University of Kentucky Accelerated Distance Education Program in Rehabilitation Counseling

  • Crystal, Ralph (PI)
  • Rogers, Jackie (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The University of Kentucky (UK) proposes a five-year long-term training project that will provide an Accelerated Rehabilitation Counseling Distance Education Program for currently employed state rehabilitation professionals. This project is designed to support the development of qualified rehabilitation counselors as required in Section 21 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 for a "Comprehensive System of Personnel Development." Conventional campus based masters Rehabilitation Counseling programs have been unable to provide instruction that is convenient and accessible to counselors who currently handle caseloads and work fulltime. For this reason, the University of Kentucky has implemented a distance-learning program that can be completed in sixteen months without on-campus attendance and at in-state University of Kentucky tuition rates. The accelerated format is accomplished by dividing the traditional 16 week semester into two eight week blocks. Each course's semester of instruction is condensed into an eight-week period. All coursework, with the exception of Practica and Internship is presented via asynchronous web-based instruction. Supervision for Practica and Internship is conducted via live compressed video and web-cam. Students receive quality instruction equivalent to the campus based master's program. This program was developed by the C.O.R.E. accredited rehabilitation counseling graduate program at the University of Kentucky to meet the unique learning needs of state rehabilitation counselors. We propose to offer scholarships primarily to currently employed rehabilitation personnel identified by state VR agencies who are from rural locations or who do not possess ready access to campus-based programs. The University of Kentucky's Accelerated Rehabilitation Counseling Distance Education Program will address the following objectives in an effort to combat the significant rehabilitation counselor personnel shortages currently experienced on a state, regional, and national basis: Objective 1: To recruit, select, award scholarships, train, and graduate 60 graduate students who are currently employed state rehabilitation personnel. Emphasis will be placed upon recruitment of minority students and students with disabilities. Objective 2: To prepare students in the skills, knowledge and competencies necessary to work with individuals who have disabilities. Distance education to all students by making all course material accessible to students with disabilities, including those with visual and hearing impairments, learning disabilities, motor limitations. Objective 3: To continue to actively involve state VR agencies in 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 which will promote counselor competencies as defined by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). In the face of personnel shortages of qualified rehabilitation counselors the development of effective recruitment and retention strategies is perhaps more important today than it has been in the history of the rehabilitation counseling profession. We believe the delivery of the. University of Kentucky Accelerated Distance Education Program will allow. the State VR agencIe~ t ~ make significant improvement. The funding applied for in this project wou~d make a slgmficant difference in promoting the continued professionalization of the VR agencies' counselors.
Effective start/end date9/1/0512/31/10


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