Program Information


Program Resources


Department of
Counselor Education

Rehabilitation Counseling Program


One on one counselingProgram Overview

The RC48 program is actively recruiting rehabilitation paraprofessionals employed throughout rural Kansas and Nebraska, in order to meet a growing need for energetic and dedicated rehabilitation counselors across the Heartland. Successful applicants express a desire to embark upon a career in the federal, public, tribal, or community rehabilitation sectors. Upon graduation, students are eligible to sit for the national certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC) exam. Rehabilitation counselors coordinate a range of pre-employment, employment, and vocational support services to persons with physical, intellectual, sensory, and mental-emotional disabilities.

Completion of the master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling requires 48 credit hours; attendance typically extends over a two-and-a-half year period. As of Fall 2014, the RC48 program transitioned to a distance format, allowing participants to maintain employment, attend college, and complete internships in their home communities. The ESU Rehabilitation Education Programs were established in 1966 and have since trained over 500 professional rehabilitation counselors; RC48’s antecedent (the 60-credit Rehabilitation Counseling program) has been CORE-accredited since 1972. At present, RC48 is accredited through 2022.

Program tuition, fees, and other benefits may be available to qualified and academically excellent RC48 applicants. Funded scholars complete an internship experience in the public rehabilitation program and agree to a pre-determined period of employment in federal, state, tribal, or community rehabilitation counseling settings.


Persons with Disabilities Encouraged to Apply

RC48 Online does not discriminate against applicants, students, faculty, or employees on the bases of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, appearance, sex, gender identity, religion, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. Persons with disabilities, persons of color, and women are encouraged to apply.

The ESU campus has been accessible to persons with mobility impairments since 1959. Per the Americans with Disabilities Act, ESU will make reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Students are encouraged to contact the ESU Director of the Office of Disability Services (ODS) as early in the semester as possible to ensure academic accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. All communication between students, ODS, and professors is confidential.


RC48 Mission

The mission of RC48 Online is to provide a comprehensive distance education program to facilitate the development of highly competent rehabilitation counselors representative of diverse cultural and disability populations, in order to effectively meet pre-employment and employment needs of individuals with disabilities. Graduates are expected to provide and coordinate all aspects of the rehabilitation process, including: assessment; individual, group, family, and vocational/career counseling; job development and placement; case management; medical, vocational, and/or educational training; follow-up services; and other rehabilitation services that will assist a person with a disability to become a contributing member of the workforce.


Program Objectives

Candidates for graduation from RC48 will:

  • demonstrate professional knowledge, behavior, and social responsibility as related to rehabilitation counseling and ethical principles in the public and private sectors;
  • identify psychosocial aspects relevant to individual and sociocultural responses at onset of and living with disability;
  • apply constructs relevant to human growth, development, and disability in a changing social landscape;
  • differentiate and contrast theoretical models of career development, and apply theoretical models in resolving issues of employment facing people with disabilities;
  • translate and demonstrate principles, theories, methods, and styles of relevant counseling approaches and principles to diverse populations;
  • employ principles, theories, and activities related to group counseling and working with families who experience disability;
  • apply statistical principles to identification, utilization, and interpretation of assessment instruments and methods;
  • apply essential knowledge and skills in documenting and applying research methods as relevant to consumer progress and program evaluation;
  • classify medical, functional, and environmental aspects of disability; and,
  • demonstrate knowledge and skills necessary to coordinate rehabilitation, employment, and related services.


Length of Program

The program requires 48 graduate credit hours focused on the development of each student as a counselor and coordinator of rehabilitation services. Faculty train and place highly competitive counselors into their local workforces, with eligibility for national certification prior to graduation. The online course format allows students to maintain employment, attend classes, and receive internship supervision from nationally certified faculty via distance technologies, all while remaining in their home communities.

See the Rehabilitation Counseling Program of Study.


Admission Requirements*

  1. Complete Graduate School Application.
  2. Complete Department of Counselor Education Graduate Student Application.
  3. Complete Confidentiality Form.
  4. Three department Reference Forms. If you are employed, a reference from your current or recent employer/supervisor is desired.
  5. Graduate Record Examination (280 verbal and math) or Miller Analogies Test (400).
  6. An overall 3.00 grade-point average on a four-point scale or a 3.25 on the last 60 semester hours for the undergraduate degree.
  7. A Bachelor's of Science, Bachelor's of Art, Bachelor's of Fine Arts, or Bachelor's of Science in Education degree.
  8. Personal interview with rehabilitation counseling program faculty.

*International applicants have additional requirements; visit to find out more.


Degree Requirements

Degree Candidacy Requirements

Candidacy is the formal approval for pursuit of the master's degree after it is determined that all specified criteria have been met. Upon completion of six to twelve hours, students should make application for Degree Candidacy through their advisor. Requirements for degree candidacy are as follows:

  • Degree plan filed through student's advisor.
  • Maintain a B average with no grade lower than B in core courses.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Complete an approved program of study as developed and approved by your faculty advisor.
  2. Apply for degree candidacy.
  3. Pass a written comprehensive examination (taken during the final semester of enrollment). Students need to sign-up for this examination during their final semester of internship. An alternative to the comprehensive examination is completion of a master’s level thesis.
  4. Complete an Intent to Graduate Form.


Contact Us

For more information, please call 620-341-5220 or email