Rehabilitation Counseling

Western Michigan University offers two "tracks" in rehabilitation counseling.  The generalist rehabilitation counseling (CERM) program and the rehabilitation counseling/teaching (RCTM) program.

Rehabilitation Counseling (CERM) Generalist Degree

The Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology's rehabilitation counseling (CERM) option is a 53-credit-hour program designed to prepare generalist rehabilitation counselors for employment in vocation rehabilitation settings serving persons with disabilities. Western Michigan University's rehabilitation counseling program incorporates course work in small 'n' research design and analysis, services for persons with disabilities, computer technology in rehabilitation, job development and placement, psychosocial aspects of disability, medical and functional aspects of disability, and foundations of rehabilitation counseling. The program includes a 600-hour supervised rehabilitation counseling internship in a vocational rehabilitation employment setting. The average amount of time to complete the rehabilitation counseling program is two years.This option leads to eligibility for licensure as a professional counselor in the State of Michigan and eligibility for national rehabilitation counselor certification (CRCC).

Rehabilitation Couseling/Teaching (RCTM) Dual Degree

The rehabilitation counseling program is also offered in conjunction with the Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Teaching as a dual Master of Arts degree program in rehabilitation counseling /teaching (RCTM). The rehabilitation counseling/teaching (RCTM) dual degree program is a 76-credit-hour program. The rehabilitation counseling-teaching degree program prepares a dually competent practitioner who is able to provide both rehabilitation counseling and rehabilitation teaching services. This degree option has two cohort time options to complete the program.  Students may elect the compressed cohort schedule to complete the degrees in two years and one semester; or, the extended cohort sequence to complete the degrees in three years and one semester.  The program includes a 600-hour supervised rehabilitation counseling internship in a vocational rehabilitation employment setting and a 600-hour supervised vision rehabilitation therapy internship in a blind rehabilitation setting. This option leads to eligibility for licensure as a professional counselor in the State of Michigan; eligibility for national rehabilitation counselor certification (CRCC); and, vision rehabilitation therapist certification.

Admissions

Application for the Masters of Arts in rehabilitation counseling and dual Master of Arts degrees in rehabilitation counseling-teaching is made through the Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies. Upon completion of the rehabilitation counseling-teaching program, the individual earns a Master of Arts in Counselor Education: Rehabilitation Counseling and a Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Teaching.

The rehabilitation counseling programs admit approximately seven to 10 students per annual cohort, with a majority of admissions occurring for the fall semester cohort. Some spring semester admissions are permitted pending special approval of the RC-RCT admissions committee. Please submit your application for the rehabilitation counseling and rehabilitation counseling-teaching programs through the Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies. 

Rehabilitation counseling (CERM) and rehabilitation counseling-teaching (RCTM) admissions application information

If you have any questions about the admissions process or the timing of your application material, please contact Dr. Jennipher Wiebold, RC-RCT program coordinator, at jennipher.wiebold@wmich.edu for support and guidance through the admissions process.

Accreditation

The rehabilitation counseling and rehabilitation counseling-teaching (also known as rehabilitation counseling specializing in blindness and low vision) graduate level programs are fully accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education for the 2008 to 2016 cycle.

Student Retention Rates
 Enrolled% Cohort  Representation of Diversity*Average GPA at Time of GraduationGraduated
2010-2011 16 94% 3.62 4
2011-2012 16 95% or higher 3.72 4
2012-2013 20 95% or higher 3.69 4
F2013-SP2014 20 95% or higher 3.70 5

*Diversity defined as race, ethnicity, gender, and disability.

Employment rates and settings

Program alumni from years 1994 through 2014 are employed across the country and abroad in a variety of public and private rehabilitation settings; including, but not limited to:  State-Federal Vocational Rehabilitation system; qualifying private, nonprofit and for profit agencies; or with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The overall employment rate for graduates of the rehabilitation counseling and rehabilitation counseling-teaching program is approximately 95 percent.

Assessing student learning across CORE knowledge domains

Rehabilitation counseling and rehabilitation counseling-teaching students are required to participate in an annual review of student performance. The annual review occurs in March and April of each year. The annual review assures student progress by addressing milestones such as GPA monitoring, pre-requisite completion and course sequencing, professional identity development, and overall student development. In addition, students work closely with their academic advisor to assure timely progress through the program of study. Each student meets a minimum of one time per semester with their academic advisor. Further assessment of student learning occurs across the CORE knowledge domains during the CECP 6120:  Counseling Practicum and CECP 6130:  Field Practicum courses.  Students must successfully demonstrate all knowledge domains to successfully complete these clinical courses.  Students and graduates are required to complete the CRC exam.

Program resources and management

The rehabilitation counseling programs are supported by an academic year-appointed associate professor and program coordinator who is a certified rehabilitation counselor.  The rehabilitation counseling faculty, including the program coordinator, is equivalent to three full-time faculty members. The overall 2013-2014 academic year instructor to student ratio is 1:7.

The program coordinator manages the program internally in conjunction with the RC-RCT Management Committee. The RC-RCT Management Committee is composed of rehabilitation counseling program related faculty members, administrators, and a student representative. The rehabilitation counseling and rehabilitation counseling-teaching programs also support an advisory board with representatives from federal and state vocational rehabilitation agencies as well as private nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Members of the advisory board also serve on the admissions committee.

Available scholarships

Students in the rehabilitation counseling and rehabilitation counseling-teaching programs are eligible to receive funding through a U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration Long-Term Training Grant in Rehabilitation Counseling. The grant award is for 2010 to 2015 pending annual performance review assessments and receipt of continuation funding. The total five-year grant cycle funding is $748,843. This grant provides academic course tuition funding for those students who commit to attaining and maintaining employment as rehabilitation counselors in the State-Federal Vocational Rehabilitation system and with qualified partners of the vocational rehabilitation system. Since 2000, the programs have yielded approximately $2.3 million of grant support to fund the training of future rehabilitation counselors.

2013-2014 Estimated Cost of Program Attendance
   In State Tuition and Fees Out of State Tuition and Fees
Rehabilitation Counseling (CERM)

53 Credit Hours
 $28,999.57  $58,431.53
Rehabilitation Counseling/Teaching (RCTM)  - 76 Credit Hours

Compressed Cohort - 2 yr 1 semester
 $40,868.94  $83,073.26
Rehabilitation Counseling/Teaching (RCTM)  - 76 Credit Hours

Extended Cohort - 3 yr 1 semester
 $42,206.44  $84,410.76

For more detailed information about the rehabilitation counseling/teaching programs, please visit:
Rehabilitation counseling-teaching program information

Elective study in CECP