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Master of Arts in Family Counseling

College of Education


Program Description

The Department of Counselor Education offers a 60 hour program (20 courses) leading to the Master of Arts in Family Counseling. The program leads to licensure in Illinois for LCPC and LMFT. Family counselors work with individuals, families, and couples. Family counselors treat a variety of problems such as marital problems, individual problems, child-parent problems, and problems such as depression and anxiety. Family counselors look at the impact that a family can have on an individual, and may look to the family as part of a treatment plan.


Admission Requirements

Applicants to the M.A. in Family Counseling program must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College and the following additional requirements:

  1. Submit recent scores for the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Scores will be considered along with other aspects of the application; and
  2. Participate in an evaluative Preadmission Workshop after application materials have been submitted.

Admission to the program of the Counselor Education Department is competitive. It is possible for an otherwise acceptable applicant to be denied admission due to the competitive strength of the applicant pool. Those not selected for admission may reapply only once.


Degree Requirements

Eligibility to Enroll in Classes
Once students are officially admitted to the program, they may register for classes in the department during regular registration periods. Those who have not yet been reviewed for selection may take one course, COUN 401, as a student-at-large. Upon formal acceptance into the program, the credits for this course will be applied towards fulfillment of degree requirements.


To qualify for the master's degree, students must complete sixty credit hours of prescribed coursework, which includes three credits of practicum, and six credits of internship, and successfully complete the written departmental proficiency examination. Students may not enroll for more than four three-credit hour courses (twelve credit hours) in a term.

Once admitted, students must demonstrate satisfactory progress. To continue in the program, a 3.0 GPA average is required. In the clinical courses, COUN 405 and COUN 406, students must earn a grade of B or better to continue in the program. Therefore, an ongoing evaluation, for the purpose of making retention decisions, is made of all admitted students in the area of academic achievement, professional growth, and personal growth. Although evaluation will take place during every class, formal evaluation procedures are applied prior to practicum, and on the annual date of one's admission to the program (see Admission and Retention Guidelines in the Student Handbook for specifics.) Students may also be reviewed for retention at the request of individual faculty members.

Should a student be commended for non-retention in the program by the faculty Admissions and Retention Committee, the student's faculty advisor will communicate the reasons to the student in writing. Further, depending upon the circumstances, the advisor may:

  • direct the student to seek a more appropriate field of study;
  • advise specific remedial steps that must be taken before continuation in the program is permitted; and
  • inform the student of the procedure used to appeal the committee's decision.

A copy of all communication recommending non-retention will be forwarded by the Counselor Education program to the Graduate College for final action.

Prerequisites
Students in the M.A. in Family Counseling program must have the following prerequisites: Six credits of psychology, including abnormal psychology or equivalent

THE CURRICULUM

Courses, Electives, and Clinical Experiences Required Courses for the M.A. in Family Counseling
The program requires a minimum of sixty credit hours, or twenty courses:
COUN-401 The Counseling Profession
in a Pluralistic Society..............................3 cr.
COUN-402 Developmental Counseling..........................3 cr.
COUN-403 Frameworks for Counseling.........................3 cr.
COUN-404 Evaluation Techniques.................................3 cr.
COUN-405 Individual Counseling Skills.........................3 cr.
COUN-406 Group Counseling........................................3 cr.
COUN-407 Community Counseling................................3 cr.
COUN-408 Research Seminar........................................3 cr.
COUN-409 Career Development....................................3 cr.
COUN-415 Children, Youth, and their Systems..............3 cr.
COUN-420 Introduction to Family Counseling...............3 cr.
COUN-421 Advanced Marriage
and Family Counseling.............................3 cr.
COUN-427 Diagnostic Systems for Counseling.............3 cr.
COUN-430 Multicultural Counseling: Worldview
& Systems Orientation.............................3 cr.
COUN-431 Couple and Family Systems Studies...........3 cr.

Elective Course(s)
Two elective courses. Elective courses will be selected in consultation with an advisor. Possible elective courses include
COUN-422 Grief Counseling..........................................3 cr.
COUN-424 Stress Management.....................................3 cr.
COUN-425 Addictions Counseling.................................3 cr.
COUN-426 Advanced Counseling for
Chemical Dependency.............................3 cr.

COUN-428 Advanced Individual Counseling:
Case Conceptualization...........................3 cr.
COUN-432 Couples Counseling.....................................3 cr.
COUN-433 Foundations of Rehabilitation Counseling...3 cr.
COUN-434 Medical and Psychosocial
Aspects of Disability.................................3 cr.
COUN-435 Work and Disability
COUN-436 Case Management in
Rehabilitation Counseling........................3 cr.
COUN-468 Seminar in Counseling: Title Varies..............3 cr.
A-Advanced group Leadership
B-Advanced Counseling
C-Advanced Evaluation Techniques
G-Advanced Research Seminar
H-Student Personnel Work in Higher Education
K-Counseling the Gifted
M-Current Topics in Community Counseling
N-Intro to Integrated Experiential Therapy: Yoga & Art
COUN-490 Thesis Seminar.............................................3 cr.
COUN-499 Clinical Supervision......................................3 cr.

Also available are a limited number of Independent Studies in which a student creates a course with a special topic of interest under the direction of a faculty members. Credits vary. Graduate level courses in other departments, such as Psychology (Gerontology) may be used as electives with the permission of the student's advisor.

Student assistants used for clinical courses will receive three credits which may be used for elective credit or for additional credit beyond the sixty hours.

Electives may be taken from appropriate courses in other departments, with the approval of the student's advisor. No more than four courses other than practicum and internship taken with any one professor may be counted toward the degree.

Additional Requirements

  1. Clinical Experience—Practicum and Internship Practicum
    Practicum is a 100 hour, field-based experience which requires a minimum of fifty hours of clinical contact with clients (contact hours), and is a prerequisite for Internship. Students earn three credit hours for:
    • COUN-445 Practicum Group Supervision in Couple & Family Counseling NOTE: Practicum is offered in the Fall semester.
  2. Internship
    Internship is a 600 hour, field-based experience which requires a minimum of 250 hours of clinical contact with clients. Students are strongly encouraged to complete all coursework prior to beginning Internship. Students earn six credit hours for:
    • COUN-465 Internship I Group Supervision in Couple and Family Counseling
    • COUN-475 Internship II Group Supervision in Couple and Family Counseling
  3. Departmental Proficiency Examination
    All candidates are required to pass a comprehensive examination. Candidates may take the examination after thirty-nine credit hours of required coursework have been completed, including COUN 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 406, 408, 409, 415, 420, 421, 430, and 431. Students can apply to take this examination which is offered in February, June, and October annually.
  4. Notification of Student Recess
    Once having begun the Counselor Education program, if a student does not attend classes for more than two consecutive semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer), the student must notify the Graduate College and the advisor of his/ her intent to continue in the program. Faculty members reserve the right to review the student's coursework upon reentry by the student and to require that certain courses be repeated if necessary. Each student is required to complete an average minimum of six to nine credit hours per academic year to finish the program within the prescribed time frame of six years.