2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
    Sep 23, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Counseling and Human Resource Development (M.S.) - Rehabilitation Counseling Specialization

Location(s): Brookings Main Campus

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Program Coordinator/Contact

Jay Trenhaile, Professor
School of Education, Counseling and Human Development
Wenona Hall 109, Box 507

Program Information

The Rehabilitation Counseling Specialization is dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness of counselors and programs of service to people with disabilities. Educational experiences will aim to prepare qualified rehabilitation counselors, increase knowledge in the field of rehabilitation, and to apply knowledge to the growing effectiveness of rehabilitation professionals and service delivery systems. In alliance with students, agencies, consumers, and professional organizations, the specialty area will promote the independence, acceptance, and dignity of all people with significant disabilities.

Students who successfully complete this 60-credit hour specialization will earn a Master of Science in Counseling and Human Resource Development specializing in Rehabilitation Counseling. Upon successful completion of the core requirements, and those of the Rehabilitation Counseling emphasis, and with successful completion of the comprehensive written and oral examinations, graduates are endorsed as having constructed appropriate entry level knowledge and as having met appropriate skill acquisition to be recognized as professional rehabilitation and mental health counselors. Students in this emphasis are also responsible for having taken supporting area courses which supplement or enhance their chosen specialty.

Program Educational Objectives

  • meet the growing needs and diverse challenges of consumers with physical and psychiatric disabilities; prepare qualified counselors for careers with federal, state, and private agencies;
  • meet anticipated work force needs in the growing rehabilitation and mental health counseling field; and
  • provide field experience and internships to develop professional counseling skills.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Acquire a sound, basic education in rehabilitation;
  • Develop the lifelong habit of updating skills and professionalism;
  • Develop a commitment to assist individuals with disabilities in using their own resources and opportunities to meet their developmental, vocational, and educational needs;
  • Nourish a commitment to individual human values;
  • Exercise skills and competencies on a high ethical level and with personal integrity;
  • Maintain a critical, questioning, and exploratory attitude; and
  • Contribute to the profession by offering suggestions to educators and researchers with the overall goal of improving practice in the rehabilitation profession in general and in the specific area of professional application. Students should also be personally committed to the field of rehabilitation who can provide effective services to individuals with disabilities, including individuals with severe disabilities.
  • Students are encouraged to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the field of rehabilitation through research and the demonstrated application of significant findings.

Accreditation, Certification, and Licensure


The Master of Science in CHRD specializing in Rehabilitation Counseling is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs(CACREP).


All Master of Science students are eligible to begin the process for the National Certified Counselor certification by taking the NCE six months before or after they graduate.

Students specializing in Rehabilitation Counseling are eligible to begin the process for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor certification by taking the CRC exam after a student has completed 75% of coursework or after graduation.


Graduation from this program does not grant immediate licensure as a counselor. Licensure differs by state and is obtainable by completing additional client contact hours after graduation. Students are responsible for researching licensure requirements for the state in which they plan to practice.

Course Delivery Format

Instruction occurs through didactic (classroom) and clinical experience. Most classes are enhanced with internet supplement. Rehabilitation counseling specific courses are on a semester rotation for online delivery. Classes are scheduled for one day per week for three hours.  All courses are available at the BHSU - Rapid City except for rehabilitation-specific courses. The Rehabilitation Counseling specialization is not available at BHSU - Rapid City.

Available Options for Graduate Degrees

Master of Science Option A - Thesis 63 Credit Hours
  Option B - Research/Design Paper 60 Credit Hours
  Option C - Coursework Only 60 Credit Hours

Select one of the following options

Option A - Thesis

Option B - Research/Design Paper

Option C - Coursework Only

  • Electives Credits: 2

Total Required Credits: 63 (Option A), 60 (Option B & C)

Additional Program Requirements

  • All Master of Science students are required to purchase and carry professional liability insurance throughout the duration of the program. M.Ed. students will be required to purchase and carry professional liability insurance if enrolled in clinical courses.
  • Clinical course registration is completed by the department.
  • Students enrolled in the M.S. CHRD program need to complete a practicum and an approved internship. These experiences allow students to learn by doing, with active, sound supervision. The practicum and internship experiences carry clock and credit hour completion expectations. For example, for every 3 credits of internship, students are required to complete 20 hours per week of on-site experience. In addition, regular work expectations outside the classroom exist for every credit hour enrolled. Thus, students enrolled in 3 credits of internship or practicum experience will be considered part-time. Students enrolled in 4 credits of internship or 3 credits of practicum plus other courses to total 4 semester credits will be considered full-time.

Additional Admission Requirements

GRE: Not required
TOEFL: 79 Internet-based
TOEFL Essentials: 8.5
IELTS: 6.5
Duolingo: 110

Formal Application Process

In addition to applying for Graduate School, applicants must also apply to the CHRD program by April 1 for fall admission or by October 1 for spring admission. Admission is competitive; late applications will not be considered. Students have one calendar year from the time of acceptance to begin taking courses otherwise formal re-application to the CHRD program is required.

The CHRD department requires all applicants to submit the documents below by the appropriate admission deadline:

  1. CHRD Disclosure Statement
  2. Resume
  3. A typed, one-page goal statement discussing your aspirations to the counseling field
  4. Two completed CHRD Recommendation Forms (do not use the Graduate School reference forms).

Based on the rating score of the applicant’s file, the applicant will either be invited to the group screening interview top continue the admissions process or denied admission.

Criminal Background Check Requirement

Applicants who successfully complete the interview will be required to successfully complete and pay for a criminal background check before an official offer of admission is secured.

General Requirements

Graduate students should consult with their advisor before registering for graduate coursework.

For additional information refer to the Master’s Degree Requirements .

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