In-Person Immersion Experiences

Develop Your Skills with Peers and Faculty in Chicago

In addition to collaborating with your classmates and professors during face-to-face online classes, you will strengthen those relationships and refine your practice during two Chicago-based immersion experiences.

While enrolled in the master’s in counseling online program, students will visit Chicagoland for two immersion experiences that provide in-depth training while enabling you to bond in person with your peers and professors and you will have one online immersion experience.

New Student Immersion

In their first quarter of classes, students travel to Chicagoland and attend the New Student Immersion (NSI). The NSI is designed to ensure a strong start to their program experiences. New students will meet and greet faculty and peers while learning about resources designed to facilitate successful completion of the program. Students leave the Immersion with a strong sense of connection to one another and to faculty and staff. The NSI is interactive, highly-informative, and lots of fun!

Group Dynamics Immersion

The Group Dynamics Immersion (GDI) is the experiential component of the Group Counseling Theory and Practice (COUN 412-6) course. During a long weekend, students spend time both leading and participating in groups led by others while applying the concepts learned in the classroom. Students return to classes with a deeper understanding of the transformative group counseling process.

Facilitated by Counseling@Northwestern faculty and selected supervisors, this immersion helps students:

  • define their group leadership style;
  • examine any biases they may have in group settings; and
  • understand the roles taken on in groups.

After the immersion, students spend the remainder of the Group Dynamics course integrating theoretical and experiential knowledge.

Capstone Conference 

Shortly completing their clinical mental health counseling master’s graduate degree, students complete an online capstone conference that takes the place of comprehensive exams. Students present and apply clinical mental health competencies learned and experienced throughout their program. More importantly, participants transition from counselor-in-training to aspiring practitioner who is prepared to pursue licensure and employment in the field.

The Capstone Conference showcases our counselors-in-training at the end of their graduate program. The project encompasses a written scholarly paper and a 45-minute professional presentation that provides a comprehensive demonstration of the knowledge and skills needed to practice competently in the counseling profession. In addition to presenting their area of passion in clinical mental health counseling, students are expected to demonstrate key elements of counseling competency, including ethical principles, cultural competency, theoretical considerations, applications defined by counselor identity, and other similar factors. The conference aims to support our students as they communicate their areas of passion through highlighting their scholarly development.

The Capstone Conference is a celebration of the rigor and excellence our counselors-in-training represent as we welcome them from the role of graduate student to the role of professional clinical mental health counselor.

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*Please note: Our in-person learning and clinical field experiences are central to our highly collaborative program. Due to Covid-19, we are evaluating in-person experiences on an ongoing basis and communicating directly with affected faculty and current students.