Careers in rehabilitation with an undergraduate degree in rehabilitation.
A bachelor's degree in rehabilitation provides the foundation for a myriad of careers within the broad spectrum of human services. The purpose of this article, which is based on the National Council on Rehabilitationn Education's (NCRE) position statement on Undergraduate Education (1987), is to provide specific information about some of those career options.
NCRE's position statement on Undergraduate Rehabilitation Education stresses that the foundation of a quality baccalaureate program is its emphasis in preparation in the liberal arts. Coupled with focused pre-professional training in rehabilitation, the liberal arts component prepares students to become "thinkers" as well as "doers" within their careers. According to NCRE, the objective is to graduate people who are knowledgeable and literate in the humanities and who have competenncies in the social and psychological sciences as they pertain to people with social, physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. The primary purposes of the undergraduate programs are to prepare students for direct employment in rehabilitation-related positions and/or graduate work in rehabilitations or allied human service professions.
Undergraduate programs in rehabilitation are typically associated with programs in rehabilitation, counseling, psychology, allied health, education, or social work. While there may be variance in their specific degree requirements, typical course work of content, in addition to course work in the liberal arts and sciences, most programs include:
* the history and philosophy of vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs;
* human growth and development;
* legal and ethical principles;
* case management;
* interpersonal helping and human relations;
* community resources;
* client advocacy;
* behavior management;
* introductory sections on job development and placement, vocational evaluation, supported employment, and medical and psychosocial aspects of disability; and
* practicum/internship experience in a rehabilitation service setting.
In some cases, undergraduate programs may offer specialization tracks within the general rehabilitation curriculum. Examples of specialty areas include vocational evaluation, deafness, substance abuse/addiction studies, mobility training, and criminal justice. Students will frequently supplement their major in rehabilitation services by selecting a minor in such allied areas as psychology, social work, sociology, criminal justice, communication disorders, recreation, or business administrtion.
Career Possibilities for Graduates in Rehabilitation Services
Job Titles. While there may be significant overlap in job responsibilities, job titles for rehabilitation majors tend to vary depending on the place of employment. Examples of job titles include rehabilitation specialist, interviewer, placement specialist, job developer, personal-social adjustment instructor, case-worker, supported employment specialist, job coach, counselor aide, vocational evaluator aide, mental health technician, independent living coordinator, corrections specialist (parole/probation), client advocate, eligibility worker, and health technician.
Job Competencies. Competencies required by persons in these types of positions also vary with the primary focus of the job setting. However, at a minimum, rehabilitation graduates can be expected to bring the following kinds of knowledge and skills to any position: intake interviewing, case finding and community outreach, basic case management, fundamental vocational evaluation and work adjustment techniques and procedures, preliminary job development and job plalcement techniques, client advocacy, individual rehabilitation program planning, behavior change techniques, and specialized administrative/supervisory skills.
Employment Settings. Because of the baccalaureate is designed to prepapre students as generalists within the rehabilitation field, graduates from these programs are qualified for a variety of entry-level positions in human services. Employers select these graduates because of their strong orientation in rehabilitation philosophy with its positive emphasis on abilities and potential. They are trained to take a holistic approach aimed at maximizing the quality of life of each person with whom they work.
Baccalaureate-level rehabilitation majors can be found in virtually any type of agency or program that provides services to people. The most frequent employment settings are those directly related to rehabilitation, such as work adjustment programs, supported employment programs, sheltered workshops, group homes, centers for independent living, mental health centers, developmental disbilities programs, disability specific programs (blind, deaf, head injured, etc.), client assistance programs, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, proprietary rehabilitation services, and disability determination units.
Because their specialty is working with people, rehabilitation majors are qualified for the same types of employment as graduate of psychology, social work, sociology, and similar programs. Therefore, a significant number of rehabilitation graduates are employed in rehabilitation-related agencies and programs, such as hospitals, employee--assistance programs, correctional programs (institutions, probation, and parole), senior centers and nursing homes, substance abuse programs, therapeutic recreation services, public volunteer programs, disabled student services programs, and human resource development in private industry. The rehabilitation philosophy and its basic concepts provide a constructive addition to the traditional approaches used in many of these settings.
