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  9:28 pm
Commenter: Kristina Wright

Oppose the proposal. Find more inclusive alternatives

Hello all. I write to express my concerns with the recent proposal to require all counseling programs to obtain CACREP accreditation. I oppose this proposal for several reasons. First of all, CACREP, while a decent accredition, deliberately refuses to allow certain programs from applying. There is this belief that core faculty should include only counselors. My concern with this is that a school may have psychologists (talented and experienced) but they are automatically discounted because of some personal beliefs about psychologists. Beliefs should NOT dictate rules. Carol Bobby, the president of CACREP, said in 2011 about certain non-CACREP programs: "This occurs because there are programs out there that are not true counseling programs training individuals to get licensed and credentialed as counselors.  The faculty are not counselors and quite honestly they don’t even like counselors." These appears to be extremely judgmental assumptions about all psychologists in a time and age where such division is unhelpful and unnecessary. The CACREP organization is allowed to have their opinions regarding "true" counselors. However, one cannot restrict certain types of schools based on their personal beliefs and then restrict graduates from other schools from obtaining licensure. It appears that people are willing to work with CACREP-only advocates but the CACREP-only movement has not attempted to work with people other than paltry seven year grandfathering periods (which does not help those who move to another state and suddenly find themselves unable to practice).  I support the idea of creating some form of standardization. We can even have CACREP continuing to accredit schools. However, CACREP does not need to the ONLY option. Second, I find the automatic assumption that a school is automatically inferior if it is not a CACREP accredited. As I mentioned earlier, a school may not follow CACREP's beliefs (i.e. core faculty being only counselors) but still be a solid school. My school, Towson University, provided the education for students to pass the National Counselor Exam. The very curriculum was geared towards the concepts outlined in the NCE guidebook. What is interesting is that the NCE content covers the following "The National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification tests knowledge derived from the eight content areas of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the work behaviors determined by NBCC’s job analysis, ensuring content is based in both academic knowledge and current professional practice." You have schools like my own that prepared its graduates for a NATIONAL LICENSING exam but are not considered to be "true counseling programs" even if they follow content areas to a tee. As for the core faculty of psychologists, they worked hard to provide us the best education possible.  Also, Ms. Bobby is incorrect to assume that ALL non- CACREP degrees do not look like counseling degrees. If there are concerns that need to be addressed in the field, there are multiple avenues to explore that does not disenfranchise schools that may not agree or do not accept CACREP's philosophies. Let us look into alternatives that help our field rather than divide our field.

CommentID: 40489