Counseling Psychology Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling
The 56-credit Master's of Science program in Rehabilitation Counseling program is a certified program that leads to national certification as a Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). The University at Albany program was among the first group of Rehabilitation Counseling Programs to receive national accreditation by the Council on Rehabilitation Education. It has retained its full accreditation status since 1980.
Rehabilitation counseling is a process intended to facilitate the vocational and personal development of people with disabilities. The disability may be physical, emotional, mental, social or some combination thereof. Within that process, various services enable clients to make the fullest use of their inherent or remaining potential in choosing, planning for, and attaining a satisfying and effective life. In a very real sense, rehabilitation counselors are concerned with maximizing the abilities of people with disabilities by assisting them to cope with any handicapping factors.
Rehabilitation counseling is unique in applying a diverse range of treatment approaches and community resources to enhance the individual's life needs and status. The process of rehabilitation counseling includes therapeutic counseling, psychological and vocational evaluation, vocational exploration and training, job development and placement, and follow-up and evaluation. In addition to learning the counseling skills and behavioral principles common to the human services profession as a whole, rehabilitation counselors develop expertise in the process of rehabilitation and the psychology of disability. Furthermore, rehabilitation counselors are committed to fostering development throughout the client system. As such, our program focuses on developing of skills and knowledge for filling educational and preventive roles as well as traditional remedial or therapeutic roles.
The 56-credit Rehabilitation Counseling program is designed to prepare counselors to assume the full range of professional responsibilities required in a variety of community rehabilitation agencies and organizations. Our training model, which integrates behavioral science theory and knowledge with practitioner skills, assumes that the effective counselor has a strong understanding of the theoretical and scientific bases of professional techniques. In addition, our program's commitment to human diversity is manifested in coursework as well as fieldwork placements. A dedication to facilitating development in a culturally sensitive fashion underlies our training philosophy.
Given these program goals and assumptions, the curriculum must include both comprehensiveness and depth. Development of clinical skills is accomplished through a sequence of classes and fieldwork assignments. The full-time program curriculum requirements include a research/assessment sequence, an intervention theory/techniques sequence, a fieldwork sequence, and one elective.
The program prepares counselors to work with a full range of persons with disabilities in a variety of rehabilitation settings. Graduates, who receive an M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling, tend to be employed in a variety of settings working with individuals with some type of disability (e.g., substance abuse settings, mental health facilities, sheltered workshops, rehabilitation hospitals, correctional settings, and other facilities that deal with special need individuals). Opportunities also include private rehabilitation agencies and schools and colleges. This program enrolls 10-20 students per year.
Applicants are required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) verbal and quantitative scores. Also required are official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework, letters of recommendation, and satisfactory completion of 15 credit hours of psychology courses including statistics, abnormal psychology, and personality theory. Applications are due by February 1. Supporting materials (i.e., transcripts, letters of reference, GRE scores) are due by February 15.
Program of Study
The program requires five semesters (18-month program) of full-time study beginning in June (summer session) of the first year and ending at the end of the fall of the following year.
The program requires a minimum of 56 graduate credits distributed as follows:
Specialized courses in Rehabilitation Counseling as follows: (35 credits)
Cpy 601a, 601b, 603, 604, 608, 627, 630, 661, 662, 663, 761, and 767;
Fieldwork in Rehabilitation Counseling: (15 credits)
Cpy 602, 768a and 768b;
Electives as advised by division: (6 credits)
**Special Requirement - A three hour training program in mandated child abuse reporting.
All students complete a pre-practicum, a practicum, and an internship. The pre-practicum is taken in the first fall semester, practicum is taken in the spring (210 hours in a community agency or school), and internship is 600 hours over the second summer and second fall in a community agency for rehabilitation students. A placement coordinator assists students in arranging all field work requirements. Practicum and internship are supervised on site as well as by University at Albany faculty supervisors.