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Caldwell, N.J. – July 31, 2014 – The Caldwell University Mental Health Counseling/Art Therapy graduate program has received accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, becoming the first CACREP-accredited art therapy program in the nation.

Marie Wilson, Ph.D., ATR-BC, ATCS, ACS, LPC, coordinator of the university’s art therapy programs and professor in the Department of Psychology and Counseling, said the university was thrilled to learn the news.  “It was a very rigorous application, so receiving this ensures the quality of our program,” she said. Accreditation also gives graduates “portability to move to just about any state in the nation and work as a licensed professional counselor (LPC) as well as an art therapist.”

With the addition of this accreditation, all of the programs in the university’s Psychology and Counseling Department have received CACREP approval. The Master of Arts in School Counseling and the Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling had already received the accreditation.

CACREP is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. It is the official organization that accredits graduate programs that prepare counseling professionals—counselors, counseling supervisors and counselor educators.  CACREP accreditation ensures that the program has met a rigorous set of institutional, administration, faculty and curriculum standards that will significantly enhance the opportunities for professional development for graduates by providing recognition by counseling licensing bodies on the national level.

Caldwell remains the first and only institution in New Jersey to offer graduate- level training in art therapy and one of the few programs in the region that prepare students to be dually credentialed as both a counselor and an art therapist. The program is approved by the American Art Therapy Association, meets educational requirements for registration and practice as an art therapist and is approved by the New Jersey Professional Counselor Examiners Committee.It also meets educational requirements to become a licensed professional counselor in New Jersey.

Graduates of the program work as mental health counselors/art therapists with all age groups in hospitals, psychiatric and rehabilitation facilities, wellness centers, forensic institutions, schools, crisis centers, senior communities, hospice care, private practice and other clinical and community settings.

Caldwell also offers a postgraduate master’s in art therapy and an undergraduate double major in psychology and art with an art therapy concentration.