How to Choose a Rehabilitation Degree

This articles gives you information about the best way to choose a rehabilitation degree. It also contains information about how to choose a high quality degree in the field, and also details about what to look for regarding curriculum. Finally, it describes the importance of program accreditation, and which accreditation is most important.

What Is a Rehabilitation Degree?

A rehabilitation degree is typically a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and may be referred to as a degree in rehabilitation services. This field is primarily dedicated to helping people who have disabilities to live an independent and happy lives.

Some rehabilitation professionals will assist people to develop effective strategies to help them to live better with their disability and to get from work to school and vice versa. Others work with veterans to deal with the physical or mental effects of working in the military and serving in combat. Others might help the elderly to death with disabilities that come with aging.

Those who receive a rehabilitation degree are ready to enter many different careers in human services and rehabilitation.

Typical learning outcomes of a bachelor’s or master’s in rehabilitation include:

  • Have a good understanding of disability and issues related to disability
  • Understand the many facets of being disabled, including psychological, medical and social
  • Understanding the services and providers of services for people who are being rehabilitated

Depending upon the program you attend, you may study addiction:

  • Understanding how addictions manifest themselves and affect our lives
  • Understanding the services that are available to people who suffer from various addictions
  • Understand the family, medical and psychological aspects of having a serious addiction

Some programs in rehabilitation also focus on deaf studies:

  • Obtain a proper understanding of deaf culture
  • Learn how to communicate in sign language
  • Understand all of the basic principles of audiology
  • Become exposed to the many service learning opportunities in communities of deaf people
  • Understand the many different treatments that are available for hearing loss
  • Understand the different provider of services to the deaf population

Some of the common courses that you may take in a bachelor’s program in rehabilitation include:

  • Rehabilitation introduction
  • Case management
  • Disability policy/advocacy
  • Medical aspects of disability
  • Assessment in human and social services
  • Job placement
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Disability psychology
  • Addiction studies
  • How to prevent addictive behaviors
  • Family and disability
  • Clinical issues in addiction

After earning your degree in this major, you will be prepared to work in rehabilitation in employers such as:

  • Addiction treatment facilities
  • Hospitals and clinicals that work with the seriously injured
  • Independent living communities
  • Organizations that serve those with mental disabilities
  • Probation and parole centers
  • VA centers
  • Mental health facilities

Why Earn a Rehabilitation Degree?

The first reason to consider this degree is there are many jobs available. Professionals who work in rehabilitation services are in higher demand today; demand for their services is expected to increase by 9% by 2024, as more people in the United States are living longer and active lives.

It is believed that these older Americans will need to have rehabilitation services as they deal with health problems such as arthritis, joint replacement, diabetes, cancer, stroke and other serious maladies that require adaptation and recovery. As a whole, older Americans are more likely to suffer from disabilities or become injured. Thus rehabilitation counselors will be needed to help older Americans to learn to adapt to their new limitations.

More rehabilitation workers also will be needed to work with war veterans who became disabled physically or mentally during their service.

Other groups needing more help are people with learning disabilities, substance abuse issues, the hearing impaired, and those with autism. More of these conditions are diagnosed today, so more professionals are needed to treat them.

Another reason to consider this field is that the median salary for those entering it is a solid $34,670 per year, and the top 10% earn over $62,000 per year.

Online Degree Options

For those interested in rehabilitation counseling, we recommend the Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Alabama online.

This online degree program will teach you to support and encourage your clients who have disabilities. You also will learn to support them and their families as they are learning to participate fully in their local community.

A rehabilitation counselor with this degree will learn skills such as individual and group counseling; vocational assessments; case management; advocacy; and assistive technology and consultation services. These learned skills will help your clients with disabilities to better meet their social, vocation, personal and quality of life goals.

This program may be completed entirely online and fully adheres to the learning standards that have been laid out by the Council on Rehabilitation Education.

As you work through this program, you will have many opportunities to learn actively and a curriculum that features live lectures and clinical sessions. After you graduate, you will be fully qualified to work in either public or private organizations.

Your required courses include:

  • Counseling: Theory and Process
  • Career Development
  • Counseling Skills
  • Group: Process and Procedures
  • Orientation to Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Medical, Functional, and Environmental Aspects of Disability I
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Case Management and Placement
  • Multicultural Counseling
  • Advanced Seminar – Substance Abuse
  • Research Methods in Education
  • Life Span Development
  • Practicum in Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Internship in Rehabilitation Counseling

After you graduate, you will be eligible to be certified as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor or CRC. This designation will enhance your employment opportunities.

Accreditation

The matter of program accreditation is always critical in any bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral program. Program accreditation by a respected accreditation agency tells the student that the program has adhered to high quality standards and will teach you everything you need to know to succeed in that career.

For rehabilitation services and counseling, we recommend that you ensure that your degree program is accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). The University of Alabama program is accredited by this organization.

Summary

Working in rehabilitation services or counseling provides you with the opportunity to enjoy fulfilling work that is in ample demand, with good pay. Continue to explore this growing field if it is of interest, as a degree in the field will be your ticket to career success.

References

  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Services. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.utrgv.edu/_files/documents/admissions/undergraduate/dp-rehabilitation-services-bs.pdf
  • University of North Texas. Rehabilitation Studies. (n.d.). Retrieved frommhttps://www.unt.edu/pais/insert/urhsd.htm
  • University of Alabama. Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling. (n.d.). Retrieved frommhttp://bamabydistance.ua.edu/degrees/ma-in-rehabilitation-counseling-online/curriculum/index.php
  • Rehabilitation Counselors. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/rehabilitation-counselors.htm#tab-2
Veranda Charleston
Written by Veranda Charleston
Veranda is HealthGrad.com's Mental Health category guide. Veranda received her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern State University of Louisiana. She has more than five years of experience as a trained mental health professional.

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