About the Profession

  • The Department of Rehabilitation offers both an undergraduate degree program leading to the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Rehabilitation Services and a graduate degree program leading to the Master of Science (M.S.) in Rehabilitation Counseling. Each has a distinct career path.

    Rehabilitation Services

    While "rehabilitation" is a term used in many fields, for us it has primarily referred to the vocational rehabilitation of individuals who have disabilities and have needed assistance as they pursue their vocational goals. While our historical and legislative roots are firmly embedded in vocational rehabilitation, the field has greatly expanded. Graduates may go on to provide a variety of services to people with disabilities.

    Employment in a wide-range of rehabilitation related and human services areas is possible, including public rehabilitation services, rehabilitation centers, sheltered workshops, chemical dependency programs, senior citizens' centers, community mental health facilities, developmental disability centers, corrections systems, and hospitals. Increasing opportunities are available in private-for-profit/insurance rehabilitation programs for the industrially injured, rapidly developing employee assistance programs within business/industry, case managers, and disability student services in colleges and universities. Students interested in employment opportunities in these areas should consider taking the Behavioral Rehabilitation track.

    Rehabilitation Counseling

    The Rehabilitation Counseling profession provides a broad range of services to a diverse population with a focus on vocational and independent living services to individuals with disabilities and their families.  Disability is defined in the Americans with Disability Act as any physical or mental impairment presenting a barrier to one or more major life functions. These may include physical, cognitive, psychosocial, developmental, sensory, or systemic disabilities. Rehabilitation counseling can be described as the process of collaboration with individuals and their families to understand the effective use of resources for career, personal, social, and community adjustment following disability.  Rehabilitation counseling includes assessment, affective counseling, vocational counseling, case management and job placement.

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    Potential work settings include the state-federal system of vocational rehabilitation, independent living centers, community-based rehabilitation facilities and agencies, hospitals, corrections, substance abuse treatment programs and insurance companies. A wide range of undergraduate degrees may provide appropriate preparation for graduate study in Rehabilitation Counseling. Prerequisite under-graduate coursework should include psychology, sociology, algebra, anatomy and physiology, and statistics.

     The graduate program coordinator is Dr. Lakeisha Harris. She can be reached at (410) 651-7658.