College of Education & Human Services

Welcome to Counselor Education Admissions!

Counseling Programs at WIU

* Important Information - Applying to the School of Graduate Studies

Students applying to either the Clinical Mental Health Counseling track or School Counseling track must apply through the Graduate Office and complete their online application.

To apply, students are to submit the following required documents to the School of Graduate Studies:

  • A School of Graduate Studies application form
  • Official transcripts from each college or university previously attended
  • A personal goals statement explaining career goals and how a degree from the Department will help facilitate those goals.
    **NOTE: This Personal Goals Statement serves as the writing sample requirement**
  • 3 letters of recommendation

APPLY NOW by clicking this Application for Admission link.

Our next application deadline is February 3, 2023 for the Fall 2023 semester.

Screening/interview day for invited applicants will be Friday, February 24, 2023.


Qualifications:

  • Applicants must have completed a Bachelor’s degree (undergraduate course work) in any field from a regionally accredited university.
  • Applicants must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (includes all undergraduate work attempted at all institutions), or 3.25 for the last two years (60 semester hours) of undergraduate work
  • If applicants have a completed master’s degree from a regionally accredited university, then a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher is required (includes all graduate work attempted at all institutions). Undergraduate GPAs will not be considered if you have a completed master’s degree; nor will probationary status be offered for those with a completed master’s degree.
Probationary Admission:
  • Applicant may be considered for probationary admission with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75-2.99.
  • Applicants with a cumulative GPA between 2.6-2.74 may request consideration for probationary admission by submitting a portfolio directly to the department chair in the Department of Counselor Education. The submitted portfolio may contain material which demonstrates your capacity to succeed as a possible graduate student. Some material may include background information, experience, writing and work samples, additional awards, certificates or recognitions which are relevant. Please contact Dr. Nikels (hj-nikels@wiu.edu) to discuss this prior to submission.
  • All applicants admitted as probationary students must petition for full admission after completing nine graduate hours from any of the following 3 credit hour classes: CN 515, CN 540, CN 541, CN 545, CN 551, or CN 554.
  • Applicants with undergraduate GPAs not meeting the above requirements may request individual consideration based upon exceptional circumstances. This is done only with rare exception. Applicants must contact the Department Chair of the Department of Counselor Education (Dr. Nikels, hj-nikels@wiu.edu) to set up a meeting prior to applying to the department. Applications received from individuals who do not meet the requirements above and have not met with the Department Chair will not be considered.
  • Please note: The GRE is no longer required.

Non-degree Seeking Applicants

  1. Complete the online application for the School of Graduate Studies.
  2. Submit official transcripts directly to the School of Graduate Studies for all coursework taken at all universities.
  3. Indicate that you are interested in the M.S.Ed. in Counseling.
  4. In the "note section" of the online application please put "non-degree seeking."
  5. Upon acceptance from the School of Graduate Studies, please contact the CNED Department Chairperson for further instruction during the open registration period for the term you wish to take a class.

NOTE: Applicants who eventually plan to apply for one of the CNED degree options are only permitted to transfer in up to 9 semester credit hours of approved coursework (i.e., courses taken prior to officially beginning a degree program).

Background Check

Applicants who are offered into the department will be required to complete a background check.

  • Students may be prohibited from completing field work or obtaining licensure if background investigations reveal certain criminal offences, arrests, and/or convictions.
  • It is important to be aware that some schools/agencies may have additional background investigations prior to acceptance at their field site.
  • If there are further questions, email Dr. Nikels (hj-nikels@wiu.edu) for additional information.


 
Contact Information
School of Graduate Studies

Sherman Hall 116
Macomb, IL 61455
309-298-1806
Fax: 309-298-2345
Toll Free:1-877-WIU Grad
Grad-Office@wiu.edu

Department of Counselor Education and College Student Personnel

3300 River Drive
Moline, IL 61265
309-762-1876
cned@wiu.edu

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Admissions

Apply to the School of Graduate Studies

Apply to the School of Graduate Studies online at least 1 month prior to the Department of Counselor Education deadline.

  • Follow the instructions, create a profile, sign in, and complete the graduate application online. Read all of the application instructions on the Graduate Studies application page.
    (Application fees and transcripts are sent to Macomb)
  • NOTE: All transcripts are sent to the school of Graduate Studies in Macomb (send them early in the process!).

If you are interested in a Graduate Assistantship, the application is included on the online application from the School of Graduate Studies.

Department Review of Completed Application Materials

A Departmental Selection Committee must recommend applicants for admission to the graduate program in the Department of Counselor Education. The Selection Committee requires references, transcripts, screening interview, and an essay.

Considerations for screening interviews will not take place until all required documents are received and approved by the deadline. We are a SELECTIVE ADMISSION department. Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee an invitation for screening or admission into the department. Admission decisions are based on all criteria considered in relationship to the needs of the department, number of students who can be reasonably accommodated, professional conduct, and demonstrated potential for success.

  1. Completed applications will be reviewed and top applications will be forwarded to the Selection and Retention Committee.
  2. Shortly after the screening deadline, select candidates for the Department of Counselor Education will be contacted with further information regarding the Department's screening day. Those with complete applications but not invited for a screening interview will be notified in writing.

Ensure that the Department of Counselor Education, the School of Graduate Studies and the Registrar's Office have your current mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail. Failure to provide current information and/or check for messages/letters may result in a missed opportunity.

Apply to the School of Graduate Studies

Apply to the School of Graduate Studies online at least 1 month prior to the Department of Counselor Education deadline.

  • Follow the instructions, create a profile, sign in, and complete the graduate application online. Read all of the application instructions on the Graduate Studies application page.
    (Application fees and transcripts are sent to Macomb)
  • NOTE: All transcripts are sent to the school of Graduate Studies in Macomb (send them early in the process!).

