Counseling and Rehabilitation Education

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The Counseling and Rehabilitation Education program offers graduate studies leading to the Master of Science degree with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling. The purpose of the graduate program is to prepare professional counselors to engage in professional practice and research in their program areas of interest. The program coursework meets the educational requirements to allow students to apply for certification and licensure in many but not all states. A certificate program that prepares students to sit for the Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor examination in Illinois is offered for graduate students who choose to take the required additional courses.  


The Counseling and Rehabilitation Education (CARE) program promotes the professional development of graduate students to prepare them to provide ethical, culturally inclusive practices that sustain and empower those using counseling services. To meet the mission statement, faculty commit to:

  1. Staff professionalism: pledging to maintain rigorous standards for education, training, and clinical practice.
  2. Respect for others: demonstrating an appreciation for the uniqueness and cultural differences of each individual.
  3. Relevance in teaching: learning experiences will reflect evidence-based practices, they will be relevant, and purposeful.
  4. Innovation in learning: Graduate students develop understanding through inquiry, use of new technologies, creative problem solving, and critical thinking skills.
  5. Expanding graduate student potential: Learning experiences will promote the emotional, relational, and academic potential of all graduate students.


Faculty in the program recognize the uniqueness of human beings and are dedicated to helping graduate students obtain the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to work with a wide range of clientele. Through a combination of course and clinical experiences, SIU CARE graduates will demonstrate the behaviors and possess the attributes which are required of competent, professional counselors: 

  1. CARE graduates demonstrate the content knowledge and dispositions necessary to be effective counselors and social justice advocates in their specialty areas.
  2. CARE graduates appropriately respond to the unique combination of cultural variables, including ability, age, beliefs, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, race, level of acculturation, and socioeconomic status, that influence the counseling process.
  3. CARE graduates understand that human development occurs in critical contexts that are influenced by a person’s race, ethnicity, religion, and factors such as poverty, loss, developmental and physical trauma, and access to resources.
  4. CARE graduates conceptualize the career decision-making process as developmentally influenced, and individually determined.
  5. CARE graduates value the influence of a strong working alliance built upon honesty and trust, in achieving success in the therapeutic relationship.
  6. CARE graduates differentiate between theories of group counseling and utilize effective interventions and leadership skills in facilitating several types of groups.
  7. CARE graduates possess an understanding of developmentally and culturally appropriate approaches to assessment and testing.
  8. CARE graduates value the use of statistically supported, evidence-based psychoeducational and psychotherapeutic interventions in their practice.
  9. CARE graduates who specialize in clinical mental health counseling promote the development of healthy coping capacities and support systems, for individuals who identify as a person with mental illnesses, to assist them in improving their quality of life.
  10. CARE graduates who specialize in clinical rehabilitation counseling advocate for the removal of functional, environmental, and social barriers that impede self-sufficiency and reduce the quality of life, for persons who identify as an individual with a disability.

Competitive Admission

Students seeking admission to the M.S. in Counseling and Rehabilitation Education degree program must apply to and meet requirements for admission to the Graduate School and be approved by the CARE program faculty. The following are required to be considered for admission:

  • Successful admission to the Graduate School.
  • A written essay including a statement of professional goals.
  • Three letters of recommendation, preferably including one from a recent instructor.
  • A GPA of 2.75.

The following is a summary of the CARE process for selecting new students for admittance to the CARE program:

  • A review of completed applications by CARE tenure track faculty; faculty review form/ballot. Students who meet standards are given an interview. Students who do not meet entry standards are sent a letter specifying why they were not considered for entry at that time.
  • Students participate in individual interviews with all faculty. Students respond to questions related to ethical responsibility, counseling identity, service orientation, social skills, and team work. Following interviews, the faculty compare their ratings of students and decisions on admissions are made. Students are advised when decisions will be made about their admission. Admittance is based on a majority vote from faculty.
  • Those students who are not accepted will receive an explanation from the program, and will be advised of their right to appeal a decision for non-acceptance. Students who are not accepted are welcome to reapply the following year.

This program requires a nonrefundable $65 application fee that must be submitted with the application for Admissions to the Graduate School. Specific information about admissions processes, fees and paperwork may be obtained by contacting the CARE Admissions Coordinator via the School of Health Sciences,; or the SIU Graduate School at


The CARE program follows the SIUC graduate school policies on retention, remediation, and dismissal from the program. The CARE program also has a due process plan that students are familiarized with by their advisors. This information is also included in the CARE Student Manual.

The student is responsible for making arrangements to meet with their advisor every semester to review their academic plan. It is the student’s responsibility to contact their advisor to report any challenges to their progress in the program. Faculty will be available to meet with the student on a regular basis to discuss progress and work closely with the student to address challenges to student's successful completion of the program requirements.

Students are required to maintain a 3.0 grade point average, receive an S in all clinical experience courses, and progressing toward their professional goals within the guidelines formulated in the advisement process. Failure to make progress or violations of school, college, or Graduate School regulations may result in dismissal from the program.

In the event a student is believed to be in violation of ethical or professional behavior that is a serious threat to client welfare, faculty or the clinical supervisor may prohibit the student from seeing clients pending initiation and completion of a faculty review. If the faculty determine that formal actions are needed, the review procedure moves directly to a formal hearing with the student. Lack of participation in this hearing by the student shall result in removal of the student from the program. Our remediation procedure is detailed in the Masters Student Handbook.

