Rehabilitation counselors and administrators provide rehabilitation services to consumers from diverse backgrounds and who have disabling conditions such as mental health, developmental disabilities, chemically dependent, visual or hearing impairment or other disabilities. Rehabilitation professionals collaborate with consumers to address disabilities in a way that improves their quality of life and leads to greater levels of self-sufficiency. They work with individuals in the context of their family unit and environment to effect positive change. In most cases, gainful employment is the expected outcome. For some consumers, the goal is to achieve the most comfortable, autonomous, and positive life-style possible through Independent Living Rehabilitation.
The CORE accredited SDSU Rehabilitation Counseling Program provides education in the career employment, psychological, medical, and cultural aspects of disability. Students learn to propose, develop, package, and deliver specific rehabilitation training programs and services, and to evaluate, monitor, and refine these programs.
Graduates of the RCP often serve as coordinators of existing programs, making services and benefits available to consumers. Rehabilitation administrators may serve as program developers and entrepreneurs capable of identifying and responding to community needs. As both rehabilitation counselors and administrators they function as advocates for consumers providing information and interpreting the needs of people with disabilities for the public.
What kind of a job might I be able to do with an M.S. degree in rehabilitation counseling?
Upon graduation, a rehabilitation counselor is qualified to work in a wide variety of rehabilitation settings. A rehabilitation counselor can find employment within State Departments of Rehabilitation; in community rehabilitation programs, as evaluators, counselors, assistive technology specialists, or placement specialists; and in other community agencies that provide rehabilitation services with persons with disabilities. Some graduates work in specialized fields such as deafness, mental health and alcohol and drug abuse. Another market for rehabilitation counselors is in private rehabilitation, providing rehabilitation services for injured workers. Rehabilitation counselors are employed in school settings, to assist students with disabilities transitioning from school to work. Institutions of higher education and private industry offer employment opportunities for rehabilitation counselors. Finally, many graduates develop their own careers through grants and contracts that support services to individuals with disabilities. Our graduates work as program managers and administrators in all of these settings. The demand for qualified rehabilitation professionals is expected to increase steadily during the next several years as many professionals who contributed to this field since the 1970’s are retiring.
Three Tips for Success in the Federal Government Job Search for People with Disabilities by Jessica L. Hunt, Esq.
President Obama has made hiring more people with disabilities into the federal government workforce a priority. He has vowed to reinstate Executive Order 13173, which was originally signed by President Clinton. This Order calls for the hiring of 100,000 qualified individuals with disabilities into jobs with the federal government through the work of a designated unit within the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Click here to read more of "Three Tips for Sucess in the Federal Government Job Search for People with Disabilities."
San Diego: A Thriving Educational Center
San Diego with its warm, temperate climate, is the second largest city in California, and is a thriving cultural, scientific, and educational center. The area is home to five major universities, eight community colleges, many proprietary schools and numerous organizations with graduate assistantship, internship and job opportunities in the region.
For specific questions call the Program office at: 619-594-6406
Program offerings are described in the San Diego State University Graduate Bulletin.