Human Development Counseling

Academic Year: 2009 – 2010

The Human Development Counseling Program offers three areas of study: community counseling, marriage and family therapy, and school counseling. These areas of study allow graduates to provide counseling and consulting services at a professional level in a wide variety of environments. Career options for graduates in the community counseling/marriage and family areas include counseling in mental health, correctional, social welfare, rehabilitative, and human relations agencies, institutions, and environments. Study in school counseling leads to elementary and secondary school counselor certification that has Illinois State Board of Education approval. Since opportunities for employment within each of these areas of study vary widely, prospective students should consult an advisor before choosing a career option.

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) has accredited the following emphases in this program: community counseling and school counseling. Successful completion of the curriculum for either of these leads to eligibility for national certification.

Students who are pursuing or have completed the M.A. degree may develop an individualized course of study that may qualify them for membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and/or licensure as a marriage and family therapist. This opportunity involves additional preparation beyond the M.A. degree.

Entrance requirements
Admission prerequisites include courses in abnormal, developmental, and social psychology/sociology and a grade-point average of at least 3.00 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work. Courses taken at the University of Illinois at Springfield or elsewhere to fulfill these prerequisites may not be applied toward the graduate degree. All prerequisites must be completed before submitting an application to the program.

Personal references, a supervised written essay, and an interview are required for admission to the program. Graduate Record Exam scores are recommended. HDC faculty may require students to take additional personality or vocational measures.

In addition to completing the UIS application process, interested applicants should contact the HDC Program office for program applications. Necessary transcripts should be sent to the Office of Admissions, along with a request that they be forwarded to HDC. To ensure consideration for admission to degree status, all completed application materials should be postmarked by October 15 or March 15.

Full acceptance to the HDC Program is based on evaluation of admission requirements. Students who are not fully admitted may register as special students for a maximum of three HDC courses. Participation in these courses, however, in no way guarantees eventual acceptance into the program or acceptance of these hours toward the graduate degree.

Admission and evaluation process
Admission is based on academic competence, interest, and/or prior experience in the helping professions, as well as evidence of personal characteristics and dispositions associated with success in counseling relationships.

The HDC faculty has a professional and ethical responsibility to engage in continual student evaluation and appraisal and to be aware of a student’s personal limitations that might impede future performance. (See program policy on student evaluation process.) Any student who does not meet the professional standards or requirements of the HDC Program may be removed from candidate/degree status in the program according to specified procedures with rights of appeal. (See program policy on removal from candidate/degree status.)

The advising relationship within the program is important, and students should contact their advisors regularly. If students do not choose a faculty advisor, an initial advisor will be assigned by the program.

Grading policy
HDC majors must obtain grades of B or better in HDC 501, HDC 511, HDC 512, and HDC 513 and must maintain a GPA of at least 3.00. In other courses, a maximum of six hours of C grades is allowed when balanced by an equal number of hours of A.

In 400-level courses, graduate students are expected to meet a higher standard of performance than undergraduates and will be required to complete additional assignments at the discretion of the instructor.

Expected professional competencies
Before graduating, degree candidates must demonstrate competencies and dispositions related to personal development, such as the ability to communicate effectively with others; professional development, such as the ability to conceptualize client concerns and to provide appropriate intervention through an individual or group relationship; and social development, such as the ability to participate as a team member.

In addition to these generic competencies, students are expected to develop specific knowledge and skills needed for the client populations with which, or for the settings in which, they intend to work. Such specialized knowledge may be obtained through projects designed to meet course requirements.

Each program course may contain an applied or experiential component in addition to the didactic component, and some courses specifically emphasize experiential learning. These courses require application of professional skills in simulated and/or real settings. Students should, therefore, expect to demonstrate understanding of ethical behavior in the helping professions as well as evidence of interaction skills with clients. All master’s candidates must be familiar with the HDC Program’s policy on clinical experience and should consult their advisors about satisfying its provisions. All degree candidates must demonstrate graduate-level performance in reading, writing, and speaking English.

Major requirements
A total of 50 semester hours is required for a master’s degree in Human Development Counseling:

HDC 501 Fundamental Issues and Ethics in Counseling
(must be taken first semester) 3 Hrs.
HDC 511 Theories of Counseling 3 Hrs.
HDC 512 Prepracticum 3 Hrs.
HDC 513 Techniques of Group Counseling and Psychotherapy 3 Hrs.
HDC 515 Multicultural Counseling 3 Hrs.
HDC 521 Developmental Counseling 3 Hrs.
HDC 524 Career/Lifestyle Counseling 3 Hrs.
HDC 525 Alcoholism and Substance Abuse 3 Hrs.
HDC 534 Introduction to Family Therapy 3 Hrs.
HDC 546 Psychopathology and the DSM-IV-TR 3 Hrs.

