Rehabilitation Counseling (PhD)

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The Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counseling is a 66-hour degree program designed to meet the critical shortage of rehabilitation educators, administrators, and qualified rehabilitation counselors across the nation. The program is designed to provide students with a didactic learning experience combining theory and applied practice in advanced rehabilitation counseling. Students will acquire skills in conducting research and publication, teaching in-class and online, grant writing and grant management, and select from a variety of specialized advanced electives in rehabilitation counseling. The capstone experience in the Ph.D. will be to conduct original research by completing and successfully defending a dissertation.

  • Admission Requirements

    Step #1: Submit a UTRGV Graduate Application at www.utrgv.edu/gradapply. The university application fee of $85 ($100 for International Applicants) can be paid online by credit card or electronic check (in the online application). All application fees are nonrefundable.

    Step #2: Request your official transcripts to be sent electronically to gradapps@utrgv.edu or mailed to:

    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    The Graduate College
    Marialice Shary Shivers Bldg. 1.158
    1201 W. University Drive
    Edinburg, TX 78539-2999

     
    *Please Note: If you are a graduate of UTPA, UTB/TSC, or UTRGV you do not need to request an official transcript to be sent to the Graduate College.

    Rreview and submit all Program Requirements:

    • Earned master's degree from an accredited institution in a field related to Rehabilitation Counseling with a minimum graduate GPA of 3.25.
    • Official transcripts from each institution attended (must be submitted directly to UTRGV).
    • Submission of a personal  statement.
    • Submission  of  3  letters  of  recommendation.
    • Documentation of 2 years of professional experience with people with disabilities.
    • Personal Interview.
    • GRE General Test.

    Additional requirements for domestic applicants who attended foreign universities:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. For additional information, visit the Additional Documents for Domestic Applicants who Attend Foreign Universities section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.

    Additional requirements for international applicants:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. For additional information, visit the English Proficiency Exam section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.
    • Financial   Documentation  showing sufficient funds to cover all expenses (living and academic) for the first year of study. For additional information, visit the Financial Documentation section of our website.
    • Immigration  documents, including a current copy of your valid passport. For additional information, visit the Immigration Documents section of our website.

    UPDATE ON INTERNATIONAL ADMISSIONS FROM U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT:

    • SEVP regulations prohibit the issuance of a Form I-20 based on conditional admission, effective July 13, 2016. University officials can only issue a Form I-20 when students have met all standards for admission for the program of study listed on the Form I-20. These standards for admission include any English proficiency requirements.

  • Program Contact

    Program Coordinator: Dr. Jerome Fischer

    Phone: (956) 665-3235

    Office: Edinburg Campus, HABE 2118

    E-Mail: Jerome.fischer@utrgv.edu

  • Deadlines

    Fall Spring Summer I Summer II
    Application Deadline: March 31 Nov. 1 N/A N/A

     

    *Application for admission must be submitted prior to the published deadline.

    *All applications are reviewed by the Department of Rehabilitation’s graduate faculty. Deadline for application each year is March 31, and incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Successful applicants will be notified by late April.

  • Course Requirements

    Foundation Coursework

    All students entering the Ph.D. program are required to have a Rehabilitation Counseling foundation. This foundation may be achieved by holding a Masters’ degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from a CORE accredited institution. Students with related degrees will most likely have taken similar coursework that will be equivalent to the required foundation courses. Foundation courses include the following:

    REHS 6300: Introduction to Rehabilitation Foundations
    REHS 6310: Case Management 
    REHS 6315: Research in Rehabilitation
    REHS 6320: Psychosocial Aspects of Disability 
    REHS 6325: Group Counseling in Rehabilitation
    REHS 6330: Assessment and Vocational Evaluation
    REHS 6345: Medical Aspects of Disability
    REHS 6350: Job Placement
    REHS 6355: Lifespan and Disability
    REHS 6360: Counseling Theories in Rehabilitation
    REHS 6365: Multicultural Counseling in Rehabilitation 
    REHS 6370: Techniques in Rehabilitation Counseling
    REHS 6375: Psychiatric Rehabilitation
    REHS 6390: Practicum in Rehabilitation
    REHS 7600: Rehabilitation Counseling Internship

     

    Students with a related Master's degree will have their prior coursework evaluated to determine the foundation courses that will need to be completed.

