Spring 2013 CACREP Connection

Council for Accreditation and Counseling

Staying The Course

Dear Colleauges,

In the last issue of the CACREP Connection, I identified the three strategic initiatives guiding the work of CACREP. This column will include a progress update on these initiatives, as well as a discussion on the onus of being the standard bearer for counselor education and the ways in which CACREP promotes professional identity and works toward unifying the profession. For progress on strategic initiatives read more>

Onus of being the standard bearer

For 30 years CACREP has been steadfast in developing and revising counselor preparation standards to meet the changing needs and demands within the counseling profession and society at large. The rigor of CACREP’s standards development and revision processes, which include extensive opportunities for input from stakeholders, has earned external recognition of CACREP by state licensing boards, the majority of which require the CACREP curricula as the guide for meeting academic requirements for licensure and by the highly respected Institute of Medicine (IOM), an independent non-profit organization that advises policy makers. While the recognition by state licensing boards and the IOM increases the CACREP’s stature, it also mandates that the rigor of the standards and of CACREP’s review processes be maintained. CACREP takes seriously its responsibility to protect the public and believes that to do this requires that counselors must have clear and strong professional identities.  CACREP’s unwavering position on the importance of professional identity has engendered public scrutiny and challenges.

Increased public awareness of mental health issues and political decisions, such as the recent withdrawals of troops from war zones, also requires CACREP to be conscientious in its standards revision process. Do the core curricular standards include the requisite knowledge areas and skill-sets for the populations seeking counseling services? Are our current specializations adequate given the social and political changes? Do we need to consider the inclusion of new knowledge areas and specialty preparation?

Opportunities for promoting professional identity and unifying the profession

CACREP has been consistent in its position of recognizing that the scope and practice of counselors vary, thus, necessitating a core as well as specialization knowledge-bases and skill-sets depending on the populations served and work-settings. The hallmark of the 2009 CACREP Standards is the fostering of a counseling professional identity in graduates of accredited programs by faculty and supervisors who themselves hold a counseling professional identity. Bobby and Urofsky (2011) speak to opportunities that counselor training programs can make available to students in fostering this identity. Davis and Gressard (2011) delineate how specific CACREP standards promote professional identity taking into account the developmental stage of the counseling profession. Counseling professional organizations are doing their part too.

CACREP continues to collaborate with counseling professional organizations that share the belief and value of having a counseling professional identity and seek to unify the counseling profession.  Professional organizations like the American Counseling Association, the National Board for Certified Counselors, and Chi Sigma Iota are working with CACREP on specific projects designed to enhance and highlight professional identity.

It is becoming clearer that being a CACREP-accredited program is significant for programs because:

  • CACREP is the only accrediting agency in the Counseling profession accepted as a hiring credential by the federal government.
  • CACREP programs prepare graduates for passing demanding licensure exams.
  • CACREP accreditation increases the employment opportunities for graduates seeking employment in federal agencies such as the VA or TRICARE health systems.
  • CACREP enhances the portability of credentials for graduates who must relocate.
  • CACREP assists programs in recruiting qualified graduate students.


While the Board and staff of CACREP are diligent and vigilant in implementing a high quality standards-setting process that insures the relevancy of counselor preparation, we cannot do it alone. CACREP welcomes participation from faculty and students in our accredited programs in achieving our strategic initiatives in the best interest of the counseling profession. If you are ready and willing to be involved, please call the CACREP office and be an advocate for the counseling profession.


Warm Regards,

Sylvia Fernandez,

Spring 2013


Chair’s Report

Accreditation Decisions

Policy Updates

FTE Faculty


SRC Committee Updates

Welcome David Moran

In Memoriam


The CACREP Board met in January in Memphis, TN, to make accreditation decisions.


In Memoriam

Lloyd Stone

Former CACREP Program Liaison and Team Member Lloyd Stone passed away in February. Although he was active in CACREP, Dr. Stone will be remembered most for his efforts to establish the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) where he held certificate #001. He took a break from Counseling and Counselor Education to serve in the Legislature in the State of Kansas, and continued to remain active on the licensure board there.

Become a fan of CACREP on Facebook! We can reach a wide audience quickly with important updates on CACREP and other counselor education matters. Recent facebook posts have focused on the TriCare recommendation and notice of training sessions.


Accreditation Decisions

The CACREP Board met in January in Memphis, TN, to make accreditation decisions. read more >


Policy #4: Program and Degree Titles

The policy was changed to reflect the fact that CACREP does not accredit dual or combined degrees. The new policy reads as follows (italics indicate additions):
Titles may not be used that have the potential of misrepresentation with regard to CACREP accreditation. Therefore, when an institution decides to seek CACREP accreditation for one or more graduate degree programs (e.g., School Counseling, Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling), the institution must use titles that 1) clearly identify the programs and degrees as counseling programs and counseling degrees, and 2) accurately reflect the one program area under which accreditation is being sought.  CACREP does not accredit programs that include more than one program area, such as dual or combined degrees.  Therefore, if a student wishes to be endorsed in more than one program area, he or she must choose a primary degree (e.g., School Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling) and if he or she chooses to meet credential requirements in a different setting, the student can still only receive a degree in one program area.

