Are you interested in learning the difference between counseling programs that possess a CACREP Accreditation and those that do not? If you are interested in becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor or a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, you must set aside time to enroll in the best program that will prepare you for your state's licensing exam. It is also important to select a program that is recognized by licensing boards and also employers.
Luckily, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs is a trusted agency dedicated to promoting advancement in the field of counseling by overseeing and granted accreditation to individual programs around the nation. Read on, and determine if choosing a program with a CACREP Accreditation is important.
What Does the CACREP Do?
The CACREP has been around since the 1981 and is an agency that is recognized by both the American Counseling Association and the U.S. Department of Education. As a specialized and unbiased third-party accrediting body, the CACREP takes on the task of reviewing and evaluating educational programs in majoring in counseling to see if it meets the national standards. These national standards are centered around 8 different core areas in the discipline. These core areas include: human growth, helping relationships, social foundations, group counseling, career development, professional issues, research and appraisal. In addition to these standards that are specific to the discipline, the reviewing body will also review the clinical standards to ensure that supervised clinical training is offering the specialty training that students need.
Does it Matter if the Program is CACREP Accredited?
The accreditation process is a voluntary one, so not all counseling programs that students can choose from in the nation will be able to display the CACREP-accredited seal. As you compare all of the different programs that you can trust to prepare you for a profession in counseling, you need to consider what possessing an accreditation of this nature means. When a program goes through the long process of applying for accreditation and is evaluated based on quality standards, this means that the directors of the program are committed to providing all students with quality experiences and instruction.
Another very big benefit to consider is the licensure process. By choosing a program that is accredited by a body that is recognized by the American Counseling Association is that the process of becoming licensed once you complete school is streamlined. All states require applicants to complete a specific set of coursework and a specified number of hours to qualify to sit for a licensure exam. All of the CACREP standards meet the state standards so that you know that graduating from your program will qualify you to take the 200 question National Certified Counselor Exam.
As you can see, choosing a CACREP accredited program is a smart choice when you are going for your LPC or LPCC license. The demand for counseling professionals is projected to grow to 29 percent by the year 2022. If you want to enter a field that is growing faster than average, the first step is getting formal training under your belt. While there are several online and traditional programs to choose from, some are not as good as others. Choose a program with a CACREP accreditation, and be confident that you will learn the knowledge you need to know to get licensed.