Graduate Studies

Counseling
2017-2018

Admission | Courses | Program | Requirements |Profile

Chairperson:  Holly Nikels
Graduate Committee Chairperson: Carrie Alexander-Albritton
Office: WIU-Quad Cities
Telephone: (309) 762-1876 Fax: (309) 762-6989
E-mail: cned@wiu.edu
Website: wiu.edu/counselored/
Location of Program Offering: Quad Cities only

Graduate Faculty
Professors

  • Rebecca Newgent, Ph.D., The University of Akron
  • Holly J. Nikels, Ph.D., University of South Dakota
  • Leslie W. O’Ryan, Ed.D., University of South Dakota

Associate Graduate Faculty
Associate Professor

  • Carrie Alexander-Allbriton, Ph.D., Idaho State University

Assistant Professor

  • Matthew J. Beck, Ph.D., University of Iowa
  • Tiffany Stoner-Harris, Ph.D., University of Iowa

 Program Description

The Department of Counselor Education offers a Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) in Counseling at the WIU-QC campus. The department offers a unique blend of courses designed to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to become a competent counseling professional. Acceptable academic performance and experiential mastery are both required for successful completion of the program. Students may select either of two options: Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling.The Clinical Mental Health Counseling option prepares students for work as clinical mental health counselors in a variety of clinical settings including mental health centers, rehabilitation hospitals, recovery centers, private practice, university counseling centers, and employee assistance programs. 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 licensure. 

The counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The School Counseling option is also accredited by the Illinois State Board of Education.

 Admission Requirements

Application deadline of January 15 for School of Graduate Studies’ materials and February 1 for Department materials. A Departmental Selection Committee must recommend applicants for admission to the graduate program in the Department of Counselor Education. The Selection Committee requires three references, transcripts, a screening interview, an essay, and official scores on a Basic Skills Test (for school counseling applicants). Consideration for screening interviews will not take place until all required documents are received and approved by the deadline. 

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.

Applicants failing to meet the minimum undergraduate requirements may be considered for probationary admission with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75-2.99. Applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA between 2.6-2.74 may request consideration for probationary admission – an additional portfolio must be submitted by the applicant at the time of application. The additional material included in the portfolio is intended to assist the Selection and Retention Committee’s evaluation of the applicant’s potential success as a graduate student in the Department of Counselor Education. All applicants admitted as probationary students must petition for full admission after completing nine graduate hours from any of the following courses:  CN 540, CN 541, CN 545, CN 551, CN 552, or EIS 500.

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 Chair of the Department of Counselor Education 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.

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.

Criminal background investigations may be required as part of the admissions process. Students may be prohibited from completing field work if background investigations reveal certain criminal offenses, 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 email the Department of Counselor Education at cned@wiu.edu for additional information. Students will be required to complete a disclosure status (indicating whether or not a student’s criminal background status has changed) during the semester prior to enrollment in clinical courses.

All students must register for the Comprehensive Examination while enrolled in internship II. The exam will be given during the student’s final internship semester and a passing score is required to advance to degree completion.  The Comprehensive Examination policy may be viewed at wiu.edu/counselored.

Please note that admission requirements are subject to change when state regulations and/or National Accreditation regulations change. Some changes may occur after submission of your application. Please make sure to keep abreast of these changes.

 Degree Requirements

The M.S.Ed. in Counseling degree has two options. Students may pursue a School Counseling option, which requires a minimum of 60 semester hours or may select a Clinical Mental Health Counseling option, which requires a minimum of 60 s.h. Students should consult with their advisor regarding proper sequencing of courses and specialization in either option.

The Department of Counselor Education limits the number of allowable semester hours of “C” grades or lower to 6 semester hours.
School Counseling Option

A grade of A or B is required for the following courses: CN 500, CN 547, CN 549, CN 581, CN 600, CN 592, CN 595, and CN 596.

I. Required Core Courses: 48 s.h.

EIS 500 Methods of Research (3)
CN 500 Pre-Practicum in Counseling (3)
CN 519 Crisis and Trauma Counseling (3)
CN 540 Marriage, Family, and Relationship Counseling (3)
CN 541 Lifestyles and Career Development (3)
CN 542 Assessment Techniques in Counseling (3)
CN 545 Counseling Theories and Applications (3)
CN 547 Techniques of Counseling (3)
CN 549 Professional, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Counseling (3)
CN 552 Counseling/Helping in a Multicultural Society (3)
CN 554 Counseling Across the Lifespan (3)
CN 581 Group Counseling: Theories and Procedures (3)
CN 592 Practicum: School Counseling (3)
CN 595 School Counseling Internship I (3)
CN 596 School Counseling Internship II (3)
CN 600 Diagnosis (3)
CN 655 Comprehensive Examination (0)

II. Required Directed Electives: 12 s.h.

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: Literacy and Play (3)

TOTAL PROGRAM: 60 s.h.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Option

A grade of A or B is required for the following courses: CN 500, CN 547, CN 549, CN 581, CN 591, CN 597, CN 598, CN 600, and CN 604.