Specific information about programs and how to apply may be obtained by calling 618/536-7763 or contacting the School of Health Sciences,

Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling and Rehabilitation Education

The M.S. in Counseling and Rehabilitation Education (CARE) offers two concentrations: clinical mental health counseling or clinical rehabilitation counseling. The course of study consists of a minimum of 61 credit hours and involves a blend of academic and clinical experiences.

As part of the CARE program, counseling students have a shared counseling identity. CARE students acquire the knowledge, skills, and expertise required to establish a successful career as a professional counselor in diverse settings such as agencies, group practices, substance abuse treatment centers, hospitals, residential treatment centers, and employee assistance programs. Additionally, they will take 12 credits of specialty courses in clinical mental health counseling or rehabilitation counseling. All students must complete required coursework with a minimum 3.0 grade point average, and earn at least 9 credits of clinical practice with satisfactory scores. Deferred grades (DEF) must be completed within one year.

M.S. in CARE Core Coursework

  • CARE 461: Introduction to Substance Use Disorders & Behavioral Addictions (3 CH)
  • CARE 500: Essential Interviewing and Counseling Skills for the Professional Helper (3 CH)
  • CARE 505: Professional Counselor Identity and Ethics (3 CH)
  • CARE 512: Developmental Processes Across the Lifespan (3 CH)
  • CARE 514: Case Management and Treatment Planning (3 CH)
  • CARE 541: Counseling Theory (3 CH)
  • CARE 542: Career Development Procedures & Practices (3 CH)
  • CARE 543: Group Theory & Practice (3 CH)
  • CARE 544: Assessment & Testing (3 CH)
  • CARE 545: Social Justice and Multicultural Counseling & Practice (3 CH)
  • CARE 547: Research & Program Evaluation (3 CH)
  • CARE 549: Mental Health Diagnosis and Pharmacology (3 CH)
  • CARE 550: Prepracticum (1 CH)
  • CARE 548B: Practicum (3 CH)
  • CARE 591: Internship (6 CH)
  • QUAN 402 -OR- QUAN 506: Statistics or Inferential Statistics (3-4 CH)

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Concentration

To specialize in clinical mental health counseling, a minimum of 12 credit hours is required in addition to the mandatory counseling coursework for the master's degree in Counseling and Rehabilitation Education. This concentration program aims to equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively assess, diagnose, and treat mental health disorders in a clinical setting. Students will also learn how to develop effective treatment plans, perform psychotherapy, and provide counseling services to individuals, couples, families, and groups.

The required program of study is:

  • CARE 501: Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling (3 CH)
  • CARE 503: Family Dynamics (3 CH)
  • CARE 535: Special Topics in Clinical Counseling (3 CH)
  • CARE 546: Crisis Assessment & Counseling (3 CH)

Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Concentration

The concentration in clinical rehabilitation counseling is designed to prepare students to work with individuals who are experiencing physical, developmental sensory, cognitive, and mental health disabilities, in a wide array of public, private and community funded work settings. The course of study for the concentration in clinical rehabilitation counseling consists of a minimum of 12 credit hours in addition to completion of the core counseling coursework required for the M.S. in Counseling and Rehabilitation Education.

The required program of study is:

  • CARE 551: Clinical Rehabilitation Theory and Practice (3 CH)
  • CARE 513: Medical Aspects of Disability (3 CH)
  • CARE 575: Clinical Rehabilitation Case Management and Community Resources (3 CH)
  • CARE 533: Vocational Testing and Measurement (3 CH)

Licensure and Certification

The CARE program prepares students to apply for the following:

  • National Certified Counselor (NCC). National Board for Certified Counselors.
  • Illinois Licensed Professional Counselor. Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
  • Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Commission on Rehabilitation Counseling Certification.

Detailed information related to the educational requirements for licensure and certification is available at is available at

Certificate in Substance Use Disorders and Behavioral Addictions

A sequence of courses is offered within the Counseling and Rehabilitation Education program for students interested in receiving a certificate as a substance use disorders and behavioral addictions counselor (CADC). Students who complete the required course series and academic based internship will be eligible to sit for the CADC exam in Illinois. These courses cannot be used to replace any required courses for the CARE masters degree and they do not constitute a specialization under the CARE program. Students from other graduate programs related to behavioral health may also apply for this certificate program with approval from the CARE program Director.

Students must complete 15 total credit hours of required coursework, and an academic discipline-based 500 hour internship (eight credit hours) in an approved clinical setting. The course sequence is:

  • CARE 461: Introduction to Substance Use Disorders and Behavioral Addictions (3 CH)
  • CARE 471: Treatment, Recovery and Relapse Prevention (3 CH)
  • CARE 558: Substance Use Disorder Interventions for Special Populations (3 CH)
  • CARE 566: Advanced Treatment, Recovery and Relapse Prevention (3 CH)
  • One Approved Elective (3 CH)
  • Internship (500 hours)

This Certificate Program is accredited by the Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Certification Association, Inc. (IAODAPCA), for the purpose of professional certification in Illinois.