The Department of Human Development Counseling offers three concentrations accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP):
These concentrations allow graduates to provide counseling and consulting services at a professional level in a wide variety of environments. Career options for graduates in the clinical mental health and marriage, couple, and family counseling concentrations include counseling in mental health, correctional, social welfare, rehabilitative, and human relations agencies, institutions, and environments. The school counseling concentration is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and prepares candidates for a Professional Educator License with a School Counseling endorsement. Since opportunities for employment within each of these concentrations vary widely, prospective students should consult an HDC faculty advisor before choosing a concentration.
The Master’s Degree
Academic advising for HDC students is very important, and students should contact their advisors regularly. An advisor will be assigned by the department upon successful completion of the admissions process.
HDC department majors must earn grades of B- or better in HDC 501, HDC 511, HDC 512, and HDC 513. If a C+ grade or lower is earned in any of these courses, the course must be retaken. HDC majors must also maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. In other courses, a maximum of six hours of C grades is allowed provided that a minimum GPA of 3.0 is reached at time of graduation and an approved Student Petition is on file in the Office of Records and Registration.
NOTE: Students also should refer to the campus policy on Grades Acceptable Toward Master’s Degrees section of this catalog.
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 collaborate effectively within a treatment team context.
In addition to these general competencies, students are expected to develop and demonstrate specific CACREP core-related knowledge and skills necessary 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 individual course requirements, as well as demonstration of skill throughout their clinical experience in practicum and internship.
Each department 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 counseling profession as well as evidence of effective interaction skills with clients. All master’s candidates must be familiar with the HDC 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.
All HDC majors must declare their concentration selection by completing a Change of Curriculum form and submitting it to the Office of Records and Registration.