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Master of Science Degree The Rehabilitation Counseling program is guided by its mission to prepare rehabilitation professionals who are committed to facilitating the personal, social and economic independence of individuals with disabilities throughout the rehabilitation or habilitation process. The program is founded on the assumption of the worth, dignity and value of all individuals and is accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE).
Professional development activities and personal growth experiences for students are provided to focus on developing skills for living and working as constructive participants in our multicultural, multiethnic society. The Rehabilitation Counseling program works toward these ends by fostering lifelong learning skills, creating a climate of inquiry, encouraging creative and scholarly productivity, and enhancing people’s ability to solve problems.
Upon successful completion of the program each student will:
- Develop and demonstrate an identity as a rehabilitation counseling professional.
- Integrate rehabilitation philosophy and principles of independence, integration, choice, selfdetermination, empowerment, access and respect for individual differences into rehabilitation counseling planning and service provision.
- Demonstrate ethical behavior and ethical problem-solving consistent with the code of ethics for rehabilitation counseling professionals.
- Utilize disability-related legislation, public policy, and attitudinal and access barriers to advocate for and with persons with disabilities and their families.
- Identify the influences and functional impacts and implications of chronic illness and/or disability across human development and lifespan.
- Evaluate environmental, social and economic influences that create barriers for persons with disabilities.
- Appraise psychosocial, cultural and diversity issues that may affect the rehabilitation process.
- Formulate counseling techniques to promote rehabilitation counseling and philosophy to chronic illness or disability adjustment.
- Analyze jobs, employment trends and career opportunities to assist in rehabilitation planning and service provision.
- Apply research findings to improve services to persons with disabilities.
- Integrate vocational assessment in the rehabilitation planning.
- Identify community resources and other services which promote independence
The CORE-accredited Rehabilitation Counseling program requires 60-credits of course work . All degreerelated courses are predefined to meet accreditation standards and certification requirements. There are no required elective classes.
The Rehabilitation Counseling program prepares students to meet and/or exceed the educational and experiential requirements necessary to seek the professional designation of Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). Students in the Rehabilitation Counseling program meet the minimum educational requirements necessary to obtain the Wisconsin state in-training license leading to the Wisconsin Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) designation.
The Rehabilitation Counseling program is based on a cohort-model where students are admitted to the program once yearly in the fall. The program offers two distinct cohorts: a) traditional campus-based cohort designed as a two-year full-time program and; b) a part-time (three-year) online cohort designed for employed rehabilitation professionals who possess a minimum of two years of related work experience. Students within a cohort typically proceed through sequenced coursework together and graduate at the same time. The cohorts are mutually exclusive and students can enroll only in those courses within their designated cohort (i.e., campus-based students cannot enroll in online cohort course offerings).
Application due dates are March 15 for the campus-based cohort and April 15 for the online cohort. To be considered for admission to the program, students must complete a two-step application process. First, submit the application for admission to the UW-Stout Graduate School ( http://www.uwstout.edu/grad/prospect/apply.cfm). Second, submit the Rehabilitation Counseling program-specific application (Campus cohort: http://www.uwstout.edu/programs/msvr/oncampus/apply.cfm ; Online cohort: http://www.uwstout.edu/programs/msvr-online/apply.cfm).
The Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling has unique professional degree requirements governed by professional accreditation standards. The program admission, retention, probation and dismissal policy reflects sensitivity to these standards and faculty determination of the graduate student or degree candidate’s capability to meet the rigors of professional practice and the essential job functions of rehabilitation professionals. In recognition of responsibilities to people with disabilities who will be served by the graduates of this program, selective admission and retention of candidates for the Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling are maintained.
Entrance into the program requires the unanimous vote of approval by the graduate Rehabilitation Counseling Program Admission Committee which is comprised of a minimum of three rehabilitation faculty/staff members. Approval will be dependent upon the applicant demonstrating:
- Potential for successful academic achievement at the graduate level;
- Interest in working with people with disabilities;
- Personal and social characteristics necessary to work with people with disabilities, such as personal, emotional and social maturity and a combination of patience, empathy and understanding;
- Ability to work independently;
- Ability to use expressive and receptive communication skills to effectively facilitate the counseling process;
- Ability to perform the essential functions of the job of a rehabilitation counselor, and;
- Ability to carry out professional responsibilities.
The decision for admission or denial of admission by the Rehabilitation Counseling Program Admission Committee will be based on the criteria above with information obtained from records of undergraduate and/or other graduate academic attainment, letters of reference from a minimum of three objective individuals who are familiar with the applicant in work or educational settings, information provided on the program application form, and other data and information received by the committee. The committee may require an interview when information submitted is insufficient for rendering a decision or when the applicant’s undergraduate GPA is less than 2.75.
To be admitted with full status to the Rehabilitation Counseling graduate program, the applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college and have an overall grade point average of at least 2.75 based on a four-point scale. Applicants may be admitted on probationary status if their overall grade point average is at least 2.5 but less than 2.75. Other conditions of acceptance into the program may include completion of remedial course work. Remedial course work may be required and costs of such courses may differ from regular graduate tuition.
Students from a variety of educational backgrounds are eligible for admission. Applicants with degrees such as vocational rehabilitation, disability studies, psychology, sociology, business, industrial technology, vocational education, special education, occupational therapy, physical therapy, communication disorders, recreational therapy and social work can find appropriate applications within the program. Although a specific educational background is not required, the applicant’s transcripts will be evaluated to determine if remedial or deficiency course work at the undergraduate level or additional graduate work will need to be completed to earn the degree.
Primary Evaluation Processes
Student retention in the Rehabilitation Counseling graduate program involves continuous formal and informal assessment of students throughout their training. Scheduled formal student assessment occurs at three specific points in the program: (a) midpoint faculty review, (b) application for degree candidacy, and (c) upon successful completion of comprehensive exam or completion of research project (twocredit Problems in VR or six-credit Thesis). Descriptions of the committee procedures for formal student assessment processes are detailed in the M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling Student Handbook available from the program director.
Students who choose the comprehensive examination as the means to fulfill degree completion are required to earn a passing score on the national Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam. The CRC exam is administered by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC), 1688 East Woodfield Road, Suite 300, Schaumburg, IL 60173, www.crccertification.com or telephone (847) 944-1325. The CRC exam is offered three times per year (May/July/October) within an 8-day testing window. The computerized exam consists of 175 multiple-choice questions administered within an allotted 3½ hours.
Students enrolled in the M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling program are eligible to apply for the CRC exam on completion of 75% of their program coursework. Students who meet eligibility criteria apply under CRCC Category G and pay related application and exam fees. The student must obtain a passing score on the CRC exam AND complete all other degree requirements within 1 year of date of CRC application. Students must sign a “consent for transfer of records” form so CRCC will release the scores and profile for the completed examination to M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling program director at UW-Stout, Department of Rehabilitation and Counseling. In the event a student does not earn a passing score, the student must contact CRCC to determine the process and any cost to arrange to take the exam again on the next regularly scheduled CRCC administration of the CRC exam.
The requirements for this degree include (a) completion of a minimum of 60 semester hours of predefined graduate credit; (b) an overall grade point average of 3.00 or better; (c) at least half (50%) of credits must be open only to graduate students numbered at or above the 700 level; (d) a minimum grade of “B” or better in required concentration courses including all practicum and internship courses; (e) satisfactory (3.00) ratings on midpoint faculty review; (f) approval for degree candidacy and; (g) successful completion of the M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling comprehensive exam (i.e., CRC exam) or thesis option (thesis credits as outlined on individualized program plan).