Is the MA in Rehabilitation Counseling accredited by the Council of Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)?
At UA Little Rock, the MA in Rehabilitation Counseling is currently accredited by CACREP only through May 14, 2022. Students who graduate in May 2022 will graduate from a CACREP-accredited program. However, CACREP has withdrawn accreditation for the program past that date, so that students graduating with an MA in Rehabilitation Counseling after May 2022 will not graduate from a CACREP-accredited program.
What is CACREP accreditation?
The Council of Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) is a program-level accrediting body. Participation in CACREP accreditation is optional. UA Little Rock has voluntarily participated in this program-level accreditation in the past.
CACREP accreditation is separate from individual certification. Individual certification involves recognition that individuals have met minimal professional standards to practice independently as a counselor. In order to be certified, counselors must meet certain levels of education and training in counseling, they must follow the code of ethics, and they are held accountable to show competent and ethical performance in practice.
Is the University of Arkansas at Little Rock accredited by CACREP?
UA Little Rock is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. CACREP accreditation is at the program, rather than the University, level.
Does the change in UA Little Rock’s MA Rehabilitation Counseling program affect my ability to become a Licensed Practicing Counselor (LPC)?
Each state has requirements for licensing within that state. In Arkansas, CACREP accreditation is not required for licensure. A good resource is the American Counseling Association’s (ACA) state requirement page. Additionally, ACA members can email the professional standards department for the current set of requirements for any particular state at email@example.com.
If I do not graduate from a CACREP-accredited program, can I still be eligible for certification?
Students or graduates of a non-CACREP (or CORE) accredited program can apply for CRC certification under Category 2. You can find more information about certification at the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) homepage or in the CRCC Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) Certification Guide (Category 2).
I am in the School Counseling Program. Does this affect the School Counseling Program?
No. The School Counseling program does not fall under CACREP accreditation at UA Little Rock because it is accredited through the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
Is UA Little Rock planning to reapply for CACREP accreditation?
UA Little Rock has recently restructured its MA Rehabilitation Counseling and MA Counseling programs into one program with separate tracks. Under this new model, program faculty are already working towards CACREP accreditation for the new clinical rehabilitation and mental health counseling tracks, which begin in Fall 2022. The process for initial accreditation will take 2-3 years. CACREP initial accreditation for the new programs will be retroactive 18 months prior final board approval.
Can credits transfer to another university if a student wants to withdraw?
The program will work with students who elect to transfer to another university.
Is it true that if we do not graduate from an accredited CACREP program, we will not be eligible for insurance panels?
The Alliance for Professional Counselors is an organization that advocates for eligibility of licensure in counseling for a variety of programs rather than restriction for just CACREP endorsement. With respect to insurance, the Alliance for Professional Counselors states:
In the case of counselor licensure, all states have historically accepted counseling degrees from regionally-accredited institutions, when curricular requirements are met. Only recently has the push begun to require CACREP program-level accreditation. However, this recent push has resulted in restrictions in employment in the Veterans Administration, participation in TRICARE, and eligibility to serve Medicare insurance. Other insurance panels (e.g., BCBS, United Health) do not inquire about CACREP but rather focus on licensure.
Currently, LPCs are not recognized as Medicare providers and are only able to bill under secondary providers. For more information on these issues, view the following:
How will this change the requirements of the current program?
The current degree requirements will not change for students who elect to stay in the current program.
My state board site requires that a program is accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE), the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP), or in an institution accredited by a regional body recognized by the Council on Higher Education Association (CHEA). Does UA Little Rock fit under these conditions?
UA Little Rock is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which is an institutional accrediting body recognized by CHEA.