Rehabilitation Counseling Education (Ph.D.)

Our Ph.D. program in rehabilitation counseling education is one of only a handful of RCE programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs.

Established in 1995, the rehabilitation counseling education program at Illinois Tech is designed to prepare leaders in the field of rehabilitation counseling at the highest level of training. Illinois Tech faculty view rehabilitation counseling as a specialized area of professional counseling practice in which the major goal is to assist a person with a disability or chronic illness to move to psychological and economic independence. 

Students will develop their teaching skills through curriculum development, course instruction, and clinical supervision of master's degree students in our distinguished program. Such training begins in the first year working with faculty on their research projects and continues up to conducting their own research.

Mission and Objectives

Rehabilitation counseling educators train prospective counselors to assist a diverse group of people who experience chronic illness, disability and/or mental and emotional concerns across the lifespan. The mission of the Rehabilitation Counseling Education program (RCEP) at Illinois Tech is to offer a student-focused and research-based curriculum that prepares doctoral-level students to become professional counselor educators who are trained to perform advanced-level counseling, post-secondary teaching, clinical supervision, research, scholarship, leadership, and advocacy activities.

Before students graduate, they must have demonstrated learning and competence in the following foundational areas:

  • Professional, ethical and legal considerations that influence the practice of rehabilitation and mental health counseling
  • Multicultural competencies
  • Theories of human growth and development, including medical and psychological implications of chronic illness and disability, substance abuse, trauma, and the potential for coexistence with other disorders
  • Theories and models for career development including employment trends, career counseling, and job demands in a dynamic twenty-first century workforce
  • Rehabilitation and mental health counseling theory, history, philosophy, and evidence-based interventions
  • Research and program evaluation, including critical evaluation of research, research design, data analysis, and research dissemination
  • Competencies in clinical supervision, including knowledge of theoretical frameworks and models of supervision
  • Teaching methods and responsibilities, including curriculum design, student assessment, and theories of adult learning
  • Competencies in leadership and advocacy

Program Overview

As one of only a few rehabilitation counseling education programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs, Illinois Tech's program develops leaders in rehabilitation counseling who are committed to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities and chronic illness.

Courses are primarily offered live and in-person. There are also some synchronous, remote options available for students who are unable to attend in person.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the rehabilitation counseling education (RCE) program are positioned to obtain excellent jobs in academia and a variety of professional counseling and human service settings. Career options for students graduating from the RCE program include:

  • Educator
  • Counselor
  • Supervisor
  • Researcher
  • Leader in the counseling field
Disclaimer for prospective students, please read.
The information provided is sourced from a third party, Lightcast, and is provided here for informational and educational purposes only. Please be advised that the inclusion of the Lightcast resource on this website does not imply endorsement by Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech), nor is it a guarantee of the accuracy of this information. Illinois Tech makes no representation, warranty or guarantee, express or implied, that the information presented herein is reflective of the outcomes you can expect if you enroll in or graduate from an Illinois Tech program. Illinois Tech expressly disclaims any liability regarding Lightcast, or in connection with any actual or potential employment opportunity stemming from information on this site and you hereby irrevocably waive any claim(s) against the Illinois Tech for the same. Your use of this web page is an acknowledgement of your understanding and acceptance of the terms and conditions set forth herein. You are encouraged to conduct your own thorough research into job opportunities and outcomes in your field of study.

Clinical training is a major emphasis of the curriculum and fieldwork experiences. Practica and internships are required for all students in the rehabilitation counseling education program. An array of rehabilitation agencies in the Chicago area provide opportunities for fieldwork experience focused in clinical counseling, research, leadership, and advocacy. Doctoral students must be covered by individual professional counseling liability insurance policies while enrolled in a practicum, counseling internship, or supervision internship.

Doctoral students have opportunities to provide clinical supervision for students in the Master of Science in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling program and to teach coursework at the master’s degree and undergraduate level at Illinois Tech. Faculty at Illinois Tech have strong research programs that provide a variety of prospective research-oriented internship opportunities both at Illinois Tech and in the community.

Additional information on degree requirements can be found in the Graduate Bulletin.

Program Features and Data

View Details

Students initiate doctoral study upon completion of a master's degree and typically at least one year of professional experience post-master's degree. The entry-level master’s degree must have been obtained from a program accredited by CACREP, or the student must provide satisfactory evidence of coursework meeting CACREP standards prior to beginning the program. Certification as a rehabilitation counselor through the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) and counseling licensure before entering the program is also highly encouraged.

All applications are evaluated on the basis of such factors as GPA, GRE, recommendations, and the applicant’s professional statement. Admission criteria include:

  • Academic aptitude for doctoral-level study
  • Previous professional experience
  • Fitness for the profession, including self-awareness and emotional stability
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Cultural sensitivity and awareness
  • Potential for scholarship, professional leadership, and advocacy

Finalists will be contacted for a personal interview. Applications are usually accepted for students to begin in the fall semester, and supporting documents should be uploaded into the application system by March 15 for priority consideration.

Minimum requirements for admission include:

  • Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling, preferably, with at least one year of post-master's work experience recommended
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA: 3.0
  • Minimum graduate GPA 3.5
  • Minimum GRE: verbal 151 and quantitative 153 (in past five years)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Professional statement
  • Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions (transcripts must be uploaded into the application system)
  • Personal interview
  • For international students, minimum score on TOEFL 90

Core Faculty Members

The Rehabilitation Counseling Education Ph.D. program has seven core faculty members who are responsible for curriculum development, preparation of students within the program, and who participate in research, scholarly activities and service to the counseling field. Core faculty members are as follows:

Patrick Corrigan
Nicole Ditchman
Kelly Kazukauskas (Division Head)
Frank Lane
Jon Larson (Department Head)
Eun-Jeong Lee
Lindsay Sheehan

Assistantships and Scholarships

Partial-tuition scholarships are often available for international students. Funding type and amounts will be noted in your acceptance letter.

After the first year, you can apply for a teaching assistantship. Teacher assistants receive partial tuition reimbursement and a monthly stipend, along with teaching experience.

Opportunities for funding support through research projects and adjunct course instructor positions are also available for doctoral students in the Rehabilitation Counseling Education Ph.D. program.

For students interested in financial aid, please see the Illinois Tech Office of Financial Aid website.

Illinois Tech’s RCE program is CACREP-accredited through October 31, 2024.

Featured Faculty

Kelly Kazukauskas
Clinical Associate Professor Director, Counseling and Rehabilitation Science Program
Patrick Corrigan
Distinguished Professor of Psychology
Nicole Ditchman
Associate Professor of Psychology
Eun Jeong Lee
Professor of Psychology
Jonathan Larson
Associate Professor of Psychology Chair, Department of Psychology
Lindsay Sheehan
Assistant Professor
Frank Lane
Associate Professor of Psychology