Hospital offers NIU class

By Gail LaBarbera

NIU and the National College of Education have joined forces to help employees at Forest Hospital in Des Plaines receive credit toward family counseling degrees.

The class offered for NIU credit is titled “Theories of Family Therapy” and is taught by Thomas Todd, chief psychologist at Forest Hospital. The hospital uses the NIU syllabus and books to teach hospital employees with associate’s degrees who are seeking further degrees in the health profession.

Brent Atkinson, a faculty member in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at NIU, said NIU is the only school in Illinois with an accredited marriage and family therapy degree program.

Mary Briones, administrative assistant at the hospital, said the class is the first offered at the hospital through NIU.

The hospital offers the class as a one-time arrangement through NIU because it is awaiting approval from the Illinois Board of Higher Education for its own graduate degree program in marriage and family therapy. After accreditation, the program will offer a master’s degree in M.F.T. and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Approval is expected in late April or early May.

Briones said the hospital also offers an accelerated bachelor of arts completion program in Allied Health Management and Education through the National College of Education campuses in Evanston, Chicago and Lombard.