Fall 2021

The Department of Counselor Education offers four programs leading to the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Couple and Family Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, and School Counseling. Specific programmatic information is available throughout our website.

The Counselor Education programs at Northeastern Illinois University have a reputation for training excellent professional counselors. We hope the following information will be helpful as you consider applying to one of our programs.

Northeastern Illinois University and the Department of Counselor Education are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and the North Central Association for Colleges and Secondary Schools (NCACSS). The four programs are also nationally accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).


The Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) has accredited the Department of Counselor Education at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) since 1994. In accordance with the 2016 CACREP standards, the Department of Counselor Education at NEIU is continuously engaged in program evaluation activities. The results of the 2020-2021 program evaluation have been compiled in our annual Executive Summary Report of Program Evaluation

current Summary Profile enrollment (year 2021)

  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC): 132 enrolled (95 female, 37 male); 23 Hispanic, 11 Asian, 3 African American, 86 Caucasian, 1 Multiracial, 1 Non Res-Alien, 7 unknown)
  • Couple and Family Counseling (CFC): 44 enrolled (35 female, 9 male); 11 Hispanic, 2 Asian, 5 African American, 21 Caucasian, 1 Non Res-Alien, 4 unknown)
  • Rehabilitation Counseling (RC): 29 enrolled (19 female, 10 male); 11 Hispanic, 3 Asian, 2 African American, 9 Caucasian, 1 Multiracial, 2 unknown)
  • School Counseling (SC): 73 enrolled (58 female, 15 male); 23 Hispanic, 5 Asian, 4 African American, 36 Caucasian, 3 Multiracial, 2 unknown)

Total for all programs: 278 students

Number of program graduates from past year 

Fiscal Year 2020-2021  Graduate Degrees Conferred

  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling: 15 (11 female, 4 male)
  • Family Counseling: 3 (2 female, 1 male)
  • Rehabilitation Counseling: 6 (3 female, 3 male)
  • School Counseling: 10 (17 female, 3 male)

Class of 2021

There were 50 graduates in our 2021 alumni class completing one of our four programs:

Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC): 22
Family Counseling (FC): 12
Rehabilitation Counseling (RC): 4
School Counseling (SC): 12

retention Rate

According to NEIUs Institutional Data Digest, the retention rates for the Counselor Education programs for 2020-2021:

  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling: 84.5%
  • Couple and Family Counseling: 89.8%
  • Rehabilitation Counseling: 85.7%
  • School Counseling: 96.7%

Annual Alumni Survey

The Department of Counselor Education conducts an annual survey of the previous year’s graduating class. For the class of 2019, 46 surveys were sent electronically and 48% (18% CMHC, 55% SC, 18% RC, 9% FC) of the graduates returned our annual survey. The following data came from that survey and the National Counselor Examination report for October 2018 and April and October 2019:

Job Placement Rate

Of the 22 alumni who returned the survey, 85% were employed in a counseling-related field. Of the 18% who were not employed, one alumnus had family responsibilities that limited employment options, and one alumnus did not provide a reason. 

Of the 22 alumni who returned the survey, 28% were seeking employment specifically in the counseling field, and 75% were employed in the counseling field when they returned the survey. 

Sixteen alumni reported the length of time required to find their counseling position after graduating from the program:

  • Less than one month: 38.5%
  • 1-3 months: 46.2%
  • 4-6 months: 0%
  • 7-12 months: 15.4%

Job Titles and Employment Settings

The following job titles or categories of jobs were reported by those working in counseling from the class of 2019: Domestic Violence Counselor/Case Manager, Behavior Health Counselor, School Counselor, Associate Therapist, High School Counselor, Counselor, Student Success Coordinator, Student Development Counselor, High Intensity Recovery Counselor, Marriage and Family Therapist.

The class of 2019 graduates reported working in the following settings: High School, Community Mental Health Agency, Private Practice, State Government, Non-Public Therapeutic Day School

The following job titles or categories of jobs were reported by those working in counseling from the class of 2017: C & A Counselor, Professional School Counselor, Safe School Professional, Therapist, Clinical Team Leader, Manager, Therapist, Supervisor of Case Management, Career Coordinator, Behavior Counselor, Psychotherapist, Recovery Services Team Leader, Recovery Counselor, Bilingual Therapist, School Counselor.

