Grant aims to increase number of rehabilitation counselors in three-state area

Posted: Tuesday, 02 November 2010

TROY—A $750,000 federal grant will help Troy University increase the number of rehabilitation counselors available to aid state programs in Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

The University’s College of Education received funding, which will cover a five-year period, from the U.S. Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration to provide a Rehabilitation Counseling Education program for state vocational rehabilitation agencies in the three states.

The funds will provide tuition and expense scholarships for a minimum of 60 students to earn master’s degrees in the University’s Rehabilitation Counseling program and will be offered on the University’s campuses in Troy, Dothan, Montgomery and Phenix City.

The ultimate benefactors of the program will be those people served by vocational rehabilitation agencies in the three states, said Suzanne Tew-Washburn, assistant professor in the Department of Counseling and Psychology on the University’s Phenix City Campus and a co-director of the project.

“The three state vocational rehabilitation agencies will benefit from the availability of highly qualified rehabilitation counseling applicants,” Tew-Washburn said. “The rehabilitation counseling students will gain essential knowledge and skills for job performance and credibility, as well as the opportunity and financial means to earn advanced degrees. The most significant benefits of the Rehabilitation Counseling Education Program, however, will be the increased number of quality employment outcomes for people with disabilities facilitated by these graduates.”

The comprehensive curriculum will combine the benefits of the traditional classroom experience with the use of state-of-the-art instructional technology. Classroom sessions will be complemented by distance learning components such as streaming media presentations and live, interactive Internet-based classes.

“This innovative approach, which maximizes the benefits of face-to-face instruction and distance education technology, will assure accessible and cost-effective training, while maintaining Troy University’s high stands for quality graduate education,” said Dr. Mary Anne Templeton, assistant professor in the Department of Counseling and Psychology on the Troy Campus and project co-director. “Through the use of this technology, a student will be able to communicate with classmates and instructors on other campuses, as well as at their own site.”

Dr. Emma Peden, assistant professor in the College of Education on the University’s Dothan Campus, and Dr. Cozetta Shannon, assistant professor of rehabilitation counseling on the Montgomery Campus, also served as writers on the grant proposal.

Scholarship applications are now being taken. Questions regarding the Rehabilitation Counseling Education program may be directed to Dr. Templeton on the Troy Campus at 3346705923, Dr. Peden on the Dothan Campus at 3349836556 ext. 267, Dr. Shannon on the Montgomery Campus at 3342419594 or Dr. Tew-Washburn on the Phenix City Campus at 3344485157.