With changing demography, emerging disabling conditions, the Covid-19 pandemic, natural disasters, returning veterans, and enhanced longevity due to medical advances, the prevalence of disabilities is increasing geometrically. In 2022, the number of individuals with disabilities will be about 61 million in the USA. Unfortunately, there is an acute shortage of qualified clinical rehabilitation and mental health counselors of culturally diverse backgrounds to serve this population.
Therefore, the Department of Rehabilitation, Disability Studies, and Counseling's mission is to educate and train students at the baccalaureate and master's levels to meet the qualified personnel needs of the profession. Achieve this mission through rehabilitation and mental health education, research, capacity building, service, and other programmatic activities.
The Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation Services was previously accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). Since the merger of the CORE with CACREP, an accrediting body that only accredits graduate programs, the department is currently submitting a Self -Study Document to the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
The 60-hour Master of Science degree in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Program (CRCP) is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Academic Programs (CACREP) through October 2027. The 60-hour Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program was added in the Fall of 2019. The department is submitting a Self-Study Document for CMHC for CACREP accreditation.
The department has a history of securing external funding of about $38 Million in scholarship, research, capacity building, service, and national technical assistance center grants. Currently, the department has a five-year Disability Innovation Fund of $3.08 Million from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) and a Field Initiated Research on Cooperative Learning and Individualized Mentoring CLAIM from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). The department has completed a $12.5 M grant from RSA for Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistant Center for Targeted Communities (VRTAC-TC): Education, Empower and Employ (Project E3). Webinars on various topics are available at www.Projecte3.com
All activities of the department are student-centered. In addition to academic excellence, students are involved in social and community service activities through Southern University Students Rehabilitation Association (SUSRA) and Sigma Upsilon Chi Chapter of 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, mental health serving agencies, and colleges and universities.
The faculty engages in scholarly research and publications with a strong focus on mentoring students and entry-level faculty. Also, the faculty serves on national and international professional organizations and consult with international entities such as Rehabilitation International and the 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 admission and graduation requirements, course offerings, plan of study, etc., that can assist in developing a successful career in rehabilitation and mental health counseling.
Madan M. Kundu, Ph.D., FNRCA, CRC, NCC, LRC
Chair and Professor