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School Counselor Institute (SCI)

The next institute begins in Spring 2018 with an application deadline of Fall 2017.


THE SCHOOL COUNSELOR INSTITUTE (SCI) IS AVAILABLE FOR PERSONS WHO HAVE COMPLETED MASTER’S DEGREES IN COUNSELING OR A RELATED FIELD AND WHO DESIRE TO COMPLETE STATE AND UNIVERSITY REQUIREMENTS FOR A PROFESSIONAL EDUCATOR LICENSE WITH AN ENDORSEMENT IN SCHOOL COUNSELING TO WORK AS A SCHOOL COUNSELOR IN ILLINOIS.

  • Since 2005, NIU has offered a fast-track, intensive SCI that has successfully provided the avenue for professionals with a clinical master’s degree to complete partial requirements for a Professional Educator License in Illinois with an Endorsement in School Counseling.
  • The SCI covers most of the coursework. In addition to the SCI, participants must:
    • complete or have completed a course in the Exceptional Child, and
    • complete a school-based internship through NIU following the SCI.
  • Upon completion of these requirements and successfully passing state tests, participants can apply for the Professional Educator License with an Endorsement in School Counseling from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

Over 200 participants have successfully completed the SCI.

The SCI is an INTENSE program consisting of readings, discussions, lectures, guest speakers, field experiences, interviews, projects, reports and experiential activities packaged into five weekends in the spring and two, 4-day weeks in the summer. Students are required to attend ALL components of the SCI and have materials and assignments prepared according to the due dates. Participants must understand the intense nature of this program and be prepared to do a great deal of reading, writing, collaborating and preparing of assignments. SCI candidates must consider how to balance the demand with family and work obligations before entering the institute.


The SCI curriculum has been carefully developed to meet the requirements in two areas: school counseling preparation and teaching preparation. Students completing the SCI will meet the equivalency of the four classes required in the school counseling specialization for a master’s degree: Post-secondary College and Career Counseling; Counseling with Children; Consultation and Management of Developmental School Counseling Programs; and School Counseling: Programs, Issues, and Practices. It also covers requirements for classroom management, curriculum and climate in school settings, and adolescent/child development, as well as recent requirements in Social/Emotional Literacy (SEL), English Learners (ELs), and Reading.

For specific questions related to the School Counselor Institute, please contact the Department of Counseling, Adult & Higher Education at CAHC_Admissions@niu.edu.

Contact Us

Graham Hall 237
Monday–Friday
8 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.
(other times by appointment)
815–753–6907
ceduexternal@niu.edu