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
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.
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:
- Leader in the counseling field
Disclaimer for prospective students, please read.
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.
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:
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.