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Master of Science Rehabilitation Counseling

  • Course Sequence

    Master of Science Rehabilitation Counseling

    Course Sequence


    Fall Semester   Credits
    RECN 621                    Disability and Rehabilitation Policy  3
    RECN 622  Theories and Counseling Techniques         3
    RECN 623   Cultural and Ethical Dimensions of Counseling 3
    RECN 642  Techniques of Interviewing and Case Management  3
      Semester Total 12
    Winter Semester                              
    RECN 640     Psychological Assessments and Measurements  3
      Semester Total 3
    Spring Semester    
    RECN 625     Medical Aspects of Disabilities     3
    RECN 641   Principles and Practice in Career Counseling and Development 3
    RECN 624    Psycho-Social Aspects of Disabilities           3
    RECN 643    Research Methods 3
      Semester Total 12
    Summer Semester    
    RECN 701   Group and Family Counseling 3
    RECN 704 Program Evaluation & Organizational Development 3
      Semester Total 6
    Fall Semester    
    RECN 710   Master's Seminar            3
    RECN 720                   Advanced Counseling Skills 3
    RECN 705 Counseling Practicum 3
      Semester Total 9
    Winter Semester    
    RECN 712  Counseling Internship    (optional)     1
      Semester Total 1
    Spring Semester                 
    RECN 712          Counseling Internship                          5 or 6
      Semester Total 5 or 6


    RECN 712--Six credits (300 clock hours) are required.  It is difficult to complete all 6 credits during the spring semester.


    Course Descriptions

    Rehabilitation Counseling Course Descriptions

    RECN 621: Disability and Rehabilitation Policy

    The purpose of this course is to examine, describe and discuss public and private sector policy as it impacts individuals with disabilities (physical and/or mental impairments that effect one or more major life activities). The philosophy of the course and its approach toward policy is presented in the context of systems and a bio-psycho-social approach to human development with the goal of attaining maximum quality of life and community inclusion. Topics include terminology, history, philosophy and legal aspects of rehabilitation and independent living, the state-federal vocational rehabilitation program, benefit systems, workers compensation, employer-based disability management, independent living, disability legislation, and ethical issues.

    RECN 622: Theories and Counseling Techniques

    This course is a graduate level survey and practice course in counseling and psychotherapy. The course covers the theoretical approaches and best practices of counseling with a focus on individuals with disabilities.  The underlying assumptions of human nature and personality are covered in addition to the specific techniques associated with each.  The student is encouraged to develop their own theory and practice of counseling centered around a thorough reflection on the individual's belief system, particular target populations they envision working, and individual traits, strengths, and weaknesses.  Significant time is spent on experiential activities including dyads, triads, and role-playing.  A minimum of 20-clock hours practica of in vivo supervised counseling is required. Ethical, legal, multicultural and research issues are also covered in depth.

    RECN 623: Cultural and Ethical Dimensions of Counseling

    A graduate course in rehabilitation counseling that provides theoretical and practical (clinical) instruction in multicultural and ethical aspects of rehabilitation counseling.  Topics include the historical perspectives of multiculturalism and cultural diversity in society, theories and models of identity development among diverse groups, supervisory issues, practical strategies and a review of current research.  Ethical issues regarding counseling and direct rehabilitation service delivery are discussed from both a generic and multicultural perspective centered upon research-based concepts, specific skills and strategies. Direct role-playing and skill building exercises are employed along with case study methods and lecture formats. Students are encouraged to develop an awareness of different cultures, learned biases and how they may effect the counseling relationship. Other topics include etic/emic, interdependence versus interdependence, and specific strategies in rehabilitation counseling. The purpose of this course is to provide students with knowledge and skill that will maximize access and effectiveness in serving under-represented and culturally diverse populations, and to develop effective outreach strategies.

