Allie Steger

Allie Steger

I attended Niagara University for my undergraduate degree in Psychology, which is
where I learned about the CMHC program. I was looking for a program that I felt would
best prepare me for clinical work when completed. After touring schools, I found that NU
had the most impressive program and courses and I applied. The CMHC program at NU
taught me essential skills that I used regularly throughout internship and following
graduation. I was able to select a post graduate job from multiple offers due to my
impressive experience at NU and the internships that I completed with help locating
from the student placement officers and staff. Niagara's program perfectly blends
necessary knowledge and skills with real life experiences. The cohort dynamic of the
program offers students a core foundation of peers to grow with throughout the program
and maintain professional connections following graduation. I am very thankful for my
time at NU and would highly recommend the CMHC program to anyone interested in
the counseling field.

David Augustyniak

  • 2017
I came to Niagara University’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program after serving 33 years as a police officer. You can say I was a nontraditional student. At the time I entered I was a little apprehensive about returning to school in my fifties. Even though others in my cohort were about the ages of my own daughters, I felt very comfortable in the environment. The faculty and students helped me to feel appreciated and respected. I believe a major factor in my success was the communal environment that was fostered in the program. My cohort and I embraced the challenge of earning a master’s degree with commitment and enthusiasm. We shared insights and helped one another gain new knowledge and skills along the way. I found the faculty to be very engaged with and supportive of the students. Both full-time faculty and adjuncts were highly qualified and offered varied experience in the field of counseling. Additionally, Niagara’s program in CMHC has the distinction of being accredited though the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP); a must for anyone considering a career in counseling. In my view, being an effective mental health counselor requires much awareness, knowledge, and empathy to address the problems that people face in their daily lives. Ultimately, the onus is on the quality of professionalism the counselor brings to table. I found Niagara’s program provided me excellent preparation in learning the necessary skills that have helped me to aid my clients in their goals to make changes that better their lives. I highly recommend NU program in CMHC to anyone that wants to make a difference in the lives of others.

Rachel Steward

I applied for the clinical mental health counseling program at Niagara University in 2011, and at that time, California was still in the process of developing programs in the state for mental health counseling. The program appealed to me because of the quality of servant leadership that was evident in their mission statement. The quote that stood out to me was this, “Niagara seeks to inspire its students to serve all members of society, especially the poor and oppressed, in local communities and in the larger world”. My passion for helping those who are suffering from mental illnesses and emotional pain, grief or loss is what led me to clinical mental health counseling in the first place. I quickly realized this graduate program was the right choice for me. After traveling 3,000 miles away from home, I was greeted by faculty, staff and students with open arms. The education I received at Niagara University was invaluable. My experience in the classroom, amongst my peers and within my internships shaped and strengthened my ability to return to California and become one of the first professional clinical counselor interns to register in the state. I have been highly complimented by my supervisor for my skill and educational training in the field. This reinforces the fact that I received an excellent education and training during my time at Niagara University. I can firmly say that the education, training, support and relationships I experienced at Niagara University were incredible and beyond measure. Niagara University prepared me to effectively face the challenges in the field and to find those countless rewarding moments that make it all worth it.

Brittany Czajka

Trying to come up with the correct words to describe Niagara University’s clinical mental health counseling program is not an easy task. It is challenging due to the fact the program went above and beyond my expectations and I believe that there are not enough words to explain how great the program really was. The class sizes were small and the professors did more than I expected in preparing each student for what to expect in the counseling profession and how to make a difference in the lives of clients and communities. Each professor shared an appreciation for the students and enjoyed providing the knowledge they had to each of us. The cohort I belonged to while at Niagara went through a lot of transition, but we all came out better individuals, because Niagara University strives to provide a family-like atmosphere. We all came into the program alone, but in the end, we graduated as a family. I cannot explain how thankful I am to have been a part of the clinical mental health counseling graduate program at Niagara University; all I can say is that I have become the clinician I am today as a result of the knowledge and guidance I received at NU. I am proud to have graduated with a master of science in clinical mental health counseling from Niagara University.

Tomasina Cook

One of the best professional decisions I ever made was to attend the mental health counseling program at Niagara University. The education I received prepared me for a doctoral degree and licensure as a New York state mental health counselor (LMHC).The staff and faculty really strive to transform “students” into “clinical practitioners” and prepare them for various careers in the field, such as clinical supervisors and counselor educators. As a result, I have worked in various clinical settings in Western New York and now I am a counselor working in private practice and have taught at several colleges as counselor educator.