Dr. Larry DiRusso, Professor Emeritus in Counseling, developed the Department of Counseling master’s degree program at Youngstown State University. On October 3rd, 1968 the first students at YSU attended courses in Fedor Hall pursuing their master’s degree in school counseling. The program was originally under the department of Foundations of Education and became it's own department in 1971. In the fall of 1984, the department name was changed to Counseling to reflect the addition of a community counseling track and the new Ohio licensure for counselors. In 2006, the the Special Education program merged with the Department of Counseling to form the Department of Counseling and Special Education.
Over the past 40 years, the counseling program has a reputation for excellence. It was the first in Ohio to be accredited by The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) achieving that distinction on November 1, 1984. YSU currently holds accreditation through 2015. YSU is also home to the ETA Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota which was chartered in 1985, as the second chapter of the counseling honor society in Ohio. In 1985, the counseling program was recognized by the Ohio Association for Counseling and Development (now the Ohio Counseling Association) with the award for the Outstanding Program in Counselor Education. In 1988, the program received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition by the 17th District of Ohio in recognition of the 20th anniversary. The Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) recognized the YSU counseling program in 2003 with the Robert Frank Outstanding Counselor Education Program Award. This national award recognizes the nations top counselor education program. While most award recipients are doctoral counselor education programs, this award truly speaks to the outstanding caliber of a master’s level program. The faculty have a reputation for excellence in teaching, research, and service. Faculty members have received awards recognizing their scholarship and service (OCA Researcher of the Year, ACES Outstanding Mentor), served as President’s of counseling organizations (Ohio Counseling Association, Ohio Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, Ohio Association for Spiritual, Ethical, & Religious Values, Ohio Association for Multicultural Development), chartered new counseling associations (Eastern Ohio Counselor Association), and received appointment by the Governor of Ohio to serve at the state level (Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage & Family Therapist Board). The counseling program has graduated over 1500 masters level professionals since beginning in 1968.
Significant Events in Counseling Program History
- Counseling Program began as School Counseling track (1968)
- Community Counseling program area added (1976)
- Student Affairs/Higher Education program area added (1978)
- First Counseling Program in Ohio to be accredited by CACREP (1984)
- Outstanding Program in Counselor Education Award by OCA (1985)
- ETA Chapter Chi Sigma Iota became 2nd counseling honor society chapter in Ohio (1985)
- Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for 20th Anniversary by 17th District of Ohio (1988)
- Counseling Program moved from Fedor Hall to Beeghly College of Education (1998)
- Robert Frank Award “Outstanding Counselor Education Program of the Year” from the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) (2003)
- Department of Counseling and Special Education program merge (2006)
- Addiction Counseling and College Counseling program areas added (2009)
- Student Affairs Program received CACREP Accreditation (2010)
20th Anniversary of the Counseling Program – 1988
On January 16th, 1988, the ETA Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota and the Eastern Ohio Counselors Association held a celebration commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Counseling Department. Mel Witmer, from Ohio University, was the special guest speaker. The event was coordinated by CSI Officers, Marge Minghetti and Dee Hall Edwards. Over 200 people attended the champagne brunch which was highlighted by a toast by Dr. Neil Humphrey, YSU President. Ron Marion was the Master of Ceremonies and led a “roasting” of Larry DiRusso. Counselor educators from programs across the state attended the event; Jim Wigtal (The Ohio State), Don Bubenzer (Kent State), Bill Nemec and Jack Cochran (University of Akron), and Dave Santoro (Cleveland State). The event included an induction of 35 new members to ETA chapter Chi Sigma Iota and was held at the Kilcawley Center. The counseling program also received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition by the 17th District of Ohio in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the program.
40th Anniversary of the Counseling Program – 2008
Students, faculty, and alumni attended the CSI Spring Banquet Induction Ceremony on Wednesday, April 9th, 2008 in the DeBartolo Stadium Club. The 40th anniversary of YSU’s Counseling Program was recognized at the CSI Banquet. A publication outlining the department’s history through the past 40 years to current developments was distributed to all attendees. Rachel Hoffman and Jessica Knopp presented events and pictures which showcased the history of the program. Dr. Phil Ginnetti, Dean of College of the Beeghly College of Education, and Dr. Tom Davis, Counselor Educator at Ohio University addressed the banquet attendees. Tom Davis spoke on YSU Counseling Program leadership role in the Counseling Profession in Ohio. Mickey Davies, retired Administrative Assistant was recognized for her service to the counseling program with an award. This banquet was co-sponsored by Eastern Ohio Counselors Association and ETA Chi Sigma Iota.
Download the Counseling Program History Brochure recognizing our 40th anniversary.