FAQs about the Counseling and Student Services Program
CASS is the major in Counseling and Student Services through the IU School of Education that provides students an interdisciplinary study within the fields of Education, Counseling Psychology and Student Affairs. Students’ understanding of theory and research in these fields will be applied to practice in each of two Tracks (Counseling Psychology, Higher Education and Student Affairs). Students learn how to facilitate effective interpersonal communication, utilize advanced listening skills to empathetically understand the perspective of others, and how to access resources to help people actualize their potential and improve performance to effect positive personal, organizational, and societal change. In CASS, students develop a strong theoretical and research-based understanding of learning and human development so they can be prepared to apply this knowledge to their future work in a variety of professions involving interpersonal skills.
The CASS Major offers an attractive academic pursuit for a range of students. One of the primary areas students come from is those who are interested in Psychology, but want more applied psychological work. These students want to learn how to engage with people and apply the theories and practices of psychology in real life situations. But CASS is open to all students who want to learn more about how to communicate, how to engage others, and how to lead. It is a very versatile major that exposes you to a lot of topics and ideas.
The content of CASS courses reflects the diversity of professional opportunities in both the Counseling and in the Student Services fields. Courses on Sex Therapy and Enhancement (EDUC G272), Addictions Counseling (EDUC G310), and Intro to Sport Psychology and Student-Athlete Mental Health (EDUC G207) are but a few of the interesting and engaging courses for you to take. You will also be exposed to concepts in Positive Psychology and in Counseling Psychology, in Action Research and in Program Evaluation, in Consultation and in Development, in Group Facilitation Skills and in Multicultural Communication Skills. There is a whole lot to love about the variety of topics you will cover in CASS!
Classes in the CASS Major (and Counseling Minor) are designed to be experiential and interactive. You learn stuff, and you do stuff: you do role plays, you discuss, you perform, you practice. It is interactive and engaging. We believe in didactic learning, but we don’t believe in students being passive recipients in the learning process.
The CASS Major has two Tracks that represent distinct areas of content that can help drive your professional path. The Counseling Psychology Track features opportunities to learn how to effectively listen, communicate, and problem-solve for mental health issues as well as interpersonal connections, while the Student Services Track provides tremendous training in understanding how to be an influential professional within the vibrant domain of higher education.
Yes you can! The Global Gateway program provides the fantastic opportunity for a three-week summer endeavor where you can go to New Zealand (or other countries soon to be added as the program grows). You earn college credits while you team up with overseas educators for direct professional activities as you immerse yourself in a new culture through community-based engagement. While overseas, you will be putting the CASS content you studied into practice—you can provide psychoeducational programming, assist students in their psychosocial development, and see the world!
No. This degree is the first non-Curriculum/Instruction degree in the School of Education at Indiana University. We conceptualize Education as a broad concept that is not limited to the classroom, so in the CASS major you will learn how to educate others in a variety of settings outside of the classroom. Counseling psychology endorses a strengths-based paradigm wherein professionals utilize their skills to empower people to effectuate meaningful positive change in their lives. That’s a fancy way of saying you are going to become a better listener, a better communicator, and a better leader by being exposed to CASS content. And this can happen in the classroom, in the business boardrooms, on the fields of play, and in other areas.
You will have LOTS of options! We conceptualize the CASS degree as having professional paths that can be categorized as Indirect and/or Direct. On the Direct path, there are jobs that you can obtain straight out of your undergraduate degree. Graduates from the Counseling Psychology Track will be suited for entry-level jobs in the Community and Social Service Occupations. While you will not be eligible to be an independent practitioner upon graduation, you would be able to work in entry-level position under the supervision of licensed practitioners (e.g., licensed psychologists, clinical social workers, and mental health counselors), and serving on interdisciplinary teams in mental health settings.
On the Indirect path, this degree will uniquely prepare you for graduate school, whether you want to be a Counselor, a Social Worker, a Psychologist, or a professional in another mental health field. The CASS major will make you quite prepared to apply to graduate school. There are not many undergraduate majors like CASS in the nation that give you this type of training to give you the advantageous leg up on the admissions process for graduate programs. Additionally, the Student Services Track will prepare you for graduate training in HESA, where you can learn to do great leadership and service things on campus and elsewhere.
No. That takes a graduate degree and further clinical training. But this degree can put you on the path toward that goal, as we mentioned above, by giving you the skills and exposure to that training. And because it is important to clarify, we will reiterate that while a CASS graduate will not be an independent practitioner upon graduation, you would be able to be in entry-level position under the supervision of licensed practitioners (e.g., licensed psychologists, clinical social workers, and mental health counselors), and on interdisciplinary teams in mental health settings.
The program is coordinated by Jesse Steinfeldt in collaboration with his colleagues in the Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology, the Department of Higher Education and Student Affairs, and other programs in the School of Education. Drop him a line!
And advising is top notch! Our School of Education advisors do a terrific job of personalizing the experience, connecting with faculty, and helping students find the path that best suits them. These advisors care deeply about the students they work with, and the faculty and associate instructors are accessible and psyched to connect with you. Feel free to set up an appointment to connect with an academic advisor today!