Marymount’s Mental Health Program Wins National Awards

ARLINGTON, Va. – Marymount University’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program has received The 2014 Outstanding Counselor Education Program Award, the top national honor given by the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES).

“It’s really quite an honor to have our program be recognized as a national leader,” said Dr. Lisa Jackson-Cherry, chair of the Department of Counseling. “This speaks to both the quality of our faculty and students and the opportunities available at Marymount.”

The selection was based on faculty and student involvement in the counseling profession, scholarship activities and community service.

“Everyone involved – faculty, staff and students – should be proud of this accomplishment,” said Marymount University President Matthew D. Shank.

“One of the things that sets our program apart is that our students are really immersed in whatever opportunities the faculty has,” Jackson-Cherry said. “Our students present at conferences. They do research. Some of our students have published papers in scholarly journals.”

She added that all the faculty members in this master’s degree program are practicing clinicians.

“We bring real-life experiences into the classroom,” she said. “That’s a key to helping them become ethical, professional, caring counselors.”

She also noted the program’s unique study abroad component, which this year involves 17 students traveling to Rome and Milan from Sept. 19 to 28.

“While in Rome we’re focusing on the role spirituality and religion play in healing and mental health,” she said. “In Milan we’re attending a conference.”

The award will be presented at the regional ACES conference this October in Birmingham, Ala. ACES is a division of the American Counseling Association.
In addition, the department has received the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES) Outstanding Master’s Counselor Education Program Award for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, which will also be given at the Birmingham conference. Its selection was based on a review of all faculty accomplishments in scholarship, service, mentoring and professional involvement, as well as quality and innovative program development and delivery.

“I am very proud to be a member of such a talented and tireless faculty who work year round to offer exceptional programs and who provide mentoring and quality of training to the next generation of counselors,” Jackson-Cherry said.