NIU’s Counseling Center re-accredited

By Rob Heselbarth

NIU’s Counseling and Student Development Center was recently re-accredited by a national counseling association.

The International Association of Counseling Services, based in Alexandria, Va., re-accredited NIU’s program, allowing it to continue operations for the next few years.

“The Counseling and Student Development Center was evaluated by IACS against high standards of counseling practice and was found to offer competent and reliable professional services to its clientele,” according to an IACS press release.

“The evaluation was based on an extensive written report submitted by us to the IACS,” said Kathy Hotelling, director of NIU’s Counseling and Student Development Center. “The report was based on questions the IACS wanted us to answer.”

“The questions involved the numbers of students in our lines, what we do besides counseling, the kind of training we do, and what we do to ensure the confidentiality of our clients,” Hotelling said.

“They also want us to submit ideas as to what our strong points are, and where we need improvement,” she said.

“We were also asked to submit extensive information on our counselors, such as their resumes, and what kind of professional organizations they are involved in outside of

work,” she added.

Hotelling said that the evaluation is necessary in order for the program to be kept in good standing with the IACS and in order to operate. But a written report is not the only way the evaluation can be done, she said.

“They do ‘site visits,’ where they send representatives who go through our system and then submit reports back to the IACS,” Hotelling said.

“The last visit was in 1986. Recent budget cuts have changed the visits from every five or six years to every seven or eight years,” she added.

Evaluations are not the only things that go on in the Counseling and Student Development Center. Hotelling said there are many services available for NIU students.

“We have a career resource center, individual career counseling, substance abuse counseling, counseling on studying skills,” Hotelling said. “We also have an athletic counseling program.

“We train undergraduate and graduate students to counsel students, and we train them to do programs in the residence halls,” she said.