Academic term An institutionally defined unit of course delivery (e.g., quarter, semester).
Academic unit The academic department or specifically defined subsection of a department identified and defined in a college or university that has responsibility for curricular and clinical experiences for which accreditation is sought. An academic unit includes allocated faculty and physical facilities.
Accreditation A system for recognizing educational institutions and professional programs affiliated with those institutions for a level of performance and integrity based on review against a specific set of published criteria or standards. The process includes (1) the submission of a self-study document that demonstrates how standards are being met, (2) an onsite review by a selected group of peers, and (3) a decision by an independent board or commission that either grants or denies accredited status on the basis of how well the standards are met.
Assessment The systematic gathering of information for decision making about individuals, groups, programs, or processes. Assessment, as used in Section 4 of the 2016 CACREP Standards, is the measurement of an individual student’s level of attainment of knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Assessment also includes aggregating the individual student data into the overall student assessment data used in the process of program evaluation.
CACREP Liaison A single individual who is identified as the main contact for information and correspondence from the CACREP office. A full description of responsibilities of the CACREP Program Liaison can be found on the CACREP website (
Certification The process by which an agency or association grants recognition to a person who has met predetermined qualifications specified by that agency or association.
Common core Eight areas of curricular experience required by CACREP to prepare all counselors: (1) professional counseling orientation and ethical practice,(2) social and cultural diversity, (3) human growth and development, (4) career development, (5) counseling and helping relationships, (6) group counseling and group work, (7) assessment and testing, and (8) research and program evaluation. The common core areas represent knowledge areas that are fundamental to the counseling profession.
Continuous and systematic In a regular, ongoing, and planned method.
Core counselor education faculty One who is employed by the institution and holds a full-time academic appointment in the counselor education program for at least the current
academic year. Faculty members may be designated as core faculty in only one institution regardless of the number of institutions in which they teach classes.
Counselor education A distinct academic discipline that has its roots in educational and vocational guidance and counseling, human development, supervision, and clinical practice. The primary focus of counselor education programs is the training and preparation of professional counselors who are competent to practice, abide by the ethics of the counseling profession, and hold strong counseling identities. At the doctoral level, counselor education programs may focus on the preparation and training of future academic professionals who will teach the curriculum of counseling theory and practice and include specialized practice areas such as Addiction Counseling; Career Counseling; Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling; College Counseling and Student Affairs; Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling; and School Counseling.
Course credit hours The number of credit hours of the course, not the number of credit hours generated by the course.
Direct service Supervised use of counseling, consultation, or related professional skills with actual clients (can be individuals, couples, families, or groups) for the purpose of fostering social, cognitive, behavioral, and/or affective change. These activities must involve interaction with others and may include: (1) assessment, (2) counseling, (3) psycho-educational activities, and (4) consultation. The following would not be considered direct service: (1) observing others providing counseling or related services, (2) record keeping, (3) administrative duties, (4) clinical and/or administrative supervision.
Empirically-based Plan systematic approach to program evaluation based on a regular review of measurable outcomes and goals.
Entry-level In the context of these standards, entry-level refers to a minimum of a master’s degree program.
Evaluation The review and interpretation of information that has been gathered from and about individuals, programs, or processes that leads to decisions and future actions. Evaluation, as used in Section 4 of the 2016 CACREP Standards, refers to the method and process of determining and judging overall program effectiveness using the assessment and other data that has been gathered to review the program and implement improvements based on the results.
Formative and summative evaluations Formative evaluation examines the development of professional competencies with a focus on identifying strengths and deficiencies and corresponding learning interventions. Summative evaluation focuses on outcomes and is used to assess whether desired learning goals are achieved consistent with a professional standard.
Full time equivalent (FTE) When calculating FTE ratios, programs use their institution’s definition of full-time student loads and faculty teaching loads, including part-time students and faculty at their percentage of full-time. 
Gatekeeping Gatekeeping the ethical responsibility of counselor educators and supervisors to monitor and evaluate an individual’s knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions required by competent professional counselors and to remediate or prevent those that are lacking in professional competence from becoming counselors.
Group supervision A tutorial and mentoring relationship between a member of the counseling professional and more than two counseling students.
Individual Supervision

Supervision a tutorial and mentoring relationship between a member of the counseling professional and one counseling student. 

