Congratulations to Brittany Neireiter, who was awared the Womack Scholarship at this year's ISCA conference! This is the second year in a row that the winners have come from IPFW! Way to go, Brittany!
Great things are happening in IPFW's Counselor Education Honors Society. Learn more through the Chi Eta Sigma newsletter!
Thank you for your interest in the Counselor Education program at IPFW. Whether you are interested in the working clinically with individuals, couples, or families in a mental health setting, or aspire to become a school counselor, the graduate program at IPFW is designed to prepare you for a successful career in the helping professions. The convenient course schedule, along with the cohort model and clinical experience, are unique features of this program that provide students the opportunity to expand their knowledge beyond the classroom and put skills into practice. These are just a few reasons why the program is represented in almost every school and mental health organization in the region, as our students graduate and obtain employment.
Counselor Education Program Mission
The Counselor Education program at IPFW strives to be a premiere training institution which prepares clinically skilled, research-informed, compassionate, and reflective professional counselors. We are committed to providing a multidimensional training philosophy that involves an emphasis on mental "health" (vs. pathology), the value attached to understanding common developmental themes occurring throughout the lifespan, and an orientation in which counselors conceptualize individuals as embedded interactionally within multiple systems. We believe that an understanding and appreciation of multiculturalism, diversity, and social justice are integral to the preparation of professional counselors. As such, we are committed to developing professionals who are advocates for both individual and systemic change at local through global levels.
Yes, it is a master's degree program. When you graduate, you will have a master's degree in counseling with a specialization in school counseling, couple and family counseling, or student affairs counseling.
All of our classes (with rare exceptions) are in-person. We believe counseling is a relational field, and therefore, is best learned interpersonally.
3 years, part-time (typically 2 nights per week).
Yes, our program is designed to meet the needs of working professionals. Most of our students work full-time. Classes are in the evenings beginning at 4:30pm. Time management and flexibility is important, particularly in the 3rd year (internship) when you will be spending 15-20 hours a week in a local school or agency, but many of our students continue to work even in the third year.
The program starts one time per year, in the summer (last week of June or first week of July).
Yes, when you apply you must specify which track you would like to pursue- school counseling, couple and family counseling, or student affairs counseling. Students do sometimes switch tracks during the program and many students come back to complete classes for the other tracks after they graduate.
You must have an earned bachelor's degree by the time the program begins. We take students from all majors and there are no specific class pre-requisites.
Students should have an undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher for highest consideration. We do realize that undergraduate GPAs do not always reflect a student’s potential- if your GPA is below 3.2, you might consider taking the Graduate Record Examination (GRE; http://www.ets.org/gre) to show that you have the aptitude for graduate level study. Other students choose to take a few additional undergraduate classes to boost their GPAs or take a few graduate classes elsewhere (like an online program) to show capability to succeed in graduate school. If you have an undergraduate GPA of less than 2.8 but are committed to becoming a professional counselor, please contact the Director of Counselor Education, Dr. Fineran at email@example.com to discuss your options.
We look for compassionate, open-minded, non-judgmental, hardworking, self-motivated people who are committed to working with diverse populations and who are committed to social justice. We also seek students who are emotionally stable with appropriate interpersonal boundaries, those who are willing to challenge themselves personally and professionally, and who are able to work effectively both independently and in groups. Strong oral and written communication skills are highly valued. Lastly, we strive to admit students who are passionate about the profession of counseling and who are willing to engage with our student organization and professional counseling associations.
In our program, students take classes in cohorts. This means that the people you start the program with are the people you take every class with throughout your time as a student. This leads to deep relationships between students and is a great opportunity to build your professional network before you even leave graduate school! Many of our students find life-long friends and colleagues during their time in the IPFW Counselor Education Program.
We do not require a thesis. Students in the school counseling track will need to take the Indiana Licensure Exam upon graduating in order to obtain their license. Students in the Couple and Family Track will need to take the LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) exam and/or the LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor) exam in order to be eligible for the state associate license.
This is dependent upon many factors. General information about salary and job outlook for school counselors can be found at: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/school-and-career-counselors.htm#tab-1. Info for Mental Health Counselors (LMHCs) can be found at: http://www.bls.gov/oes/2009/may/oes211014.htm.Information for Student Affairs Professionals can be found at: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/postsecondary-education-administrators.htm#tab-1.
If you are interested in transferring from another master’s degree program (online or on-campus), please contact the Program Director, Dr. Fineran at firstname.lastname@example.org. The amount of credit hours that can be transferred into the program is often limited, but we can often accommodate transfer students depending on class availability.
If you have a master’s degree in another field, you will likely need to complete the whole master’s program for counseling - a few courses may count towards our degree program, but due to accreditation and licensing standards, the counseling curriculum is fairly static. If you have a degree in counseling and wish to pursue another specialization (example: you have a school counseling degree and wish to obtain a mental health license), please set an appointment with the Program Director, Dr. Fineran, at email@example.com to discuss options.
Please send in your application materials anyway. Occasionally, we have spots open up at the last minute or are able to accommodate students in certain classes at other times of the year. If no spots become available, we will hold your application for the next application cycle.
Please consider attending one of our program information nights (typically held in October and January) to meet the faculty, talk with current students, and learn about what the program has to offer! Send your name and email address to Program Director, Dr. Fineran, at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our announcement email list. We will send you dates and times for information nights as well as important dates and announcements, such as application deadlines. You can also get lots of information on our website, http://www.ipfw.edu/counselor-education/ and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ipfwCounselorEd/
Online applications are coming next year. As of right now, you will need to print in your application materials (found at http://www.ipfw.edu/departments/cepp/depts/professional-studies/graduate-admissions/index.html#counseling) or contact our department secretary, Dawn Adams, at email@example.com to have her send you an application packet. You will need to submit an application form, application fee, brief essay, official transcripts from all universities you have attended, and 3 professional letters of recommendation. You may drop your materials off in the office in Neff Hall (240), mail, or fax them. Interviews are usually required and typically take place in December for early admission and in March for regular admission.
Dr. Kerrie Fineran
Assistant Professor / Program Director of Counselor Education
I choose IPFW because of the dedication to helping me meet my goals for the future. I felt encouraged that I would not only get a valuable education that would be directly applicable to my future, but I would get vast support throughout the program. The professors have followed through immeasurably by allowing me ample opportunity to participate in research, professional conferences, and a graduate assistantship. I am so grateful to the IPFW staff for the enthusiasm and commitments they have toward helping me meet my future goals!
Heather Reynolds, Counseling Student