School Counseling

Upon completion of the requirements for the school counseling area of study, students are eligible to apply for the Illinois Type 73 School Service Personnel Certificate. Additionally, school counselors must pass the Basic Skills Test and School Counselor Content Area (i.e., Field 181) Test. Both examinations are administered by the Illinois Certification Testing System. Students seeking school counselor certification should contact Dr. Jim Klein.

Community Counseling

Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC):

According to the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. (NBCC, 2008), the CCMHC certification provides evidence of one’s education, knowledge, and skill in clinical mental health counseling. For a detailed account of what is required for the CCMHC.

The National Board For Certified Counselors:

The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization whose primary purposes are to establish and monitor a national certification system, to identify to professionals and the public those counselors who have voluntarily sought and obtained generic counselor certification, and to maintain a registry of these counselors. This process grants recognition to counselors who have met predetermined NBCC standards in their training, experience, and performance on the National Counselor Examination (NCE). Because the Department of Human Development Counseling is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), students are at a distinct advantage because they are eligible to sit for the certification exam during internship. In addition to becoming nationally certified, the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation also uses the NCE results for the Illinois Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential.

What the NCC Credential Does for You:

  • Generates client referrals for you through CounselorFind, NBCC’s referral service linking potential clients to nearby NCCs.
  • Travels with you when you relocate in or outside the US.
  • Keeps you in touch with current professional credentialing issues and events
  • through The National Certified Counselor, NBCC’s newsletter.
  • Advances your professional accountability and visibility.
  • Ensures a national standard developed by counselors, not legislators.
  • Supports the rights of NCCs to use testing instruments in practice through NBCC’s participation in the National Fair Access Coalition on Testing (FACT).
  • Offers, through Lockton Affinity, liability insurance to NCCs at bargain rates.
  • Allows online access to verification of national certification through the NBCC Registry.

A counselor who is certified by the NBCC uses the designation NCC, National Certified Counselor.

Criteria for Certification as a NCC:

  • Graduate degree in counseling or a closely related field from a regionally accredited university.
  • At least two years post-masters professional counseling experience (This requirement is waived for graduates of a CACREP-Approved Program).
  • A documented supervised counseling experience.
  • Assessment of counseling experiences by two professionals in the field.
  • Pass the counselor certification examination administered by NBCC, or provide evidence of current state counselor licensure in one of the following states: AR, GA, ID, MD, MO, MS, MT, NE, NC, OH, OK, SC, or VA. These states administer the National Counselor Examination as a component within their respective licensure processes.

NCC’s are certified for a period of five years. In order to be re-certified at the conclusion of the five-year cycle the counselor must:

  • Demonstrate completion of 100 contact clock hours of approved continuing education or re-examination.
  • Adhere to the NBCC Code of Ethics in professional practice.

Marriage and Family Therapy

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy:

The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy is the professional association for the field of marriage and family therapy. Established in 1942, AAMFT has actively promoted research, education, and training initiatives utilizing a systems approach in the assessment and treatment of individuals, couples, and families. AAMFT offers three levels of membership/certification: 1) Student; 2) Associate; and 3) Clinical. Students interested in certification and licensure as a marriage and family therapist are strongly encouraged to become student members of AAMFT.

Criteria for Student membership:

  • Current enrollment in an MFT graduate program or equivalent course of study.
  • Planned or current work toward 1 year/300 hours in face-to-face client contact (can be completed within 700 clock hours required for HDC masters degree).
  • Endorsements from two professionals in the field attesting to personal maturity and integrity.

Criteria for Associate membership:

  • Masters or Ph.D. in MFT or equivalent course of study.
  • Completion of at least 8 of the 11 courses for Clinical membership.
  • Completion of 1 year/300 hours in face-to-face client contact.
  • Endorsements from two professionals in the field attesting to personal maturity and integrity.

Criteria for Clinical membership:

  • Masters or Ph.D. in MFT or equivalent course of study.
  • Completion of the following coursework:
  • Marital and family studies (3 courses/9 semester credits).
  • Marital and family therapy (3 courses/9 semester credits).
  • Human development (3 courses/9 semester credits).
  • Professional studies (1 course/3 semester credits).
  • Research (1 course/3 semester credits).
  • Completion of 1 year/300 hours in face-to-face client contact.
  • Endorsements from 2 professionals in the field attesting to personal maturity and integrity.
  • Minimum of 2 years professional work experience in MFT and supervision following receipt of the first qualifying graduate degree and practicum, including: a) 1000 hours of face-to-face contact with individuals, couples and families utilizing a systems perspective; and b) 200 hours (100 individual and 100 group) of supervision of the 1000 hours face-to-face contact.

NOTE: Since The University of Illinois at Springfield does not have an AAMFT accredited MFT program, coursework beyond the HDC Program’s 50 credit hour master’s degree must be taken to meet AAMFT Associate and Clinical membership requirements.

All elements of the student’s program must be approved on an individual basis by an AAMFT Membership Evaluator. Consultation is free as a Student Member and strongly recommended (regarding course pre-approval, membership policies, and ongoing evaluation).

Requirements for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of Illinois are based upon AAMFT membership requirements.