Why Become a Professional Counselor?
People have many different reasons for deciding they want to become a counselor. Some people choose this career because they once had a good experience with a counselor during a difficult time in their own life and they want to "pay it forward." Another person may have done some volunteer work at a crisis hotline and realized that they enjoyed both the challenges and joys of working with clients facing difficult times. Yet another person may have been told that they are a good listener and they ought to consider working as a mental health professional.
Whatever the reasons, individuals that choose to seek a career in counseling usually have one thing in common - a desire to help people work through life's challenges. Some individuals want to work primarily with children or teens. Others prefer to work with adults. Some want to work in specific settings, such as K-12 schools or college campuses. Others prefer to work in a community setting such as a mental health center or private practice setting.
Counseling can offer the right individual a rewarding career path in a health profession that is growing. It requires a strong desire to interact with people, exceptional communication skills, and an ability to complete a graduate degree. Choosing to become a professional counselor is a commitment to yourself, to others, and to society as a whole.
---Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs
Commitment to Diversity
In order to guarantee that each individual is free to pursue his or her potential, each member of the American Counseling Association (ACA) is charged to (a) engage in ongoing examination of his or her own attitudes, feelings, stereotypic views, perceptions, and behaviors that might have prejudicial or limiting impact on others; (b) contribute to an increased sensitivity on the part of other individuals, groups, or institutions to the barriers to opportunity imposed by discrimination; and (c) advocate equal rights for all individuals through concerted personal, professional, and political activity.
---ACA Human Rights Committee's 1987 Statement on Tolerance
M.S.Ed. in Counseling
School Counseling Specialization
The School Counseling option prepares students for work as elementary and/or secondary school counselors in public and private schools. The school counselor option within the Department of Counselor Education is the only program at Western Illinois University that prepares students for school counselor certification/licensure. Upon successful completion of the degree requirements students will receive a Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) in Counseling.
Please click on the following link to watch a video produced by the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) to learn more about the role school counselors play and how school counselors contribute to student success...VIDEO
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialization
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling option prepares students for work as clinical mental health counselors in a variety of clinical settings, such as mental health centers, rehabilitation hospitals, recovery centers, private practice, university counseling centers, and employee assistance programs. Upon successful completion of the degree requirements students will receive a Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) in Counseling.