The program trains students to understand the physical, psychological, social, cultural and economic factors of persons with disabilities and barriers to employment in terms of vocational adjustment, independent living, and employment. Rehabilitation counseling is a challenging and expanding profession. The rehabilitation counselor provides and coordinates services to persons with emotional, physical, learning, and developmental disabilities which interfere with productive functioning and independent living. The counselor must demonstrate competencies in establishing and conducting counseling relationships, assessment procedures, vocational placement, program planning and coordination; have an awareness of professional and community resources that can be utilized in the rehabilitation process; have knowledge of persons from culturally diverse backgrounds, and, understand how rehabilitation engineering and technology can be utilized to help clients achieve their goals. Emphasis is placed on severe disability and its consequences, independent living, job development and placement, technology, business and industry, and consumer issues and rights. Graduates of the program are employed in a wide range of public and private rehabilitation settings.
Students who express an interest in employment in public rehabilitation are eligible, when available, for a federal personnel preparation scholarship. This scholarship pays tuition and provides a monthly stipend. Scholarship recipients are required to become employed in a public rehabilitation agency or a program which procures services from a public rehabilitation agency. The program also has a scholarship program to train students for practice in rural rehabilitation environments. In addition, an Endorsement Curriculum in conjunction with Kentucky State University facilitates the enrollment of persons from culturally diverse backgrounds.
The rehabilitation counseling program has the following admission requirements. Students are required to submit results from the Graduate Record Examination, have a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.75, submit three letters of reference, complete a statement of professional goals and objectives, complete a program application, and participate in an interview with faculty. Under certain circumstances the program may petition the Graduate School to request a waiver of the undergraduate grade point average. The program faculty considers all of this information in making admissions decisions.
Students are admitted from a wide range of backgrounds and academic disciplines. It is anticipated, however, that most students entering the program will have a background in psychology, education, sociology, rehabilitation, or other social-behavioral sciences. Students who have other educational backgrounds are also considered.
Course and field work total a minimum of 45 credit hours if the student has a bachelor's degree in rehabilitation or related course work. The typical program for other students is 57 hours, up to a maximum of 60 hours. At least 75% of the credit hours must be taken at the University of Kentucky. Courses are offered in the late afternoon and early evening to accommodate full- and part-time students. Students who attend the program on a full-time basis can complete the program in 16 months. The program is also offered on a state-wide distance education basis using satellite, compressed video, and internet technologies.
The curriculum is composed of three levels of courses: basic core, advanced core, and support areas.
The Basic Core courses or their equivalent are required for students without a background in the field of rehabilitation or who have not otherwise had these courses:
RC 510 Orientation to Rehabilitation Resources
RC 515 Medical and Psychosocial Aspects of Disabilities I
RC 516 Medical and Psychosocial Aspects of Disabilities II
RC 520 Principles of Rehabilitation Counseling
RC 530 Cultural Diversity in Rehabilitation
RC 540 Chemical Dependency in Rehabilitation Counseling
RC 640 Rehabilitation in Business and Industry
RC 650 Rehabilitation Counseling Theory and Techniques I
RC 660 Rehabilitation Counseling Theory and Techniques II
Advanced Core courses or their equivalent are required for all students enrolled in the degree program:
RC 610 Case Management in Rehabilitation Counseling
RC 620 Vocational Evaluation/Work Adjustment of the Severely Disabled
RC 630 Placement Services and Techniques in Rehabilitation Counseling
RC 710 Practicum
RC 720 Internship
RC 740 Administration, Supervision, and Program Evaluation in Rehabilitation Counseling
RC 750 Rehabilitation Research
RC 760 Contemporary Practices in Rehabilitation
Students who have taken any of the above courses or their equivalent may consult with faculty to request waiver of the required course and to substitute an approved elective.
Other Rehabilitation Courses
RC 558 Special Topics in Rehabilitation Counseling
RC 782 Directed Independent Study
A support area will be chosen by the student in conjunction with a faculty advisor. Students are encouraged to use their electives to develop `support areas.' A support area is defined as a group of two to three courses, focusing on one theme, to enhance specific skills or knowledge related to rehabilitation.
