School Counselor Institute (SCI)

The School Counselor Institute (SCI) is available for persons who have completed master’s degrees in counseling or a counseling 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 K-12 School Counselor in Illinois.

The School Counselor Institute (SCI) curriculum has been carefully developed to meet the Illinois Professional Educators License with an Endorsement in School Counseling requirements in two content areas:

School Counseling Preparation

The SCI covers the equivalency of the four classes required in the degree:

  • Post-secondary College and Career Counseling
  • Counseling with Children
  • Consultation and Management of Developmental School Counseling Programs
  • School Counseling: Issues, Programs, and Practices

Classroom Preparation

The SCI covers the following requirements in teaching preparation:

  • Classroom Management
  • Curriculum and Climate in School Settings
  • Adolescent/child Development
  • Social/Emotional Literacy (SEL)
  • English Learners (ELs)
  • Reading

The SCI does NOT cover the following specific requirements from the Illinois State Board of Education:

  • Addressing special populations of Illinois students and the laws and programs that meet their needs
  • A school-based internship
  • Any coursework that might be deficient on the student's transcript

Upon completion of these requirements and successfully passing the state tests, participants may apply for the Professional Educators License with Endorsement in School Counseling from the Illinois State Board of Education.


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.

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.

For specific questions related to the School Counselor Institute, please contact the Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education at

SCI Application

The SCI application and supportive documents are NOT submitted to the NIU Graduate School.

See the SCI Application Form for how to submitt application materials.

The 2018 SCI is underway!

The next SCI is scheduled for 2020.




Adam Carter

Suzanne Degges-White

Melissa Fickling

Teresa A. Fisher

Dana Isawi

Jane Rheineck

Scott Wickman


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M.S.Ed. Counseling Program FAQ

Ph.D. CES Program FAQ

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