College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

CACREP Accreditation

CACREP LogoThe Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), has granted accreditation from 2015 through 2022 to the following programs in the School of Applied Human Sciences at the University of Northern Iowa: Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.A.) and School Counseling (M.A.).  




The program meets the academic requirements for licensure for mental health counselors in Iowa. Students are eligible to sit for the National Counselors Examination (NCE) during their final semester of enrollment and thereby meet the examination requirement for becoming licensed. Iowa licensure requires two years of post-coursework experience as a mental health counselor, including 200 hours of required supervision, 100 of which must be one-to-one face-to-face supervision. According to the Iowa Board of Behavioral Sciences Examiners, supervision accrued during internship may count towards licensure if all coursework except electives has been completed prior to internship. Contact the Board at [515] 281-7074 for more information.


A major objective of the program is to provide students with educational experiences that address the American Counseling Association's (ACA) accreditation (CACREP) training standards for Clinical Mental Health Counseling. These standards require that students complete a program that exposes them to knowledge and skills in the following core areas:

  1. Professional Identity

  2. Social and Cultural Diversity

  3. Human Growth and Development

  4. Career Development

  5. Helping Relationships

  6. Group Work

  7. Assessment

  8. Research and Program Evaluation

General Objectives of the Clinical Mental Health Program- Measured through Coursework Assignments and Projects (Aligned with CACREP Standards)

To prepare professionals who:

  1. Have knowledge and skills related to counseling needs in the mental health setting: etiology, diagnosis (including co-occurring disorders), assessment, treatment and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders [II.C.2].
  2. Can conceptualize problems from a developmental and cultural perspective and can employ developmentally/culturally appropriate prevention and intervention techniques [III.E.3].
  3. Know how to develop treatment plans, manage multiple client loads and work with managed care [II.D.1].
  4. Can effectively counsel individuals, small groups, couples and families [II.D.5].
  5. Can function as consultants in various mental health settings [IV.H.2].
  6. Can network and work effectively with a variety of human service delivery systems, including schools and community agencies [II.F.1].
  7. Have the awareness, knowledge and skills to work with individuals, families and groups from diverse populations [III.F.3].
  8. Are beginning to develop and consistently apply a counseling theory and are knowledgeable about career and development theories [II.C.7].
  9. Are sensitive, genuine and show positive regard for others [II.D.3].
  10. Have high levels of self-awareness and a commitment to personal growth [II.D.3].
  11. Are able to communicate effectively with others and express themselves effectively in writing using APA standards [V.J.3].
  12. Can accurately interpret research and apply it to practice [V.J.1].
  13. Are committed to on-going professional development, will practice legal and ethical behavior and will apply ethical decision making at all times [I.B.1].
  14. Will assume leadership and advocacy roles as clinical mental health counselors [III.E.4].
  15. Are academically qualified to become certified, licensed and registered [I.A.1-10.B.1-2].

[These objectives were revised Fall 2013 by the Counseling Faculty with input from the Mental Health and School Counseling Advisory Committee and the Student Advisory Committee.]