The master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling is designed to prepare rehabilitation counselors to serve persons with disabilities in a variety of work settings. The rehabilitation counseling program is 48 credit hours and is fully accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE).
Professional rehabilitation counselors encourage and support persons with disabilities and their families to fully participate in their community by providing individual and group counseling, vocational assessment, case management, advocacy, assistive technology, and consultation services to help meet their personal, social, vocational, psychological, independent living, and quality of life goals. The mission of the Rehabilitation Counselor Education (RCE) distance-based program at the University of Alabama is to prepare professional rehabilitation counselors who will provide quality rehabilitation counseling services for persons with disabilities from diverse backgrounds and their families.
In addition to objective of the Program in Counselor Education, the RCE Program has the following objectives:
1. To introduce the philosophy and historical tenets of rehabilitation counseling through new literacies of technology and interpersonal communication.
2. To deliver a 21st century, distance-based curriculum of didactic and clinical experiences that encourages active learning and adheres to the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) standards.
3. To prepare qualified rehabilitation counselors to work in both public and private settings located in rural and urban communities to facilitate the needs of all persons with disabilities and their families.
4. To recruit, select, and matriculate rehabilitation counseling graduate students who represent minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities.
5. To provide our rehabilitation counseling graduate students with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop a philosophical orientation and approach reflective of their commitment to meeting the needs of persons with disabilities and their families, as well as employer and community needs.
6. To foster our university’s mission in advancing the intellectual and social condition of the people by communicating to our rehabilitation graduate counseling students the need for advocacy, community integration, and social responsibility.
7. To prepare our rehabilitation counseling graduate students to become ethical rehabilitation counselors by understanding and following the Code of Professional Ethics for rehabilitation counselors.
8. To promote the involvement of our rehabilitation counseling graduate students in rehabilitation counseling professional associations (e.g., National Rehabilitation Association, National Rehabilitation Counseling Association, American Rehabilitation Counseling Association, National Rehabilitation Counselors and Educators Association) to enhance awareness of professional issues and service that are important to the growth of our field.
The RCE master’s program is 48 semester hours in length. However, a 60-semester hour option is available for students who wish to pursue 60 hours of graduate coursework. The curriculum provides both didactic and experiential learning and culminates in a 600 hour internship under the supervision of a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. The RCE program is fully accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). Students completing the RCE program are eligible to become Certified Rehabilitation Counselors (CRC). For more information about becoming a CRC, visit the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification website: http://www.crccertification.com/
The RCE program is an on-line program. Distance students must meet criteria for full or conditional admission. Distance students who can enroll for 9 hours (fall and spring) and 6 hours (summer) may complete the degree program in two calendar years. Distance students may take more or fewer hours each semseter with advisor approval. Some rehabilitation courses are offered as synchronous courses and will require weekly participation via live virtual classroom.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2009), jobs for rehabilitation counselors are expected to grow by 19%, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Rehabilitation counselors serve persons with disabilities in a variety of work settings including, but not limited to, state-federal vocational rehabilitation agencies, non-profit community rehabilitation programs, private-for-profit rehabilitation companies, rehabilitation hospital settings, community mental health and substance abuse programs, correctional facilities, and private practice.