SC State’s Rehabilitation Counseling Program Receives $2.25 Million to Provide Exceptional Opportuni

Wednesday, October 23, 2019


ORANGEBURG, S.C. – SC State University’s Rehabilitation Counseling Program was recently awarded a federally funded training grant totaling $2.25 million. Awarded by the U.S. Department of Education over the next five years, the Innovative Rehabilitation Training Program grant will provide funding to students enrolled in the university’s graduate level rehabilitation counseling program.


The grant will support students interested in working with clients with disabilities, mental illness, substance abuse and vocational placement issues. Additionally, grant recipients will receive free tuition, a stipend and other professional development opportunities.


SC State alumnus, Dr. David Staten, who currently serves as professor of rehabilitation counseling, and grant project director, said that this is an amazing opportunity not only for SC State, as it’s the only HBCU in the nation to receive this grant, but also graduate students and the Rehabilitation Counseling program alike.


“We are beyond grateful for the ability to provide resources to our students who are looking to help the larger community with their skills, talents and expertise,” Staten said.


“We are pleased to be able to collaborate with the SC Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and further solidify our relationship with them and other key stakeholders, he continued.


The grant will include an Innovative Career and Assessment component, which includes two Rehabilitation Counseling Training (RCT) tracks. RCT track one will provide advanced training leading to a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling, while focusing on school-to-work transition and career assessment for vocational rehabilitation service recipients and leads to a national certification as a Global Career Development Facilitator. RCT track two is a web-based training program called Career Assessment and School-to-work Transition (CAST), which will provide a certificate of completion in school-to-work transition and career assessment for rehabilitation counseling professionals.


This newly funded grant is one of many awarded to SC State’s Rehabilitation Counseling program, which has received national recognition for its prestigious, award-winning degree program. For the past 16 years, more than $14.75 million in federal funding has been awarded to the program. The motivation to seek funding and write these grants comes through the program’s faculty who have a desire to ensure their graduate students receive the highest quality education. So far, federally funded grants have benefited over 170 SC State graduate students who received full scholarships, monthly stipends and professional development travel.


SC State graduate and professor of rehabilitation counseling, Dr. Bridget Hollis Staten, serves as the co-project director, and Dr. Michelle Priester, chair of the Department of Human Services serves as the director of the project’s Community of Practice. Hollis Staten said the feedback that has been received regarding the grant has been overwhelmingly positive.


“Not only have students received scholarships, but after they graduate, they have been able to obtain jobs as counselors, working with state and federal agencies and working with veterans with disabilities,” she said. “Many of our students have gone on to pursue PhDs as well, to include enrolling in doctoral programs at the University of Iowa, Southern Illinois University, Pennsylvania State, the University of Maryland and many other universities.”


Dr. Cassandra Sligh-Conway, SC State professor of rehabilitation counseling, will assist with the development of training modules on this project.


The Rehabilitation Counseling program is currently accepting applications for the Spring 2020 semester.


For more information, contact SC State’s Rehabilitation Counseling program at (803) 536-8699.