    RECN 624 Psycho-Social Aspects of Disability

    Concepts, skills and knowledge of the social and psychological factors that either directly or indirectly effect the quality of life, adjustment and full societal participation of individuals with severe disabilities. Particular focus is placed on coping mechanisms, individual, familial, and cultural attitudes, and strategies that seek to facilitate human dignity, productivity and inclusion. The course will address human growth and potential, attitudinal barriers and vocational implications of disability. Physical disability, mental illness, congenital/ developmental and emotional disabilities are addressed. The social and psychological factors that contribute to resiliency and minimize vulnerability are emphasized.

    RECN 625: Medical Aspects of Disability

    This course involves an exploration of medical information and disabilities from a systems perspective. The course incorporates fundamental medical terminology, medical practitioners, and health care systems.  The health care and related systems will be explored in view of their vocational implications, service provision, and resources for intervention, treatment, or therapy for individuals with disabilities.  Case studies of systemically related disabilities and how they are managed through the medical model will be explored through the symptomatology, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment phases of the disabilities.  Consumer transition from the medical to the service model will be discussed. The psycho-social and cultural impact of disabilities important to the rehabilitation process will be infused in the curriculum.

    RECN 641: Vocational Counseling and Job Placement

    Concepts, principles, and skills related to the employment of individuals with physical, mental and congenital or developmental disabilities will be explored.  Current best practices are covered within the context of various models, public and private, that seek to maximize productivity and life-long career pursuits.  Areas of emphasis include: the vocational counseling process, marketing approaches and networking strategies for working with employers, placement strategies, theories of vocational development and choice, labor market survey and job analysis assessment of work readiness, job seeking and job retention skills, and major occupational classification systems.  Knowledge of job modification and restructuring techniques and its importance to the employment of people with disabilities will be covered. A minimum of 20-clock hours practica of in vivo supervised vocational counseling is required.

    RECN 640: Assessment and Vocational Evaluation

    This course will provide the students with basic statistical concepts; a working knowledge of test selection, administration, interpretation of test results and communication of findings in a comprehensive evaluation report.  A major emphasis will be on the application of the procedures and utilization of the tools of vocational evaluation including: interviews, work related behavioral observations, individual evaluation plans, vocational counseling, standardized tests, work samples, and situational assessment.  Guest speakers and visitations to local evaluation centers may also be utilized to enhance student understanding of the evaluation process.  Requires a minimum of 20-clock hours practica of in vivo supervised assessment and vocational evaluation/counseling.

    RECN 642: Case Management of Severe Disabilities

    A graduate level survey and practice course covering case management concepts, systems, processes and competencies necessary for the effective delivery of services to individuals with disabilities and their families. The instructional approach seeks to concurrently provide didactic and experiential pedagogy.  Various models of case management practice will be presented including the State/Federal system of vocational rehabilitation, workers' compensation systems, health care case management, employer-based disability management, and managed care models.  An emphasis is placed on attaining knowledge of the range and level of community and professional resources, services and products that facilitate quality of life, independent

    living and work for individuals with disabilities in both urban and rural settings.  The legal, ethical, cultural, social, and psychological aspects of case management are integrated into the course. The student should attain essential knowledge and skill in the cost-effective coordination of services, vendor selection criteria, negotiation/conflict resolution skills, documentation, and evaluation techniques in providing quality, professional services.

    RECN 643: Research Methods

    This course examines research methods and statistical concepts as they apply to the rehabilitation professional. Students will learn about quantitative, qualitative, and single-subject research methods; basic statistical concepts; and the use of the statistical database SPSS. Students will develop critical thinking skills and learn to be good “consumers” of rehabilitation and popular research, as well as learn to collect, manage and analyze data.

    RECN 701: Group and Family Counseling

    This course integrates family and group process theory, interventions and practices, and methods into an advanced applied course.  The course addresses both clinical and organizational aspects of working with families, groups and organizations in the rehabilitation process.  The student is challenged to develop an understanding of group processes that apply concepts, research and best practice models to a variety of settings, client profiles and organizational models.  Social psychology, Family Systems theory, organizational and clinical models are covered in addition to experiential elements that build competencies that are effective in rehabilitation and healthcare settings. A minimum of 20-clock hours practica of in vivo supervised group counseling is required.

