Rehabilitation Counseling Program receives national award

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

ORANGEBURG – The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the Rehabilitation Services Administration Commissioner’s Award for Excellence in Education and Training to SC State’s Rehabilitation Counseling Program.

Dr. David Staten, chairman of the Department of Human Services and director of the Rehabilitation Counseling Program at SC State, Staten accepted the award on behalf of the program at the recent National Council on Rehabilitation Education Conference in Washington, D.C.

Each year, the commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration presents the award to an individual in recognition of his or her “outstanding achievement and distinction in the training of qualified rehabilitation counseling personnel.” The Commissioner’s Award recognizes truly superior professionals and academic programs, and it communicates excellence among state agency, educational and federal leaders.

SC State’s Rehabilitation Counseling Program is the first minority-serving institution in the nation to receive this particular award. Past recipients have included major research institutions such as Auburn University, the University of Boston, Southern Illinois University and the University of Memphis.

SC State’s Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling Program has consistently met the challenge of producing qualified rehabilitation counselors since its inception. SC State is the first historically black college or university to house a rehabilitation counseling program in the United States, dating back to 1972, and the first graduate program to offer joint credentials in Orientation and Mobility and Rehabilitation Counseling.

Since its inception, the Rehabilitation Counseling Program has produced many rehabilitation counselor leaders and professionals currently working at the local, state and national level. In fact, since 1985 alone, the Rehabilitation Counseling Program has produced over 600 graduates. Many of these graduates have gone on to have prominent careers in the Rehabilitation Counseling profession, and current graduates work as rehabilitation counseling program coordinators, rehabilitation counseling faculty, vocational rehabilitation counseling administrators and supervisors, vocational rehabilitation counselors and many other rehabilitation counseling-related occupations. In addition, SC State’s Rehabilitation Counseling Program has graduated more minorities in Rehabilitation Counseling who have gone on to obtain a doctorate degree that any other college or university in the country.