Key performance Indicators (KPIs) Student learning outcomes that are connected to the required curriculum and that program faculty have chosen to represent student knowledge
and skills related to program objectives.
Licensure The process by which a state agency or government grants permission to a person to engage in a given profession and to use the designated title of that profession after the applicant has attained the minimal degree of competency necessary to ensure that public health, safety, and welfare are reasonably well protected.
Live supervision A combination of direct observation of the counseling session with some method that enables the supervisor to communicate with and thereby influence the work of the supervisee during the session (from Bernard & Goodyear).
Multicultural Term denoting the diversity of racial, ethnic, and cultural heritage; socioeconomic status; age; gender; sexual orientation; and religious and spiritual beliefs, as well as physical, emotional, and mental abilities.
Multiple measures The use of two or more different types of measures per assessment area. Multiple points collected at two or more points in time throughout students’ program of study.
Non-core faculty To include any faculty teaching in the counselor education program (e.g., adjunct, part-time, or visiting faculty as well as affiliate faculty from other departments) who do not meet criteria for Core Counselor Education Faculty outlined in standards 1.W-X.
Pluralistic A condition of society in which numerous distinct ethnic, racial, religious, and social groups coexist and cooperatively work toward the interdependence needed for the enhancement of each group. This condition is based on the belief that all members of society benefit when diverse groups participate fully in the dominant society, yet maintain their differences.
Practicum A distinctly defined, supervised clinical experience in which the student develops basic counseling skills and integrates professional knowledge. The practicum is completed prior to internship.
Professional counseling organizations Organizations whose primary mission is to advocate for and to provide development, support, and/or recognition for professional counselors
across the counselor education specialties. For use within the CACREP Standards, it is expected that, at a minimum, programs will provide documentation regarding memberships and active participation in the American Counseling Association (ACA) and its divisions and/or branches and other major counseling organizations such as the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), Chi Sigma Iota (CSI), the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC), the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) and the National
Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE).
Professional dispositions The commitments, characteristics, values, beliefs, interpersonal functioning, and behaviors that influence the counselor’s professional growth and interactions with clients and colleagues.
Program The degree level for which accreditation is sought (e.g., master’s program in Counselor Education with a specialty area in Addiction Counseling; Career Counseling; Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling; College Counseling and Student Affairs; Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling; School Counseling; or doctoral program in Counselor Education and Supervision).
Regular schedule specified timeframe and frequency to be determined by the program; must be educationally sound and justifiable.
Relevant training in counseling Supervision training in counseling supervision to be determined by the program (e.g., workshop offered by the institution, graduate supervision course, possession of supervisory credential, etc.).
Specialty areas/Specialization A structured sequence of curricular and clinical experiences for which accreditation is sought. In the context of these standards, specialty areas are housed within a master’s degree program. Master’s degree programs may offer specializations in Addiction Counseling; Career Counseling; Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling; College Counseling and Student Affairs; Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling; and School Counseling.
Student learning Measurable acquisition of knowledge or skills.
Sustained Maintained or occurring consistently over a period of time beyond the year prior to when accreditation is being sought.
Systematic In a regular, planned, and comprehensive manner.
Triadic supervision A tutorial and mentoring relationship between a member of the counseling profession and two counseling students.


The following terms will be displayed in a separate section of the CACREP 2016 Standards Glossary, rather than integrated into it, in order to minimize confusion where terms may have multiple meanings.

