College of Allied Health Sciences
Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies

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Admission Requirements


The Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies at East Carolina University began in 1967 with a graduate degree in Rehabilitation and Career Counseling, formerly Rehabilitation Counseling. The first class of students graduated in 1969. The Rehabilitation and Career Counseling program was one of the first Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) accredited programs in 1974. The Department has maintained CORE accreditation since that date. The Substance Abuse and Clinical Counseling program was approved in 1988. In fall 1994, an undergraduate major in Rehabilitation Services was added to the Department. In the fall of 2005, the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies began a Ph.D. program in Rehabilitation Counseling and Administration.


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 Master of Science (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 with physical, mental, emotional, developmental, and cognitive disabilities; 
  3. Provides individual, group, and career counseling to individuals from differing cultural and social groups to facilitate coping skills and decision-making; 
  4. Case management services including coordinating, planning, and implementing rehabilitation plans for persons with disabilities; 
  5. Vocational, career development and job placement including assessment of occupational information, labor market trends, and development of vocational rehabilitation plans with persons with disabilities;
  6. 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; and
  7. Applied research methodology and project design related to rehabilitation counseling.
Scope of Practice

Rehabilitation counselors provide individual and group counseling, vocational assessment, case management, job placement, 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.

  • 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 follows a biopsychosocial model following an integrated program of medical, physical, cognitive, psychosocial, and vocational interventions that empowers persons with 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 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 vocational rehabilitation programs, private for profit rehabilitation agencies, community-based rehabilitation centers, Veterans Administration and military installations, hospital-based rehabilitation units, independent living and residential treatment facilities, psychiatric, mental health programs, as well as a variety of case management settings.

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.

Licensure and Certification 

Graduates from the Rehabilitation and Career Counseling program are eligible for North Carolina licensure as a Professional Counselor by the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors (see and for national certification as a Rehabilitation Counselor by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (see 


Our Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation and Career Counseling is fully accredited by the national accrediting body, the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). The Department was one of the first accredited nationally in 1974 and has maintained accreditation since that date.

General Program Information for Public Disclosure and Use (CORE Standard A.5.)

Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. Scope of Practice Statement. Schaumburg, IL: Author. Retrieved from

Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. (2010). Code of professional ethics for rehabilitation counselors. Schaumburg, IL: Author. Retrieved from

Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). (2014). CORE Standards for Graduate Rehabilitation Counselor Education Programs &Self-Study Document. Schaumburg, IL: Author. Retrieved from