Whether you’re leading your school or organization in developing a vision for teen success, meeting the needs of students from multicultural backgrounds, becoming an advocate of your own counseling program, or even partnering with the community and its many resources, today’s counselors are being asked to play a more expansive role.

To support you in this emerging leadership role, Ball State offers a new, online graduate certificate in Identity and Leadership Development for Counselors. The program emphasis is on motivating and engaging secondary students academically and to help them in making critical career-development decisions. This 12 credit sequence of certificate course work can be completed over two summers.

Academic Advisor

Renae Mayes, PhD, NCC
Associate Professor of Educational Psychology and School Counseling
Department of Educational Psychology 

The certificate is designed for those who work with youth, particularly at-risk youth, in schools and other settings, including: 

  • Counselors, educators, probation officers, mentors, or others working with teens
  • School counselors interested in becoming building-level administrators
  • Student services personnel
  • Teachers considering graduate work
  • Graduates with master’s degrees in school counseling or school social work 
  • Graduate students who want to be certified in identity and leadership development
  • Students pursuing degrees in counseling or related fields

While a number of universities offer leadership studies at the undergraduate level, few are available at the graduate level or for those serving youth. Plus, few colleges offer programs that prepare counselors or others who work with youth to be educational leaders in their schools or agencies.

However, Ball State has a long history of educating teachers and counselors and preparing grads to serve as educational administrators in school buildings and for school corporations. Ball State’s Department of Educational Psychology also has a rich tradition of multicultural counseling and programming with youth. Meanwhile, U.S. News & World Report has listed Ball State’s graduate programs in education among the best in the nation.

Course Requirements

The Identity and Leadership Development for Counselors Certificate is a 12-credit program, requiring four of the following courses, and can be completed within two summers.

Course work must be completed within five years of declaring certificate candidacy. Credit may be awarded within the time frame for courses taken prior to admission.

Required Courses (12 credits)

  • SCCO 601 Introduction to Identity and Leadership Development for Counselors (3 credits)
  • SCCO 614 College and Career Readiness (3 credits)
    or EDAD 600 Introduction to Educational Leadership (3 credits)
  • CPSY 678 Theories and Techniques of Counseling the Culturally Diverse (3 credits)
    or EDAD 630: Human Resource Development (3 credits)
  • CPSY 609 Counseling Ethics and Professional Issues (3 credits)
    or EDAD 686 School Law (3 credits)

Recommended Schedule

  • Year One 
    All summer session (5-week session that begins in early- to mid-May): SCCO 601
    Second summer session (5-week session that begins in mid June): SCCO 614 or EDAD 600
  • Year Two
    First summer session: CPSY 609 or EDAD 686
    Second summer session: CPSY 678 or EDAD 630

Ready to Apply?

If you wish to enroll in the Certificate in Identity and Leadership Development for Counselors program, you must first apply and meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School. In addition, you must be enrolled in counseling or a closely related field or have completed a school counseling or other student services degree.

Next steps

Once you submit all your application materials and if you are accepted into the certificate program, you will be sent information about how to register for courses.

You will also be sent information about paying for your courses.


Admission to Ball State is selective, and we carefully evaluate all application on an individual basis. Applying for admission is easy. Use our convenient, comprehensive, and secure online application.


Students from Other States

Ball State is authorized to accept online students from all U.S. states. However, certain states have regulations regarding licensing programs in nursing and education. Learn more about state authorizations for non-Indiana students.

Want to Learn More?

Do you have questions about this program or online learning? We’re here to help! You may request more information using our online form, or feel free to reach out directly to one of our staff.

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