    Program Requirements
    Required Courses 51
    REHS 8300: Seminar in Dissertation Writing 3
    REHS 8302: Grant Writing 3
    REHS 8305: Qualitative Research in Rehabilitation 3
    REHS 8306: Advanced Career Development and Disability 3
    REHS 8310: Research Topics in Rehabilitation 3
    REHS 8311: Seminar in Rehabilitation Research and Publication 3
    REHS 8312: Advanced Counseling Practicum I 3
    REHS 8313: Rehabilitation Administration and Leadership 3
    REHS 8314: Supervised Teaching Experience 3
    REHS 8315: Internship Supervision Experience 3
    REHS 8317: Advanced Counseling Practices II (100 Clinical Hours Practicum) 3
    REHS 8318: Distance Education Teaching 3
    REHS 8350: Rehabilitation Introduction to Statistics 3
    REHS 8351: Rehabilitation Intermediate Statistics 3
    REHS 8352: Rehabilitation Multivariate Analysis 3
    REHS 8600: Counseling Internship (600 Clinical Hours of Internship) 6
     
    Free Electives 3
     
    Capstone Requirement 12
    Dissertation
    REHS 9690: Dissertation I 6
    REHS 9691: Dissertation II 6
    Written Comprehensive Exam
     
    Total graduate hours for degree: 66
     

    Course Descriptions:


    REHS 8100: Internship               [1‐0]

    A scheduled 100 hour internship in one of the following areas: counseling, teaching, supervising, research and scholarship, or leadership and advocacy.
    REHS 8101: Independent Study               [1‐0]

    This course involves prior approval with a professor who is able to work one‐to‐one with a student on a concentrated area of study or desired specialization. May be repeated for up to nine hours.

    REHS 8200: Internship               [2‐0]

    A scheduled 200 hour internship in one of the following areas: counseling, teaching, supervising, research and scholarship, or leadership and advocacy.

    REHS 8300: Seminar in Dissertation Writing              [3‐0]

    This course introduces students to the dissertation writing process and procedures. Stages of dissertation development, university approvals for using human participants, generating ideas for the dissertation and weighing the feasibility of various ideas are discussed.

    REHS 8301: Independent Study              [3‐0]

    Individualized study and investigation of a rehabilitation topic under the direct supervision of a faculty member.

    REHS 8302: Grant Writing              [3‐0]

    This course involves an understanding and in‐depth analysis of grant writing as well as the process and procedures for competitions with various agencies. Students will learn about where to look for grants, and actively write and compete for grant funding. Skills in researching and literature review narrative creation, budget development, meeting grant priorities, and fiscal management are explored. All students will compete and submit an independent grant proposal for external funding at the conclusion of the course. May be repeated three times for credit.

    REHS 8303: Advanced Research Grants              [3‐0]

    A problem‐oriented and applied research grant project. The applied research grant project requires the students to work under the direction and supervision of a graduate faculty member. The student will prepare a prospectus to include a statement of the problem, research design, specification of data, questions to be answered, and a representative bibliography, and submit it to the supervising instructor. The applied research grant project will be presented and defended through a formal review process that includes a committee comprised of the academic advisor and two graduate faculty. May be repeated three times for credit.

    REHS 8305: Qualitative Research in Rehabilitation              [3‐0]

    Qualitative research approaches will be examined within the context of understanding the lives and experiences of people with disabilities and those people and systems with whom they interact. Students will acquire skill and gain experience in using a wide range of methodological and analytical research techniques. The emphasis of the course is on the collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of qualitative data. The focus is on how to conduct research using observations, in‐depth interviews and analysis of documents.

