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Course Descriptions

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Course descriptions are contained below and are also subject to additions or deletions. Content areas, as required by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations appear in parentheses after the course title.

HPCC-500 Research Methods for Counselors (IDFPR Research and Evaluation)
This course provides an overview of research design issues for the counselor. A particular emphasis will be placed on the evaluation of research and applying findings to the field of professional counseling. Specific topics will include: the scientific process, reliability, validity, test construction as well as experimental, quasi-experimental and non-experimental designs. Case studies will be used to assist the student in learning how to apply theoretical concepts to real-world research publications including research articles and test manuals. (4.5 units) 

HPCC-501 Ethical Issues and Standards for Professional Counselors (IDFPR Professional, Legal and Ethical Responsibilities)
This course reviews practice standards and ethics codes as well as state and federal laws applicable to counselors. Ways to identify and resolve ethical and legal dilemmas the counselor might encounter are explored. The American Counseling Association Code of Ethics is emphasized as are the State of Illinois Counselor Licensing Act and Rules. The concept of risk management is introduced. (4.5 units)

HPCC-502 Diagnostic Interviewing and Report Writing
This course reviews clinically relevant techniques for information gathering, effective listening, rapport building, and the formal assessment of mental status and behavior observed during the interview process. Students will learn clinically appropriate methods of documenting information gained from the interview process. Students will learn to prepare written reports appropriate for clinical and forensic purposes. (4 units)

HPCC-503 Cognitive & Behavioral Therapy – Child and Adolescent (IDFPR Counseling Techniques)
This course will emphasize the use of empirically supported therapeutic methodologies to facilitate behavior change for a variety of clinical problems in children and adolescents. The application of different learning principles and specific techniques of therapeutic change will be covered including parent-training interventions. The student will learn to solve problems encountered in practical application of cognitive and behavioral techniques. Emphasis will be placed on methods and procedures effective in the elimination of inappropriate behaviors and the acquisition and maintenance of appropriate behaviors. (4.5 units)

HPCC-505 Personality Assessment for Counselors (IDFPR Appraisal of Individuals)
This course provides and overview of testing theory and the application of objective psychological tests for the assessment of personality and personality development. Students will learn to administer and interpret common personality inventories. Test selection and interpretation in varied clinical situations and with diverse clinical populations will be reviewed. (4.5 units)

HPSC-520 Descriptive Psychopathology (IDFPR Psychopathology and Maladaptive Behavior)
This course presents an in-depth analysis of the DSM-V and ICD-10 diagnostic criteria for major categories of psychopathology. The concepts of mental illness in general, as well as specific categories of mental illness such as schizophrenia, affective disorders, anxiety disorders, organic brain disease and personality disorders are covered. This course also introduces the concept of the role of mental status and behavioral observations as part of the diagnostic formulation. (4.5 units)

HPSC-577 Socio and Cultural Basis of Behavior (IDFPR Social and Cultural Foundations)
Using a systems approach, this course will examine the impact of privilege on students’ perception of culture, diversity, and identity.  Students’ will explore their own culture, and their reactions to and perception of persons who are different.  The course specifically examines class, ableness, gender roles, ethnicity and sexual orientation, and the interaction between those statuses and clinical issues.  Strong emphasis will be placed on the constructions, meaning, and experiences of difference in an effort to prepare students to function as culturally responsive, ethical psychologists, plus some social foundations of behavior curriculum.  (4.5 credits)

HPCC-600 Substance Abuse Assessment and Treatment (IDFPR Substance Abuse)
This course examines substance use and abuse as clinical problems. The psychological and physical effects of drug use and abuse will be examined and the process of addiction development will be explored. The role of socio-cultural factors in substance abuse and addiction will be discussed. Diagnostic criteria and empirically based treatment approaches will be reviewed. (4.5 units)

HPCC-601 Group Dynamics and Counseling (IDFPR Group Dynamics, Processing and Counseling)
This course reviews the primary theoretical approaches to group therapy/counseling. Students will learn when to apply different group therapy techniques and how to address individual differences within the group therapy context. (4.5 units)

