Western Illinois University - Quad Cities - Academics
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Non-degree Admission Process
For applicants who would like to begin taking classes prior to possible admission consideration in one of the CNED degree-seeking programs, please:
- Complete the online application for the School of Graduate Studies.
Submit official transcripts directly to the School of Graduate Studies for all coursework taken at all universities.
- Indicate that you are interested in the M.S.Ed. in Counseling.
- In the 'note section' please put "non-degree seeking."
- Upon acceptance from the School of Graduate Studies, please contact the CNED Department Chairperson for further instruction during the open registration period for the term you wish to take a class.
NOTE: Applicants who eventually plan to apply for one of the CNED degree options are only permitted to transfer in up to 9 semester credit hours of approved coursework (i.e., courses taken prior to officially beginning a degree program).
(for degree-seeking applicants and school counseling licensure applicants)
PLEASE NOTE: The next application deadline is September 1st !!!
ALL materials must be completed correctly and received by the Department by this deadline. See "Deadlines" information below for details.
If viewing on a smartphone please note that you may be unable to access necessary links and instructions regarding the admission process.
A Departmental Selection Committee must recommend applicants for admission to the graduate program in the Department of Counselor Education. The Selection Committee requires references, transcripts, a screening interview, GRE scores (for applicants with a cumulative GPA lower than 2.75), Basic Skills Test scores (for school counseling applicants), and an essay. Applicants who are required to submit GRE scores must submit official GRE general test scores (no more than five years old). Applicants seeking school counseling licensure for Illinois or Iowa should contact the Chairperson of the Department of Counselor Education for those requirements. Considerations for screening interviews will not take place until all required documents are received and approved by the deadline. We are a SELECTIVE ADMISSION department. Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee an invitation for screening or admission into the department. Admission decisions are based on all criteria considered in relationship to the needs of the department, number of students who can be reasonably accommodated, professional comportment, and demonstrated potential for success.
Fingerprint-based Illinois State Police and FBI criminal background investigations are required as part of the admission process. This process will be addressed with applicants offered admission into the department in an email notification. Students may be prohibited from completing field work if background investigations reveal certain criminal offenses, arrests, and/or convictions. It is important to be aware that some schools/agencies may have additional background investigations prior to acceptance at their field site. Please review the Criminal Background Investigation Policy or if there are further questions, email the Department of Counselor Education at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
PLEASE READ THROUGH ALL CATEGORIES OF ADMISSION AND ALL 4 STAGES OF THE ADMISSION PROCESS TO ENSURE YOU ARE IN COMPLIANCE WITH APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS!
Applicants must have completed a Bachelor’s degree (undergraduate course work) in any field from a regionally accredited university. Applicants must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (includes all undergraduate work attempted at all institutions), or 3.25 for the last two years (60 semester hours) of undergraduate work.
Applicants failing to meet the minimum undergraduate requirements may be considered for probationary admission with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75-2.99. Applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA between 2.6-2.74 may request consideration for probationary admission – an additional portfolio and official GRE scores, must be submitted by the applicant at the time of application. The additional material included in the portfolio is intended to assist the Selection and Retention Committee’s evaluation of the applicant’s potential success as a graduate student in the Department of Counselor Education. Please do not include materials in your portfolio that you want returned (photocopies are acceptable). All applicants admitted as probationary students must petition for full admission after completing nine graduate hours from any of the following courses: CN 540, CN 541, CN 545, CN 551, CN 554, or EIS 500.
Applicants with Undergraduate GPAs not meeting the above requirements may request individual consideration based upon exceptional circumstances. This is done only with rare exception. Applicants must contact the Chairperson of the Department of Counselor Education to set up a meeting prior to applying to the Department. Applications received from individuals who do not meet the requirements above and have not met with the Chairperson prior to applying will not be considered.
If you already have a completed master's degree from a regionally accredited university, then applicants must have a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (includes all graduate work attempted at all institutions). Undergraduate GPAs will not be considered if you have a completed master's degree; nor will probationary status be offered for those with a completed master's degree.
