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Rehabilitation Counseling

Master of Science Degree Rehabilitation Counseling

The Master of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is the oldest program of its type in the United States and is part of one of the largest rehabilitation departments in the U.S. (The Rehabilitation Institute). The Rehabilitation Counseling program has been continuously ranked in the top 5% of all rehabilitation education programs since its inception over fifty years ago. Rehabilitation Counseling is a dynamic and growing field; according to the latest Occupational Outlook Handbook from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is expected to grow by 19% over the next eight years. Rehabilitation Counseling offers employment opportunities in both public and private sectors, serving individuals with disabilities.

The goal of the Rehabilitation Counselor is to assist people with disabilities to achieve maximum psychological, social, vocational, economic independence, and quality of life to their fullest capacity. The foundation of Rehabilitation Counseling is one of empowerment in which individuals exercise control over their own lives. Rehabilitation Counseling focuses on the whole person, including physical, psychological and spiritual aspects, as well as family, social and work relationships.

The Rehabilitation Counselor needs advanced skills in interpersonal communications and counseling, assessment procedures, case management, coordination of services, job placement, and understanding of psychosocial and medical aspects of disability. Rehabilitation Counselors also work closely with family members, and confer with a number of other professionals, such as physicians, occupational therapists, physical therapists, audiologists, and other health professionals. Curriculum in CORE accredited Rehabilitation Counseling programs like ours at SIUC are designed to help students develop these skills.

Mission and Goals of the Degree

The overall mission of the Master of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling at SIUC is to prepare professional Rehabilitation Counselors to work with people with physical, mental, or emotional disability, primarily in a five-state region that includes Southern Illinois, Eastern Missouri, Western Indiana, Western Kentucky, and Western Tennessee. However our graduates are sought and employed by rehabilitation programs all over the United States, and some in other countries.

Our overall mission is implemented with three goals in mind:

  1. Prepare highly qualified rehabilitation counselors to partner with persons with disabilities in their achievement of maximum vocational, personal and social independence. This preparation in accomplished by classroom and clinical experience in (a) individual and group counseling; (b) evaluation and assessment; (c) employment and occupational choice; (d) case and caseload management; (e) medical and psychosocial information; (f) job development and placement; (g) research utilization; and (h) problems of special populations. Community service to a culturally and ethnically diverse population, professional functions, critical thinking, advocacy, applied research activities, and ethical standards are integrated throughout student preparation and development.
  2. Provide in-service training and consultation services to public and private rehabilitation agencies and facilities, and to professionals and consumers. The Master of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling at SIUC supports and encourages the development of workshops, training sessions and special programs to all segments of the rehabilitation community. These special programs reflect significant, emerging national and regional training trends.
  3. Contribute to the body of knowledge on disability and rehabilitation practices and issues. Faculty and students remain current with developments within the field through internal and collaborative research projects, and dissemination of research results.

Note: In 2018 10 out 15 students passed the CRC (67%).