BS, Rehabilitation Services

Through inquiry, education, and practice, the undergraduate program in Rehabilitation Services will build a culture of leadership among the students. The shared values of respect, authenticity, accountability, teamwork, and a commitment to serve others will be fostered. This program at ECU takes pride in developing leaders who inspire, empower and influence positive change.

The Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation Services prepares entry-level human service personnel for careers in substance abuse, mental health, vocational rehabilitation, and other allied health professions. Working successfully with individuals who have life challenges including physical and/or mental disabilities, as well as substance use disorders requires good communication skills, a strong interest in helping others, flexibility, creativity, a willingness to participate as a treatment team member, and strong leadership skills. 

Core content in the major includes effective interviewing, interpersonal, and helping skills; introduction to the case management process; information on alcohol and drug use and abuse; basic knowledge of medical, psychological, and social aspects of disability; philosophical and legislative history of rehabilitation services; an introduction to the organizational structure of rehabilitation systems, the rehabilitation process, and related community resources and services. 

A field experience is an integral part of the curriculum and allows students to apply the knowledge learned in the program in a real world setting and to develop contacts and resources in the field for employment assistance. Students are encouraged to complete a minor or concentration in an area related to their rehabilitation interest.

Standards of Practice for Graduates

  • Understand 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.
  • 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.
  • Knowledge of community resources available to people with disabilities.
  • The ability to problem solve to assist persons with disabilities in their rehabilitation program and to empower the person with a disability.
  • Knowledge of ethical principles and decision-making models to facilitate effective delivery of rehabilitation services.

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

Employment Opportunities

Employment titles and roles within rehabilitation service programs include: substance abuse worker, employment specialist, casework technician, community skills instructor, case manager, activities assistant, vocational evaluator assistant, behavior technician, and behavioral and emotional disorder specialist.

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Advancement Potential

Opportunities to work as a rehabilitation counselor, substance abuse counselor, or vocational evaluator are often dependent on obtaining a Master's degree. The Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies Department offers three graduate degrees: Rehabilitation and Career Counseling, Clinical Counseling with an emphasis in addictions, and PhD in Rehabilitation Counseling and Administration, including four graduate certificates: Rehabilitation Counseling, Vocational Evaluation, Substance Abuse Counseling, and Military and Trauma Counseling. The Rehabilitation Services major and Alcohol and Drug Studies minor provide a bridge to this curriculum.

Code of Ethics

Students in the Rehabilitation Services degree program must abide by the Code of Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors. In the practice of any role in the rehabilitation process, the service provider is expected to demonstrate adherence to the ethical standards of the profession. The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification and many professional rehabilitation organizations have adopted the Code of Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors. Students are responsible for visiting this website and reading the Code of Ethics.