College of Allied Health Sciences
Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies

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Admission Requirements
CORE Standard A.5

Counseling today01


The primary mission of ECU's master's program in Rehabilitation and Career counseling is to teach counseling and rehabilitation theories, applied counseling approaches, and clinical skills necessary for professionals to assist individuals with disabilities achieve their maximum level of physical, psychological, social, educational, vocational, and economic functioning.

The MS in Rehabilitation and Career Counseling program will continue to build a strong foundation in practicing collaborative leadership skills, develop flexible and positive views of the future, and identify and build on existing strengths, opportunities, and resources to engage in the community and enact positive change.


The objectives of the program are to provide students with the essential knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to function effectively as a professional rehabilitation counselor which include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

  1. Foundations of rehabilitation counseling, history, philosophy, legislation and laws affecting individuals with disabilities, social/cultural issues, and ethical standards of practice;
  2. Rehabilitation counseling services to individuals, family members, and groups of persons affected by acquired or congenital disabilities;
  3. Case management services including coordinating, planning, and implementing rehabilitation plans for persons with disabilities;
  4. Vocational, career development and job placement including assessment of occupational information, labor market trends, and development of vocational rehabilitation plans with persons with disabilities.
  5. Medical and psychosocial aspects of disability and how the person's environment, socio/cultural aspects, family, and psychological well-being impact the individual's adjustment to his or her disability.
  6. Applied research methodology and project design related to rehabilitation counseling.

Scope of Practice

Rehabilitation counselors provide individual and group counseling, vocational assessment, case management, and consultation services to persons with physical, mental, emotional, developmental, and cognitive disabilities. The rehabilitation counseling profession is founded on humanistic values and beliefs that facilitate therapeutic interventions using a holistic approach.

Roles and Responsibilities

·       Rehabilitation counselors use knowledge and skills from several disciplines including psychology, medicine, education, social work, law, and employment to serve persons with congenital and acquired disabilities.

·       Rehabilitation counselors practice in a variety of public and private settings including but are not limited to: state-federal vocational rehabilitation agencies, private psychiatric and physical rehabilitation hospital settings, county and regional mental health programs, independent living and residential facilities, and hospital-based physical rehabilitation units.

·       The unique role of the professional rehabilitation counselor promotes self-responsibility and self-advocacy with the consumers they serve and assists them to develop personal, family, and community resources consistent with personal goals and lifestyle.

Standards of Practice for Rehabilitation Counselors

Rehabilitation Counseling is a holistic and integrated program of medical, physical, cognitive, psychosocial, and vocational interventions that empowers persons with chronic illnesses and disabilities to achieve an optimal level of overall functioning. The profession itself is founded on humanistic values and the belief that each person is a unique individual.

Rehabilitation counselors facilitate counseling and vocational assessment strategies with their clients/consumers that cultivate independence, personally fulfilling, socially-emotionally meaningful, and functionally effective interactions within their environment. The general goals within the rehabilitation counseling process are to facilitate independence, vocational, and psychosocial adjustment for persons with chronic illnesses and disabilities.

The field of rehabilitation counseling has a promising future that offers employment in a variety of settings including, but are not limited to: state-federal vocational rehabilitation agencies, community-based rehabilitation centers, hospital-based rehabilitation units, independent living and residential treatment facilities, psychiatric, mental health programs, as well as a variety of case management settings.

Standards of Practice for Rehabilitation Counselors include

·       An understanding of the social, psychological, economic, physical, medical and environmental problems of people with disabilities;

·       Knowledge of the history, philosophy, legal status, and agencies/facilities of the rehabilitation system, as well as the roles and functions of rehabilitation practitioners;

·       Ability to apply knowledge of psychological, career and aptitude tests to facilitate consumer choices;  

·       Knowledge of employment services available to people with disabilities;

·       Ability to effectively communicate verbally and in writing with people with disabilities and members of the treatment team;

·       Ability to provide personal and career counseling to individuals from differing cultural and social groups;

·       Ability to provide group counseling as a method of assisting individuals to more successfully make life decisions;

·       Knowledge of community resources available to people with disabilities;

·       Ability to function as a consultant to business and industry on issues related to disability and accommodation;

·       The ability to problem solve to assist persons with disabilities in their rehabilitation program and to empower the person with a disability; and

·       Knowledge of ethical principles and decision-making models to facilitate effective delivery of rehabilitation services.

(Adapted from The Disability and Rehabilitation Studies Self Study of Curriculum Content Areas from the Council on Rehabilitation Education website.)

Professional Communication includes

·       Verbal communication to provide individual and group counseling;

·       Verbal communication to provide consultation to industry and business;

·       Verbal communication to convey technical and vocational information to consumers;

·       Communicate abstract information in a clear manner;

·       Written communication skills and report development;

·       Vocational counseling techniques and skills;

·       Basic negotiation and mediation techniques; and

·       Collaboration skills to develop effective partnerships within and across disciplines.


Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. (2007). Scope of Practice Statement. Schaumburg, IL: Author. Retrieved online November 8, 2007,

Commission on Certification of Work Adjustment and Vocational Evaluation Specialists (2006). Standards and Procedures Manual for Certification in Vocational Evaluation. Schaumburg, IL: Author. Retrieved online November 8, 2007.

Code of Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors. Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. Schaumburg, IL: Author. Retrieved online November 8, 2007