Rehabilitation counseling is a process whereby the counselor works collaboratively with an individual with a disability to understand existing problems, barriers, and potentials in order to facilitate the client’s effective use of personal and environmental resources for personal, social, career, and community adjustment.
This program prepares students to practice the profession of rehabilitation counseling. The two-year, 60-credit hour curriculum is accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) and includes courses on rehabilitation research, foundations of rehabilitation counseling, counseling services, medical and psycho-social aspects of disability, case management, vocational and career development, assessment, job development and placement, rehabilitation science and assistive technology, and disability studies.
Graduates meet eligibility criteria for national certification in rehabilitation counseling (i.e., certified rehabilitation counselor, CRC) and the educational requirements for licensure as a professional counselor (LPC) in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The program is one of the only rehabilitation counselor training programs in the world that requires specialty course work and clinical field experience in assistive technology, in addition to providing comprehensive professional training that emphasizes evidence-based clinical practice, vocational rehabilitation, and disability studies.
In compliance with accreditation requirements (Standard A.5), the Rehabilitation Counseling program at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences is fully accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) through 2015. The masters degree program has a goal of admitting 15-20 students in each graduate cohort. The rehabilitation counseling program has a rolling admission process and admits students each year in the fall and the spring. Student outcomes are evaluated each year using multiple metrics that are part of the overall program evaluation to assess student learning, faculty effectiveness, as well as course and curriculum effectiveness.
Currently, the graduate program has a total of 29 students. The program has four full-time faculty and nine part-time faculty members who teach the CORE accredited curriculum. In addition to the full-time rehabilitation counseling faculty, the part-time faculty members are from a multitude of disciplines that offers diversity to the program. These part-time faculty members include rehabilitation engineers, physical and occupational therapists, policy and information technology specialists. The current grade point average of the students in the program is 3.56.
The rehabilitation counseling program is housed within the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Technology. Due to the mission of the department, the rehabilitation counseling program has a strong emphasis in assistive technology, offering a certificate opportunity to students. To date, over 96% of all students have elected to participate in the assistive technology certificate.
Since 2009, a total of 23 students have graduated from the program. All students passed their clinical coursework. During the same 2009-2011 span, almost 80% of University of Pittsburgh graduates have opted to take, and passed, the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam and 96% of the graduates are employed or pursuing advanced academic degrees.
Twenty-five percent of the students are from underrepresented groups, including people with disabilities. The rehabilitation counseling program offers support to students through departmental and school wide scholarships. Twenty-percent of our students have been supported by these scholarships. Students also receive support in the form of pre-doctoral fellowships. Pre-doctoral fellowships are 20-hour/week clinical or research positions that provide a stipend to the student. Each year, approximately 30% of the rehabilitation counseling students are supported by these fellowships.
The rehabilitation counseling curriculum has been deemed to meet academic standards (60 credits) for licensure in the state of Pennsylvania as a professional counselor, along with the CRC serving as the LPC examination.
For further information, e-mail Michael McCue, PhD, or call 412-383-6589.
Information for current and prospective students
Information regarding Rehabilitation Counseling student manuals, handbooks, theses and scholarly paper guidelines, and practicum or internship forms can be found in Rehabilitation Counseling Student Resources .