Training Participants: Masters in Vocational Rehabilitation Training Project

  • Rogers, Jackie (PI)
  • Crystal, Ralph (CoI)
  • Harley, Debra (CoI)
  • Bishop, Malachy (Former CoI)
  • Feist-Price, Sonja (Former CoI)
  • Fleming, Allison (Former CoI)
  • Ysasi, Noel (Former CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The University of Kentucky (UK) proposes a five-year long-term Masters in Vocational Rehabilitation Training Project (MVRTP) that will provide a rigorous, competency-based master’s degree curriculum to individuals seeking to become qualified rehabilitation counselors. The UK Graduate Program is accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) and has a history of providing quality education and collaborating with state rehabilitation agencies through development of innovative educational programs. The MVRTP will utilize the available resources of the UK Distance Education Program in Rehabilitation Counseling to provide instruction to students across the nation. The distance education program can be completed in sixteen months without on-campus attendance and at in-state University of Kentucky tuition rates. There is a continued demand for qualified masters’ level rehabilitation counselors at the state, regional, and national levels. Based on information provided by the two Kentucky state rehabilitation agencies, Kentucky currently has 180 counselors; 22 vacancies; and 29 anticipated counselor openings in the next five years. Similar statistics are reflected for the region and the nation. The number of graduates from programs in rehabilitation counseling seeking employment with state rehabilitation agencies is declining due to the availability of alternative employment options. A three-year summary from Summer 2008 through Spring 2011 by CORE revealed that 62.4% to 64.1% of graduates sought employment outside of state rehabilitation agencies. This decline in employment with state rehabilitation agencies and the demand for agency rehabilitation counselors in the next five years poses a threat of decreasing quality and quantity of services to consumers with disabilities. Through provision of this long-term training project, students will be encouraged to pursue a career in public rehabilitation counseling. All scholars will be required to complete internships with state vocational rehabilitation agencies. The MVRTP will place an emphasis the funding priorities of providing a long-term training program in an academic training area of personnel shortage, specifically in vocational rehabilitation counseling. The MVRTP will address the following objectives: Objective 1: To increase the number of qualified rehabilitation counselors employed by the state VR agencies on a state, regional, and national level. This will be accomplished through (a) recruiting and selecting highly capable prospective scholars; (b) providing in-depth job development and placement curriculum which will assess and address consumer employment needs and trends in an ever-changing labor market as part of the rehabilitation counseling graduate curriculum; and (c) training and evaluating scholars throughout entire program to ensure they are proficient in meeting needs of consumers and employers, (d) ensuring that scholars complete an internship with a state rehabilitation agency, (e) retaining and graduating 30 qualified master's level rehabilitation counselors. Objective 2: To provide career counseling to scholars in obtaining qualifying employment. Objective 3: To actively involve the State VR agencies and community-based rehabilitation service providers in the project activities. Objective 4: To provide a comprehensive program evaluation of student satisfaction, quality of instruction, and state agencies' needs in order to modify and deliver effective education that will promote counselor competencies. The University of Kentucky offers assurance that it will outline outreach activities to increase the pool of eligible minority candidates but will not admit or provide funding to applicants solely on the basis of race, ethnicity, or disability.
Effective start/end date10/1/149/30/19


  • Department of Education


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