Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling
Do you want to make a difference in the lives of those with disabilities? UNC’s Rehabilitation Counseling program will provide you with the education and training to join a rapidly growing field. You will graduate as a rehabilitation counselor, qualified to help people deal with the personal, social and vocational effects of disabilities. UNC offers the only CORE accredited graduate program in rehabilitation counseling in Colorado. In 2015, US News and World Report ranked UNC's program #15 of the best rehabilitation counseling programs in the country. You will receive specialized training in:
- Social, psychological and medical aspects of disabilities
- Vocational assessment and job placement of people with disabilities
- Rehabilitation counseling theories and techniques
- Improving the quality of life for people with disabilities
- Evaluating research in the field of human rehabilitation
Following completion of this 60-credit program, you’ll be a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC) and also eligible for licensure as a professional counselor (LPC). Students typically complete this degree in two academic years, including one summer. The program’s unique format offers online and evening classes to accommodate the adult learner. During the academic year 2013-2014, 100% of UNC graduates passed the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam and over a three year academic period (2010-2013), an 85% program retention rate was achieved. Students completed the program in an average of 2.5 years.
Students from a variety of backgrounds and with undergraduate degrees in sociology, nursing, speech therapy, human services, and criminal justice, among others do well in this program. In addition to coursework, you will participate in supervised clinical experiences working with individuals and their families as part of a practicum and internship.
Employment of rehabilitation counselors is projected to grow 20 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations, with the rehabilitation needs of groups, such as veterans and people with disabilities. UNC’s rehabilitation counselors have historically been avidly recruited regionally and nationally. For the three year academic period (2010-2013), UNC students had a 100% employment rate.
Our graduates work as rehabilitation counselors in state rehabilitation agencies, mental health centers, schools, insurance companies, hospitals, independent-living centers and correctional facilities, and in private practice.
The Learning Experience
Small class size and the opportunity for one-on-one mentoring and supervision are two of the aspects of the program that contributes to student success. The program currently has twenty four students with an average of 8 students graduating every year. The program includes participation in a supervised practicum and off-campus internship with a community service agency. Students have completed internship activities at the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Veterans Administration, Bayaud Enterprises, to name a few.
You will participate in weekly supervision sessions as well as professional development activities. This experience provides you with an opportunity to apply the theoretical concepts and skills learned in your academic program and supplement that knowledge with practical experience. The supervised internship allows you to make the transition from the university setting to the actual work setting and therefore adapt more realistically to professional life.
“I started working in Rehabilitation Counseling in 2012, just a few days after commencement. UNC’s Rehabilitation Counseling program built essential knowledge through interactive learning and research that helped me to be successful in the workforce. Through two years in the program, I learned how my passion for helping others can be transformed into a career choice in an exciting and rewarding field.”
David Herbstman, Rehab Counseling 2012
“The internship experience is vital and invaluable for success as a new rehabilitation counselor. I am still referring back to my internship experience as I have grown in this profession. The structure of the classes and the relationships with the professors also promote success for all students. I like that I am really making a difference and I can see the positive outcomes. In my job I get to see my clients in the beginning of their process and the struggles they may be having. At the end I get to see my clients lives changed for the better.”
Kelly Dieter, Rehab Counseling 2012
The program has been in existence since 1974 and has three full-time tenured faculty members who teach the CORE accredited curriculum. Faculty members, including Joe Ososkie, Ph.D., Juliet H. Fried, Ed.D., and Jill Bezyak, Ph.D., have been teaching in the program for many years and have additional expertise in the counseling field.
Admission to the Program
You must hold a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of at least 3.0 in the last 60 semester hours of the most recently completed degree. The program uses a rolling admissions process with applications reviewed as they are received. In addition to the academic requirements, students should have a desire to help people, want to work with people, have an open mind in how they view people and their problems, be quick-thinking and resourceful and very importantly, be willing to challenge themselves.