    RECN 702: Legal Aspects of Rehabilitation

    This course provides an overview of civil rights legislation specific to people with disabilities. The course methods will focus primarily on case studies exploring relevant legislation such as the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), torte and civil law, and their effect on the experience of individuals with disabilities.  Students will learn processes and agencies for filing complaints and develop resources on the agencies specific to each element and Title of the ADA.  The course will cover public policy, law, and practice, e.g., worker's compensation, and expert testimony. There will also be an emphasis on the organizational structure of private-for profit systems involved in rehabilitation.  Additionally, legal issues germane to disability such as commitments, guardianships, and housing law will be discussed.

    RECN 703: High Tech/Low Tech Rehabilitation Systems

    This course will provide an overview of high/low technology focused on adaptive and assistive rehabilitation technology, including aids for daily living. This technology will assist individuals with disabilities to achieve their maximum potential and provide training to students interested in gaining expertise in the use of technology while working with people with disabilities across the human lifespan.  The student will become familiar with advanced computer technology such as Enabling Technologies (Braille/print systems), Dragon Dictate (speech input software), adaptive devices for computers, computer technology such as AlphaSmart, IntelliKeys, Delta Talker and a broad array of computer application technology available for working with individuals who are blind, deaf, or physically disabled. Other technology to be taught will include augmentative communication devices, voice output, e.g. outSPOKEN (enable individuals who are blind to access Macintosh).  This course will have a practical application of knowledge and didactic preparation for understanding the value and use of advanced technology. Technology for working with people with learning disabilities and a broad range of developmental disabilities will be included. A minimum of 20-clock hours practica of in vivo supervised rehabilitation technology is required.

    RECN 704: Program Evaluation & Organizational Development

    This course addresses current best practices in program evaluation. Program evaluations are fundamental to good planning. In order to plan and implement effective, valid and accurate evaluations, an understanding of organizational behavior and developmental concepts are significant.  The increasing emphasis upon outcomes and program efficacy, necessitates know-ledge and skill in determining return on investment, organizational effectiveness, cost/benefit analysis, research and planning as well as determining whether the needs of a constituency is being met. This course will focus on 1) organizational factors, and 2) evaluation design and technique. Upon successful completion, the student should be able to design, implement, and interpret the results of a basic evaluation strategy and possess a basic understanding of essential organizational behavior and planning processes. These skills are fundamental to effective and progressive organizational development and service to individuals with disabilities.

    RECN 710: Master Seminar

    The Master's Seminar will focus on the review of current literature, and will include reading and discussion of specific aspects of rehabilitation. Topics include, but are not limited, to: adaptive/assistive rehabilitation technology, Centers for Independent Living, Supportive Employment, Order of Selection, Ethical Issues, Americans with Disabilities Act, Disability Management, Job Development, Assessment, Cultural diversity and current legislation on disability issues.  The outcomes for this class are an increased interest and proficiency in rehabilitation research, oral and written presentation and publication. 

    RECN 712: Rehabilitation Counseling Internship (600 CRC-supervised Clock hours)

    A supervised Rehabilitation Counseling Internship enables the student's socialization into the field of rehabilitation counseling and the development of the appropriate professional skills, experiences and competencies as outlined by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). The students should gain knowledge that will enhance their ability to help individuals with disabilities find and maintain adequate vocational and personal independence. The internship experience should take place under the supervision of a qualified rehabilitation, rehabilitation related or allied health professional and involve direct experiences with persons with disabilities.  Appropriate selected facilities involved in the rehabilitation of individuals who have a physical, mental, developmental, behavioral, or sensory disability will provide an opportunity for students to apply theories and skills.  These facilities may include state departments of rehabilitation, center's for independent living, psychiatric hospitals or psychosocial programs, sheltered workshops, supported employment agencies, and institutions or organizations serving individuals with developmental disabilities, substance abusing persons, the industrially injured, agriculturally- or rural-related injuries, aged or adult/juvenile offenders. Students interested in higher education may opt to conduct their internship experience in the Services for Students with Disabilities programs at an approved college or university.


