|Action||Requirement for CACREP accreditation for educational programs|
|Comment Period||Ends 7/1/2015|
The state licensing board of Virginia recently set forth a proposal to limit master's-level counselor licensure to individuals with a degree from a CACREP-accredited program. Currently, individuals are being denied licensure without grounds for denial, but this would write this into law. This is incredibly important for Virginia's mental health professionals, all Virginians, and possibly, the rest of the country, too. The last thing we need right now is to push highly qualified professionals out of the field and limit much-needed resources. Many, many master's level psychology/counseling programs are not CACREP-accredited, yet maintain and exceed the standards set forth by the licensing board. Many of these programs include more intensive coursework, more rigorous research requirements, and the same practicum requirements. If this passes in Virginia, it stands to set the stage for other states around the country to follow suit. This is not about improving standards of care, this is a political and slightly personal battle over the term "counselor."
Please, stand up for those of us who have met and exceeded the academic and professional requirements that prepare us to provide services to those in need and most importantly fight for the individuals who desperately need the services we can provide. Pushing qualified individuals out of the field is irresponsible and dangerous.