Department Chairperson: Melanie E. Rawlins
Associate Graduate Faculty
The Department of Counselor Education offers a Master of Science in Education in Counseling at the WIU-QC Center. The counseling program offers a unique blend of courses designed to provide the skills and knowledge necessary for becoming a competent counseling professional. Solid academic performance as well as experiential mastery are required. Students may select either of two emphases: Community Counseling or School Counseling. The community counseling emphasis prepares persons for work as professional counselors in a variety of community settings, including mental health centers, colleges, rehabilitation hospitals, recovery centers, and employee assistance programs. The school counseling emphasis prepares persons for work as elementary and/or secondary school counselors in public and private schools. The school counselor emphasis of the counseling program is the only program at Western Illinois University that prepares students for school counselor certification. A Marriage and Family Counseling Certificate Program is also available at the WIU-QC Center. Prospective students should consult with staff prior to enrollment regarding the appropriateness of this curriculum to their situation and professional objectives.
The counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Because of CACREP accreditation, WIU counseling program graduates and interns are automatically eligible to sit for the National Board for Certified Counselors examination and meet many of the requirements for various state licensures and certifications.
Applicants must meet the regular admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and be recommended by a Departmental Selection Committee. References, a screening interview, and an essay are required by the selection committee. Applicants choosing the school counselor emphasis must also be certified as a teacher. Interested persons should contact the chairperson of the Department of Counselor Education for information about admission procedures.
The Master of Science in Education in Counseling degree requires a minimum of 48 semester hours that require at least four semesters. Students should consult with their adviser regarding proper sequencing of courses and specialization in either the community counseling or school counseling emphases. A grade of A or B is required for the following courses in the experiential sequence: CN 500, CN 547, and CN 593. Students may repeat these courses only once.
Courses required of all M.S.Ed. degree candidates
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program
The Marriage and Family Counseling Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program available at the WIU Regional Center requires completion of the community counseling emphasis curriculum plus 12-17 semester hours of marriage and family course work. This Certificate Program has been approved by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation as a Comprehensive Program in Marriage and Family Therapy.
433G Special Problems in Counseling. (1–3, repeatable) Designed to provide a group of students an opportunity for further professional growth and to apply problem-solving approaches in dealing with specific educational problems. Graded S/U.
444G Counseling Children and Adolescents. (2–3) This course is for students interested in understanding and improving their helping relationship skills with children and the significant others in the lives of these children. Needs created by the changing nature of our society with the growth in cultural diversity, growth in numbers of children growing up in single-parent and blended families, and recognition of the rights of the handicapped will be given special attention. Graduate students are to enroll for 3 semester hours credit. Prerequisite: Junior, senior, or graduate standing or permission of the instructor.
500 Orientation to Counseling. (3, repeatable to 6) Introduction to the psychological, sociological and educational reasons for and aspects of the helping relationship. This course combines theoretical knowledge of counseling with supervised practice in helping skills. Various counseling strategies will be presented through lecture, discussion, and audio/video presentations. The students will develop facilitative skills useful for human services professions. Prerequisite: Majors only.
533 Current Issues in Counseling. (1–3, repeatable) Designed to provide counselor education students and mental health practitioners an opportunity for further professional growth and in-depth exploration of special topics. Graded S/U.
540 Marriage, Family, and Relationship Counseling. (3) An introduction to basic concepts of family counseling and their application in school and agency settings.
541 Lifestyles and Career Development. (3) Assisting clientele in various settings with life's decisions; emphasis on development with respect to life roles; theories, procedures, materials, and informational resources related to lifestyle and career development counseling.
542 Assessment Techniques in Counseling. (3) Principles of measurement and assessment. Counseling use of various assessment instruments, achievement, aptitude, intelligence, interests, and personality. Supervision in administering, scoring, and interpreting of individual evaluation methods.
543 Counseling Issues in Sexuality. (3) Course explores various dimensions of human sexuality including factual information, current research, sexual dysfunction, and treatment strategies for counseling. Students will explore their own sexual attitudes, feelings, and values in order to promote sensitive, helpful, and accurate responses as professional counselors. Prerequisite: CN 545 or Corequisite, eligibility to enroll in the class will be determined at the first class meeting.
