adolescents, and children. Our mental health program prepares counselors to practice in a variety of settings such as independent practice, community agencies, integrated delivery systems, hospitals, and addictions treatment settings. Mental health counselors are uniquely skilled professionals who provide a full range of services. Our MA Counseling program offers a career-focused, clinical program with practicum training which is intended to empower them to shape and craft their own professional development and practice orientation. The program focuses on career opportunities while remaining true to core humanistic principles and helping others.
Saybrook tracks the employment of graduates in and out of the counseling profession, which is defined by the US Department of Labor’s Standard Occupational Classification codes 19-3031 (Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists) and 25-1066 (Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary).
Hybrid Online Learning Model: The MA Counseling degree program combines online learning with periodic in-person residential conferences, experiential intensives, workshops and classes to support students in working toward the MA Counseling degree.
Residential Orientation for Hybrid Learners
All new students in the MA Counseling program begin their studies with a one-time, two-day Residential Orientation. Residential Orientations are held two days ahead of the Residential Conference at the start of the Fall and Spring semesters.
Residential Conferences: All students participate in two six-day long required residential conferences per year (one at the beginning of the Fall semester and one at the beginning of the Spring semester) for the duration of the program. Activities during the required residential conferences are designed to expand further on the knowledge from coursework, to practice clinical skills, and to participate in professional development through lectures, workshops, invited talks, roundtables, courses, and seminars as well as formal and informal meetings and discussions with faculty, advisors, and peers. Although students complete most of their courses through distance learning, full attendance at all residential conferences is an academic requirement, and their completion is important for successful academic progress as well as allowing students to meet with faculty and co-learners in a stimulating face-to-face environment.
Online Instruction: Online courses utilize a combination of learning goals, objectives, strategies, and delivery formats, including assigned readings, papers, and projects as well as asynchronous online discussions and at times synchronous teleconferences and/or videoconference sessions with faculty and peers.
Student Mentoring: Faculty and peer mentoring is a distinguishing feature of the program. Upon admission, students are assigned a faculty advisor and peer mentor to support both the transition into graduate school and success throughout the program.
Professional Licensure: In order to become licensed as a professional counselor, professional clinical counselor, or mental health counselor candidates must complete the degree, program, and/or coursework required by their chosen state. States also have licensing requirements beyond a program’s graduation requirements including: post-master’s supervised clinical experience, examination(s), background check, and application for license.
At the time of publication, the M.A. Counseling hybrid online program meets degree and coursework requirements in 37 states and the District of Columbia. Minor program modifications may be necessary to meet coursework requirements in Florida, Indiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah. Saybrook’s hybrid online Counseling program does not meet licensure requirements of Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, or Wisconsin.
The MA Counseling hybrid online program is aligned with the degree and coursework requirements of the California Board of Behavioral Sciences for registration and examination eligibility as a Professional Clinical Counselor (Business and Professions Code section 4999.33) and as a Marriage and Family Therapist (Business and Professions Code section 4980.36), which allows students only in California to pursue dual PCC / MFT licensure. Candidates for licensure must pass the relevant clinical examination and law and ethics examination. Additional post-master’s supervised experience is required and candidates must register with BBS as an APCC (and AMFT for dual licensure) in order to accrue supervised experience. All candidates are also required to complete the application process, which includes fees and a background check. For further information about licensure in California, please visit the Board of Behavioral Sciences.
During the first semester, all Counseling students complete a curriculum map to licensure to assure that they complete the coursework requirements for their state. State professional licensing requirements are subject to change at any time. Students should contact the specific state licensing board directly to verify information regarding professional licensure. A list of state board contact information is available via The American Counseling Association.