Division of Counseling and Rehabilitation Science - M.S. in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling
In IIT's Council of Rehabilitation Education (CORE)-accredited M.S. program in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling, you will receive outstanding and intensive training geared toward serving persons with disabilities and/or mental health concerns. Ranked 9th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in 2011, the program will not only prepare you for practice in clinical mental health counseling, but will provide you with specialized training for a career in the dynamic field of rehabilitation counseling. This is a rapidly-growing field that will provide you with many employment opportunities.
Mission and Objectives
The mission of the Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling program is to prepare master’s degree students to perform a vital role as counselors who have specialized knowledge and skills for both mental health and rehabilitation service delivery. This includes the ability to serve persons with a diverse array of mental health or disability related problems impacting the individual and the family, in a variety of clinical settings and with respect for the influences of multicultural factors such as culture, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. Students also receive specialized training in the vocational, educational, and personal adjustment of persons with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. This program prepares rehabilitation and mental health counselors for employment in community mental health facilities; state, federal, and private rehabilitation agencies; hospitals; correctional institutions; public schools; rehabilitation centers; and other organizations serving persons with physical, psychiatric, mental, social or emotional disabilities. It also provides advanced training for persons presently employed in agencies and facilities offering services to persons with disabilities.
There are several objectives, which are primary to the training program mission:
1. Train individuals in the practice of rehabilitation and clinical mental health counseling, which includes specialized knowledge in and experience related counseling and treatment modalities appropriate for the service of a variety of clients in diverse rehabilitation and mental health counseling settings;
2. Develop mature, capable professionals who are able to relate constructively to clients, to work with clients to facilitate behavior change, demonstrate therapeutic interactive skills, and to facilitate the client’s development of problem solving skills; and
3. Prepare students for professional service and leadership within the fields of rehabilitation and mental health counseling.
A core of required graduate courses provides the basic knowledge and skills necessary to the field of rehabilitation and mental health counseling. These include rehabilitation and mental health counseling principles and practices with an emphasis on psychiatric rehabilitation, counseling theory, individual and group counseling skills, assessment in rehabilitation and mental health counseling, diagnosis of mental disorders, evidence-based treatment of mental disorders, job placement, medical and psychosocial aspects of disability, human growth and career development, and research methods.
Practica and internships
Concurrently, field work of progressively increasing complexity takes place at a variety of community-based mental health and rehabilitation facilities in the Chicago area. This will prepare you for work as a practitioner and provide you with valuable contacts in the field. They also allow you to learn skills that cannot be taught in a classroom. These include mental health and counseling centers, community rehabilitation facilities, the state department of vocational rehabilitation, rehabilitation centers, medical hospitals, and other facilities for persons with mental and physical disabilities. You will begin working with clients in community facilities in the second semester and continue hands-on supervised experience throughout your second year. (Recent placements include the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Ada S. McKinley Community Services, Anixter Center, Thresholds Psychiatric Rehabilitation Programs, and Chicago Lighthouse.)
Licensure is an important part of counseling practice. As an IIT Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling graduate, you will be eligible to become a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC), a distinguished certificate recognized nationwide. You will also be eligible for counseling licensure as a Professional Counselor and a Clinical Professional Counselor within the state of Illinois. Illinois accepts the CRC examination as a qualifying professional counselor licensure exam (Please see your state licensing board for information on counseling licensure requirements in states other than Illinois).
If you are currently working in the rehabilitation field and are interested in pursuing a M.S. in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling, there is a part-time option available which is designed to meet the needs of the working professional. Many courses are offered in the evening and via distance education, and the required fieldwork experiences (practicum and internship) are typically worked out with your place of employment. The part-time program takes approximately three years to complete. Please see our working professionals program website..
Eligibility for the Program
The Department of Psychology accepts applications for Fall entrance only. Applications are considered on a rolling basis. However, applications and supporting documents must be received by March 15. Minimum requirements for admission include:
- Bachelor's degree with general psychology courses
- Minimum GPA 3.0
- 3 Letters of recommendation (2 academic, 1 employer)
- Professional statement
- Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions
All applications are evaluated on the basis of such factors as GPA, recommendations, and the professional statement. (GRE scores are not required.) Finalists will be contacted for a personal interview.
IIT's Rehabilitation Counseling MS program is fully accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). For more information on CORE accreditation, please visit http://www.core-rehab.org or write to the address below.Council on Rehabilitation Education
300 N. Martingale Road, Suite 460
Schaumburg, IL 60173