With changing demography, emerging disabling conditions, returning veterans, and enhanced longevity due to medical advances, the prevalence of disabilities is estimated to increase geometrically. Nationally, there is an acute shortage of qualified rehabilitation counselors of culturally diverse backgrounds to serve this population.
Therefore, the mission of the Department of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies is to educate and train students at the baccalaureate and master's levels to meet the qualified personnel needs of the profession of rehabilitation. This mission is achieved through various rehabilitation education, research, capacity building, and other programmatic activities. The undergraduate program in Rehabilitation Services and the graduate program in Rehabilitation Counseling began in 1983 under the Consent Decree. The undergraduate program was accredited by the Committee on Undergraduate Education of the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). The current accreditation period is through summer 2020. With the merger of CORE and CACREP, in 2016, undergraduate programs will no longer be accredited by CORE and as such, Southern University is seeking accreditation from Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
As of July 1, 2017, CORE merged with CACREP and the graduate degree program has moved from a CORE accreditation to a CACREP accreditation. The current program is accredited through October, 2019. The program is in the process to converting to a 60-credit hour Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling degree and seeking accreditation for that.
All activities of the department are student centered. Besides, academic excellence, the students are involved in social and community service activities through Southern University Students Rehabilitation Association (SUSRA) and Sigma Upsilon Chi Chapter of the Chi Sigma Iota, Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society International. The diverse body of students, faculty, and staff possesses unique strength and diligence in building an academic ambiance conducive to all. The graduates are employed across the nation in public, private, non-profit agencies, community rehabilitation programs and universities. The faculty engages in scholarly research and publications with a strong focus on mentoring of students and entry level faculty. Also, the faculty serves on national and international professional organizations and is often invited to consult with international entities such as Rehabilitation International and Conference of State Parties to implement the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
I urge you to visit our website which contains valuable and timely information on scholarship, education, professional development, research, dissemination, mentoring and capacity building that can assist in the development of a successful career in rehabilitation.
Madan M. Kundu, Ph.D., FNRCA, CRC, NCC, LRC
Chair and Professor