When choosing a counselor education program, students are faced with several considerations that have significant implications—career goals, requirements, and areas of interest. By selecting to study under a program accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), they can be confident that they’re part of a stable, high-quality program that meets the most stringent professional standards.
Since 1981, CACREP has strengthened the profession of counseling by promoting excellence in educational program development and evaluation. Today, CACREP accredits over 900 master’s and doctoral degree programs offered by 416 colleges and universities across the United States.
Counseling programs also benefit tremendously from this prestigious recognition. CACREP-accredited programs have taken part in rigorous self-assessments, peer-reviewed evaluations, and site visits to ensure that they are accountable and educationally effective and that their missions, visions, and goals are clear and on track. This information is then made available to prospective students, employers, and other educators, demonstrating the program’s commitment to providing an educational experience with the best possible outcome. As a counselor educator, applying for CACREP accreditation for your program is an act of leadership.
Schools seeking first-time CACREP accreditation can apply for grants to assist with the associated costs through a unique program offered each year by NBCC and Affiliates. Grants are awarded to master’s-level programs of 48 or more semester hours in addictions counseling; career counseling; clinical mental health counseling; marriage, couples, and family counseling; school counseling; and student affairs/college counseling.
Since 2014, 39 graduate programs have received this assistance. Of those 39 programs, 23 have obtained CACREP accreditation and several others continue to work toward obtaining this status. Funds are awarded in three phases: $2,500 for the preapplication phase, $2,500 for the application phase, and $4,000 for the site visit phase.
Four programs were awarded grants for the 2021–2022 period: the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina; the Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling programs at Rocky Mountain University in Provo, Utah; the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky; and the Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling programs at The University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.
Counseling program representatives who have questions about eligibility can email NBCC or visit our website to learn more about the application process and the value of CACREP accreditation