I. Required Core Courses: 48 s.h.

EIS 500 Methods of Research (3)
CN 500 Pre-Practicum in Counseling (3)
CN 519 Crisis and Trauma Counseling (3)
CN 540 Marriage, Family, and Relationship Counseling (3)
CN 541 Lifestyles and Career Development (3)
CN 542 Assessment Techniques in Counseling (3)
CN 545 Counseling Theories and Applications (3)
CN 547 Techniques of Counseling (3)
CN 549 Professional, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Counseling (3)
CN 552 Counseling/Helping in a Multicultural Society (3)
CN 554 Counseling Across the Lifespan (3)
CN 581 Group Counseling: Theories and Procedures (3)
CN 591 Clinical Mental Health Counseling Practicum (3)
CN 597 Clinical Mental Health Counseling Internship I (3)
CN 598 Clinical Mental Health Counseling Internship II (3)
CN 600 Diagnosis (3)
CN 655 Comprehensive Examination (0)

II. Required Directed Electives: 12 s.h.

CN 520 Foundations and Professional Orientation to Clinical Mental Health Counseling (3)
CN 521 Standards of Care and Management in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (3)
CN 551 Counseling for Addictions (3)
CN 604 Psychopathology and Psychopharmacology (3)

TOTAL PROGRAM: 60 s.h.

 Course Descriptions

Counseling (CN)

433G Special Problems in Counseling. (1, repeatable for different titles) 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. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

500 Pre-Practicum in Counseling. (3, repeatable to 6) Introduction to basic counseling skills that facilitates development of a competent and authentic professional counselor. Experiential in nature, this course fosters the development of basic counseling skills necessary for establishing therapeutic relationships and serves as an opportunity for personal growth. Grade of A or B required. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Counseling and permission of the Department Chairperson. Prerequistie/corequisite: CN 545.

514 Foundations and Professional Orientation to School Counseling. (3) This course will include an examination of the history and current trends of the profession of school counseling. College and career readiness and the national model as well as standards for school counseling will also be explored. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in the school counseling track and/or permission of the Department Chairperson.

515 Research and Program Evaluation. (3) This course provides an understanding of research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment, and program evaluation, including the importance of research in advancing the counseling profession and the use of research to inform evidence-based practice.

516 Data Driven School Counseling Programs and Practices. (3) A comprehensive data-driven school counseling model will be presented. This course utilizes experiential learning to help demonstrate school counseling program accountability and effectiveness through data-driven practices. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in school counseling track or permission of the Department Chairperson.

518 Advocacy, Leadership, and Consultation in Comprehensive School Counseling Programs. (3) Advocacy, leadership, and consultation skills that can assist school counselors in creating systematic change in public or private school settings, K-12 will be studied. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in the school counseling track or permission of the Department Chairperson.

519 Crisis and Trauma Counseling. (3) This course is designed to acquaint students with the special models, theories, and techniques of crisis intervention.  Special attention is given to grief and trauma. Topics include prevention and intervention. Crisis management resources are explored in relation to grief, post-traumatic stress, suicide, domestic violence and child abuse. Ethical, legal, and social issues related to crisis intervention will also be addressed.

520 Foundations and Professional Orientation to Clinical Mental Health Counseling. (3) Introduction to the profession of clinical mental health counseling: history, accreditation, licensure, credentialing, professional organizations, advocacy, counseling philosophy, and use of technology. Topics include roles, functions, professional identity, and scope of practice/standards of care unique to the field of clinical mental health counseling with specific attention given to the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics and professional competencies.

521 Standards of Care and Management in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. (3) Current trends in the counseling literature/research and strategies for counseling specific to clinical mental health are explored. Designed to provide an understanding of the range of mental health service delivery such as inpatient, outpatient, partial treatment, and aftercare/and the clinical mental health counseling services network. Particular attention is given to managed care, HIPAA, public policy, needs assessment, consultation, and prevention. Prerequisites: Graduate standing in Counseling.

522 Psychopharmacology in Counseling. (1) Students will demonstrate knowledge of commonly prescribed Psychotropic medications including antipsychotic, antidepressant, anti-anxiety and sedative/hypnotic agents. Students will understand and have a basic knowledge of creating psychological evaluations using the mental status exam and psychosocial history when developing treatment plans.

533 Current Issues in Counseling. (1–3, repeatable under different titles) 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. The use of various assessment instruments, achievement, aptitude, intelligence, interests, and personality. Supervision in administering, scoring, and interpreting of individual evaluation methods.

544 Counseling Techniques for Children and Adolescents: Literacy and Play. (3) Counseling theories, skills, materials, and methods of reading/reading for working with children and adolescents are covered. Children’s developmental stages, tasks, and needs relative to clinical practice are applicable. Play therapy techniques, adventure based counseling skills, and consultation is included. Prerequisites: CN 500 and graduate standing in Counseling .

545 Counseling Theories and Applications. (3) This course will survey the major concepts, practices, and applications of contemporary therapeutic systems in counseling. Students will gain an overview of the divergent contemporary approaches to counseling.

