Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Counseling
Regulations Governing the Practice of Professional Counseling [18 VAC 115 ‑ 20]
Action Requirement for CACREP accreditation for educational programs
Comment Period Ends 7/1/2015
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6/19/15  3:14 pm
Commenter: Erneswtine A.W. Duncan, Ph.D. Norfolk State Univeristy


Dear Board members,

I am Chair of the Department of Psychology at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia.  The department offers the B.A. degree in Psychology as well as participates in the Ph.D. program as one of the consortium institutions for the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology through the Virginian Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology. The M.A. degree program in Community/Clinical Psychology that we offer is currently inactive given the changes that have occurred over the past few years regarding credentialing of licensed clinicians.  I join counseling professionals from across the country to urge you to stop the proposed counselor licensing regulations that would require graduation from a CACREP-accredited program for licensure in Virginia.

There is a great need now for mental health services, and a need for trainees that can be sensitive to the needs of people of color. As an Historically Black College and University, Norfolk State plays a significant role in the training of culturally competent clinicians.  A regulation limiting practice would not serve the people of Virginia well given that a majority of master’s level counselor training programs are not CACREP-accredited. A restriction such as this would negatively impact current students and alumni from non-CACREP affiliated VA programs;  

We need a strong Board that protects our rights to access quality mental health care. Please stop this proposal and ensure that the people of Virginia will continue to rely on the strength of your licensing Board, and not on the agenda of an independent organization with no public oversight or accountability.   

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