Graduate Study. Because the professional degree in the field of human services is the master's degree, many students use the baccalaureate in rehabilitation as a bridge to their ultimate professional goals. While rehabilitation counseling is the most common professional specialization selected by undergraduate majors, many students pursue graduate work in the rehabilitation specialties of vocational evaluation, work adjustment, rehabilitation administration, job replacement, and supported employment. Other students use the undergraduate rehabilitation degree as a foundation for graduate study in ancillary professional areas. It is not uncommon, for example, for students to pursue graduate degrees in social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychology, special education, counseling and guidance, public administration, or business. Students find that their undergraduate training in rehabilitation services provides them with important dimensions that significantly broaden their ability to work with people in almost any type of human service area.
Graduates of bachelor's degree programs may be the best spokespersons for the relevance of the degree to their own careers.
The following is narrative by a 1978 graduate of the undergraduate program at the Center for Rehabilitation:
"I began work on the Monday after graduation as an Extended Rehabilitation Services Counselor at a local Goodwill. The supervisor stated that she hired me because my degree was perfect for the job. She was particularly impressed that I knew how to write Individual Program Plans, understood different types of disabilities, and knew basic behavior analysis techniques. Within 1 year I became the coordinator of the program.
"I was later recruited by the local Association for Retarded Citizens to establish a work-activity center for their clients, then moved to the MHMR center where a new psychosocial rehabilitation program was being developed. Persons interviewing me stated my knowledge of rehabilitation principles, individual treatment planning processes, structured learning theory, and behavior analysis convinced them to hire me. They were impressed with rehabilitation's focus on the wellness rather than the illness of the individual, a philosophy they endorsed. I was promoted to coordinator of the program within 5 months. With 2 years I was promoted again, to residential coordinator, while maintaining my responsibilities with the psychosocial rehabilitation program. Two years after that, I was promoted to the position of director of mental health services. At this point, I still had only my bachelor's degree, but had entered into a master's program.
"What I liked most about the undergraduate rehabilitation program was it's applied components. The program taught me how to make decisions and problem solve, as well as how to carry out specific interventions. I learned how to write a task analysis, how to write and implement training plans, and how to manage a caseload. These specific skills were given foundation and context through an indoctrination in·doc·tri·nate
tr.v. in·doc·tri·nat·ed, in·doc·tri·nat·ing, in·doc·tri·nates
1. To instruct in a body of doctrine or principles.
2. into the theories and philosophy behind rehabilitation. This mix of practical and philosophical information is critical, because, as the old saying goes, the answers are not in the back of the book. In the complex world of human service delivery, you need to know what to do, how to do it, and in order to innovate, you need to know why it is being done at all."
The stories of the applicability of the degree are repeated in other contexts by other graduates:
* One 1990 graduate indicated that he had received six job offers during his final semester in the program. He took a job which focused on job analysis and accommodation design. One year later, the company has promoted him, moved him to another city, and was helping to finance his graduate work so that he could move into the ranks of management.
* A 1991 Hispanic graudate quickly found a position in the state VR agency providing bi-lingual and culturally focused services to their clientele.
* Another graduate spoke of the impact of the philosophical content: "The undergraduate program in rehabilitation raised my consciousness about the impact of disability and ingrained in me the importance of taking a holistic approach rather than focusing on the disability.
"As a probation officer for persons with emotional and cognitive impairments, I find myself in a system which tends to focus on the offense. Yet, when I consider people and their needs first, I am more able to assist in their rehabilitation and prevent incarceration Confinement in a jail or prison; imprisonment.
Police officers and other law enforcement officers are authorized by federal, state, and local lawmakers to arrest and confine persons suspected of crimes. The judicial system is authorized to confine persons convicted of crimes. ."
Bachelor's degree programs are capable of producing graduates who are grounded in a philosophy of client empowerment and equipped with initial knowledge and skills to enter into human service delivery. Through their education, these new providers are given the tools to continually increase their knowledge and skill base. Thus, an undergraduate degree in rehabilitation provides both a platform for service and a stepping stone to higher professional levels of human service delivery.
