Counselor Education Program Earns Top Accreditation

The three education counseling degrees earned perfect scores from the accrediting agency.

All three degrees in the Counselor Education program at Texas Tech University recently earned eight-year accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

To earn the eight-year accreditation, the longest period allowed under CACREP’s standards, the program obtained perfect scores on 320 standards in its master’s degrees in clinical mental health counseling and school counseling and its doctorate degree in counselor education and supervision.

“It’s a very difficult accreditation to obtain and maintain,” said Loretta Bradley, a Horn Professor of education and the coordinator of counselor education. “Receiving this accreditation is like receiving the Good Housekeeping seal of approval.”

Among the 450 counselor education programs nationwide, about 25 percent are accredited. Texas Tech has the only accredited program between Albuquerque and Dallas.

CACREP accreditation is not required of counselor education programs, although some major employers like the Veterans Administration now require counselors to graduate from a CACREP-accredited program. This accreditation indicates to future students and future employers of Texas Tech graduates the counselor education program has achieved a high educational standard and prepares its graduates to work in government and community agencies, clinical mental health counseling centers and schools to effectively deal with problems.

Each counselor education degree has trademark outcomes. For the master’s in clinical mental health counseling, a trademark outcome is graduates are prepared to understand, organize and implement an effective treatment plan. For the master’s in school counseling, a trademark outcome is for graduates to understand, plan and implement the American School Counselor Association National Model. At the doctorate level, the trademark outcome is students understand, organize and implement a social justice advocacy leadership plan.

The counselor education program also prepares students to pass the state licensure and school counseling certification exams.

“We feel CACREP accreditation has many advantages for our students in the job market, both at the master’s degree level and the doctorate level,” Bradley said.

All of the counseling education faculty members took part in the reaccreditation process: Bradley, Charles Crews, Janet Froeschle-Hicks, Bret Hendricks, Aretha Marbley and Gerald Parr.

“I would place our counseling education faculty right up there with the top professionals in the nation,” College of Education Dean Scott Ridley said. “This accreditation is a great and well-deserved honor and will allow our faculty to do what they do best – train the best counseling professionals in the industry.”

College of Education

The College of Education at Texas Tech University offers a full range of programs, including 9 doctoral degrees, 10 master's degrees, two bachelor's degrees and numerous specializations which can lead to careers in public or private education as teachers, professors, administrators, counselors and diagnosticians.

Programs in the college are housed in three departments.

The Department of Curriculum & Instruction offers advanced degrees that prepare leaders, researchers, and professors with the knowledge, skills, and practical application experience needed to analyze, construct, and evaluate curricula in ways that create optimal learning conditions for all learners. Language and literacy, bilingual education and STEM education are just a few of the specializations offered by C&I.

The Department of Educational Psychology & Leadership consists of a diverse group of academic programs that equip students with a comprehensive knowledge of learning, motivation, development, and educational foundations. The disciplines of counseling and school psychology are housed within the EP&L department as are programs to prepare future college administrators, primary and secondary school and district leaders, as well as practical and academic educational psychologists.

The Department of Teacher Education focuses solely on teacher preparation, ensuring that teacher candidates are ready for the classroom on day one. The Teacher Education Department is home to TechTeach, an innovative teacher preparation program that puts teacher candidates into public school classrooms for a full year and requires that students pass teacher certification tests prior to entering the classroom. Various paths to teaching careers, including fast-track distance programs statewide and alternative certification options, are also housed in this department.

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