Graduate Studies


"The Department of Counselor Education provided me with many opportunities to get involved and grow as a person and a counselor! Getting involved helped me learn valuable leadership and professional skills that will benefit me throughout my career." Alicia Means, CNED Graduate, 2018


  • School Counseling
  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Program Overview

The mission of Western Illinois University's Department of Counselor Education is to prepare a socially responsible, diverse student, faculty and staff population to lead in the global society.  The curriculum emphasizes applied and conceptual skills; affirms diversity of values, ideas, and persons; and promotes educational excellence and ethical commitment.  Faculty provide a challenging and supportive environment that encourages personal growth and development.  The Department is committed to recruiting and selecting students that are representative of our varied and pluralistic society.

Why Choose Counselor Education at WIU?

Counselor Education may be for you if you value serving others, enjoy working with others and being part of a team, have a sense of empathy, are kind, generous, warm, and friendly, and are a good listener.

We offer a unique blend of courses designed to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to become a competent counseling professional. Emphasis is on solid academic performance and experiential mastery.

The Counseling Programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).  The School Counseling option is also accredited by the Illinois State Board of Education.

Faculty Information

The Department of Counselor Education (CNED) is a group of diverse, award-winning, and nationally recognized faculty. CNED faculty participate in local, state, regional, national, and international professional arenas.  They are licensed and certified in counseling and hold advanced degrees from well-regarded programs. CNED faculty are recognized for excellence in teaching and service to the profession and have been awarded honors for their scholarly publications.  Several faculty have been awarded delivery-based grants that provide service to disenfranchised populations. Additionally, faculty sit on several review panels for national peer-reviewed publication outlets,  CNED faculty offer students quality, integrity, and a nationally-accredited program of study.

Possible Careers

The School Counseling Program prepares students for work as elementary and/or secondary school counselors in both public and private school settings.  The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program prepares students for work in a variety of clinical settings, including mental health center, rehabilitation hospitals, recovery centers, private practice, university counseling centers, and employee assistance programs.

Extracurricular Activities

Chi Sigma Iota (CSI) is the International Honor Society for counseling students, counselor educators, and professional counselors.  Its mission is to promote scholarship, research, professionalism, leadership and excellence in counseling, and to recognize high attainment in the pursuit of academic and clinical excellence in the field of counseling.  Western Illinois University houses the Xi Chapter of CSI.

The WIU-QC Counseling Association promotes counselor development through education and community involvement.

Our students have exciting opportunities to participate in several university-community partnerships as well as state, regional, and national conferences.


Quick View

Degrees Available:

  • M.S.Ed.


  • Quad Cities

Required GPA:

  • Cumulative: 3.0 or
  • Last 2 years: 3.25

Admission Requirements:
(Contact Counselor Education for additional application requirements.)

  • Essay
  • Interview
  • Transcripts
  • Three Letters of Recommendation

Interesting Facts: Fall 2023

  • Currently enrolled: 65
  • International: 0
  • Minority: 11
  • Students with Assistantships: 8

Department Contact Information:

WIU-Quad Cities