In 2014, NBCC made a significant decision to revise its educational standards for applicants seeking to become National Certified Counselors (NCCs). Beginning January 1, 2022, NBCC will require NCC applicants to have a master’s degree (or higher) from a CACREP-accredited program. NBCC also made the commitment to support programs in obtaining that important accreditation by awarding grants to assist with the associated costs.
The most recent grant awards were given to LaGrange College (LaGrange, Georgia) and Norfolk State University (Norfolk, Virginia).
LaGrange College professor, Dr. Kelly Veal, was pleased to learn of the award. “NBCC has provided us an opportunity to solidify and strengthen our program years before our fiscal means would have allowed,” Veal writes. “The award to begin our CACREP accreditation process allows us to move forward immediately and mirrors a commitment to the profession that we work to instill in our students. At LaGrange College we have created a curriculum that not only aligns with our professional standards, but allows students to experience what it means to use a diverse lens and advocate for members of our community.”
Dr. Keesha Kerns and Dr. Melendez Byrd of Norfolk State University responded to the news, writing that “Norfolk State University (an HBCU) is proud to accept the grant, which will assist the Secondary Education and School Leadership Department in solidifying the counselor education program as we achieve the final steps toward our goal of CACREP accreditation. With a strongly accredited counselor education program, the graduates will not only serve the mental health and school populations, but also branch out into serving the military, disabled, and rural populations as well.”
Since its inception in July 2014, the NBCC and Affiliates Grant for Initial CACREP Accreditation has assisted 31 graduate counseling programs by providing funds throughout the accreditation process. 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. Of those 31 programs, 15 have obtained CACREP accreditation, and several others have submitted applications or have planned site visits.
Applications for the 2020–2021 grant will be accepted beginning April 1, 2020, and the application cycle will close on May 1, 2020. Information on the application process can be found on the NBCC website.