Program Description


The mission of the graduate program in Rehabilitation Counseling is designed to prepare future rehabilitation counseling professionals to assist persons with disabilities. This is accomplished through community-based experiences within an inter-disciplinary context. Students learn strategies through academic coursework and field experience for empowering people with physical, sensory, and mental disabilities to enjoy rewarding, productive lives. Students work collaboratively with professional agencies to help people with disabilities achieve maximum independence and high quality of life.

The objectives of the Rehabilitation Counseling program are to provide students with the knowledge, competencies and opportunities to understand the experiences, values, and perspectives of people with disabilities and their families, while enabling people with disabilities and their significant others to become active participants in the rehabilitation process. We also want every graduate to be able to encourage people with disabilities to participate as active citizens of their communities. Sensitivity is extremely important when working in the rehabilitation industry, which is why we teach our students to identify and address the attitudinal, environmental, economic, political, and systemic barriers that may impede people with disabilities from achieving their life goals. Doing so will enable graduates to develop and demonstrate counseling techniques and career development strategies to assist people with disabilities in establishing the skills they need to participate actively in all aspects of society. It is vital, for graduates and patients, that you adhere to the highest ethical standards and best practices.


Rehabilitation Counseling is a counseling specialty offered at Kent State University. The unique competencies that you would acquire in this program are not interchangeable with community counseling, social work, school counseling, or other counseling specialties.

Rehabilitation counseling is a process - a process that builds upon the strengths and goals of persons with disabilities. Typically, clients of rehabilitation counselors are late adolescents and adults who have physical, emotional, or intellectual disabilities. The goal of rehabilitation counseling is integration and inclusion of persons with disabilities in society. The mission of the Rehabilitation Counselor Education Program at Kent State University is to prepare competent professionals who will provide quality service to persons with disabilities.

Counselors in the rehabilitation field work in a variety of settings. Employers of rehabilitation counselors include hospitals, public agencies (e.g., vocational rehabilitation, mental health, developmental disabilities), Bureau of Workers' Compensation, drug and alcohol treatment centers, correctional facilities, community-based programs, comprehensive rehabilitation facilities, private industry, and proprietary rehabilitation.

The process of rehabilitation is defined by values that permeate each phase of the rehabilitation process: individualization, integration, independence, and industry. Each individual with a disability has a unique constellation of strengths, abilities, weaknesses, interests, hopes, goals, and fears. An individualized process is employed to define and implement a program of services and counseling to enable and empower persons who have disabilities.