Programs Offering an Undergraduate Major or Minor Degree in Rehabilitation(1) (Including Contract Persons--Alphabetized by State)
Theodore Childs, Ph.D. Rehabilitation Education Talladega College Talladega, Alabama 35160
Joseph B. Harrington, Chair Department of Human Service Troy State University Troy, Alabama 36082
Lyman B. Harris, Ph.D. Director Rehabilitation Science Witherspoon Hall Russellville, Arkansas 72801
Amos Sales, Ed.D. Special Education and Rehabilation University of Arizona (body, education) University of Arizona - The University was founded in 1885 as a Land Grant institution with a three-fold mission of teaching, research and public service. 1415 North Fremont Tucson, Arizona 85721
Martin Broadwin, Ph.D. School of Education California State University Enrollment
at Los Angeles 5151 State University Drive Los Angeles, California 90032
Richard Wolff, Ph.D. Department of Human Services University of Northern Colorado It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with and ()
University of Northern Colorado (Northern Colorado) McKee--Room 41 Greeley, Colorado 80639
Mark Shibles, Ph.D. School of Education University of Connecticut The University of Connecticut is the State of Connecticut's land-grant university. It was founded in 1881 and serves more than 27,000 students on its six campuses, including more than 9,000 graduate students in multiple programs.
UConn's main campus is in Storrs, Connecticut. 1266 Storrs Road Storrs, Connecticut 06268
Horace W. Sawyer, Ed.D. Department of Rehabilitation Counseling University of Florida University of Florida is the third-largest university in the United States, with 50,912 students (as of Fall 2006) and has the eighth-largest budget (nearly $1.9 billion per year). UF is home to 16 colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes. P.O. Box J-175, Health Science Center Gainesville, Florida 32610
Jane Burkhead, Ph.D. Department of Human Services and Studies Florida State University Florida State University, at Tallahassee; coeducational; chartered 1851, opened 1857. Present name was adopted in 1947. Special research facilities include those in nuclear science and oceanography. 215 Stone Building Tallahassee, Florida 32306
Jeanne Patterson, Ph.D. Coordinator Rehabilitation Counseling Program 413 Aderhold Hall Athens, Georgia 30602
Chris Reid, Coordinator Department of Psychology Life Sciences Building Illinois Institute of Technology Illinois Institute of Technology, in Chicago; coeducational; founded 1940 by a merger of Armour Institute of Technology (founded 1892) and Lewis Institute (1896). Chicago, Illinois 60616
Sue Ouellette, Ph.D. Department of Communicative Disorders Northern Illinois University Dekalb, Illinois 60115
Ronald H. Karst Karst (kärst), Ital. Carso, Slovenian Kras, limestone plateau, W Slovenia, N of Istria and extending c.50 mi (80 km) SE from the lower Isonzo (Soča) valley between the Bay of Trieste and the Julian Alps. , Ph.D Counselor, Education & Rehabilitation Programs Emporia State University Emporia State University (ESU) is a comprehensive Regents university serving residents of Eastern Kansas. ESU is located in the city of Emporia, in Lyon County. ESU is just east of the Flint Hills and within two hours drive of the three major metropolitan areas of Kansas: Wichita, 1200 Commercial Empora, Kansas 66801
Randall Elston, Ph.D. Educational Leadership and Counseling 434 Wells Hall Murray State University Publications
Its student newspaper, The Murray State News, has been awarded two Pacemaker awards in the last decade, the highest award given to collegiate newspapers; in addition, the school yearbook, The Shield, Murray, Kentucky 42071
Madan M. Kundu, Ph.d. Rehabilitation Services Southern University P.O. Box 9681 Baton Rouge, Louisiana For the Canadian restaurant, see .
Baton Rouge (from the French bâton rouge), pronounced /ˈbætn ˈɹuːʒ/ in English, and 70813
John Dolan, Ph.D. Department of Rehabilitation Counseling Louisiana State University Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, generally known as Louisiana State University or LSU, is a public, coeducational university located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and the main campus of the Louisiana State University System. Medical Center 1900 Gravier Street, Room 8C1 New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
Douglas Dunlap, Ed.D. Human, Health and Family Studies University of Maine at Farmington UMF redirects here. This article is about the University in Maine. For the music festival in Miami, see Ultra Music Festival.
