Develop and Implement an Accelerated Distance

  • Crystal, Ralph (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The Rehabilitation Counseling program in the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Kentucky (UK-RCP) is requesting funds for a six-month start up period to develop an accelerated distance education program. This MOA will be for the period of January I, 2004 and June 30, 2004 and is made between the University of Kentucky Research Foundation and the Kentucky Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) and the Kentucky Department for the Blind (DFB). It is anticipated that this MOA will cover start up costs for this program for the initial six months of operation. Following this time frame the project will be self-sufficient and self-supportive, using funds generated through tuition to cover personnel, development, and teaching costs. The following is the proposal for these funds. Back2round for the Pro2ram The University of Kentucky presently offers the only master's level rehabilitation counseling program in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. This program has provided a distance-learning program for rehabilitation counseling professionals in Kentucky since 1995. The distance education program initially was offered through closed circuit satellite television. When compressed video became widely available, the UK-RCP switched to this method of delivery. The University of Kentucky received a grant in 1998 to develop a web-based course through the Kentucky Virtual University. The University has since developed two other web based rehabilitation counseling classes. At present the Rehabilitation Counseling master's degree is delivered through a combination of compressed video, web based classes and campus based classes. Since the beginning of the distance education initiative the University of Kentucky has graduated over 50 distance education students in rehabilitation counseling. Importance and Demand for this Prof!ram The UK-RCP distance education program was begun at the request of the Department for the Blind and the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. These agencies employ counselors who work with individuals with disabilities regarding the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to such persons. Vocational rehabilitation is a joint state and federal program. The UK-RCP was initially approached in 1994 by these agencies to start a distance education program for two reasons: (a) the U.S. Congress mandated that all rehabilitation counselors employed in the state-federal rehabilitation program have master's degrees in order to practice; (b) the UK-RCP is the only master's degree rehabilitation counseling program in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Because oflimited personnel resources the UK-RCP has offered the distance education program concurrently with the on-campus program. Thus, on-campus students and distance education students have taken courses together. In recent months several developments have occurred which have resulted in revisiting the way that the UK-RCP has been offering distance education. To comply with Federal Regulations requiring the employment of qualified staff through a comprehensive system of personnel development, the Department for the Blind and the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation approached faculty in the UK-RCP and discussed developing an accelerated distance education program. These state rehabilitation agencies found that the UK-RCP was unable to meet the demand for trained rehabilitation counselors, as the distance education program is currently constituted. The current UK-RCP distance education program takes about three calendar years to complete. It is anticipated that with the accelerated program it will take about two years to complete a master's degree. With the availability of web based as well as video conferencing technologies the UK-RCP can now offer a complete master's degree program using distance education technologies which is equivalent to the quality of the on campus program. The implementation of the accelerated distance education rehabilitation program will uncouple the on campus and distance education programs. The UK-RCP anticipates implementing this new distance education program in January 2004 contingent upon appropriate approvals within the university and state agencies.
Effective start/end date1/1/049/30/04


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