Roles and Responsibilities for Graduate Specialization - NIU - Rehabilitation Services and Rehabilitation Counseling

Rehabilitation Services & Rehabilitation Counseling

Roles and Responsibilities of a Rehabilitation Counselor:

Communicative Disorders

  • Arrange for psychological, medical, and vocational assessments.
  • Consult with medical and allied health professionals.
  • Assess capacity for independent living and employment.
  • Interpret diagnoses.
  • Development treatment plans.
  • Recommend and arrange for rehabilitative services and assistive technology/accommodations.
  • Provide counseling to help with social or personal problems.
  • Facilitate career planning.
  • Advocate to modify environmental, social, and/or attitudinal barriers.
  • Work with employers and other rehabilitative professionals to identify and modify job and work tasks.
  • Engage in job development and place efforts.
    (see The Rehabilitation Counseling Professional, 2012)

Graduates from the program work in a variety of public, non-profit, and private employment settings that include, but are not limited to:

  • State and federal vocational rehabilitation agencies.
  • Comprehensive rehabilitation centers.
  • Veterans Administration hospitals.
  • University and college settings.
  • Psychiatric and physical rehabilitation programs.
  • Mental health and substance abuse programs.
  • Independent living facilities.
  • Correctional facilities.
  • Rehabilitation hospitals/programs.

Certified Rehabilitation Counselors (CRCs) are required to hold a master's degree from an accredited program.  NIU's Rehabilitation Counseling program involves two years of academic and clinical training.  Clinical training consists of a practicum and 600 hours of supervised internship.  Clinical field experiences are available in a variety of community, state, and federal rehabilitation programs, and internship sites are distributed across the U.S., offering a wide range of disability and rehabilitation services.  Graduates of the program are trained in counseling theory, counseling skills, job development, job placement, career counseling, medical aspects of disabilities, case management, vocational evaluation and ethical practices in rehabilitation services.

Students who wish to add a focus on working with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may work with program faculty to take additional coursework and complete selected projects and participate in focused clinical and fieldwork placements with programs and services provided to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to round out the preparation to work as a rehabilitation counselor for the deaf (RCD).