The University of Maine at Farmington, established in 1864 as Maine’s first public institution of higher education, is a public liberal arts Farmington, Maine 04938
Charles Sanders, Ed.D. Department of Psychology Coppin State College 2500 West North Avenue Baltimore, Maryland 21216
Suzanne H. Clay, Director Rehabilitation Services University of Maryland University of Maryland can refer to:
Arthur E, Dell Orto, Ph.D., Chairman Department of Rehabilitation Counseling Sargent College of Allied Health Professions 635 Commonwealth Avenue Boston, Massachusetts 02215
Raymond A. Berte, Ph.D. Rehabilitation Services Department Locklin Hall, 210 Alden Street Springfield College Springfield, Massachusetts 01109
Dr. George S. Elias Project Director--Undergraduate Education Assumption College Institute for Social and Rehabilitative Service 500 Salisbury Street Worcester, Massachusetts 01615
Gerald R. Schneck, Ph.D. Department of Rehabilitation Counseling Mankato State University P.O. Box 52 Mankato, Minnesota 56001
James O. Culberson, Ph.D. Social and Rehabilitation Services University of Southern Mississippi P.O. Box 8278, Southern Station Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39401
Richard Thoreson, Ph.D. Educational and Counseling Psychology University of Missouri 14 Hill Hall Columbia, Missouri 65211
W.C. Wilson, Ph.D. Psychology Department Central Missouri State University Missouri State University is a state university located in Springfield, Missouri. It is the state's second largest university in student enrollment, second only to the University of Missouri. From 1972 to 2005, Missouri State was known as Southwest Missouri State University. Warrensburg, Missouri 64093
Elia G. Nickoloff, Ed.D. Institute for Habilitative Service Eastern Montana College 1500 North 30th Street Billings, Montana 59101
Mike Hermanson Project Director--Undergraduate Education Salish Kootenai College Salish Kootenai College (SKC) is a Native American tribal college based in Pablo, Montana which serves the Bitterroot Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d'Oreilles tribes. There are approximately 1,100 students attending the college; enrollment is not limited to Native American students. Box 117 Pablo, Montana 59855
Office of Admissions Human Services/Rehabilitation Thomas A. Edison State College 101 West State Street Trenton, New Jersey 08625
Nancy Esibill, Ph.D. Department of Rehabilitation Counseling New York University New York University, mainly in New York City; coeducational; chartered 1831, opened 1832 as the Univ. of the City of New York, renamed 1896. It comprises 13 schools and colleges, maintaining 4 main centers (including the Medical Center) in the city, as well as the 50 West 4th Street, Room 432 New York 10012
Monica P. Fraser, Director School Education Dominican College of Blauvelt, NY Orangeburg, New York Orangeburgh is a hamlet (and a census-designated place) located in the Town of Orangetown in Rockland County, New York. The population was 3,388 at the 2000 census. Geography
Orangeburg is located at (41.044796, -73. 10962
Kenneth Reagles, Ph.D. Rehabilitation Services Syracuse University 805 South Crouse Avenue Syracuse, New York
Syracuse (IPA: 13244
Frances Grant, Director Department of Social Work/Sociology Sociology Livingstone College Salisbury, North Carolina Salisbury is a city in Rowan County in North Carolina, a state of the United States of America. The population was 26,462 in 2000. It is the county seat of Rowan CountyGR6. 28144
David C. Perry, Ph.D. Department of Social Work University of North Dakota P.O. Box 8171 Grand Forks, North Dakota
“Grand Forks” redirects here. For other uses, see Grand Forks (disambiguation).
Grand Forks is the third-largest city in the U.S. 58202
Alyce E. Jenkins, M.Ed. Division of Human Services Wright State University Colonel Glenn Highway Dayton, Ohio 45435
Ruth G. Beall, Director Social Science Division Wilberforce University Wilberforce, Ohio 45384
Richard E. Baumgartner, Ed.D. Department of Human Resources East Central Oklahoma University P.O. Box Z-3 Ada, Oklahoma 74820
Louis E. Gurecka, Chair Special Education Department Clarion University of Pennsylvania Clarion University of Pennsylvania is a liberal arts university in Clarion, Pennsylvania, and one of fourteen universities of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). Clarion, Pennsylvania 16214
James Bench, Ph.D. Special Education & Clinical Services 224 John Davis Hall Indiana University of Pennsylvania History
IUP was founded in 1875 as a normal school by investors in Indiana County. It followed the mold of the French Ecole Normale. When it opened its doors it enrolled just 225 students. Indiana, Pennsylvania 15705
Harold J. Nichols, Director Sociology/Human Services Lincoln University Lincoln University, Pennsylvania 19352
Undergraduate Coordinator Department of Human Resources University of Scranton The University of Scranton is a private, co-educational Jesuit university, located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in the northeast region of the state. The school was founded in 1888 by Most Rev. William O'Hara, the first Bishop of Scranton, as St. Thomas College. 311 O'Hara Hall Scranton, Pennsylvania 18510