If you are interested in a Graduate Assistantship, the application is included on the online application from the School of Graduate Studies.

Basic Skills Test & Illinois State Board of Education Information

The Illinois Basic Skills Test is no longer required for non-teacher certified school counseling students. For more information on Bill SB 1952, please use this link . The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has additional requirements. Please see their website for more information: https://www.isbe.net/

Non-certified Teachers

Applicants pursuing the School Counseling option who are NOT Teacher-Certified must complete the courses listed below in addition to the regular School Counseling specialization requirements:

  • EIS 502 (3) Cognition and Instruction
  • EIS 405G (3) Designing/Managing Learning Environments
  • SPED 510 (3) The Exceptional Individual

These courses are separate from the Counseling Program and are not part of a Counseling Degree Plan. Please check with the Department for any changes.

Adding School Counseling Endorsement to CMHC/LCSW license

From Dr. Nikels: To answer questions about what it would take to add a School Counseling endorsement to a Clinical license, I have included a list of courses and other requirements below. There has been a recent change to Illinois law (May 16, 2018) regarding School Counseling licensure. HB 4514 Title Protection mandates that only those who have met the requirements for a School Counseling license may hold that title.

Universities do not make the final decisions about requirements for licensure. Those decisions are made by the state licensing departments. The University just offers the courses so the students can meet licensure requirements. As such, what I have outlined below is a summary of what we have experienced thus far with students pursuing School Counselor licensure to be added to their other degrees/licensure. These are pretty consistent between student experiences.

Typically, individuals with Community Counseling or Related master’s degrees are required by the states to take the following courses for School licensure:

  • CN 514 Foundations and Professional Orientation to School Counseling (3)
  • CN 516 Data Driven School Counseling Programs and Practices (3)
  • CN 518 Advocacy, Leadership and Consultation in Comprehensive School Counseling programs (3)
  • CN 544 Counseling Techniques for Children and Adolescents (3)
  • CN 592 School Practicum (3)
  • CN 595 School Internship I (3)
  • CN 596 School Internship II (3)

Non-Teacher certified applicants are also required to take the following courses:

  • SPED 210 The Exceptional Learner (2)
  • ES 502 Seminar in Cognition (3)
  • ES 405G Classroom Management (3)

Total= 30 minimum hours

Practicum and Internship experiences include a minimum of 750 combined hours, with a minimum of 250 hours at each developmental level (k-5; 6-8; 9-12) for K-12 School Counseling licensure (the only kind offered in the state of Illinois).

The School Counseling track requires successful completion of School Counselor Content Exam prior to Internship. Most candidates take the School Counselor Content Exam in the semester prior to Internship. This information is explained on our website. Students cannot complete to the School Counseling program without successful completion of the testing requirement.

Applicants seeking licensure only courses are not required to complete the full application process. You will need to set up a time to meet with two of the faculty for an informal interview. I can assist in the scheduling of that interview. You will also need to apply to the Graduate Studies as a non-degree seeking student. That application is available on their website.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Holly J. Nikels, Ph.D., L.C.P.C., A.C.S. | Chairperson
Dept. of Counselor Education & College Student Personnel
hj-nikels@wiu.edu

Admission Process

  • Provide evidence of a completed a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education in Counseling or a related field (i.e., other counseling speciality [as defined by CACREP], social work, or psychology).
  • Meet with the Chairperson of the Department of Counselor Education PRIOR to going through the regular application process.

Department Review of Completed Application Materials

  1. Complete applications will be reviewed and top applications will be forwarded to the Selection and Retention Committee.
  2. Shortly after the screening deadline, select candidates for the Department of Counselor Education will be contacted with further information regarding the Department's screening day. Those with complete applications but not invited for a screening interview will be notified in writing.

Ensure that the Department of Counselor Education, the School of Graduate Studies, and the Registrar's Office have your current mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail. Failure to provide current information and/or check for messages/letters may result in a missed opportunity. Do not ask for an exception.

Invited Applicants

The interview is designed to identify personal attributes that are recognized as professional dispositions important to effectiveness in the helping professions. The interview, while personal, is never invasive. You will be asked eleven questions that do not solicit or require you to disclose confidential information that would compromise your safety or personal relationships.

Faculty members may follow-up your responses to clarify your meaning or in an effort to help you understanding the intent of the question asked. The purpose of the interview is to provide a climate in which you are comfortable sharing those personal attributes that are recognized as correlates of "professional dispositions." The process is intended to be personal yet supportive; although the process can evoke unexpected emotions, the screening interview is designed to provide candidates with a sense of safety and support. Any concerns the committee have developed during the application process and/or during the screening interview will be addressed at the end of the interview. Applicants will have the opportunity at the end to ask any questions that they might have.

The Selection and Retention Committee will make recommendations for admission consideration once all screening interviews are complete.Those applicants invited to the screening interview will receive written notification of acceptance or denial into the Department of Counselor Education. If accepted, applicants will receive an e-mail indicating the process they need to take should they accept the offer of admittance into the Department. Invited applicants are required to submit a background check prior to attending the mandatory CNED New Student Orientation.

Background Check

Applicants who are admitted into the department via email notification will be required to complete a background check.

  • Students may be prohibited from completing field work if background investigations reveal certain criminal offences, arrests, and/or convictions.
  • It is important to be aware that some schools/agencies may have additional background investigations prior to acceptance at their field site.
  • Please review the Criminal Background Investigation Policy (Information located in the CNED/CSP handbook). If there are further questions, email the Department of Counselor Education (cned@wiu.edu) for additional information.