Policy #13: Program Graduate Qualifications for Initial Accreditation

This is the policy that applies to students who graduate in the 12 month prior to a program that obtains initial accreditation.  That was policy was adopted in January 2008 and was not retroactive to programs prior to that date.  The Board amended the policy to take out that restriction.  The amended  policy which now applies to all programs, reads as follows: Students in a program seeking accreditation shall be considered graduates of a CACREP program if they receive their degree within one (1) year prior to when accreditation is conferred, and if the program can verify that the student completed the CACREP program requirements.

New Community Counseling Conversion Policy

CACREP has adopted a new policy to allow programs accredited as Community Counseling programs under the 2001 Standards to convert to Clinical Mental Health Counseling. read more>

Professional Identity Standards Linked to Activities with ACA, CSI, NBCC

Throughout its existence, CACREP has identified itself as the accrediting arm of the counseling profession. Because CACREP views the counseling profession as a distinct profession with its own history, values, and credentialing systems, it has always believed that the core faculty should be able to demonstrate a clear identity with counseling. This has always been determined by a looking at faculty qualifications through a variety of lenses, such as terminal degree titles, areas of research, journal publications , professional memberships, service and development/renewal activities.

To further clarify the expectations of CACREP regarding where faculty engagement should be occurring in order to satisfy CACREP’s professional identity requirements, the Board passed a Guiding Statement to be used in conjunction with 2009 CACREP Standard I.W.5a-c with regard to faculty engagement. This statement clearly recognizes the important roles that the National Board for Certified Counselors, Chi Sigma Iota, and the American Counseling Association play in supporting and fostering a strong counselor identity for a strong counseling profession. For the full text of the Guiding Statement, please review read more>

A Reasoned Approach to FTE Faculty

Standard I.N. in the CACREP Standards stipulates, “Institutional data reflect that the ratio of full-time equivalent (FTE) students to FTE faculty should not exceed 10:1.” In support of this standard, the CACREP Standards include a definition of Full-Time Equivalent as follows:
FULL-TIME EQUIVALENT — 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.

In recognition of the fact that there are different ways to calculate FTE ratios and that some institutions of higher education (IHEs) have adopted institutional methods, the CACREP Board has indicated that it will accept read more>

Board Member Changes

At the Board meeting in January , we said goodbye to five members: Stephen Feit, Charles F. (Rick) Gressard, Anita Engstrom Jones, Clarrice Rapisarda King, Clarrice Rapisarda King, and Judith Nix.

At the same meeting, we elected four new members to the board beginning their terms on July 1, 2013. Kelly Coker joins us as a counselor educator from Walden University. Kok-Mun Ng, another counselor educator teaches at UNC Charlotte. Patrick Millmore will be a new practitioner member. He is a school counselor in the state of Colorado. Our new Public Member is Bethany Jones who brings to CACREP a wealth of experience in institutional administration and international activity.

Additionally, elections of Officers were held at the January meeting. Next year’s Executive Committee will be Sylvia Fernandez, Chair; Thomas Davis, Vice-Chair; and Dana Heller Levitt, Treasurer.

NBCC Mentoring Opportunities

The NBCC Foundation is accepting letters of interest from experienced, doctoral-level NCCs who want to volunteer as mentors for the NBCC Minority Fellowship Program (MFP). Fellows with active mentor connections demonstrate increased success in completing doctoral programs, contributing effective research, and attaining related employment and other appointments. read more>

New CSI Journal

Chi Sigma Iota is pleased to announce the launch of a new, peer-reviewed journal. Through high-quality research, scholarship, and professional dialogue, the Journal of Counselor Leadership & Advocacy (JCLA) will promote the development of leaders to serve in diverse counseling settings, bring awareness to professional and client advocacy initiatives, and provide a forum for discussing professional issues.  JCLA welcomes empirical, theoretical, and conceptual pieces focused on leadership, professional and client advocacy, and professional identity for counselors, counseling students, and counselor educators. JCLA will be published twice a year beginning in June 2014.  Please visit www.csi-net.org to learn more about the journal, author guidelines, and procedures for submitting manuscripts for review.  Inquiries may be addressed to jcla@csi-net.org


The 2016 CACREP Standards Revision Committee (SRC) was formed and charged with the task of writing the Standards that will go into effect in 2016. The SRC has communicated its intention to develop Standards that will (a) promote the development of a unified professional counselor identity, (b) ensure that programs collect evidence that students have acquired knowledge and skill competencies, and (c) remain relevant through 2024. To accomplish these goals, the SRC adopted the motto, “Clarify, Simplify, Unify” to guide its work. read more>

CACREP Welcomes David Moran as new Assistant Director of Accreditation

CACREP would like to welcome, David Moran, as our second Assistant Director of Accreditation. David joined the staff this past January and is originally from Buffalo, New York. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Hilbert College and worked as a social worker in a skilled nursing facility in Charlotte, North Carolina for a couple of years. David then returned to Buffalo to complete his master’s in School Counseling at Canisius College. It was there that he learned of CACREP and the benefits it gave to his education.

During his graduate studies, David was inducted to the Psi Chi Gamma chapter of Chi Sigma Iota. He is an active member of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and attended the past two ACA conferences as a graduate student volunteer. It was through his attendance at the conferences and networking that lead him to employment with CACREP

David has experience working as a school counselor with emotionally disturbed middle school students as well as homeless and runaway youth. He is glad to be a part of the accreditation team and grateful to be contributing to the counseling profession.