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Department of Counseling

Mental Health Counseling


Support Your Community Through Compassionate Care

As a mental health counselor, you can make an impact on people every day in multiple ways. At Bowie State, you’ll find a community of students and faculty dedicated to making a difference in this field. BSU is the first Maryland HBCU with graduate programs approved by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP). It’s a program accreditation that opens new opportunities to advance your career. Our graduates work in schools and community-based settings. They take roles as supervisors, program managers and clinical directors.

< Return to the Department of Counseling

At Bowie State, we recognize the journey to becoming a professional counselor begins with you. In our advanced degree program, you’ll learn how to:

  • Improve your mental health by identifying your blind spots, behavioral patterns and personal biases
  • Discover your identity as a mental health counselor 
  • Develop unique approaches to support people’s individual needs
  • Participate in community-based classes and culturally relevant research
  • Collaborate with experienced and supportive faculty who bring real-world experience into the classroom

Mental health counseling isn’t just a series of lectures. Application is everything. BSU gives you the skills and confidence to help real people handle the challenges of everyday life.

 

The Bowie State Advantage

  • Culturally responsive lens: You will learn culturally responsive techniques and social justice initiatives to help support marginalized communities
  • Focus on research: Evidence-based research provides you with an understanding of the unique challenges facing culturally diverse communities and ways to provide support
  • Earn your licensure: The 60-credit program provides an avenue to become a licensed professional counselor and open the door to more opportunities

 

Student Snapshot: Emoni Johnson

Current Role: Air National Guard

Favorite Part of the Program: Discovering consistent incorporation of multicultural competencies. It was helpful to acknowledge that not everyone’s worldview is consistent with the mainstream ethnocentric European/Western lifestyle.

What Attracted You to Bowie State University: The CACREP accreditation was an important factor, as well as BSU’s affordable tuition.

One Thing You Learned at BSU That Impacted Your Life or Career: I don’t have to conform to the idea of what life should be while living in America to help others and create change.

Advice for Prospective Students: Stay true to who you are, and don’t be afraid to ask questions that go against what we are typically taught in the world of mental health and medicine.

 

Student Snapshot: Naliah Beckford

Current Role: Special Education Teacher for Prince George’s County Public Schools

Favorite Part of the Program: Expanding my knowledge and finding my niche. I have been able to identify the population and specialty that most interests me. I have also created life-long connections that will allow me to grow, support others, and encourage change.

Why You Chose Bowie State: I was most attracted to Bowie State University for the CACREP accredited Mental Health Counseling program. Bowie State’s counseling department provides students with a comprehensive program to gain knowledge and experience to become well-rounded professional counselors.

One Thing You’ve Learned at BSU That Made a Difference: Bowie State has taught me is to be more authentic and have confidence. Go for your dreams, be who you are and stand by your decisions. By being authentic and having confidence, doors will open for new opportunities.

Advice for Prospective Students: Be open and willing to learn and create friendships and collegial relationships that will catapult you into your future.


We want our students to consider their history, roots and how to meet client needs. Bowie State’s faculty teaches critical thinking and critical consciousness. It’s a way to develop our ‘third-eye’ and provide support in culturally diverse communities.

- Dr. Janelle Cox, Program Coordinator