    REHS 8306: Advanced Career Development and Disability              [3‐0]

    This course examines the role of work and its impact upon people with disabilities from the perspectives of theory, research and practice. Multicultural perspectives of vocational psychology, socioeconomic class, gender‐role expectations, and disability will be explored. Students will be presented with materials concerning career decision‐making, the impact of personality on vocational choice and contextual factors influencing career development.

    REHS 8307: Internship               [3‐0]

    A scheduled 300 hour internship in one of the following areas: counseling, teaching, supervising, research and scholarship, or leadership and advocacy.

    REHS 8310: Research Topics in Rehabilitation              [3‐0]

    Current research topics, trends, and research techniques will be examined including both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. This course will serve as the capstone research course focusing on previously learned statistical analysis and methodologies into a rehabilitation counseling focus. Prerequisites: EPSY 6350, 6351, 6352, or consent of the instructor. May be repeated three times for credit.

    REHS 8311: Seminar in Rehabilitation Research and Publication              [3‐0]

    Examines contemporary studies in rehabilitation research with an emphasis on critically analyzing studies of individual interest. An introduction to journal editorial board manuscript review will be discussed with case samples for critically reviewing. Students will also demonstrate researching and writing ability by either co‐authoring or solely existing research with faculty or developing a conceptual paper for publication.

    REHS 8312: Advanced Counseling Practicum I              [3‐0]

    This in‐class course offers an in‐depth, advanced understanding of the major theories and techniques used for counseling persons experiencing developmental crises and severe psychopathology. The course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to integrate theory and research, using a brief, solution‐focused approach to counseling detailing the most prominent of mental health disorders. Crisis intervention techniques will also be examined.

    REHS 8313: Rehabilitation Administration and Leadership              [3‐0]

    This course explores the critical role of management skills in human services. Students will gain an understanding of management styles, delegating effectively, conflict resolution strategies, organizational psychology principles, performance evaluations, personnel decisions, mentoring and fiscal responsibility decision‐making. Students will also job shadow a human services program director as well as be required to develop a proposal for a for‐profit organization.

    REHS 8314: Supervised Teaching Experience              [3‐0]

    Under the supervision of advising faculty, students will teach an undergraduate class by preparing and delivering various lectures for a specified course. Students will demonstrate teaching skills using a variety of multimedia modalities as well as other didactic teaching methods.

    REHS 8315: Internship Supervision Experience              [3‐0]

    Under the supervision of advising faculty, students will supervise undergraduates or graduates performing their internship. Students will learn necessary accreditation standards criteria for supervising student interns and learn procedures and strategies in the process.

    REHS 8317: Advanced Counseling Practicum II              [3‐0]

    Student will spend a minimum of 12 hours a week in a public or private mental health agency field placement preapproved by the Program Coordinator. Each student will carry a caseload of 4‐6 clients whose presenting concerns range from developmental issues to severe psychopathology. Students will be responsible for conducting client intakes; developing treatment plans; providing individual, group and couples therapy; and completing paperwork and other case management functions. Students will be required to attend didactic supervision.

    REHS 8318: Distance Education Teaching              [3‐0]

    This course involves an introduction to, and the development of, a web‐based course in rehabilitation counseling. Students will learn either WebCT or Blackboard with Bobby approval development technology to develop a course utilizing University computer professional staff.

    REHS 8319: Professional Ethics              [3‐0]

    Professional ethics focuses on rehabilitation counseling code of ethics, its application to both rehabilitation educators and counselors. Students will apply professional ethics in cases of ethical dilemmas, and explore various issues to delineate potential ethical violations and procedural remediation strategies.

    REHS 8350: Rehabilitation Introduction to Statistics              [3‐0]

    The content of this course will include central tendency; variance; exploratory data analysis, normal, t, chi square and F distributions; bivariate correlations and regression analysis, t‐test between means, goodness of fit and test of independence of chi square; one‐way, two‐way and three‐way ANOVA. There will be an emphasis on hypothesis testing; Type I and II errors; and understanding of statistical significance, and practical or functional significance/effect size.

