August 13, 2019
student studying outside student center

Two master’s counseling programs housed in UNT Dallas’ School of Behavioral Health and Human Services has been awarded full accreditation status through 2025.

The graduate programs Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling were determined by the Board of Directors of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) to have fulfilled the standards of the Council.

The accreditation is a significant and monumental accomplishment for the two programs, said School of Behavioral Health and Human Services dean Dr. Constance Lacy.

“Our counseling faculty and staff work very hard and they are to be commended for their dedication to ensuring students receive a quality, dynamic experience,” Lacy said. “Our graduates are our best example of the value of offering a nationally accredited curriculum. In today's climate, it is vital to have licensed professional counselors, certified school counselors, clinicians in private practice and in community-based organizations who have the skills and can affect long-lasting change in the lives they touch.”

Both counseling programs have been foundational to the UNT Dallas campus, and first became CACREP accredited in 2017.

“This accreditation is very significant because it demonstrates our commitment to meeting the highest academic standards in counseling,” said Dr. Jennifer Baggerly, UNT Dallas’ CACREP liaison and a professor in the counseling program. “Highly qualified students will seek enrollment in our CACREP programs and, in turn, employers will seek graduates from our CACREP programs. In fact, some employers such as the Veterans Administration will only hire CACREP graduates, so we are giving our students a real edge in working for the best employers.” 

The UNT Dallas Mental Health Counseling program has seen consistent growth accompanied by increased retention rates over the last two years.

The School Counseling program is also primed for growth with the recent addition of the College and Career Readiness Certificate, which puts UNT Dallas in position to meet the needs of local independent school districts that require their counselors to be equipped to provide college and career counseling to high school students.