Students will be required to complete a disclosure status (indicating whether or not a student’s criminal background status has changed) during the semester prior to enrollment in techniques, child and adolescent counseling, practicum, and internship. All students must register for their Comprehensive Examination while enrolled in practicum. The Exam will be given during the student’s internship semester. A passing score is required to advance to degree completion. Please review the Comprehensive Examination Policy or if there are further questions email the Department of Counselor Education at email@example.com for additional information.
Please note that admission requirements are subject to change when State regulations and/or National Accreditation regulations change. Some changes may occur after submission of your application. Please make sure to keep abreast of these changes.
Applicants required to submit a Portfolio (those with a cumulative GPA less than 2.75) must also submit official GRE general test scores, which cannot be more than 5 years old. GRE scores need to be sent to the Graduate Office - the WIU code is 1900. Please go to the following website for information: http://www.ets.org/gre/
Official GRE scores must be received before a student can be considered for screening (for those with a cumulative GPA less than 2.75). We recommend taking your GRE at least 2 months prior to the application deadline to ensure adequate time for processing.
Applicants applying for School Counseling Licensure Only are not required to submit GRE scores.
Official GRE scores indicating capacity for Graduate-level performance are required.
Basic Skills Test Information (for School Counseling applicants and for school counseling licensure applicants)
School Counseling applicants are required by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to successfully pass the Basic Skills Test as an application/admission requirement in the Department of Counselor Education's school counseling degree program or licensure only program. We recommend taking your Basic Skills Test at least 2 months prior to the application deadline to ensure adequate time for processing. For details and instructions on this application/admission requirement please open the following documents: Basic Skills Test Instructions and ELIS Account Creation
School Counseling Licensure Only Application Process
For applicants who are not seeking a degree and already hold a Master's degree in Counseling and wish to work toward State licensure as a School Counselor, please click on the link below:
Admission Process (Stages I - IV) - Please click on each Stage of the Admission Process to open up detailed instructions.
- Apply to the School of Graduate Studies for Admission to WIU at www.wiu.edu/grad/ and click on Apply Online at least 1 month prior to the Department of Counselor Education deadline.
- Submit a non-refundable fee of $30 to the School of Graduate Studies (not the Department of Counselor Education).
- Submit OFFICIAL transcripts of all prior undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) work from all colleges and universities to the School of Graduate Studies (not the Department of Counselor Education). We encourage you to request your transcripts early in the process to allow for sufficient processing time. The School of Graduate Studies will forward your transcripts to the Department after they process them. DO NOT SEND YOUR TRANSCRIPTS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF COUNSELOR EDUCATION. THEY MUST BE SEND DIRECTLY TO THE SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES IN MACOMB.
- Submit official GRE scores to the School of Graduate Studies (for probationary applicants required to complete a Portfolio).
- If you are interested in applying for a Graduate Assistantship the application is included in the online application from the School of Graduate Studies. NOTE: If you authorized release of your Department letters of recommendation for Graduate Assistantship purposes you do not need to send additional letters of recommendation to the School of Graduate Studies. Please do NOT send School of Graduate Studies recommendation letters for Assistantships to the Department.
- Apply to the Department of Counselor Education. Click on Admission Application and print off, complete, and return the form to the Department of Counselor Education. This form is interactive - download and save first. Make sure to include the required essay with your application (see instructions on application form).
- Submit three (3) formal letters of recommendation specifically for the Department of Counselor Education. Forms can be found at Recommendation Forms. Note that you must include a professional letter in addition to the recommendation form (see instructions on recommendation form). This form is interactive (download and save first). We encourage you to submit four (4) recommendations to help ensure that we receive at least three (3) by the application deadline. References must be from professionals familiar with the applicants academic and work capabilities (i.e., current/former professors or current/recent direct supervisors). References from others, including family, friends, clergy, and co-workers, will not be accepted (even if they are familiar with the applicants' academic and work capabilities). You must use the recommendation forms specifically for the Department of Counselor Education (not for Graduate School) and they must be sent directly to the Department of Counselor Education (address is on the form).
- Please include a Statement of Goals if you are also applying for a Graduate Assistantship. NOTE: This is not the same as your required essay.
- You do not need to do your Required Background Check at this point. Only applicants invited into the Department of Counselor Education will be required to complete the Background Check.
