Tuesday, July 16, 2019
  Awards and Recognitions, Announcements

By Victoria Brito

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – UTRGV’s Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling is now ranked 14th in the nation among Best Rehabilitation Counseling Schools by U.S. News and World Report for the 2020 education category.

Dr. Elizabeth Chavez-Palacios, UTRGV clinical assistant professor and graduate coordinator of the program, said this is an important ranking and gives the program increased recognition.

“We have been on this list for a while now, and the last time the rankings were put out, in 2015, we were tied for 15th with the University of North Texas in Denton,” she said.

This time around, UTRGV moved up a slot nationally. It is also first among all UT System schools, and second in the state of Texas.

Badge best grad schools

The U.S. News and World Report cited the following faculty achievements:

· Dr. Bruce Reed, professor and director of the UTRGV School of Rehabilitation Services and Counseling, received the 2016 Rehabilitation Educator of the Year by the National Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE).

· Dr. Jerome Fisher, professor and PhD coordinator in the UTRGV School of Rehabilitation Services and Counseling, received the 2018 Rehabilitation Educator of the Year Award by the NCRE.

“This honor gives us a sense of representing not only our field, but also the Rio Grande Valley,” Chavez-Palacios said. “We are very proud of this achievement.”

She said the goal now is to have the program in the top 10 for the next ranking cycle.

“Progression is definitely something to strive for,” Chavez-Palacios said. “That goal helps keep us motivated to continue putting out groundbreaking research, and to keep up with our teaching and how we approach changes within our field.”


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.