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The Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling program is a 60+ credit master’s degree.

Graduates are eligible for national professional certification to become a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) or National Certified Counselor (NCC) and meet educational requirements for state license to practice counseling in many states (Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor or LCMHC in North Carolina).

Our clinical rehabilitation counseling program is ranked #13 in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.

A clinical rehabilitation counselor is a highly trained professional who uses client centered approaches to prepare individuals with disabilities in attaining optimal function, including psychological, social, and vocational function in the context of their personal goals, abilities, and perception of quality of life. Rehabilitation counseling involves eliminating attitudinal and environmental barriers through use of counseling technology, advocacy, and support.

Mission and Objectives

MS in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling

The mission of the Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling master’s program at UNC is to develop  professional counselors who have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to provide state-of-the-art services to culturally diverse individuals with physical, psychiatric, developmental, and/or intellectual disabilities in diverse settings (e.g., public vocational rehabilitation, high school and/or college, disability management, private-for-profit rehabilitation, assisted living facilities). The curriculum provides extensive training in evidence-based practices and service delivery models aimed at optimizing consumers’ functioning in major life areas (i.e., physical, vocational, educational, developmental, psychosocial, independent living). Counselors trained at UNC will serve individuals of transition age and beyond through developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive work. Graduates combine clinical rehabilitation counseling expertise with skills in individual, professional and systemic advocacy, leadership, consultation, and collaboration to assess consumer needs, goals, potential, resources, and barriers to empower and fully promote consumers’ quality of life, community inclusion, and personal fulfillment.

Graduates of the CRC Master’s Program will:

  1. Learn and effectively apply current best practices in rehabilitation counseling within the continuum of care using a community-inclusion model;
  2. Accurately assess the rehabilitation counseling needs of people with disabilities and work in partnership with consumers, families, and affiliated agencies to provide the most appropriate rehabilitation services and supports needed;
  3. Acquire specific knowledge and skills to address the counseling and case management needs of people with disabilities with an emphasis on strategies and techniques for serving people with psychiatric and/or developmental disabilities; this includes assessing the impact of crisis and trauma, the impacts of biological and neurological mechanisms, and the effects of co-occurring disabilities;
  4. Demonstrate multicultural and social justice counseling competencies, including cultural humility practices;
  5. Work collaboratively with professionals as members of an interdisciplinary treatment team, family members, community providers, employers, and agency policy and decision makers to achieve optimal rehabilitation outcomes for people with disabilities;
  6. Engage in a process of lifelong learning, collaboration, collegiality, and ethical relationships as part of ongoing professional development as CRCs;
  7. Have the necessary leadership, business and management, and public policy skills to assume leadership roles; and
  8. Promote and support consumer empowerment and self-advocacy, with a focus on inclusion and removal of environmental, attitudinal, and individual barriers for individuals with disabilities.

Scope of Practice