By Jeff Murphy, May 1, 2020
WARRENSBURG, MO – Playing a critical role in the health and wellness of the University of Central Missouri community, the Counseling Center has achieved full re-accreditation by the International Accreditation of Counseling Services (IACS). A letter from the IACS Board of Accreditation was received by the Counseling Center this month confirming this accomplishment.
Cynthia A. Cook, Ph.D., vice president and chair of the IACS Accreditation Board,
noted, “It is clear that your Center offers an effective and comprehensive program
of services that makes a vital contribution to the quality of student and campus life.
In its review, the Board was appreciative of your strong and committed staff, the
collaboration of your office with other campus units, excellent scope of outreach
efforts, individual counseling services, and responsiveness to students of concern.”
She added that the IACS Accreditation Board also took note of the good use of outcome
data to study efficacy and compare the center to national samples. The Counseling
Center ‘appeared to adapt to several recent administration changes and structures
on campus and continue to move in a positive direction,” Cook stated.
The Counseling Center was first accredited by IACS in 2006, according to Jeanne Woon,
Ph.D., psychologist and assistant director of the center. She said that in order to
be accredited, the center had to demonstrate that it had met a set of standards for
college/university counseling services. This covers the relationship of the center
to the university community; role and function of counseling services; counseling
services personnel; and related guidelines. These guidelines pertain to matters such
as professional development, size of staff, workload, compensation and more, all of
which can be viewed at the IACS website,
In commenting on this new milestone, Amy Kiger, director of Campus Community Health
(CCH), which oversees the Counseling Center, noted, “While re-accreditation is always
a significant achievement, during these difficult times it is especially affirming.
Even more students than in the past are experiencing mental health needs due to the
pandemic. Re-accreditation demonstrates our Counseling Center’s continued dedication
to professional best practices and that these services, which are critical to student
success, are being provided in a skilled, ethical, and compassionate manner.”
Woon said that in order to maintain accreditation, the Counseling Center must submit a report annually and a more thorough application for re-evaluation about every five years, followed by a site visit by the IACS. For this round, the re-evaluation application was completed in spring 2019 and the center hosted a site visit in November. The last site visit, prior to the one in fall 2019, was in 2010. There was a re-evaluation in 2014 but a site visit was not required.
Students have recognized the value of having quality mental health services by initiating
through the Student Government Association a referendum to help provide financial
support for CCH. The student body voted for a student health fee in October (2019),
which was approved by the Board of Governors in December. This effort coincided with
the IACS re-evaluation process and the accreditation process, but while the accrediting
board was aware, it is not known if it had any impact on its decision to re-accredit
the Counseling Center. The fee, however, will help the center to address issues such
as student to staff ratio, an area where IACS would like to see improvement, based
on student enrollment.
The Counseling Center is located in Humphreys Building Room 131. For more information about this facility, its staff and services, call 660-543-4060 or visit their website.