Dr. Lori A. Bruch, Director
Rehabilitation Counseling Mission
The Rehabilitation Counseling program prepares students for careers in a variety of settings with the primary goal of acquiring and applying the specialized knowledge, skills, and values that will enable them to effectively assist and support individuals with disabilities throughout the rehabilitation process. The Rehabilitation program works towards this goal by creating an environment which encourages a commitment to life long learning, critical thinking, an understanding of community needs, resource development, creative problem solving, the development of a professional network, and appreciation of the skills and abilities of individuals with disabilities.
Rehabilitation Counseling Profession
The rehabilitation counselor is a counselor who possesses the specialized knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to collaborate in a professional relationship with people who have disabilities to achieve their personal, social, psychological, and vocational goals. The specific roles and functions of the rehabilitation counselor, the services provided, and the goals established will vary, depending on the agency or organization in which the counselor is employed. In the typical state-federal vocational rehabilitation agency, individuals with disabilities are provided a variety of psychological, medical, social, and vocational services to assist the person to achieve independence in living and in becoming competitively employed. In a mental health/developmental disabilities or drug and alcohol facility, the counselor may provide personal, social, or vocational counseling to assist the individual in achieving the maximum health, well-being, and independence possible.
Opportunities for Rehabilitation Counselors
According to the Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, opportunities for the “employment of counselors is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2014”. Rehabilitation Counselors, in particular, are in high demand and should experience excellent prospects as the need for services grows and many of today’s rehabilitation counselors retire. Likewise, “the number of people who will need rehabilitation counseling is expected to expand due to advances in medical care and technology that allows more individuals to survive injury and illness and live more independently”. In addition, “legislation requiring equal employment rights for individuals with disabilities will also spur the demand for rehabilitation counselors, who not only help with transition to the workplace but also help employers to comply with the law”.
The Rehabilitation Counseling program is a 48-credit curriculum leading to the Master of Science degree. 39 required credits include 33 credits of course work in principles and practices of rehabilitation counseling, three credits of practicum (100 hours of supervised counseling experience) and three credits of internship (600 hours of supervised field experience). Nine credits of electives are offered to provide students with opportunities for additional study in individual areas of interest and for development of knowledge and skill in working with specific populations and in specific settings. Professional experience in a counseling-related field is beneficial.
Rehabilitation Counseling: Criminal Justice Concentration
The concentration in Criminal Justice will strengthen the existing professional degree of Rehabilitation Counseling by offering contemporary knowledge and the required skills necessary to be prepared to work effectively in the criminal justice system. The concentration consists of twelve credits focused on rehabilitation counseling skills needed in the contemporary criminal justice field including:
Students may also elect to complete the criminal justice concentration after completing the 48 credit M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling as the Certificate for Advanced Graduate Studies which would lead toward the 60 credit requirement for Professional Counselor Licensure in Pennsylvania. Students interested in acquiring the Criminal Justice Concentration should contact the Rehabilitation Counseling Program Director.
Accreditation and Certification
The Rehabilitation Counseling program is accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Hence, a graduate is eligible to sit for the national qualifying examination to become a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). Students are encouraged to apply to take the examination in the final semester of study. Students who pass the examination are certified upon submitting evidence of successful completion of the degree and internship.
Rehabilitation Counseling courses are approved by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) toward certification as well as for certification maintenance credits. All inquiries regarding certification and application for same should be directed to:
Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification
1699 E. Woodfield Road, Suite 300
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Refer to General Information under the Department of Counseling and Human Services for policies and procedures applicable to all Departmental programs.