Adaptive, functional, and transferable skills In general, a skill is an ability, competence, or capacity. Adaptive skills are practical, daily capacities to meet activities or daily living and instrumental activities of daily living. Functional skills are basic abilities to function physically, mentally, and cognitively in a variety of environments. Transferable skills are learned vocational and avocational competencies transferable to other vocational and avocational activities that contain the same or lesser degree of skill and use the same or similar systems, tools, or technologies.
Disability According to the World Health Organization (2011, p. 4), “Disability is the umbrella term for impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions, referring to the negative aspects of the interaction between an individual (with a health condition) and that individual’s contextual factors (environmental and personal factors).” (
Employment models (applicable to disability) Models to facilitate the career development and job placement of individuals with disabilities, including but not limited to supported employment, customized employment, train-then-place approach, demand-side approach, and person-centered placement.
Interdisciplinary teams Professionals from different disciplines working together to achieve rehabilitation goals. Team members could include medical and health care professionals, independent living specialists, rehabilitation engineers, vocational evaluators, etc.
Legal rights (of individuals with disabilities) Accessibility and nondiscrimination rights guaranteed by federal, tribal, state, and local laws and regulations, including but not limited to laws (as amended) such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Family Medical Leave Act, and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Philosophy of rehabilitation counseling Focused on disability rights and empowering individuals with disabilities to achieve their own chosen goals. Instead of relying on a diagnose-then-treat approach to just change the individual, rehabilitation counselors seek ways to improve the accessibility of environments in which individuals with disabilities live and work.
Professional organizations, preparation standards, and credentials relevant
to the practice of rehabilitation
Counseling Professional organizations relevant to rehabilitation counseling include but are not limited to the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA) division of the American Counseling Association, the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals (IARP), the National Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE), and the National Rehabilitation Counseling Association (NRCA). The primary certification for rehabilitation counselors is the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) credential, although a wide variety of additional specialty credentials are
also available. This is not an exhaustive list; rehabilitation is an interdisciplinary field that includes disability-related disciplines that do not exclusively focus on counseling.
Rehabilitation Counseling Scope of Practice Rehabilitation counseling is a systematic process that assists persons with physical, mental, developmental, cognitive, and emotional disabilities to achieve their personal, career, and independent living goals in the most integrated setting possible through the application of the counseling process. The counseling process involves communication, goal setting, and beneficial growth or change through self-advocacy, psychological, vocational, social, and behavioral interventions. The specific techniques and modalities utilized within this rehabilitation counseling process may include, but are not limited to the following: assessment and appraisal;


  • diagnosis and treatment planning;
  • career (vocational) counseling;
  • individual and group counseling treatment interventions focused on facilitating adjustments to the medical and psychosocial impact of disability;
  • case management, referral, and service coordination;
  • program evaluation and research;
  • interventions to remove environmental, employment, and attitudinal barriers;
  • consultation services among multiple parties and regulatory systems;
  • job analysis, job development, and placement services, including assistance with employment and job accommodations; and
  • provision of consultation about and access to rehabilitation technology.
Rehabilitation counseling specialty area services Areas of specialized practice settings, including but not limited to psychiatric rehabilitation, forensic rehabilitation, criminal justice,
rehabilitation case management, life care planning, substance abuse rehabilitation, veterans’ rehabilitation and employment, American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and transition services for school-aged youth.
Rehabilitation process A systematic process intended to facilitate person-centered decision-making, this process is utilized to select, plan, and achieve goals with individuals with disabilities related to personal, career, and independent living. The Rehabilitation process includes the tasks of assessment, developing a rehabilitation plan, implementation and service delivery, follow-up, and consultation.
Specialized services for specific disability populations Specialized services and programs are designed based on the unique needs of a specific populations (e.g., spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, sensory, intellectual, psychiatric and physical disabilities, corrections, and veterans).
Universal design Design of buildings, products, and environments that makes them usable to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their level of ability
or disability, without the need for specialized modifications.

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