The mission of the Department of Counselor Education at Northeastern Illinois University is to provide a quality graduate education in Clinical Mental Health, Couple and Family, Rehabilitation, and School Counseling. Through a reflective, collaborative pedagogical approach, graduate students acquire transformative as well as culturally-sensitive knowledge and skills that promote personal, interpersonal, and professional development. The program trains graduate students to become skilled counselors in a diverse and changing world.

 Department of Counselor Education Objectives

  1. Recruitment and Training Objective: The Department of Counselor Education commits to recruiting qualified applicants from culturally diverse backgrounds. Our training program is designed to enable counselors-in-training to understand and apply ethical standards and legal considerations in professional counseling, especially in a multicultural context. The curriculum will foster self-reflection, effective service provision, and competency in diverse counseling settings.

  2. Curriculum and Faculty Objective: Program faculty will incorporate the latest evidence-based and outcome-based research into the curriculum. This approach will support students in developing a comprehensive understanding of developmental theories across the lifespan, ethical counseling strategies, and resilience-building techniques. The coursework will align with current CACREP standards, integrating insights from varied sources to maintain an engaging curriculum that equips students to work effectively in diverse counseling settings and specializations.

  3. Syllabus Design Objective: Syllabi will include current CACREP standards and supplemental information to ensure students acquire knowledge and skills in advocacy, social justice competencies, career development in multicultural settings, and effective group work dynamics. This approach aims to prepare students to competently handle the interrelationships among work, well-being, mental health, and other life roles.

  4. Program Evaluation and Continuous Improvement Objective: The Department will conduct comprehensive program evaluations, incorporating feedback from our advisory board, employers, faculty, and current and former students. This feedback will be reviewed annually and used to refine our curriculum and teaching methods, ensuring they remain aligned with the professional counseling dispositions expected in various counseling contexts. The evaluation will focus on enhancing students' ability to critique and apply research in culturally informed and trauma-sensitive clinical practice.

student Learning Outcomes

At completion of their training program, Counselor Education students will:

  1. understand ethical standards of professional counseling organizations in all program areas and credentialing bodies, and demonstrate application of ethical and legal considerations in professional counseling in a multicultural context;
  2. demonstrate the ability to integrate awareness, knowledge and skills in advocacy and social justice competencies within a multicultural counseling context;
  3. understand and consider the application of developmental theories across the lifespan, including ethical and culturally relevant strategies for promoting resilience, optimum development, and wellness;
  4. demonstrate understanding of career development in a multicultural setting and demonstrate the application of clinical interventions that consider the interrelationships among related life factors including work, well-being, mental health, relationships, and other life roles;
  5. demonstrate understanding and competent application of counselor characteristics, behaviors, interviewing, techniques and counseling skills that influence the helping relationship for diverse clients across the lifespan;
  6. demonstrate understanding and competent application of the dynamics, strategies, and conditions associated with effective group work with diverse clients in various counseling settings;
  7. demonstrate understanding of principles and practice of culturally-informed and ethical use of strategies for the assessment and diagnosis of mental and emotional disorders, academic/education, career, personal, and social development; and 
  8. understand how to critique research to inform culturally informed and trauma-sensitive clinical practice and demonstrate competent use of research methods, needs assessment, and program evaluation skills important to the counseling profession.

    Student Learning Outcomes for Each Program Speciality

  9. Students who are preparing to specialize as clinical mental health counselors will demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to address a wide variety of circumstances within the context of clinical mental health counseling.
  10. Students who are preparing to specialize as marriage, couple, and family counselors are expected to possess the knowledge and skills necessary to address a wide variety of issues in the context of relationships and families.
  11.  Students who are preparing to specialize as school counselors will demonstrate the professional knowledge and skills necessary to promote the academic, career, and personal/social development of all P-12 students through data-informed school counseling programs.
  12. Students who are preparing to specialize as rehabilitation counselors will demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to address varied issues within the rehabilitation counseling context. 

    Student Professional Counseling Dispositions
  13. Students demonstrate the interpersonal capacity and ability to relate to others in the appropriate and professional manner, as expected of professional counselors, including, receiving and giving feedback.