NOTE: Applicants pursuing the School Counseling option who are NOT Teacher-Certified must complete the courses listed below in addition to the regular School Counseling specialization requirements:
- EIS 536 Seminar In Cognition (2 credits)
- EIS 405G - Classroom Management (2 credits)
- SPED 210 - Exceptional Individual (2 credits)
- *LA 578 - Language Arts for Diverse Learners (3 credits)
These courses are separate from the Counseling Programs and are not part of a Counseling Degree Plan.
*The requirement for methods of reading and reading in the content area (school counseling) may be met through content in specific school counseling specialization courses. Please check with your advisor.
FOR SCHOOL COUNSELING APPLICANTS: The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) also requires additional entrance requirements for the School Counseling options (BOTH DEGREE SEEKING AND LICENSURE ONLY). For details and instructions on this application/admission requirement please open the following documents: Basic Skills Test Instructions and ELIS Account Creation
All application materials (both online and mailed) must be received by the Department of Counselor Education by the following deadlines:
- September 1 for consideration to be invited for screening held during fall semester for possible Spring admission.
- February 1 for consideration to be invited for screening held during spring semester for possible Summer/Fall admission.
NOTE: Applications that are not complete and/or do not meet all criteria will not be considered. Please do not ask for an exception.
It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all required materials have been submitted correctly, received by the deadline,
and meet criteria.
We encourage applicants to submit their materials at least 2 weeks prior to the deadline in order to permit time for processing.
If you have not yet completed your undergraduate degree, please wait to apply when you are in your final semester of your program when the screenings will be held. For example, the February 1 deadline has a spring screening so you should only apply if you will be graduating at the end of the spring term (or summer). The September 1 deadline has a fall screening so you should only apply if you will be graduating at the end of the fall term.
III. Departmental review of completed application materials. Top applicants may be invited to participate in a screening interview with the Department (see information below regarding the screening interview).
- Complete applications will be reviewed and top applications will be forwarded to the Selection and Retention Committee.
- Select candidates for the Department of Counselor Education will be invited (via the email address provided on their departmental application) to participate in a thirty minute “screening interview.” Those with complete applications but not invited for a screening interview will be notified in writing.
- It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the Department of Counselor Education and the School of Graduate Studies have your current mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail. Failure to provide current information and/or check for messages/letters may result in a missed opportunity. Please do not ask for an exception.
This interview is designed to identify personal attributes that are recognized as “professional dispositions” important to effectiveness in the helping professions. The interview, while personal, is never invasive. You will be asked eleven questions that do not solicit or require you to disclose confidential information that would compromise your safety or personal relationships.
Faculty members may follow-up your responses to clarify your meaning or in an effort to help you understanding the intent of the question asked. The purpose of the interview is to provide a climate in which you are comfortable sharing those personal attributes that are recognized as correlates of the “professional dispositions.” The process is intended to be personal yet supportive; although the process can evoke unexpected emotions, the screening interview is designed to provide candidates with a sense of safety and support. Any concerns the committee have that developed during the application process and/or during the screening interview will be addressed at the end of the interview. Applicants will have the opportunity at the end to ask any questions that they might have.
- The Selection and Retention Committee will make recommendations for admission consideration once all screening interviews are complete.
- Those applicants invited to the screening interview will receive written notification of acceptance or denial into the Department of Counselor Education.
- If accepted, applicants will receive a letter (e-mail) indicating the process they need to take should they accept the offer of admittance into the Department, including information about attending a required New Student Orientation and advisor assignment.
- Invited applicants are required to submit to Fingerprint-based Illinois State Police and FBI criminal background investigations prior to attending the Mandatory CNED New Student Orientation (see Criminal Background Investigation Policy for details).
- It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the Department of Counselor Education and the School of Graduate Studies have your current mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail. Failure to provide current information and/or check messages/letters may result in a missed opportunity. Please do not ask for an exception.
- CNED Informational Brochure
- CNED Admission Application (updated 11.27.2012) Note: This form is interactive if you download and save first.
- Recommendation Form (updated 12.04.2013) Note: This form is interactive if you download and save first.
- Selection, Review, and Retention Policy
- Application Checklist (updated 02.24.2014)