If you are thinking about attaining an education in counseling in order to pursue a career in the field, it is important to attend a school that holds accreditation for counseling degrees. Because the question, "What are the best accrediting bodies for counseling degrees?" is very broad, it is important to be specific about what type of accreditation is being referenced. Generally, accreditation is used to reference earning a counseling degree from a learning institution that has gained accreditation. There are several accrediting bodies in operation today, and some of them include CACREP, NASP, and APA. The first two of these three will be discussed below.
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
One of the best resources to access when you are looking for information regarding the best accrediting bodies for counseling degrees is the CACREP. The organization's website provides viewers with information regarding the importance of accreditation in the field of counseling as well as the ability to find an accredited school. As an accrediting institution, CACREP accredits schools in the fields of addiction counseling, career counseling, clinical mental health counseling, marriage, couple, and family counseling, school counseling, and student affairs and college counseling. Additionally, CACREP provides students with valuable information regarding things like why attending an accredited program is important and advantageous. Some of the reasons they cite include:
- Being assured that your academic program is of quality
- Research indicates that CACREP graduates score more competitively on the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE)
- Streamlining licensure application processes
National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
The NASP is a member of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and focuses on accrediting their parent academic units while also authorizing the review of professional programs through its member professional associations. The reviews conducted by the NASP are a part of the NCATE accreditation process. Therefore, NASP standards are currently utilized as the basis to approve a graduate school psychology program irrespective of whether that individual is in a NCATE-accredited unit. As a result of this, NASP is viewed by many as one of the best accrediting bodies for counseling degrees.
Accreditation For Counseling Degrees-Learning Institutions
Your first step towards pursuing a career in the field of counseling is to obtain a degree. In so doing, you need to be sure that the school you select is accredited. Although the term "accreditation" is used broadly, it generally means that the learning institution has met all of the formal requirements for academic excellence, facilities, curriculum, and any other criteria outlined by the organization responsible for administering the accreditation process.
There are a variety of ways you can determine if a school has attained accreditation, such as through an internet search. For example, the American Psychological Association has a list called "Accredited Programs in Counseling Psychology." This list includes each learning institution that has been accredited to offer counseling psychology degrees. Some of the universities on the list include The University of Akron, Arizona State University, Brigham Young University, and Colorado State University. (Similarly, the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling offers readers a complete list of learning institutions that are accredited to offer degrees within this field.)
If you are thinking about attaining a counseling degree, you should know that selecting an educational institution that is accredited will be important. Now that you have an answer to several questions regarding accreditation for counseling degrees, you can find a university that meets the criteria necessary to provide you with a high quality education that will make you a marketable job candidate.
- Directory of CACREP-accredited Schools by State
- Top 10 Most Affordable Accredited Online Master's in Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2016
- Top 30 Most Accessible COAMFTE-Accredited Marriage and Family Therapy Master's Degrees
- Top 45 Most Affordable Accredited Doctoral Degrees in Counselor Education and Supervision 2016
- 5 Best Accredited Online Doctoral Degrees in Counselor Education and Supervision