    REHS 8351: Rehabilitation Intermediate Statistics              [3‐0]

    The content of this course will include central tendency; variance; exploratory data analysis, normal, t,chi square and F distributions; bivariate correlations and regression analysis, t‐test between means, goodness of fit and test of independence of chi square; one‐way, two‐way and three‐way ANOVA. There will be an emphasis on hypothesis testing; Type I and II errors; and understanding of statistical significance, and practical or functional significance/effect size.

    Prerequisite: REHS 8350


    REHS 8352: Rehabilitation Multivariate Statistics              [3‐0]

    The content of this course will include exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis; principal component theory; number of factor extracted; path analysis; canonical analysis; and analysis of covariance structures; and nested hierarchical/nested multilevel data structures.

    Prerequisite: REHS 8351


    REHS 8353: Seminar in Forensic and Private Rehabilitation              [3‐0]

    Students will be introduced to the field of forensic rehabilitation in the private sector. An understanding of forensic vocational assessment and life care planning in litigation is presented as well as vocational expert testimony with the Social Security Administration. Students learn and demonstrate the basic skills in performing forensic vocational assessments and life care plans using case studies. A field based observation experience is included. May be repeated three times for credit.

    REHS 8354: Seminar in Assistive Technology              [3‐0]

    This didactic course introduces students to a variety of assistive devices and technologies available for persons with physical, cognitive and sensory disabilities. In‐class learning involves the functional limitations of various disabilities and how assistive technology enables persons at work, home or play. The psychosocial considerations for persons who need to rely on technology will also be addressed. Students will also explore assistive technology websites online for a variety of disabilities. Students will learn how to use various devices. May be repeated three times for credit.

    REHS 8355: Seminar in Addictions              [3‐0]

    This course focuses on the models of addiction, assessment, treatment planning, aspects of behavior change, program planning and evaluation, and counseling issues. Harm reduction and dual diagnosis are explored. Students additionally explore advanced concepts and state‐of‐the‐art treatment modalities in the area of addictions. Issues to be discussed include ethics pharmacology, advanced medical treatment, medication issues and family central issues. May be repeated three times for credit.

    REHS 8357: Seminar in Assessment              [3‐0]

    This course focuses on the principles, methods, and theoretical foundations of psychological ad vocational assessment, with emphasis on psychological tests and measurements. Topics to be examined include intelligence, achievement, personality, behavior, and emotional functioning among persons with disabilities. Career guidance and placement factors will also be investigated. In addition, testing issues relating to standardization, validity, and test reliability in a multicultural society will be explored. May be repeated three times for credit.

    REHS 8380: Special Topics in Rehabilitation              [3‐0]

    This course will be offered in a specialized area in rehabilitation counseling not already addressed in the doctoral program. Topics are generated by student demand or faculty expertise. May be repeated three times for credit.

    REHS 8400: Internship              [3‐0]

    A scheduled 400 hour internship in one of the following areas: counseling, teaching, supervising, research and scholarship, or leadership and advocacy.

    REHS 8500: Internship              [3‐0]

    A scheduled 500 hour internship in one of the following areas: counseling, teaching, supervising, research and scholarship, or leadership and advocacy.

    REHS 8600: Counseling Internship              [6‐0]

    A total of 600 hour internship experience is required and must include supervised experiences in at least three of the five doctoral core areas (counseling, teaching, supervision, research and scholarship, leadership and advocacy).

    REHS 9190: Dissertation              [1‐0]

    Dissertation (1 hour ongoing until completed, if needed) Prerequisites: all coursework.

    REHS 9690: Dissertation I              [6‐0]

    Students will choose an advisor and dissertation committee in their second semester of the program. The dissertation consists of a minimum 12 hours of comprehensive qualitative or quantitative research on an agreed‐upon topic in the field of rehabilitation counseling and working with persons with disabilities.
    Prerequisites: All coursework.

    REHS 9691: Dissertation II              [6‐0]

    Students will choose an advisor and dissertation committee in their second semester of the program. The dissertation consists of a minimum 12 hours of comprehensive qualitative or quantitative research on an agreed‐upon topic in the field of rehabilitation counseling and working with persons with disabilities.
    Prerequisites: REHS 9690.