HPCC-602 Career Counseling and Development (IDFPR Lifestyle and Career Development)
This course reviews career development theories and decision-making models across the lifespan. Assessment instruments and techniques will be reviewed. Emphasis will be placed on client engagement, exploration of potential, decision strategies, preparation, and implementation strategies. Sources of occupational information and career guidance programs will be evaluated. (4.5 units)

HPCC-603A & HPCC-603B Practicum/Internship and Seminar I & II (IDFPR Practicum/Internship)
The practicum/internship is an applied professional experience in clinical counseling. The student will have the opportunity to engage in a wide variety of clinical counseling activities at approved training sites in the community. Students will engage in clinical activities that may include, but not be limited to, performing intake assessment, conducting diagnostic interviews, providing psychotherapy or group counseling services, conducting objective cognitive, personality or career assessments. The student will work at their practicum/internship site for a minimum of 700 hours and all clinical work will be supervised on-site by a licensed mental health professional. Each semester the student is enrolled in this course, he/she must attend a one-hour seminar held on-campus. During the seminar, students will present case material from their practicum/internship experience using a clinical case presentation model. This experience will allow the students to participate in the process of giving and receiving feedback in a collegial fashion. This experience will also prepare the student to successfully complete their capstone experience that will occur in the last quarter of study before graduation. (5 units each quarter for 2 successive quarters for a total of 10 units credit)

HPSC668 Theories of Personality & Emotion (IDFPR Counseling Theory)
Major personality theories are covered, with an emphasis on current approaches and empirical bases. In addition, this course will review different approaches to the study of emotion.  The course will cover research methodology, current controversies, and implications for clinical practice. Current research on the impact of personality traits and emotional responses on behavior and relationships between normal and abnormal personality traits are reviewed.  (3 credits)

HPSC669 Theories of Counseling & Psychotherapy (IDFPR Counseling Theory)
Introduction to the major systems of psychotherapy and counseling.  The implications of psychotherapy systems for case formulation and the similarities and differences between different psychotherapy systems are reviewed.  The course places special emphasis on the key assumptions of various applied theories, the role and basic methods of clinical assessment, the stages of therapy, the role of the therapeutic relationship, and the goals and strategies to effect change.  Units on gender-sensitive psychotherapy and culture-sensitive psychotherapy are included.  Research bearing on and based on these systems is considered.  (4.5 credits)

HPSC-690 Cognitive and Behavior Interventions (IDFPR Counseling Techniques)
This course will emphasize the use of empirically supported therapeutic methodologies to facilitate behavior change for a variety of clinical problems in adults. The application of different learning principles and specific techniques of therapeutic change will be covered. The student will learn to solve problems encountered in practical application of cognitive and behavioral techniques. Emphasis will be placed on methods and procedures effective in the elimination of inappropriate behaviors and the acquisition and maintenance of appropriate behaviors. (5 units)

HPSC-754 Life Span Developmental Psychology (IDFPR Human Growth and Development)
The course is a basic developmental course covering the entire life span from biological, social, and cognitive perspectives. Special emphasis will be placed on the unique methodological features of developmental research and the application of developmental research in the clinical setting. (4.5 units)

HPSC-783 Family Systems and Therapy (IDFPR Family Dynamics)
In this course students are introduced to the major models of family therapy. Primary theorists and techniques of each model will be considered. Students will explore a variety of family systems with an emphasis on understanding cultural, gender, and sexual orientation differences as they relate to family therapy. Students will understand and complete assessment procedures with a particular emphasis on genogram construction and interpretation. (4.5 units)

HMTD 515 Interprofessional Teams and Culture in Health Care
Interprofessional Teams and Culture in Health Care is an experiential learning opportunity for students to interact in interprofessional health care teams which extends through the fall and winter of the first year. This interactive course is intended to help prepare the health care professional student to provide effective patient-centered health care through small group discussion and problem solving activities. Topics include: team interaction, communication, service learning, information literacy, quality improvement, healthcare professions, diversity in society, the impact of culture, ethnicity and religion on communication and the provision of services, disparities in the healthcare delivery system, and awareness of the impact of a provider’s own wellness and illness beliefs on the decisions he/she makes for patients. Interprofessional teams of students develop and participate in significant community based service learning projects. (1 credit per quarter/total = 2 credits)


