EKU’s Counselor Education program has again been accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) since 2001. CACREP, the national leader in the monitoring of Counselor Education programs’ caliber for decades, is a recognized accrediting agency by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and holds full membership status with the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) and the International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE). It sets and enforces professional standards deemed necessary to adequately prepare professional counselors to serve the public effectively and safely. These standards address the structure of the institution and its counseling program, its faculty, and the curriculum delivered to and practices enforced with its students. CACREP accreditation has also been increasingly used as the standard by which professionals are able to be credentialed (i.e., certified or licensed) for practice by their state or other professional governing entity. Students and graduates of EKU’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree track will meet Kentucky’s state requirements for initial licensure immediately upon degree conferral. Students and graduates of EKU’s School Counseling degree tracks will have a much easier time pursuing clinical licensure in their futures – should they decide to do so – having graduated from a CACREP-accredited program. A CACREP-accredited counseling degree is also typically required for individuals who wish to pursue a doctoral degree in counseling and/or become counselor educators. More information about CACREP and its standards may be found on its website.
Per CACREP’s 2024 standards for curriculum, all students will be taught in the following areas, which are spread across the program’s curriculum and required courses:
- Professional counseling orientation and ethical practice
- Social and cultural identities and experiences
- Lifespan development
- Career development
- Counseling practice and relationships
- Group counseling and group work
- Assessment and diagnostic process
- Research and program evaluation
Students will receive additional coursework based on CACREP curriculum standards specific to their area of specialization (i.e., clinical mental health counseling or school counseling), and all students will also complete a 100-hour practicum and a 600-hour internship at a site relevant to their area of specialization.
We recommend that you review the CACREP website to explore the more specific reasons for and benefits to attending a CACREP-accredited program, but these include:
- A program focused on professional counseling identity and practice as opposed to those of another behavioral or mental health field (e.g., psychology, social work, etc.).
- Assurance of a high-quality academic program that has been regularly evaluated and meets or exceeds national standards.
- A streamlined process toward clinical licensure [application] by assuring graduates’ competency and that they have met credentialing prerequisites and are therefore ready for entry into professional practice.
- Published research showing that CACREP graduates perform better on the National Counselor Examination (NCE), which is needed for licensure.
You may visit the CACREP website and review its posted information to learn more here.