Courses comprising a support area may be offered by one or more departments. Support areas available through interdisciplinary planning include: learning disabilities, mental retardation, developmental disabilities, gerontology, mental health, administration and management, family studies, research and evaluation, group counseling, policy and planning, criminal justice, hearing impairment, visual impairment, recreation, drugs and alcoholism, business and industry, technology, and advocacy. Cooperating disciplines include Educational and Counseling Psychology, Social Work, Special Education, Sociology, Public Administration, Family Studies, Psychology, Therapeutic Recreation, and Health Sciences.
Admission to Field Work
Admission to field work will be considered after the student has completed two semesters (full-time) of graduate study or when the student has completed 24 hours of graduate study. The decision to advance to field work includes successful completion of the admission to field work examination, demonstrated skill in academic areas, and a judgment by the faculty that the student possesses the personal and social characteristics necessary for providing professional rehabilitation counseling services.
The first field work component is a three credit practicum, which consists of 200 clock hours of supervised experience in a rehabilitation or rehabilitation-related setting, a weekly seminar, and individual supervision. Students who receive training support from the Rehabilitation Services Administration must have involvement with business and industry as part of the practicum. Such students are required to be employed with a public rehabilitation program upon graduation. The practicum is generally taken during the eight-week summer session. However, this course is offered every semester to accommodate part-time students. A student must be admitted to field work prior to enrolling in the practicum.
In accordance with national accreditation and certification requirements, students then complete 600 clock hours of supervised internship in a rehabilitation or rehabilitation-related setting. Every intern student also participates in a weekly seminar and individual supervision. Internship is three credits per 200 clock hours, and may be taken in the summer, fall, or spring semesters following practicum. The internship is taken in one semester; or, due to extenuating circumstances, it may be divided into two semesters. It is recommended, however, that the internship be completed in one semester.
Students must successfully complete their internship, and demonstrate competence in working with individuals with disabilities in the context of a professional rehabilitation counseling relationship in order to graduate.
A final written examination is given at the completion of all course work. Graduation is contingent upon the successful completion of this examination.
RC 510 ORIENTATION TO REHABILITATION RESOURCES (3)
RC 515 MEDICAL AND PSYCHOSOCIAL ASPECTS OF DISABILITIES I (SAME AS SW 515) (3)
RC 516 MEDICAL AND PSYCHOSOCIAL ASPECTS OF DISABILITIES II (SAME AS SW 516) (3)
RC 520 PRINCIPLES OF REHABILITATION COUNSELING (3)
RC 530 CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN REHABILITATION COUNSELING (2)
RC 540 CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY IN REHABILITATION COUNSELING (3)
RC 546 TRANSDISCIPLINARY SERVICES FOR STUDENTS WITH MULTIPLE DISABILITIES (SAME AS EDS 546) (3)
RC 547 COLLABORATION AND INCLUSION IN SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY SETTINGS (SAME AS EDS 547) (3)
RC 558 SPECIAL TOPICS IN REHABILITATION (SAME AS EDS 558) (1-3)
RC 610 CASE MANAGEMENT IN REHABILITATION COUNSELING (3)
RC 613 LEGAL AND PARENTAL ISSUES IN SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION (3)
RC 620 VOCATIONAL EVALUATION AND WORK ADJUSTMENT FOR THE SEVERELY DISABLED (3)
RC 630 PLACEMENT SERVICES AND TECHNIQUES IN REHABILITATION COUNSELING (3)
RC 640 REHABILITATION IN BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY (3)
RC 650 REHABILITATION COUNSELING THEORY AND PRACTICE I (3)
RC 660 REHABILITATION COUNSELING THEORY AND PRACTICE II (3)
RC 710 PRACTICUM IN REHABILITATION COUNSELING (3)
RC 720 INTERNSHIP IN REHABILITATION COUNSELING (3-9)
RC 740 ADMINISTRATION, SUPERVISION AND PROGRAM EVALUATION IN REHABILITATION COUNSELING (1-3)
RC 750 REHABILITATION RESEARCH (1-3)
RC 760 CONTEMPORARY PRACTICES IN REHABILITATION (1-3)
RC 782 DIRECTED INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-3)