College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Program Overview

Student Centered

UNI’s Counseling Program caters to student needs by providing one-on-one advising, intimate class size, and small student-to-faculty ratios. Classes are largely based upon interactive discussion and application of counseling skills. Students gain valuable, hands-on experience through a rigorous practicum and internship with highly skilled and trained professionals currently in the field.

Unique Features

  • Our Clinical Mental Health Counseling program was the first accredited program in the nation. UNI was also one of the first programs nationally to prepare K-12 and Elementary School Counselors.

  • Our students have the opportunity to work in and be of service to the Cedar Valley with our practicum students working in the Waterloo School District and the Allen College Engagement & Salvation Army Partnership (ACE-SAP) Free Medical Clinic.

  • The UNI Counseling program is grounded in a wellness philosophy and prepares students to work in multidisciplinary teams in the field. Recently, the program has partnered with a local nursing college to create a residency program that allows counselors to work alongside nurse practitioners on simulated case studies.

Method of Instruction

UNI's Counseling is a face-to-face program that prides itself on extensive contact with students. Faculty integrate a variety of instructional methods to complement the student’s life experiences and include lecture, group discussion and group problem-solving activities, guest speakers, audio visual materials, recording and review of clinical sessions, multimedia technology, outside assignments, and in-class activities.

Program Objectives

To cultivate professional counselors who are:

  • Creative, flexible, and innovative
  • Analytical and critical thinkers
  • Able to merge theory and practice
  • Able to integrate technology for the benefit of clients
  • Active agents of change reflected in social justice initiatives
  • Passionate
  • Self-aware and able to genuinely connect with others
  • Have competencies for working with multicultural and diverse populations and are sensitive to the needs of diverse clients
  • Able to demonstrate self-care strategies that promote prolonged wellness
  • Knowledgeable and abreast of current scientific and professional trends


Program Objectives- Student Assessment Outcomes—Measured via Formative and Summative Assessments (Paralleled with the University of Northern Iowa Student Assessment Outcomes)

Student Learning Outcomes

Key Performance Indicators

Students will demonstrate awareness of how their values, beliefs, cultural perspectives, and experiences impact the counseling process and professional relationships with clients and colleagues.

KPI 1K. Learners will demonstrate their knowledge of professional roles, responsibility, and components of professional identity 

KPI 1S.Learners will apply ethical decision making model to determine a course of action necessary for current ethical practices

KPI 2K: Learners will demonstrate awareness of values, beliefs, and cultural norms and identify how their perspective, experience, and related biases impact the counseling process and interventions.

KPI 2S: Learners will demonstrate culturally responsive counseling and advocacy skills.

Students will demonstrate creativity and flexibility in implementing developmentally and culturally responsive interventions.

KPI 3K: Learners will apply developmental theories to determine differing abilities and levels of functioning, recognize environmental factors that impact development, and select developmentally appropriate interventions.

Students will evaluate and integrate theory and research in their counseling practice.

KPI 7K: Learners will select appropriate assessment instruments considering clients’ concerns, culture, development, and context; the strengths and limitations of the instruments; and counselors’ ethical responsibility.

KPI 7S: Learners will demonstrate the ability to interpret and communicate assessment results.

KPI 8K: Learners will evaluate research and integrate evidence-based practices appropriate to clients’ concerns, culture, development, and context and counselors’ scope of practice.

KPI 8S: Learners will design and implement an evaluation of a counseling intervention or program

Students will apply a wellness framework to conceptualizing individual, group, and systemic concerns.

KPI 4K: Learners will select appropriate career assessments and design interventions based on knowledge of theories and resources. 

KPI 4S: Learners will demonstrate the ability to effectively facilitate developmentally responsive career counseling and planning.

KPI 5K: Learners will apply counseling theories to generate a case conceptualization and design a culturally and developmentally responsive treatment plan.

KPI 5S: Learners will demonstrate the ability to establish a helping relationship and to effectively use counseling skills to facilitate a culturally and developmentally responsive counseling session

KPI K6: Learners will apply group counseling theories to select appropriate group types, to recognize and respond to group developmental level, and to determine an effective leadership style.

KPI 6S: Learners will demonstrate the ability to attend to group dynamics and effectively facilitate a group counseling session.

Students will engage in local and/or global service to promote equitable and inclusive counseling practices.

KPI 3S: Learners will implement developmentally and culturally responsive strategies to promote wellness


Ethical Behavior

Students entering Counseling programs are required to adhere to ethical standards as presented in the ACA Ethical Standards. Any behavior which is deemed unethical will be grounds for dismissal from the program. Copies of the standards can be found online here.

Academic Conduct

Cheating on examinations, submitting work of other students as your own, or plagiarism in any form (i.e., failure to document research according to APA guidelines) will result in penalties ranging from an "F" in the assignment to other measures.