The class of 2017 graduates reported working in the following settings: community mental health agency, elementary school, middle school, high school, higher education, hospital, private practice, rehabilitation agency, therapeutic day school, non-profit organization. 

The following job titles or categories of jobs were reported by those working in counseling from the class of 2016: Research Analyst; School Counselor; Case Manager; Therapist; Director of Operations and Substance Abuse Services; Job Readiness and Placement Counselor; Academic Advisor; Clinical Mental Health Counselor; Teen Counselor/Practice Administrator; Research Analyst; College Access Coordinator; and Licensed Professional Counselor.

The class of 2016 reported working in the following settings: community mental health agency; middle school; high school; higher education; hospital; private practice; and rehabilitation agency.

The following job titles or categories of jobs were reported by those working in counseling from the class of 2015: Bereavement Coordinator; Case Manager; Counselor/Case Manager; Couples Counselor; Couples Therapist; Family Therapist; High School Counselor; Job Accommodation Specialist; Outpatient Therapist; Program Director; Program Manager; Psychosocial Rehabilitation Counselor; Social Services Supervisor; Special Education Apprentice - Specialty in Counseling; Therapist; Trauma Therapist; and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor.

The class of 2015 reported working in the following settings: community mental health centers; elementary schools; high schools; hospitals; private practice; and rehabilitation agencies.

Licensure or certification examination pass rates

Of the 22 of our alumni who graduated in 2019 and returned the survey, 20 took one or a combination of the following exams: National Counselor Exam (NCE); #181 Content Test in School Counseling (CTSC); and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Exam (CRCE). They took a total of 20 examinations in which 100 percent passed the tests on the first attempt. Twenty of the alumni attained one or a combination of the following licenses or certificates: Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC); National Certified Counselor (NCC); and Professional Educator License (PEL) in School Counseling.

Our graduates have been successful in passing national and state licensing and certification examinations. Our graduates consistently have higher average scores than the national average on the NCE compared to graduates of both CACREP and non-CACREP approved programs.

Professional Organizations

The class of 2019 reported belonging to the following professional organizations: American Counseling Association (ACA); Illinois Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (IAMFT); American School Counselor Association (ASCA); Illinois Counseling Association (ICA); Illinois School Counselor Association (ISCA); American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA); International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC); and others. 

Factors to Consider in Applying to Counselor Education at Northeastern ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY

  • Quality and diversity of the graduate students in Counselor Education. The following represent a sampling of universities from which our students have previous degrees: Big Ten universities (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin); Bradley, Chicago State, Concordia, DePaul, Dominican, Eastern Illinois, Florida A&M, Fort Hayes State, Harvard, Illinois State, Illinois Wesleyan, Loyola, Northeastern Illinois, Northern Illinois, Syracuse, Valparaiso, and Western Illinois Universities; Medical College of Wisconsin; Universities of Chicago, Dayton, Illinois at Chicago, North Texas, Notre Dame, and Pennsylvania, and South Florida; and Beloit, Carthage, Elmhurst, and St. Norbert Colleges. Alumni and students also have degrees from outside the United States: for example, China, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia and South Korea.

  • National Accreditation by CACREP: Ensures quality and professional standards. Fulfills educational requirements for Illinois licensure.

  • Ethnic Diversity: In its annual 2018 publication of "Best Colleges," U.S. News & World Report announced that Northeastern Illinois University boasts the most diverse student population among Midwest regional universities and graduates its students with the least amount of student debt.

  • Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI): HSI is an official designation from the U.S. Department of Education. Defined as having a full-time equivalent undergraduate enrollment of at least 25 percent Hispanic students.

  • Cost and Value: Northeastern Illinois University students graduate with the fifteenth-lowest student loan debt nationally among public four-year colleges and universities, according to a report released 2018. Among all four-year colleges and universities, Northeastern ranks 41st.

  • The Department offers a limited number of tuition waivers and graduate assistantships. Further information is available from the Office of Financial Aid, (773) 442-5009.