    Clinical Experience

    The Clinical Experience

    The clinical practice at UMES has been divided into two (2) courses to facilitate the needs of our particular student population.  Prior to placement in the Internship course (i.e. RECN 712), students shall complete a three-hour Counseling Practicum (i.e. RECN 705) course.  The activities of the clinical experiences can be broadly grouped into three phases: (1) orientation, (2) observation, and (3) participation.  Please note that students currently employed by a participating rehabilitation agency, or the Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services; will be required to engage in an appropriate “individualized” internship experience.  Students who find themselves in the aforementioned category must get approval from the Clinical Coordinator before they begin their individualized clinical experience.  A Certified Rehabilitation Counselor will supervise students during the on-campus classroom experiences and at the participating rehabilitation agency location.

    Determination of readiness of the student to benefit (i.e. take full advantage of the clinical experience) will be made by the Department of Rehabilitation.  The participating rehabilitation agency has the right to expect that students assigned for supervised clinical practice training should have acquired basic philosophy and principles, basic information, counseling theory, etc., from the department before assignment.


    Program Outcomes

    Program Outcomes

    The Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling (MSRC) program was first accredited by Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) in 2002.  Since the merger of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and CORE, the program has been accredited by CACREP since July 1, 2017.. The MSRC program is a 48 credit hour program which can be completed in two years if students attend fulltime. Students are admitted in the fall and spring of each year and the program has maintained a goal of an average of 10 students per year. An annual program evaluation is completed each year to measure student outcomes on a variety of different factors. Currently, the graduate program has a total of 38 fulltime and part-time students and graduates an average of six students per year. 

    The program has four tenured faculty, one tenure-track faculty, one tenure-track clinical coordinator, and two part-time adjunct faculty, who teach the CACREP-accredited curriculum. The estimated yearly costs for fulltime graduate students in the MSRC program are $7,454/year for Maryland residents and $13, 238 per year for non-Maryland residents. Of the graduates of the MSRC program, 100% have gone on to work in state/federal and/or other public or private rehabilitation settings within six months of graduation. The program has a strong reputation in the community for the rigorous training that students are exposed to which result in higher level clinical skills and knowledge of rehabilitation. Approximately 90% of the students in the program are from underrepresented groups, including persons with disabilities. The Department of Rehabilitation currently has a grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) totaling $900,000 and a limited amount of graduate research assistantships. Monies are awarded to eligible students each year for the use of tuition and fees, books, and other expenses. Students have also been afforded the opportunities to participate in local and regional rehabilitation conferences. Students are required to successfully pass a comprehensive examination as a requirement for completing the program. Currently, our comprehensive examinations have a 95% pass rate. From Fall 20102-Fall 2014, 100% of the students who took the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) examination were successful. The State of Maryland has mandated a specific curriculum of courses for those interested in pursuing the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential. From Fall 2012-Fall 2014, there was a 67% pass rate on the LPC for graduates who took the exam.

    The Rehabilitation Counseling program offers the majority of the courses needed to pursue licensure and collaborates with the School of Education, Social Sciences, and the Arts to provide students with the additional courses needed. Students electing this path may take the additional courses while enrolled in the program or may choose to enroll after completing the master's program.

    The following chart illustrates the enrollment, retention, and graduation rates from Fall 2012-Fall 2014:

    Year #Enrolled #Retained #Graduated Licensure Eligible %Employed Within 6 Months #Still Enrolled
    Fall 2012 13 12 (92%) 12 (100%) 12 (100%) 100 0
    Fall 2013 9 7 (78%) 5 (56%) 5 (100%) 100 2
    Spring 2014 6 6 (100%) 2 (33%) 2 (100%) 100 4
    Fall 2014 8 6 (75%) 6 (75%) 6 (100%) 100 0
    Total 36 31 (86.2%) **25 (66%) 25 (100%) 100 6


    **Graduation rates include part-time students who on average take 2.5 to 3 years to complete the course sequence 


  • Department of Rehabilitation
    University of Maryland Eastern Shore