To enhance the quality of life of persons who have physical or mental disabilities, including addictions, or who are disadvantaged by cultural differences and educational and economic impoverishment, through educational, scholarly, and service activities.
Our Degree Programs
We train our graduates to be professional counselors with a specialized understanding of disability and disadvantagement-related issues. With a specialization in clinical rehabilitation counseling, our curriculum and service activities are focused on providing counseling and employment-related support to persons who have physical or mental disabilities, including addictions. Additional service perspectives focus on individuals who are disadvantaged by cultural differences and educational and economic impoverishment throughout the state and beyond.
Earning a graduate certificate can enhance your professional career and we want to make it easy for you, especially if you already have a busy schedule to manage. We offer both in-person and online options for this 18 credit-hour certificate that's designed for post-bachelor’s degree students and helping professionals who want to gain more knowledge and skills in working with individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses. Whether you are new to the field of psychiatric rehabilitation or a skilled practitioner, this program can be highly individualized to meet your personal and professional interests.
- Accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP).
- Program meets educational requirements for licensure as a professional counselor in South Carolina and most other states.
- Program of Study is flexible, courses can be taken as a full-time or part-time.
- Distance learning option.
- Most courses are offered in the evenings to accommodate students’ work/life schedules.
- Learning Community.
- The small-sized program gives students extensive opportunities for interaction and collaboration with faculty throughout coursework and clinical experiences.
To provide high quality professional education that includes classroom learning, field experiences, and other applied learning opportunities to equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary for successful, effective, and responsible participation in changing diverse state and national rehabilitation counseling environment. Specifically,
- Education/Program Objective # 1. Students will demonstrate current knowledge and competencies required for successful practice in the field of professional counseling.
- Education/Program Objective # 2. Students will be able to demonstrate specialized clinical and technical knowledge in working with individuals with disabilities to achieve their personal, social, psychological, and vocational goals.
Through research and scholarship activities, to advance knowledge and understanding of the effects of disability on the lives of persons with disabilities, the effectiveness of programs and services for people with disabilities, and the role of individuals with disabilities in society, the workplace, and the world.
- To provide consultation and training to agencies and programs to enhance the abilities of their personnel serving disabled and disadvantaged persons in South Carolina and throughout the southeast.
- To provide rehabilitation services while offering students the opportunity for hands-on learning under the supervision of qualified, experienced professionals.
- To support the operations and activities of the Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science, School of Medicine, and University
To actively demonstrate respect for cultural and individual diversity in areas of education, scholarship, and service.
The U.S. Bureau Labor Services reports that roles for rehabilitation counselors will grow 10% from 2020-2030.
- Mental Health Counseling
- Substance Use/Addictions Counseling
- Career Counseling
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- Vocational Evaluation
- College or University Student Disability Resources
- Life Care Planning
- Employee Assistance Program
- VA Mental Health Counselor
- Veteran’s Vocational Rehabilitation
- Private Practice
- Community and State Agencies
- Colleges and Universities
- Public and Private Treatment Facilities
- K-12 Education
- Independent Living Centers
- State Vocational Rehabilitation
- Private Rehabilitation Companies
To accommodate our students who have multiple responsibilities, we have a distance learning option to make it easier for you to pursue your education and career goals without having to move to Columbia. At USC distance education is considered Distributed Learning. All Counseling and Rehabilitation Program coursework is online with most being offered in a hybrid format, so you can attend synchronously in-person or online. A few courses are offered asynchronously as online classes. There are a few required in-person meetings for specific classes and program events.
- 2022-2023: 16 MA graduates (60 credit hour degree)
- 2021-2022: 10 MA graduates (60 credit hour degree)
- 2020-2021: 6 MA graduates (60 credit hour degree)
- 2020-2021: 1 MRC graduate (48 credit hour degree)
- For students who started the 60 credit-hour program in 2020-2021 (N=24):
- 16 graduates in 2.5 years
- 5 are on track to graduate in 3.5-4 years
- 3 left the program for non-academic reasons
- For students who started the 60 credit-hour program in 2019-2020 (N=16):
- 3 graduated in 2 years
- 4 graduated in 2.5 years
- 5 are on track to graduate in 3 - 4 years
- 2 transferred to other professional programs
- 2 left the program for non-academic reasons.
- In 2022-2023, 11 recent program graduates took the National Counselor Examination (NCE), and of those who took it, 10 (90.9%) passed the exam on their first attempt. Not all program graduates seek licensure.
- In 2021-2022, 8 (100%) recent graduates took and passed the National Counselor Examination (NCE). All 8 of these program graduates are seeking licensure (Note: 2021-2022 is the first year reporting this statistic).
- In 2022-2023, no program graduates reported taking the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam.
- In 2021-2022, 1 of 1 (100%) program graduates took and passed the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam.
- In 2020-2021, 5 of 5 (100%) program graduates took and passed the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam. The national pass rate for the same period was 47%.
- Academic year 2022-2023: 100% of program graduates (N=15) who were actively seeking
employment are employed. One (1) graduate opted to delay their job search.
- Eleven of 15 (73%) graduates are employed as rehabilitation counseling professionals in rehabilitation agencies or community mental health centers or practices.
- Two (2) graduates are employed in a school setting.
- One (1) is employed at a family community agency, and one (1) is self-employed.
- Academic year 2021-2022: 100% of program graduates (N=8) who were actively seeking
employment are employed.
- Two (2) graduates opted to delay their job search.
- 6 of 8 employed graduates (75%) are employed as rehabilitation counseling professionals in rehabilitation agencies or community mental health centers.
- One (1) graduate is employed in a school setting and one (1) is employed at a victims’ advocacy agency.
- Academic year 2020-2021: 100% of program graduates (N=7) are employed.
- Six of 7 graduates (86%) are employed as rehabilitation counseling professionals in rehabilitation agencies or community mental health centers.
Important Information About Programs Leading to Certification and Licensure
Because our program is CACREP accredited, all students who have successfully completed 75 percent of their coursework and all graduates of the counseling and rehabilitation program are eligible to take the exam administered by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) that leads to the nationally recognized Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) credential. This credential is available to all students and program graduates, including those not living in South Carolina.
In addition, the National Certified Counselor (NCC) is the national credential for professional counselors through the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). Students in our program are eligible to take the NCC exam when they have successfully completed 48 credit hours of their 60-hour program of study. This credential is available to all students and program graduates, including those students who do not live in the state of South Carolina. (Note: NBCC has announced that after January 1, 2022, individuals applying for the NCC credential must hold their degree from a counselor education program accredited CACREP.)
Each state has its own licensing board with its own counselor licensure requirements. The 60-credit hour MA in Counseling and Rehabilitation includes coursework and field experiences required by the state of South Carolina for graduates to be eligible to take the National Counselor Examination (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE) that leads to counselor licensure in South Carolina. We cannot confirm that the program meets the requirements for professional licensure in another state. For students not living in South Carolina, click here for contact information for licensure in specific states. If a current student is considering relocating to another state after being admitted into the program, the student must contact the Program Director to discuss how the move may impact their ability to participate in academic courses (distributed learning) and clinical practicum and internship (experiential learning) opportunities in a different state.