HDC 530 Community Counseling (community counseling area)
HDC 531 Developmental School Counseling (school counseling area)
HDC 558 Theories of Family Therapy (family therapy area) 3 Hrs.

HDC 575 Appraisal Techniques in Counseling 3 Hrs.
HDC 577 Research Methods 3 Hrs.

HDC 582 Research Colloquium: Master’s Project 2 Hrs.
HDC 584 Comprehensive Examination Preparation 1 Hr.
HDC 585 Comprehensive Examination Registration 1 Hr.

HDC 587 Professional Experience: Practicum 3 Hrs.
HDC 590 Professional Experience: Internship 2-6 Hrs.

All course work should emphasize specialized knowledge and skills needed for a particular setting or client population.

Master’s closure
In addition to course requirements, students are required to either complete a master’s project or thesis demonstrating research mastery of an area within Human Development Counseling or to pass a comprehensive examination that tests knowledge from the program’s required course work. Students must select which option they will use to meet the closure requirement when they register for either HDC 582 Research Colloquium: Master’s Project or HDC 584 Comprehensive Examination Preparation. For students selecting the master’s project option, completion occurs when they pass HDC 582, and the project has been completed, approved by the student’s committee, and approved by the chair of the program. For students selecting the comprehensive examination process option, completion of the closure requirement is satisfied once a student completes HDC 584 Comprehensive Examination Preparation, registers for the comprehensive exam (HDC 585), and passes the examination. Students must consult their advisors for further information on the master’s closure requirement options and to obtain the advisor’s signature on the closure option form.

Once students register for either HDC 582 Research Colloquium: Master’s Project or HDC 585 Comprehensive Exam Registration, they must be continually enrolled each fall and spring semester. Students who take HDC 582 but do not finish the master’s project/thesis that semester must either re-enroll in HDC 582 or enroll in HDC 583 Master’s Project Continuing Enrollment (zero credit hours, one billable hour). Students who take HDC 585 Comprehensive Exam Registration and do not pass the exam while enrolled must register for HDC 586 Comprehensive Exam Continuing Enrollment (zero credit hours, one billable hour) each fall and spring until the exam is passed.


Students pursuing careers in community counseling or marriage and family therapy should begin to explore relevant populations and settings when enrolled in HDC 501. Course assignments thereafter should be designed to develop knowledge and skills specific to the emphasis chosen. In order to develop and demonstrate skills unique to their selected areas of study, community counseling students must take HDC 530 Community Counseling and marriage and family therapy students must take HDC 558 Theories of Family Therapy. Clinical experience placements for community and marriage and family therapy students will take place in approved community agencies.

Students seeking certification by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and licensure as marriage and family therapists must take approximately 12 credit hours beyond the 50 required within the HDC master’s program (one additional family therapy course, two additional family studies courses, and HDC 545 Sexual Dysfunction and Family Violence.) Consultation with the MFT area coordinator is required to ensure curricular and clinical experience requirements are met.


The HDC Program is the only method by which a student may become a certified school counselor through UIS. Certification in Illinois for UIS students is based on endorsement by the HDC Program.

A possible route toward School Counseling Type 73 Certification is available for students without teaching credentials (Type 3 Elementary Certification or Type 9 Secondary Certification). This route involves taking the following four courses (or equivalent courses) to fulfill required educational experiences:

TEP 201 Introduction to Education 3 Hrs.
TEP 222 Child Development for Teachers
or TEP 223 Adolescent Development for Teachers 3 Hrs.
EDL 575 Legal Aspects of Special Education 2 Hrs.
TEP 322 Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (for elementary)
or TEP 314 Curriculum and Instruction Methods (for secondary) 3 Hrs.

In addition to the HDC core courses, an applicant seeking school counselor certification (IL Type 73) must complete a course in mental hygiene and/or personality dynamics (this can be met by the abnormal psychology prerequisite), a practicum in a school setting, a 600-hour internship (400 of which must be in a school setting with both elementary and secondary students), and HDC 531 Developmental School Counseling. Students must also pass tests of basic skills and guidance administered through the Illinois Certification System. Students who wish to pursue this course of study should contact the school counseling area coordinator immediately upon application to the program.


Master of Arts


William Abler, Nithya Karuppaswamy, James Klein, Holly Thompson
Associated Faculty: Judy Shipp
Emeritus Faculty: Robert Crowley, James Pancrazio
Adjunct Faculty: Charles Callahan, Karen Lee, Peggy Mayfield, Martin Michelson, Leigh Steiner, Dolores Trello


Phone: 217/206-6504