About Rehabilitation and Disability Services and Rehabilitation Counseling

Rehabilitation and disability services and rehabilitation counseling professionals promote independence for individuals with disabilities. This could include assisting individuals with educational, employment or independent living goals.

Those with a bachelor's degree in rehabilitation services can pursue careers including providing services for independent living, supported employment, advocacy, recreation and group homes. Graduate degree holders are qualified to work in careers including rehabilitation counseling, occupational therapy and special education.

The job outlook for rehabilitation counselors is expected to grow by nine percent throughout 2024, which is faster than average. Many rehabilitation services areas are growing as well. For example, the career outlook for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is growing much faster than average, 22% through 2024.

There are several career paths to suit your unique interests. Whatever you choose, we'll help you find your way.

Rehabilitation and Disability Services


The mission of the Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Services is to positively impact the lives of persons with disabilities by:

  • Preparing students to be ethical professionals ready to provide quality services to persons with disabilities
  • Conducting quality and meaningful disability-related research
  • Serving the university, community and profession through the lens of social justice for persons with disability


The vision of the Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation and Disability Services is to develop broadly educated professionals who have the ability to address emerging needs of persons with disabilities using sound ethics and evidence-based practices.

Learning Outcomes

  • Communication (e.g., written, verbal, nonverbal) and use of person-first language in rehabilitation and disability services setting as evidenced by written communication, oral communication and use of counseling skills (i.e., counseling skills course) in courses
  • Empathic understanding and consideration for diverse individuals and cultures, particularly related to issues surrounding disability and rehabilitation services as evidenced by performance on case study assignments or internship
  • Application of critical thinking skills to hypothetical or real-world scenarios related to rehabilitation and disability services settings (e.g., vocational, independent living) as evidenced by performance on case study assignments or internship
  • Discipline specific knowledge about rehabilitation and disability services as evidenced by performance on course assignments and assessments

Rehabilitation Counseling


The NIU Rehabilitation Counseling program prepares graduate students for assisting individuals with disabilities to achieve employment, independent living and personal goals in integrated settings. Coursework emphasizes culturally sensitive interventions and integration of evidence-based practices to provide top-level support to people with disabilities.


The NIU Rehabilitation Counseling program aims to be a leader in providing quality preparation for certified rehabilitation counselors in public and private settings.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate knowledge of counseling concepts as outlined by program accreditation, which includes professional counseling orientation and ethical practice, social and cultural diversity, human growth and development, career development, counseling and helping relationships, group counseling and group work, assessment and testing, research and program evaluation
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills in rehabilitation counseling, including foundations, contextual dimensions, and practice
  • Demonstrate positive disposition towards self-reflection and openness to feedback
  • Apply clinical and administrative skills for successful rehabilitation counseling practice
  • Demonstrate understanding of multicultural competencies necessary for successful rehabilitation counseling practices, with a focus on disability
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