Counseling programs receive critical accreditation

Two Georgia Regents University College of Education master’s programs recently received a very important accreditation.

The Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, granted accreditation to the M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and the M.Ed. in School Counseling programs.

“It’s a tremendous accomplishment.  The amount of time and energy that the program puts into preparing for the accreditation process is legendary,” said Dr. Michelle Bryan, chair of the Department of Counselor Education, Leadership and Research. “CACREP is known for being remarkably stringent, right down to the number of faculty you have to have based on student enrollment and other things.  When CACREP comes to town and you’re up for reaccreditation, it’s serious business.”

The process includes meeting over 44 program and curricula standards.

The payoff, however, is twofold. The accreditation is good through 2022, and because of changes with the Georgia Licensure Board, having that accreditation has become even more valuable.

“We recently received word after September 2018, the designation of ‘Licensed Professional Counselor’ may only be given to students who graduate from a CACREP or CORE (Council on Rehabilitation Education) accredited program,” Bryan said.

Currently, only nine other public universities in Georgia offer any CACREP-accredited graduate programs, and only two others offer CACREP accredited clinical mental health graduate programs.