About a Leader: CACREP
On June 30, 2015, my tenure on the CACREP Board comes to an end. These five incredible years have been full of positive changes for the counseling profession and the challenges brought on by these same changes. Landmarks occurring during my tenure on the CACREP Board include:
- the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation of graduation from a CACREP program as one of the criteria for independent practice in 2010
- the second CACREP Board Retreat in 2011 which resulted in the current Strategic Initiatives
- the release in 2012 of the TRICARE regulations which include the IOM’s recommended criteria
- CACREP’s 2013 adoption of Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Standards and CORE becoming a corporate affiliate
- Ohio’s 2014 adoption of new regulations requiring future graduation from a CACREP program for students within the state, followed by NBCC’s and Kentucky’s decisions to also require CACREP for future certificants and licensees and ACES’ statement endorsing CACREP
- the 2015 the adoption of the 2016 CACREP Accreditation Standards
The counseling profession is gaining traction within and outside the profession. It is imperative that CACREP continue to promote professional counselor identity to facilitate parity. CACREP recognition by the federal agencies has brought attention to Clinical Mental Health Counselors. The White House’s College Opportunity initiatives bring focus to the integral role that school counselors play.
CACREP is truly in the position of being a leader in the counseling profession. The following phrases about leaders capture how I see CACREP’s mission and vision being lived out. A leader is one…
…who knows where it is going, why it is going, and how to get there.
CACREP is guided by Strategic Initiatives that frame its goals and activities. In the rapidly changing landscape of the counseling profession, CACREP reviews and adjusts its priorities. CACREP engages in difficult conversations and makes equally difficult decisions, to step out boldly and act, and take defensible stances on issues.
…who knows no discouragement, who presents no alibi.
CACREP tenaciously abides to the principles that guide its work; continuing to promote and hold firm to the significance of having and demonstrating a professional counselor identity. In spite of public challenges and nay-sayers, CACREP is steady and resolute in meeting its mission and vision.
…who knows how to lead without being dictatorial; true leaders are humble.
CACREP’s review process allows programs to maintain their unique characteristics and culture in demonstrating how they meet the Standards. CACREP accepts its responsibility to promote, in multiple venues, high values and best practices, while learning from new ideas and innovation.
…who seeks the best for those it serves.
The standards revision process includes dialog with constituents in multiple venues, opportunities for public comments, and deliberate culling of feedback over an extended period of time to set the standards of counselor preparation relevant for the next eight years.
…who develops leaders while leading.
CACREP has always believed in developing future leaders in the counseling profession. Collaboration with CSI and our own CRIGS program encourages scholarship and research among tomorrow’s leaders. Training doctoral students to serve as initial reviewers of self-studies familiarizes future counselor educators with the CACREP Standards., Lastly, CACREP’s continual training of new team members not only develops leadership and advocacy skills, but requires these skills to be put in action.
…who marches with the group and interprets correctly the signs on the pathway that leads to success.
CACREP is vigilant about changes and trends occurring in academia, counseling practice, and politics in order respond proactively. The corporate affiliation of CORE is a significant example of how CACREP paid heed to the call of the counseling profession to find a single pathway for accreditation in the counseling profession.
…who considers leadership an opportunity for service.
CACREP’s mission and vision is to serve the counseling profession through quality assurance of counselor preparation. Current students and graduates of CACREP-accredited programs are well-prepared to meet the needs of today’s society. CACREP-accredited programs build capacity and ultimately serve to protect the public.
Remember leadership is action not position
It has been a pleasure serving on the CACREP Board and at this point in the counseling profession. For me the bookends to my service as Chair are having the CHEA observer at my first meeting, as part of the recognition re-affirmation process, and the adoption of the 2016 standards at my last meeting. It has been an honor and privilege to serve on the CACREP Board and I wish the Board courage and perseverance. This is a good time in the profession to be counselor and counselor educator.