Graduates of the UH Hilo counseling psychology program are now working in a number of fields such as community mental health, teaching, correctional, rehab, counseling, residential care, and child welfare.
The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program recently received full re-accreditation by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC) for the period of June 2021 through June 2029. The MPCAC accredits academic programs in psychology and counseling, which promote training in the scientific practice of professional psychology and counseling at the master’s level.
“Accredited programs must demonstrate a commitment to science-based training and to enhancing services to the consumer and the public at large,” says Charmaine Higa-McMillan, professor of psychology and director of the counseling psychology program. “The program provides multicultural, student-centered training in counseling psychology with a specialization in clinical mental health counseling.”
Higa-McMillan says there is a shortage of qualified mental health counselors in Hawaiʻi, particularly in rural areas, and employment opportunities in this field are expected to grow at a faster than average rate over the coming years.
Graduates of the program are now working in a number of fields such as community mental health, teaching, correctional, rehab, counseling, residential care, and child welfare.
Graduates of the program are also eligible for the Mental Health Counselor License, which allows those who are licensed to open a private practice and receive third-party payments from health insurance companies.
In 2018 the program expanded its reach to all residents of Hawaiʻi through distance education.