Spring 2014 – Fall 2015


Background and Overview:

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout is a small, student centered program located in western Wisconsin, about one hour east of the Minneapolis/St Paul, MN metro area. The program has a strong clinical focus designed to prepare students for the rigors of clinical work. Classes are small, with the average class size being under 24 for the majority of our content classes and from six to 12 students in our process/skill based orientated classes (skill training courses, practicum and internship). 

The CMHC program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). In addition, program completion continues to allow for professional licensure in Wisconsin (Licensed Professional Counselor) and all other states. 

The CMHC program requires a minimum of 60 semester credit hours in approved graduate-level courses. Students can choose from five concentrations (Alcohol and other Drug Abuse (AODA), Eating Disorders, Child and Adolescent Counseling, Gerontology, and Career Counseling) or complete the program without a concentration. The no-concentration option requires 46 core course credits, 3 credits of practicum (150 total hours on site), 6 credits of internship (600 total hours on site), and 6 elective course credits. If you choose a concentration, your elective credits will be used toward completing that concentration.

Additionally, students who choose the AODA concentration will have completed the educational requirements for the Wisconsin Substance Abuse Counselor –in training (SAC-IT) certificate, which is a highly desirable credential at many of the addiction treatment centers throughout Wisconsin and other states.


Application and Acceptance Data:

In the 2014-2015 academic year, 35 new students enrolled into the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at University of Wisconsin-Stout. Specifically, we had 50 students apply for a fall start of which 24 were admitted and 13 began coursework. We had 21 students apply for a spring 2015 start;13 were admitted, of which 12 began coursework.

In the 2013–2014 academic year, 19 new students enrolled into the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Specifically, we had 74 students apply for a fall 2013 start of which 20 were admitted and nine began coursework. We had 14 students apply for a spring 2014 start; 11 were admitted of which 10 began coursework.

Upon admission, each student meets individually with the Program Director to design a course sequence that best meets their schedule and each program plan is created on an individual basis. UW-Stout allows up to seven years for a student to complete their coursework. In general about 50-75% of students finish the program in two years.

Comprehensive Exam:

Our graduates consistently achieve high pass rates on our comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination assesses key knowledge from the core courses in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. The comprehensive exam consists of 105 multiple choice questions. A score of 70% or above is the cut-off point for passing. The exam is offered twice during the academic year. Nine students took the comprehensive exam during the fall of 2014, with seven passing and two failing. The students who failed the exam have since retaken the exam and passed. Eight students took the exam during the spring 2015 semester, with seven passing and one needing to retake exam in the fall of 2015. 

Completion/Graduation Rates:

In May, 2015, December, 2014, and August, 2014, 22 students graduated from the CMHC program. Because the program has flexible course sequencing, the students who graduated in this past academic year come from a number of different cohorts. 

Overall, the completion rate for the CMHC program has been very successful. Below is a list of students who were accepted into the program since 2008 and their completion percentage.


CohortNumber startingGraduated% Completion Percentage
Fall 2008121083%
Spring 2008121191%
Fall 20091212100%
Spring 2009121083%
Fall 20109888%
Spring 2010111091%
Fall 201110880%
Spring 201211981%
Fall 20131111100%
Spring 2013111091%
Fall 2014 to PresentStill enrolled in coursework
Totals1018688% *
* Indicates part time students still completing coursework


Employment and Salary Information:

As part of the CACREP accreditation process we survey our recent graduates annually to gauge overall program quality as well as employment and salary information. Based on our survey and follow up contact with our graduates from December 2013, May 2014 and August 2014, we obtained the following data:

Of the 15 individuals who completed the program, 13 indicated they were currently employed while one began a doctoral in Counseling Education and Supervision. One graduate did not respond. This equates to a 93% placement rate within the first 3 month of graduation.

For new graduates, the most recent salary data is from May 2012 – December 2012:

  • Below $20,000 — 2
  • $20,001 to $30,000 — 4
  • $30,001 to $40,000 — 4
  • $40,001 and above — 3
It is important to consider that the salary information listed below is a reflection of the “in training” period, that occurs during the first two years after graduation.  To provide context, the data from a survey of graduates from 2002–2010 is presented below:

The salary ranges for 63 graduates from 2002-2010 were as follows:

  • Below $20,000 — 6
  • $20,001 to $30,000 — 7
  • $30,001 to $40,000 — 26
  • $40,001 and above — 24


Graduate Assistantships:

Graduate Assistantship opportunities are available year round for students admitted and enrolled in a graduate program on campus. Approximately 40 total hours per week have been designated for student graduate assistantships for fall and spring terms in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Summer assistantships are offered and vary in hours depending on funding (21 hours of funding was allotted in the summer of 2014. Additional graduate assistantships are available across campus, including in Research Services, the Child and Family Study Center, Student Advisement Center, and several other departments within and outside of the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. The Graduate School keeps and updates a list of available assistantships. 

Assessment in the Major