Alex Ursprung, Ph.D. Counseling and Educational Psychology 327 Cedar Building Pennsylvania State University Pennsylvania State University, main campus at University Park, State College; land-grant and state supported; coeducational; chartered 1855, opened 1859 as Farmers' High School. University Park, Pennsylvania 16802
Robert Chubbon, Ph.D. Rehabilitation Counseling Program Wardlaw Building College of Education University of South Carolina
• • Columbia, South Carolina Columbia is the state capital and largest city of South Carolina. As of 2006, estimates for the population of the city proper is 122,819. Columbia is the county seat of Richland County, but a small portion of the city extends into Lexington County. 29208
William Jenkins, Ed.D. Department of Counseling & Personnel Services 123 Patterson Hall Memphis State University Memphis, Tennessee 38152
Katrena McCollum, Coordinator Division of Health Related Professions Pan American University 1201 West University Drive Edinburg, Texas 78539
Donald A. Pool, Ph.D. Department of Rehabilitation Science University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard Dallas, Texas 75235
Celia Williamson Center of Rehabilitation Studies University of North Texas P.O. Box 13438 Denton, Texas 76203-3438
William F. Weber, Ed.D. Counseling & Special Education Programs Stephen F. Austin Stephen Fuller Austin (November 3, 1793 – December 27, 1836), known as the "Father of Texas," led the second and ultimately successful colonization of the region by the United States. The capital city of Austin, Texas, Austin County, Texas, Stephen F. State Unversity P.O. Box 13019 Nacogdoches, Texas 75962
Howard H. Bright, Ph.D. Social Science, Campus Box 62 West Virginia Wesleyan College West Virginia Wesleyan College is a regionally accredited private, coeducational, liberal arts college in Buckhannon, West Virginia. It has an enrollment of about 1,200 students from 35 U.S. states and 26 countries. Buckhannon, West Virginia Buckhannon is the only incorporated city in Upshur County, West Virginia and is located along the Buckhannon River. The population was 5,725 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, it has reached a population above 7,500. 26201
William A. McDowell 357 Harris Hall Marshall University Huntington, West Virginia Huntington is a city located in the U.S. State of West Virginia along the Ohio River. Most of the city is in Cabell County, for which it is the county seat of government. A small portion of the city, mainly the neighborhood of Westmoreland, is in Wayne County. 25701
Norman L. Berven, Ph.D. Rehabilitation Psychology & Special Education University of Wisconsin-Madison “University of Wisconsin” redirects here. For other uses, see University of Wisconsin (disambiguation).
A public, land-grant institution, UW-Madison offers a wide spectrum of liberal arts studies, professional programs, and student activities. 432 North Murray Street Madison, Wisconsin 53706
Brian McMahon, Ph.D. Rehabilitation-Educational Studies University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 755 Enderis Hall P.O. Box 413 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201
Shirley Stewart, Chair Vocational Rehabilitation University of Wisconsin-Stout University of Wisconsin-Stout is a comprehensive, career-focused polytechnic university where students, faculty and staff use applied learning, scientific theory and research to solve real-world problems, grow the state’s economy and serve society. Minomonie, Wisconsin 54751
Gerald L. Gandy, Ph.D. Rehabilitation Services Education Virginia Commonwealth University Formed by a merger between the Richmond Professional Institute and the Medical College of Virginia in 1968, VCU has a medical school that is home to the nation's oldest organ transplant program. P.O. Box 2030 921 West Franklin Street Richmond, Virginia 23284
Ellen Fabian, Ph.D. School of Education & Human Development George Washington University George Washington University, at Washington, D.C.; coeducational; chartered 1821 as Columbian College (one of the first nonsectarian colleges), opened 1822, became a university in 1873, renamed 1904. Academic Center, T-6051 801 22nd Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20052
(1) This partial list was compiled as a part of a review of undergraduate rehabilitation programs now being conducted at the request of NCRE, in cooperation with RSA (1) (Rural Service Area) See MSA.
(2) (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman) A highly secure cryptography method by RSA Security, Inc., Bedford, MA (www.rsa.com), a division of EMC Corporation since 2006. It uses a two-part key. and CSAVR CSAVR Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation . The initial report of findings was presented at the 1993 NCRE/RSA/CSAVR Conference in Washington, DC.
National Council on Rehabilitation Education Committee on Undergraduate Education. (1987). NCRE position statement on undergraduate rehabilitation education. Rehabilitation Education. 1(1) 19-27.