Online Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling Programs
Online Master Degree Programs in Rehabilitation Counseling enable students to gain the top foundational skills and expertise they need to help people with disabilities find work and live independently, in a format that appeals to the modern student. Because most states require a masters for licensure, masters programs are typically considered entry level education in the field.
Programs may cover everything from the psychosocial aspects of disability, to best theories and techniques used by counselors to help them thrive. Some programs may even cover disability and rehabilitation research, advocacy, or policy. And because they’re predominantly conducted online, many programs offer flexible scheduling and portability, which could accommodate personal obligations, professional employment, and diverse learning needs.
Online Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling: Basics
In many cases, Online Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling programs take about 2 years to complete in terms of coursework. Often, another year may be set aside for internship experience. However, pacing may vary by school, program, and individual student preference. Sometimes all the coursework is delivered online, but any practicum experiences typically have to be set up through the university.
That said, despite the name, not all online rehabilitation counseling programs take place 100% online. Some may involve a few onsite requirements alongside distance-learning. Depending on your availability and your goals, this could be an advantage, as it may help you gain the interpersonal experience essential to rehabilitation counseling. However, the amount, nature, and timing of on-campus experiences may vary, so it is a good idea to think about what you can commit to as you initiate your search.
DID YOU KNOW? 49% of Rehabilitation Specialists have a Master’s degree?[i]
Why Consider Online Master Degree Programs in Rehabilitation Counseling?
Broadly, Online Master Degree Programs in Rehabilitation Counseling provide students with an opportunity to gain an extensive knowledge of counseling theory, practice and application.
Ultimately, the goal in many of these programs is to help prepare students to be able to:
- Provide rehabilitation and clinical mental health counseling to people with disabilities or disadvantages
- Provide educational, vocational, and psychosocial support to people with disabilities or disadvantages and their families
- Assess the needs of a person with disabilities or disadvantages and create a plan accordingly
- Provide advocacy to people with disabilities or disadvantages
- Develop and support community programming for people with disabilities or disadvantages
- Seek professional licensure which requires a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, plus a period of supervised clinical practice or internship[ii]
Which Online Rehabilitation Counseling Masters Degree is Right for me?
If you are seeking to earn your masters in rehabilitation counseling degree online, you might need to choose between several degree types. Rehabilitation Counseling Programs Online generally offer either Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) tracks. In both cases, students may need some degree of undergraduate education in counseling psychology, psychology, or human services.
When making this choice students may wish to consider whether they are looking to pursue a professional degree, (M.S.), or an academic one (M.A.). Professional degrees may help further a current career choice by teaching you the additional skills to address certain populations; students usually go onto to seek state licensure in their field. Academic master’s programs usually involve rigorous research and a written thesis, and may be used as a preliminary degree to a Doctorate.
Areas of Application in Rehabilitation Counseling
Rehabilitation Counselors assist individuals or persons coping with personal, social, and vocational difficulties that result from birth defects, illness, disease, accidents, or the stress of daily life to be as independent and employable as possible. Because this is such a broad list, some online master degree programs in rehabilitation counseling may allow students to focus on serving specific populations or areas of need.
For example, some students might be interested in earning an online vocational rehabilitation masters degree. Vocational rehabilitation counselors assess client needs and design and implement rehabilitation programs that may include personal and vocational counseling, training, and job placement.
Other examples of the types of groups some students might be interested in serving:
- Veterans who need help to cope with the mental or physical effects of their military service
- Elderly people who need help to adapt to disabilities developed later in life from illness or injury
- Students who need to develop strategies to live with their disability and move from school to work
- Resolve personal, family, social, educational, and employment issues for different groups
Accreditation and Certification Requirements
Program accreditation for online rehab counseling programs may come from any of several organizations. These include The Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE), and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), which is the specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education.
This may be useful for those seeking licensure after they graduate, in part because accredited programs may aim to help students “demonstrate the professional knowledge, skills, and practices necessary to address a wide variety of circumstances within the rehabilitation counseling context”[iii].
Typically, certification or licensure is administered on a state-by-state level, or by a specific professional organization. National certification may or may not be required to practice. However the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification offers the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) Certification which may be preferred by some employers. [iv]
Find Online Master Degree Programs in Rehabilitation Counseling
According to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data, employment of rehabilitation counselors is expected to grow by 9% from 2014 to 2024.[v] Why not meet this trend with a solid academic foundation! Start reviewing sponsored listings for Online Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling degrees today! Some of the exciting options might include Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling-General. Remember that each university has uniquely attractive features; reach out to them to request more information.
sources: [i] onetonline.org/link/summary/21-1015.00 |[ii] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/rehabilitation-counselors.htm | onetonline.org/link/summary/21-1015.00 |[iii]core-rehab.org/Files/Doc/PDF/Clinical%20Rehabilitation%20Counseling%20Standards.%20FINAL.pdf[iv] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/rehabilitation-counselors.htm |[v]bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/rehabilitation-counselors.htm
Liberty University Online
Wake Forest University
Our Lady of the Lake University
University of the Southwest
University of Kentucky
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Montana State University - Billings
University of Alabama