545 Theories of Counseling and Development. (3) This course combines an in-depth study of several theories that impact on the field of counseling. The student will gain a working knowledge of human development theory. This knowledge will then be applied to their understanding of counseling theory, which will comprise the majority of class time. Required for graduate study in counseling. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of the instructor.
546 Developing and Managing Comprehensive School Counseling Programs. (2) Procedures for planning, organizing, and evaluating a school guidance program. Principles of administration, staffing, and budgeting for the guidance program will be studied. Prerequisite: CN 545.
547 Techniques of Counseling. (3, repeatable to 6) The development and mastery of basic counseling skills through a combination of didactic and experiential approaches. Video and audio tapes, role playing, simulation, and practice in procedures will be utilized. Prerequisites: CN 500, CN 545, a grade of A or B in CN 500; eligibility to enroll in the class will be determined at the first class meeting.
548 Legal and Ethical Issues for Professionals in School Counseling. (1) A study of the complex problems of law and ethics as they influence the field of school counseling and the school counselor's role.
549 Legal and Ethical Issues for Professionals in Community Counseling. (1) A study of the complex problems of law and ethics as they influence the field of agency counseling and the agency counselor's role.
551 Counseling for Addictions. (3) Principles and practices of addiction prevention and counseling with special application to the functions of counselors. Prerequisite: CN 545 or equivalent.
552 Counseling/Helping in a Multicultural Society. (3) Didactic and experiential course to expand personal and professional relationship competencies in working with people in our contemporary pluralistic society. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
556 Developmental Counseling. (3) A comprehensive developmental guidance and counseling model will be presented. The model will be applicable for school counselors in public or private school settings, K-12. Prerequisite: CN 545 or permission of the instructor.
572 Family and Systems Counseling. (3) This course will focus on the pragmatics of applying family systems theory to clinical practice, assessment, and evaluation with couples and families. Prerequisites: CN 540.
573 Practicum in Marriage and Family Counseling. (3) The practicum consists of 100 clock hours of supervised clinical experience with a variety of couples, families, and individuals. Prerequisites: CN 540, CN 547, CN 593.
574 Seminar in Marriage and Family Counseling. (3) The seminar addresses advanced variable topics that focus on special treatment populations (e.g., substance abuse) and current topics of relevance (e.g., gender issues in family therapy). The seminar will interface with application to students' practicum. Prerequisites: CN 540, CN 572.
577 Internship in Marriage and Family Counseling. (1–5, variable) The student will be assigned to work under careful supervision at an internship site. The purpose of this internship is to gain practical experience in applying the knowledge gained in didactic courses in his/her field of specialization in marriage and family therapy. Prerequisites: A grade of A or B in CN 573.
581 Group Counseling Theories and Procedures. (3) Didactic and experiential learning in group theory and practice. This course involves experience as a group participant to develop self-awareness, acceptance, and effective interpersonal skills. Prerequisite: CN 500, CN 545 or corequisite; eligibility to enroll in the class will be determined at the first class meeting; lab fee required.
593 Practicum: Counseling. (3, repeatable to 6) Supervised experience in counseling. Prerequisite: CN 581, CN 600; a grade of A or B in CN 547.
597 Internship. (1–5, repeatable to 10) The student will be assigned to work under careful supervision at an internship station. The purpose of this internship is to gain practical experience in applying the knowledge gained in didactic courses to his/her field of specialization. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: a grade of A or B in CN 593.
599 Independent Study. (1–4, repeatable) An investigation of problems related to the student's major area. Ordinarily a substantial written and/or oral report will be required. Students will arrange the topic, procedures, and methods of reporting with the instructor. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: counseling or college student personnel major and permission of the instructor.
600 Introduction to Diagnosis and Community Counseling. (3) Course explores various aspects of counseling in mental health agencies including dimensions of the mental health services field (administration, prevention, managed care and documentation and treatment planning) and psychopathology (diagnosis and knowledge of abnormal and maladaptive behavior). Prerequisite: CN 500, CN 545 or corequisite; eligibility to enroll in the course will be determined at the first class meeting.
601 Thesis. (3) Master's thesis in counseling. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Permission of the department chairperson.