MCAC and State Counselor Licensure Laws: David and Goliath

Sharon Kurpius, Maureen K. Keaveny, Charlene S. Kim, Kelsey J. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Although all 50 states, as well as Washington DC and Puerto Rico, have passed laws that license master's-level professional counselors, the American Psychological Association has historically not taken a role in addressing master's-level education. In 2009, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) initiated standards excluding psychologists as core faculty and has been a driving force with state licensing boards to credential graduates from CACREP-accredited programs exclusively. The Council for Counseling Psychology Training Programs explored the Masters in Counseling Accreditation Committee (MCAC) as an alternative accreditation for master's counseling programs. This study examined the extent to which MCAC accreditation standards align with state counselor licensure statutes. Content analyses indicated that MCAC is a viable alternative accreditation if programs pay attention to state required credits for a degree, curricular requirements not specified by MCAC, and clinical requirements. Implications of these findings and recommendations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1008-1033
Number of pages26
JournalThe Counseling Psychologist
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2015


  • academia
  • counseling
  • qualitative
  • training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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