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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6/30/15  2:01 pm
Commenter: Elizabeth Williams, St. Mary's College of Maryland

Strongly Opposed

As professor of psychology, I am writing in response to a Notice of Intended Regulatory Action in Virginia. Based on my belief in multiple paths to licensure as a professional counselor (LPC), I strongly oppose any regulatory change in Virginia that would limit LPC licensure to graduates of master’s programs accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). My stance is neither anti-CACREP nor is it anti-accreditation. Rather, the field benefits from graduates of diverse programs, benefits from multiple paths to licensure, and benefits from inclusivity of graduates from programs accredited by CACREP as well programs that are not affiliated with CACREP.  In fact, there are other paths to accreditation of counseling programs. The Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC) accredits counseling programs and requires that programs meet a standard that meets (and in some domains exceeds) the rigor of CACREP standards.  In addition, counseling programs in Virginia that are not affiliated with CACREP are renowned. For example, in 2013, the counseling program at George Mason University – a program that is not affiliated with CACREP – was awarded the Outstanding Master’s Program award by the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision.   More service providers, rather than fewer, are needed, and this regulatory action would be unnecessarily limiting.  I strongly believe that the public will be best served by a diverse body of LPCs, and not only those with degrees from programs affiliated with CACREP.  Thus, I urge the Commonwealth of Virginia NOT to approve this change in regulation. 

CommentID: 40472