Counseling for the 21st Century

Bradley University's new online counseling program offers master's degrees in clinical mental health counseling and professional school counseling. (Photo by Duane Zehr)

Matt Hawkins
November 29, 2015

For over 55 years, Bradley University has provided counseling students an innovative, personalized education. Now, that cutting-edge excellence will extend to online education as the University launches online master of arts degrees in clinical mental health counseling and professional school counseling.

“We’re going to meet people where they’re at, in their walks of life, choices and their own locations,” said Online Counseling Program Director Dr. Carlos Del Rio. “Our goal is to be there, meeting their desire to be educated by offering learning without boundaries, flipping the classroom to their benefit by delivering online the equivalent academic curriculum we offer to our campus-based students.”

Though fully online, the online degrees will offer Bradley’s signature neurocounseling and brain-based interventions courses as electives.

The counseling faculty has diverse research and specialty interests in addition to neuroscience. This offers students to explore niches that will prepare students to address the needs in their home communities.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the counseling occupational outlook is positive with strong growth especially indicated for clinical mental health professionals. In particular, demand for clinical mental health counselors should grow because of expanded health insurance coverage, a greater awareness of mental health concerns and an increased number of military veterans seeking treatment.

“These needs aren’t new. We’re just reaching out to meet the needs of a diverse population,” Del Rio said. “As an accredited program, we’re able to equip our students with knowledge and skills necessary to become competent professionals who in turn will help others live meaningful lives, thus making significant contributions to their local communities, their common good.”

The counseling degrees are the College of Education and Health Sciences’ second series of programs to be launched online. Five nursing degrees began this fall: Master of Science in Nursing Administration (RN to MSN), Master of Science in Family Nurse Practitioner (BSN to MSN), doctoral degrees in Nursing Practice: Family Nurse Practitioner (BSN to DNP) and Leadership (MSN to DNP), and a family nurse practitioner certificate.