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CHRD-Rehabilitation Counseling (M.S.)

Mission Statement

The specialty area in rehabilitation and mental health counseling is dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness of counselors and programs of service to people with disabilities. Educational experiences will aim to prepare qualified rehabilitation counselors, increase knowledge in the field of rehabilitation and to apply knowledge to the growing effectiveness of rehabilitation professionals and service delivery systems. In alliance with students, agencies, consumers and professional organizations, the specialty area will promote the independence, acceptance and dignity of all people with significant disabilities.

Program Objectives

Meet the growing needs and diverse challenges of consumers with physical and psychiatric disabilities; prepare qualified counselors for careers with federal, state and private agencies; meet anticipated work force needs in the growing rehabilitation and mental health counseling field; provide field experience and internships to develop professional counseling skills; and prepare graduates for licensure and certification as rehabilitation counselors.

The rehabilitation counseling program was first accredited by CORE in 2009. Since the merger of CACREP and CORE, the program has been accredited by CACREP since July 1, 2017. Students who successfully complete this 60-credit hour specialization will earn a Master of Science in counseling and human resource development specializing in rehabilitation and mental health counseling. Recommended courses for the clinical focus are as follows: CHRD 692 Advanced Cognitive Behavioral Counseling, CHRD 713 Administration and Management of Mental Health Organizations, CHRD 723 Counseling the Family and PHA Psychopharmacology.

The following statement is intended to identify the specific endorsement for students entering rehabilitation counseling: Upon successful completion of the core requirements and those of the rehabilitation and mental health counseling emphasis, and with successful completion of the comprehensive written and oral examinations, graduates are endorsed as having constructed appropriate entry level knowledge and as having met appropriate skill acquisition to be recognized as professional rehabilitation and mental health counselors. Students in this emphasis are also responsible for having taken supporting area courses which supplement or enhance their chosen specialty. Five to seven students are accepted annually with 90% finishing within three years.

Each program objective aligns with one of the eight core CACREP standards and with one college counseling and student affairs specialty track standard.

Students will:

  1. Demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary for competent ethical practice.
  2. Demonstrate skills, knowledge, and awareness to counsel within a diverse society.
  3. Describe and explain the process of change as expressed by individual and family counseling theories across the lifespan.
  4. Identify and describe theories and models of career development, counseling, and decision-making
  5. Demonstrate essential interviewing, counseling, and conceptualizing skills
  6. Identify and apply approaches used for various types of group work.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of the basic concepts of standardized testing and other assessment techniques.
  8. Discern evidence-based counseling practices

Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling

  1. Demonstrate the skills and competencies necessary to ethically and effectively serve and advocate for persons with disabilities.

Career Opportunities

  • Rehabilitation counselor
  • Vocational evaluator
  • Case manager
  • Rehabilitation consultant/specialist
  • Educator
  • Disability coordinator
  • Administrator/owner
  • Forensic/expert witness

For more information about this program, please contact Jay Trenhaile.


  • Brookings Campus
  • Some online courses

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