PEMBROKE — UNCP’s clinical mental health program and the professional school counseling program have earned accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs.
CACREP is the nationally recognized training standard for counselor education programs. CACREP notified UNCP in January that its programs have been accredited for two years, renewable for an additional six years.
Graduation from CACREP-accredited programs is required by a growing number of third-party payers such as Tricare, the health care administrator that serves the military. Accreditation allows UNCP-trained counselors to work for or contract with the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs with its 9 million veterans, active duty service men and women and their families.
“It opens a lot of doors,” said Mihaela Henderson, who delayed her graduation from the clinical mental health program so that she would finish with a degree from an accredited program. “I would like to work for DOD, but CACREP accreditation will also help me get into graduate school and earn state licensure and national counseling certifications.”
Angela McDonald, director of UNCP’s mental health counseling program who led the accreditation effort, said student interest in the profession of counseling is growing. From an enrollment of 111 in 2008, there are 160 students enrolled in the spring semester 2013.
“There is a need for this program, and we are attracting a lot of students who are interested in the counseling profession,” McDonald said. “This program is important for our region, in part because of the presence of Fort Bragg, and the opportunity to meet the mental health needs of soldiers and their families.”
Henderson, who is nearing completion of her degree, is the wife of a military veteran.
For more information about UNCP’s clinical mental health counseling program, contact McDonald at 910-521-6511 or by email email@example.com.
For information about the professional school counseling program,contact Jeffrey Warren at 910-775-4414 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.