The Rehabilitation Counseling program was started in August, 2004 to meet the gowing demand for qualified, professionally trained rehabilitation counselors who want to work in public and private rehabilitation agencies and institutions.
The Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling Program is designed to meet the growing demand for qualified, professionally trained rehabilitation counselors who want to work in public and private rehabilitation agencies and institutions. Graduates are prepared to meet the psychosocial and vocational needs of persons with varying disabilities such as developmental disabilities, psychiatric disabilities, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, alcohol and substance abuse behaviors, as well as other acquired disabling conditions. Graduates are professionally trained for careers in vocational rehabilitation in government agencies such as the state-federal system, not for profit and for profit community rehabilitation programs, educational institutions, private for profit and not for profit community rehabilitation programs, residential programs, case management, bureau of worker’s compensation, and mental health services.
Graduates utilize knowledge and competency in understanding the physical, social, psychological, economic, and political implications of disabilities to promote self-sufficiency and independence. Likewise, graduates learn to always ensure understanding of how gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and culture impact one’s experience of disability. Graduates are trained to engage in ethical practice, ongoing professional development, and to implement research initiatives.
The program recruits candidates from typically underrepresented populations such as minority students and students with disabilities from the entire Region V area. Wilberforce’s Master of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling is the only HBCU program in the Midwest. (Region V includes Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.) The program results in improvement in the rehabilitation delivery system by increasing the number of master’s level minority professionals entering the rehabilitation service, or increasing their qualifications to advance professionally. Likewise, the program builds local capacity to provide culturally competent rehabilitation services for minority clients in the rehabilitation system and improve their chances to achieve successful employment outcomes.
The Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling has the following objectives:
The Rehabilitation Counseling program at Wilberforce University is fully accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) through 2018 (www.core-rehab.org) The program has a goal of admitting 20 new students each year. This full-time program admits students during the fall and spring semesters. Student outcomes are evaluated each year on a variety of different metrics that are part of the overall program evaluation.
Currently, the graduate program has a total of 15 students. The program has two full-time tenure-track faculty and four part-time adjunct faculty who teach the CORE accredited curriculum. The instructor to student ratio is 1:20. The current grade point average of the students in the program is 3.37(based on nine of 15 students. Six students are in their first term).
For the 2011-2012 academic year, two students graduated from the program. 100% percent of the program's students passed their clinical coursework. During the same 2011-2012 academic year, one of Wilberforce's graduates took the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam (www.crccertification.com). 95% of the graduates are employed.
One hundred percent of the students are from underrepresented
groups, including people with disabilities. The program has one HBCU
Masters grant that offers up to $64,000 each year in student support
in the form of scholarships and graduate assistantships..
Rehabilitation as a Career
Rehabilitation counselors are in high demand nationawide, and many recognized experts in the tech field predict the demand will increase during the next several years. Rehabilitation counselors deal with the personal, social, and vocational effects of disabilities in relation to employment and help people to become self sufficient citizens.
Counseling is a challenging job that often requires vision and creativity to see possibilities where others see only problems. Counselors may confer with people who are disabled as the result of birth defects, illness, disease, accidents, or psychological or emotional issues. They evaluate the strengths and limitations of individuals, provide personal and vocational counseling, and may arrange for medical care, vocational training, and job placement. They may interview both individuals with disabilities and their families, evaluate school and medical reports, and confer and plan with physicians, psychologists, occupational therapists, shchools, employers to determine the capabilities and skills of individuals with disabilities. They develop a rehabilitation program in conjunction with the consumer to help the person arrive at a plan to achieve a feasible employment outcome.
Rehabilitation Counselors work in public and private rehabilitation agencies and institutions.
The following is a list of places where rehabilitation counselors may be employed:
For more information on careers in vocational rehabilitation, please visit the home page of the National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials at www.rehabjobs.org. Additional information can also be found in the Occupational Outlook Handbook at www.bls.gov.