DSC_0178For the second year in a row, the Rehabilitation Counseling program in the College of Education’s Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation and Counseling has been awarded a long-term training grant.

This year’s $1 million award is a Comprehensive System of Personnel Development grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Its purpose is to increase the number of Vocational Rehabilitation counselors. These counselors will fill unmet needs in state, private, and not-for-profit rehabilitation systems. The grant will provide Auburn with $1 million over the course of five years, as did last year’s similarly-purposed grant. The project’s Primary Investigator is Dr. Jill Meyer. Other department members who will help with the training are Dr. Becky Curtis and Dr. Nick Derzis.

Auburn University’s Rehabilitation Counseling graduate programs are widely considered to be among the best in the country.

“The goal of Vocational Rehabilitation is to place people with disabilities into meaningful, competitive employment,” Meyer said. “Our department has a long history of winning training grants thanks to our strong standing and our reputation for quality. Master’s graduates from our program are always welcomed into the community of rehab counselors. It matters so much to a family of a person with a disability when they know their counselor came from one of the best programs in the country.”

This year’s grant will train the student counselors through the College’s distance education program. The grant will fund the tuition and fees for 45 new counselors.

“As we stated in our proposal to the Department of Education, our goal is to graduate highly-qualified Master’s level rehabilitation counselors with the knowledge, skills, and resources to efficiently and effectively serve individuals with disabilities. We feel very good about our ability to do just that.”