LRU News

LR’s counseling programs earn national accreditation

Tue Jan 28 2014

HICKORY, N.C. — Lenoir-Rhyne’s graduate programs in counseling were granted national accreditation on Jan. 16 in recognition of the programs’ excellence and professionalism.

Both the Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling programs (located at LR’s campuses in both Hickory and Asheville) have been accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

“Because of the quality of our programs demonstrated in our report and in the committee’s visit, we are receiving a full eight years of accreditation through March 2022,” said LR Provost Dr. Larry Hall. “Initial accreditation of these programs through CACREP is almost always for only a two-year period.”

It pays to have an advantage in a competitive job market. Now that Lenoir-Rhyne University’s counseling programs have just received their initial accreditation from the CACREP the university’s graduates will have a distinct advantage in the job hunt.

“CACREP accreditation is the gold star for counselor education programs,” said LR’s Assistant Provost and Dean of Graduate and Adult Education, Dr. Amy Wood. “Increasingly, employers and professional credentialing agencies are requiring accreditation.”

Counseling professor Dr. Nikki Vasilas agrees that accreditation is extremely beneficial for the students in the program.

“Graduates from non-accredited programs must accrue 3,000 hours of practice before applying to become a National Certified Counselor,” she said. “Our students will be able to apply immediately upon graduation.”

There are currently 138 students enrolled in LR’s counseling programs who will benefit from the prestige associated with CACREP accreditation. And there are thousands who will benefit from the services of counselors trained in programs whose excellence has been recognized with accreditation.

“LR began its counseling programs almost 40 years ago,” Vasilas said. “Our programs have always had a strong reputation in our communities, but this is a much broader acknowledgement of the hard work and dedication of our faculty, staff and our students.”

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