HPSC-560 Cognition and Cognitive Assessment
Theoretical and practical issues of test construction and measurement are considered in depth along with issues of development, standardization and validation of psychological tests. Theory of assessment of adult intellectual functioning and practical application of the Wechsler Scales are included. (4 units)

HPSC-567 Neuropsychological Assessment
Use of psychological tests in the evaluation of the relationship between brain and behavior. The goal of this course is to acquaint students with modern neuropsychological approaches to normal and abnormal behavior along with methods of assessing the neurological basis of behavioral problems. (4 units)

HPSC-572 Essentials of Physiological Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience
This course will cover fundamental issues of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and neurochemistry of brain systems and an overview of basic brain-behavior principles as they apply to current models of cognitive processes. (6 units)

HPSC-573 Health Psychology: Psychological Comorbidities of Physical Illness

HPSC-575 Social Psychology
This course presents an in-depth review of the theory and research contributions to social functioning, development, and organizational issues. The impact of culture and social class on the client and counseling relationship will be explored. The utilization of social psychological principles in applied settings will be examined. (3 units)

HPSC-750 Advanced Physiological Research Seminar – HPSC570 Lab
This introduction to human neuroanatomy involves examination of the gross brain, sections, and slides. Students will learn to identify structures and their function, especially those pertaining to the course content of Physiological Psychology 1070. (1 credit)

HPSC-751 Health Psychology: Cognitive, Affective & Physiological bases for Behavior
An overview of representative content areas and conceptual approaches to behavioral genetics with reference to temperament and psychopathology; basic emotion theories and neural substrates of emotion regulation; psychophysiology of stress; impact of social support, appraisal and coping on incidence of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and obesity; concepts of pain from nervous system, immune and endocrine perspectives. (4 credits)

HPSC-765 Clinical Psychopharmacology
This didactic course will cover the principles and practice of psychopharmacotherapy of the major psychiatric disorders. Topics covered include pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and mechanisms of action of the commonly used drugs in neuropsychiatry. This psychopharmacologic treatments of mood disorders, psychotic disorders, anxiety disorders, substance-related disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders and personality disorders will be emphasized. Also covered are drug treatments in the elderly, during pregnancy, and in the medically ill. Electroconvulsive therapy will also be discussed. (1 unit)

HPSC-788 Forensic Psychology
This course will offer a survey of the history of forensic psychology, landmark cases, relevant American law, frequently used statutes and guidelines in criminal cases (e.g., sanity, competency and diminished capacity), civil cases (e.g., competency, commitment, disability, and child custody) and hybrid criminal/civil matters (e.g., sex offender commitment), ethical guidelines and professional issues. (2 credits)

Requirements for MS in Clinical Psychology Degree

Students must fulfill the following requirements in order to obtain the M.S. in Clinical Psychology:

  1. Successful completion of all required courses in the program curriculum and an approved group of elective courses. 
    1. It is expected that required courses will be completed through departmental offerings. Electives are typically taken in the department or in related programs within the University. In some instances, electives may be fulfilled through courses taken in another institution. A course syllabus must accompany any request for approval of outside coursework and, if approved, an official transcript will need to be submitted
    2. Students who have formally registered for and successfully completed one or more graduate courses in accredited universities prior to entry into the program, may transfer up to 9 credits towards electives in the Clinical Counseling program. Transfer credit for required courses is reviewed on a case by case basis. The faculty will review such requests recommend such action to the Dean for approval.
    3. A minimum of 90 quarter hours of coursework is required to graduate.
  2. A minimum of 700 clinical practicum/internship hours.
  3. Successful completion of the second year capstone experience.
  4. Demonstrated proficiency in the practicum/internship experience.
  5. Good academic standing as defined by University, College and Department standards.
  6. Adherence to the Department’s published technical standards.

It is important to note that these are minimum requirements and final determination of the adequacy and completion of students’ course work and training rests with the Department. At the discretion of the department, a student may be required to take additional courses and/or training.