Mount Mary adds clinical rehabilitation concentration

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Milwaukee-based Mount Mary University is expanding its Master of Science in Counseling program to include a 60-credit Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling concentration that will begin the fall semester of the 2015-2016 academic year.

The new concentration was designed with a number of online courses to provide flexibility and to attract students throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Mount Mary’s M.S. in Counseling is coed and, in addition to Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling, offers concentrations in Clinical Mental Health (60 credits) and School Counseling (48 credits).

The university has named Lee Za Ong, Ph.D., LPC, C.R.C., program director for the new concentration. Ong is a licensed professional counselor and certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC) with more than 10 years of clinical and academic experience. Ong was most recently with Marquette University as a clinical assistant professor in the department of counselor education and counseling psychology. Prior to that, she taught at California State University-Fresno as an assistant professor in the department of counseling, special education, and rehabilitation, and as a visiting assistant professor at the City University of New York-Hunter College in the counseling programs.  

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Mount Mary’s Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling program prepares students to become certified rehabilitation counselors and offers specialized coursework in trauma and addictions. CRCs provide a full range of counseling services to facilitate the personal, educational and vocational development of individuals with emotional, cognitive, physical and neurological impairments. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of rehabilitation counselors will grow at a faster than average rate in the next 10 years.

According to Carrie King, director of the M.S. in Counseling program at Mount Mary, graduates of the new concentration can practice in a variety of settings, including state vocational rehabilitation agencies, hospitals, community agencies, managed behavioral health care organizations, integrated delivery systems, substance abuse treatment centers, employee assistance programs or in independent practice.

“Our students will be capable of identifying and removing barriers that impede equal access to mental health services and will work with diverse individuals, families and groups to reach their mental health, wellness, education and career goals,” King said.

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The Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling program requires:

• Completion of 60 credits
• 700 on-site hours of clinical practicum at selected clinical rehabilitation counseling sites
• A professional counselor portfolio and self-assessment
• Completion of a comprehensive exam or six to nine research/thesis credits

In addition to the new concentration, the university’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling concentration was recently accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP is the national accrediting body for graduate-level programs in the counseling field. The accreditation is a two-year process that recognizes the quality of training the program provides and involves faculty, staff, administration, past and present students and internship site supervisors.

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According to King, graduates of a CACREP-accredited program can obtain state counseling licensure more easily, are more easily accepted into doctoral programs, will find greater portability between state licensing boards, and are eligible to complete work for the three federal agencies that have made graduation from a CACREP accredited-program a requirement for independent practice in counseling.

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