Exciting Happenings—On-going and Planned
Greetings colleagues! I trust that the new academic year is off to a good start for you with new faces in the classroom, exciting things planned for your programs, and a readiness to tackle the challenges that this year will bring. Seems to me this is a good time to share with you the exciting things going on with CACREP.
Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling: CACREP and its corporate affiliate CORE have begun reviewing CORE-accredited programs seeking dual accreditation as Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling programs under the conversion policy. In this two-step process, CORE, under its license to implement CACREP’s Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling standards, conducts the review of this specialization and CACREP conducts the review for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization standards. The focus of Phase I is the conversion process for existing programs that already have both rehabilitation and clinical mental health components. Now we move into Phase II which will focus on newly developed programs. The application and decision-making processes will be released shortly. The CEOs and elected leaders of CACREP and CORE continue to meet with counselor educators at their respective conferences to educate about the joint accreditation process and to address any questions or accreditation issues of concern to counselor education programs.
Growth in applications: The recognition of CACREP as the standard for counselor preparation by federal agencies has signaled loudly and clearly that the opportunities available to CACREP-graduates – the future practitioners – only grows exponentially. This signal is being heeded by programs that want to ensure a place for their graduates. This is evident by the number of new institutions (39 at mid-year) seeking CACREP accreditation for their programs. This growth began last year and has leapfrogged this year and projects to be an upward trend. This capacity building of rigorously trained counselors will only serve to strengthen the counseling profession as well as raise the stature of counselors among the mental health service-providing community
Organizational partners: As a leader in the counseling profession through accreditation, CACREP partners with organizations who share the vision of strengthening and unifying the counseling profession, while recognizing that the mission of each partner may be very different. CACREP continues to talk with and engage in collaborative activities with the following counseling organizations:
- ACA In multiple recent public comments ACA has recognized CACREP as the accrediting agency for the counseling profession. While our respective constituents may be different, as leader organizations in the same profession there is overlap and synergy in what we do. Together we must set the parameters for the counseling profession.
- ACES The association that represents counselor educators, has in a position statement acknowledged CACREP as the gold standard for counselor preparation which they have shared publicly in multiple venues.
- NBCC The counseling profession’s certification agency, it is one of CACREP’s longest and strongest supporters. Counselor preparation by CACREP standards is a prerequisite for many NBCC-funded initiatives. In their own programs and scholarships available to students NBCC has made enrollment in a CACREP program an eligibility criterion. NBCC has also made competitive grants available to programs seeking CACREP accreditation and has received an overwhelming number of applications.
- Chi Sigma Iota The academic and professional academic honor society, promotes excellence in all facets of the counseling profession. Among its initiatives this year is a joint essay contest with CACREP on the topic of professional identity.