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Rehabilitation faculty receives federal grants totaling $3.5 million

2/27/2015

Southern University's Department of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies in the College of Nursing and Allied Health has received federal funding of grants totaling $3.5 million to increase the number of students in Rehabilitation Counseling.

The funding is part of the Long-Training Grants in the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Education.

"There is a great demand for Rehabilitation Counselors who can assist people with physical, mental and social disabilities to become employed and productive members of society," said Dr. Madan Kundu, professor and chair of the Department of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies.

The graduates will work in state-federal vocational rehabilitation agencies and community rehabilitation programs.

Here's how the grants are designated. Rehabilitation Counseling with Specialization in Psychiatric Rehabilitation will receive $1 million. The project director is Dr. Alo Datta. The Associate Project Director is Dr. Kundu, and Assistant Project Director is Dr. Veronica Umeasiegbu.

There is $1 million set aside for Rehabilitation Counseling with Specialization in Assistive Technology. The project director is Dr. Kundu. The Principal Investigator is Dr. Frank Puckett and Co-Principal Investigator is Dr. Dutta.

Dr. Dutta is the project director for a $750,000 grant for Rehabilitation Counseling with Specialization in Mental Illnesss. The Associate Projector Director is Dr Kundu and the Assistant Project Director is Dr. Ebonee Johnson.

Dr. Kundu is the co-principal investigator along with Dutta and Dr. Frank Puckett on a $750,000 Vocational Evaluation and Work Adjustment grant. The Co-Principal Investigator is Dr. Dutta.

There is an acute shortage of qualified rehabilitation counselors in the country, especially of culturally diverse backgrounds. The U. S. Department of Labor projection indicates that there is a 28 percent increase in the need for qualified rehabilitation counselors through 2020. Individuals with master's degree are expected to increase their lifetime earnings by $400,000 over individuals with a bachelor's degree.

The grants will provide a total of 28 scholarships: 20 scholarships of $17,500 and 8 scholarships of $22,500 (including $5,000 graduate assistantship) covering tuition and fees, books, monthly stipend, and travel to national conferences. 

The master's degree program in Rehabilitation Counseling is accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). A minimum of 48 hours is required to earn a master's degree which includes 30 hours of core courses, 9 hours of specialization, 3 hours of practicum and 6 hours of internship, and passing a comprehensive examination or passing the national Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) examination or departmental comprehensive examination.

The specialization in Psychiatric Rehabilitation is 60 hours in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling allows one to obtain state licenses and CRC. The curriculum is offered both on campus and online

For further information, contact the following:

Dr. Madan Kundu, Chair, 231 Blanks Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70813, Phone: 225-771-2325, email: kundusubr@aol.com or madan_kundu@subr.edu

Dr. Alo Dutta, Associate Professor, 233 Blanks Hall, Phone: 225-771-2325, email:

alodutta1992@aol.com or alo_dutta@subr.edu

Dr. Frank Puckett, Associate Professor, 248 Blanks Hall, Phone 225-771-0046, email: Frank_puckett@subr.edu