Overview

The Rehabilitation Counseling graduate program at Springfield College has been awarded a five-year (10/1/19-9/30/24), federal long-term training grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, U.S. Department of Education. The purpose of the training grant is to increase the number of highly qualified rehabilitation counselors to work in in the vocational rehabilitation system. As noted by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC; 2020), “Rehabilitation counselors are the only professional counselors educated and trained at the graduate level specifically to serve individuals with disabilities. This includes an extensive knowledge of all aspects of disability as well as an in-depth understanding of critical considerations such as assistive technology and employment law. Unlike other counseling professionals, rehabilitation counselors are uniquely qualified to help individuals with disabilities acclimate into the workplace, and to help employers make a workplace more receptive to individuals with disabilities.”

History

Springfield College’s Rehabilitation Counseling graduate program has a long history of training exceptional counselors dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities improve their quality of life. In 1955, Springfield College was among the first college training programs to respond to Public Law 83-565 (1954), which mandated graduate training in Rehabilitation Counseling. In 1954-55, Dr. Seth Arsenian directed the first Rehabilitation Counselor Federal Training Grant awarded to Springfield College. Over the program’s 65-year history, it has subsequently received numerous long-term training grants from the RSA, which have made an enormous impact in enabling students to complete their training to become well-qualified rehabilitation counselors. This is not only consistent with RSA’s mission, but also the Humanics philosophy of Springfield College.

Eligibility and Application Requirements 

To be eligible for RSA scholarship funding, students must first be accepted to the Rehabilitation Counseling graduate program at Springfield College. Additional scholarship requirements include maintaining full time status each semester, achieving a minimum 3.0 GPA each semester, and successfully complete a minimum 300-hour internship within the public rehabilitation program (e.g., state vocational rehabilitation agency). Students may submit their completed RSA scholarship application, current resumé, and a statement of interest to the Rehabilitation Counseling Program Director and RSA grant Project Director, Dr. Kathleen Green, at kgreen5@springfield.edu. To apply or for more information on the RSA application requirements, see list of resources below.

Resources

Springfield College RSA Scholarship Application Springfield College RSA Student Handbook

Funding and Payback Requirements

The RSA scholarship can fund up to 12 credits of students’ tuition per year and provide a stipend each semester. RSA recipients are still eligible for other sources of aid, such as graduate fellowships or AmeriCorps opportunities.  As part of payback requirements, students who receive RSA funding are required to work full time within the public rehabilitation program post-completion of their master’s program. This means for every year of full-time scholarship support, students are expected to work two years in the public rehabilitation program. Students are required to manage their scholarship funds and payback agreements using the Payback Information Management System. For more information on funding and/or payback requirements, see the list of resources below.

Resources

Springfield College RSA Payback Agreement U.S. Department of Education Payback Manual

General Inquiries

For more information about the RSA scholarship funding at Springfield College, please contact the Rehabilitation Counseling Program Director and RSA grant Project Director Dr. Kathleen Green at kgreen5@springfield.edu or (413) 748-3566 (office).