546 Developing and Managing Comprehensive School Counseling Programs. (2) Procedures for planning, organizing, and evaluating a school counseling program. Principles of administration, staffing, and budgeting for the school counseling program will be studied. Prerequisites: Graduate standing in School Counseling or permission of the Department Chair.

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. Graded A or B required for majors. Prerequisites: CN 500 with a grade of A or B; CN 545. Majors only.

549 Professional, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Counseling. (3, repeatable to 6) This course provides an exploration of the legal, professional, and ethical dilemmas faced by professional counselors. Unique issues of professional identity will also be addressed. Familiarity with and application of the current American Counseling Association Code of Ethics as well as relevant state of Illinois and Iowa, and federal civil and criminal law will be demonstrated by students. Grade of A or B required for majors.

551 Counseling for Addictions. (3) Principles and practices of addiction prevention and counseling with special application to the functions of counselors.

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. This course cannot be audited.

554 Counseling Across the Lifespan. (3) This course will address counseling theory in relation to issues pertinent to human development from a counseling and prevention perspective.  It will focus on contemporary counseling approaches in addressing stages of human development, from normal and abnormal populations across the lifespan, stages of human development within a contextual and cultural perspective, and issues pertinent to human development.

556 Developmental Counseling. (3) A comprehensive developmental school counseling model will be presented. The model will be applicable for school counselors in public or private school settings, K-12. Prerequisites: CN 546 prerequisite or co-requisite and graduate standing in the School Counseling option.

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. Grade of A or B required. Prerequisite or co-requisite: CN 500 and CN 545, lab fee required. Majors only.

591 Clinical Mental Health Counseling Practicum. (3, repeatable to 6) Supervised experience in clinical mental health counseling. Prerequisites: A GPA of 3.0 or higher in all counseling coursework; a grade of A or B in CN 581, CN 547, CN 549, and CN 600.

592 Practicum: School Counseling. (3, repeatable to 6) Supervised experience in school counseling. Prerequisites: A GPA of 3.0 or higher in all counseling coursework: a grade of A or B in CN 547, CN 549, CN 581 and CN 600.

593 Practicum: Counseling. (3, repeatable to 6) Supervised experience in counseling. Prerequisites: A GPA of 3.0 or higher in all counseling coursework; a grade of A or B in CN 581 and CN 547; additionally, for the clinical mental health option a grade of A or B in CN 549 and CN 600; additionally, for the school option a grade of A or B in CN 548 and CN 602.

595 School Counseling Internship I. (3) Requires completion of a minimum of 300 clock hours supervised internship in school counseling, intended to reflect the comprehensive work experience of a professional school counselor. Grade of A or B required. Must retake if grade of C or below. Prerequisites: CN 592 with a grade of A or B. Graduate standing in School Counseling.

596 School Counseling Internship II. (3) Requires completion of a minimum of 300 clock hours supervised internship in school counseling, intended to reflect the comprehensive work experience of a professional school counselor. Grade of A or B required. Must retake if grade of C or below. Prerequisites: CN 595 with a grade of A or B. Graduate standing in School Counseling.

597 Clinical Mental Health Counseling Internship I. (3–5) The first clinical mental health counseling internship experience requires completion of a minimum of 300 supervised clock hours. The experience reflects the work of a professional counselor. Grade of A or B required. Must retake if grade of C or below. Prerequisite: A grade of A or B in CN 591. Graduate standing in Counseling.

598 Clinical Mental Health Counseling Internship II. (3) Requires completion of a minimum of 300 clock hour supervised internship in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Grade of A or B required. Must retake if grade of C or below. Prerequisites: A grade of A or B in CN 597and graduate standing in Counseling.

599 Independent Study. (1–6, 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: Graduate standing in Counseling and permission of the instructor.

600 Diagnosis. (3) This course examines the diagnosis of mental disorders employing the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). Principles and practices related to DSM diagnosis, etiology, assessment, treatment planning, interviewing, and interventions are emphasized. Grade of A or B required. Prerequisites: CN 545. Majors only.

601 Thesis. (3) Master's thesis in counseling. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Counseling and permission of the Department Chairperson.

604 Psychopathology and Psychopharmacology. (3) Course explores aspects of counseling related to psychopathology, abnormal and maladaptive behaviors. Students will demonstrate knowledge commonly prescribed psychotropic medications. Students will have knowledge of using mental status exams, psychosocial history and developing treatment plans. Counseling interventions are addressed. Grade of A or B required. Prerequisites: CN 545. Majors only.

655 Comprehensive Examination. (0) The comprehensive examination is required of all degree-seeking counseling students to determine whether students have attained the level of competence in the field of counseling. A passing score is required for degree completion. Students must pass by 3rd attempt. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in CN 597; have an overall average of ‘B’ or better in all core courses (CN 554, CN 552, CN 545, CN 547, CN 581, CN 541, CN 515, and either CN 548 or CN 549); and be a student in good standing.