The University of Northern Iowa has a long history of providing leadership in the quest for excellence in the accreditation process. Leadership at UNI was instrumental in the development of accreditation procedures for establishment of standards for Counselor Education since serving as one of the two state colleges which initially tested the original Standards of Counselor Education Programs developed by ACES in 1964 and implemented in 1967.
The counseling programs at the University of Northern Iowa were first initiated over 40 years ago, during the National Defense Education era. At this time, the UNI Counselor Education faculty conducted several NDEA summer institutes. As a result of these institutes, UNI was requested to be one of the first two universities to implement elementary school guidance programming. This resulted in the implementation of one of the first yearlong institutes in elementary guidance. The U.S. Department of Education recognized this program as exceptionally creative and innovative. To date, the program has retained its regional and national leadership in the field and faculty members strive to maintain its distinction as a high quality program.