Mission and Objectives of Rehabilitation Counseling and Services Graduate Programs

Rehabilitation counseling and services programs prepare specialists who have a vital role in the vocational, educational, and personal adjustment of persons who have a physical, mental, or emotional impairments or disabilities. Frequently, the rehabilitation counselor is part of a team of physicians, psychologists, social workers, educators, and other professionals who evaluate individuals and then assist them to achieve maximum self-realization, independence and in turn increased quality of life. Rehabilitation Counselors are employed in private practice, rehabilitation facilities, universities, schools, government agencies, insurance companies and other organizations that support people with congenital and acquired disabilities in reaching their personal and professional goals.  Recently, Rehabilitation Counseling was rated one of the most meaningful jobs in America and as the highest paid counseling specialization area.  Rehabilitation counseling programs are provided in cooperation with the Rehabilitation Services Administration and United States Department of Education and our program is fully accredited by the Council on the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP Accreditation provides recognition that the content and quality of the program has been evaluated and meets standards set by the profession. Through CACREP accreditation, students can be assured that appropriate knowledge and skill areas are included in the program curriculum. Also, Springfield College Rehabilitation Counseling program graduates may now pursue counseling careers and doctoral study in programs that require students to graduate from a CACREP-accredited program.

The major learning objectives, which are primary to the program mission, are:

1. To educate individuals in rehabilitation counseling and evaluation skills; in rehabilitation theory and methodology; and in independent living, the world of work, occupations and job demands, medical and psychological conditions, case management, advocacy, and community resources, for work in a wide range of settings. 

2. To develop mature, competent, empathetic professionals who to work collaboratively with individuals with disabilities to achieve their personal, career, and independent living goals through the counseling process,

3.  To hone students’ counseling skills through a combination of coursework and professionally supervised clinical experiences.

4. To prepare students to become nationally Certified Rehabilitation Counselors (CRC) and/or licensed rehabilitation counselors.

Program Outcomes

In Progress

The rehabilitation and counseling services specialization at Springfield College is fully accredited by the accredited by the Council on the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) through 2025. The master’s degree program has a goal of admitting 10-15 students in each graduate cohort. The full-time program admits each year in every semester. Student outcomes are evaluated each year and the evaluation is part of the overall program evaluation.

Currently, the graduate program has a total of 31 students. Fifty-eight percent of the students are from underrepresented groups, including people with disabilities. The program has three full-time and three part-time adjunct faculty members who teach the CORE accredited curriculum. The instructor to student ratio is 1-to-6. The average instructor rating for rehabilitation counseling courses for the 2015-16 period is 4.05 (Note: 5 = Very Effective, 4 = Effective, 3 = Moderately Effective, 2 = Somewhat Effective, 1 = Ineffective). The current grade point average of the students in the program is 3.65. For the 2015-16 year, a total of nine (9) students graduated from the program.

Outcomes. To determine the skills that graduates obtained from the program, the Agency Supervisors Feedback Questionnaire and Graduate Alums Follow-Up Survey are sent to recent graduates and their employers each year. The Department Chair, Graduate Coordinator, and Graduate Committee review the information, and the Department Chair completes an annual report to the CORE accreditation body summarizing the data collected. The Department uses the results of these assessments to make appropriate adjustments to program requirements and curriculum. The following information was obtained from analysis of both measures from 2008 to 2015:

1. Agency Supervisors Feedback Questionnaire: N = 62, Overall Satisfaction with Graduate Item Mean = 5.10/4.77 2008 Baseline (.07% improvement; SD = .69) on a scale from 1 to 6, with 6 being the most favorable score. (NOTE: SA = 6, A = 5, U = 4, D = 3, SD = 2, N/A = 1); Cronbach's Alpha (measure reliability) = .90;

2. Graduate Alums Follow-Up Survey: N = 79. Overall Student Satisfaction with Program: Item Mean = 4.35/4.55 2008 Baseline (.04% decrease; SD = .48) on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the most favorable score (NOTE: SD = 1, D = 2, U= 3, A = 4, SA = 5). Cronbach's Alpha = .94. Both employers and students are requesting an increase in modalities in assessment and school to work transition skills.

For the 2015-16 academic year, 16 students have either graduated or are scheduled to graduate; six of those students are RSA Scholars (35%). At present, three (3) students have graduated as of the fall of 2015 and are currently employed in the field of rehabilitation, one in the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. Nine (9) students are scheduled to graduate in the spring of 2016 and are also already employed in non-profit rehabilitation agencies. Four (4) students are scheduled to graduate in the summer of 2016. Of these students, three (3) intend to pursue employment in state vocational agencies and the remaining to seek employment in non-profit rehabilitation agencies.

During the same 2015-16 period, all of the students passed their clinical coursework and comprehensive exams, 95% of Springfield College’s graduates passed the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam, and 100% of the graduates are employed. Specifically, 38% are employed in state vocational rehabilitation and 62% are employed in private nonprofit rehabilitation. Almost 5% of the cohort had either published scholarly articles or presented at professional conferences related to rehabilitation counseling before graduation.

Enrollment/Graduation ratios for past four years:

2016: 17 Students Enrolled/ 16 Graduated

2015: 10 Students Enrolled/ 13 Graduated

2014: 10 Students Enrolled/ 10 Graduated

2013: 9 Students Enrolled/ 10 Graduated

  • The average time necessary to complete the program is two years.
  • The estimated cost of program attendance is $46,080 for the 48 credit program and $57,600 for the 60 credit program.

Each year, five graduate fellowships are offered within the department and 12 Rehabilitation Services Association Long-Term Training Grants (2014-19) are available. Outside the department, there are several other fellowships in the College for which graduate students can apply. Completion of this program results in (a) eligibility for certification as a rehabilitation counselor (CRC) after passing the required exam and graduation and eligibility for licensure as a rehabilitation counselor (LRC).