WSSU Rehabilitation Counseling Gets $1M Grant to Address Industry Shortage

Last Updated on January 12, 2016

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) Campus.Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) researchers have received a five-year $1 million U.S. Department of Education grant to reduce a shortage of rehabilitation counseling professionals.

WSSU’s Department of Rehabilitation Counseling received the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services grant to address the shortage in professionals in rehabilitation, as well as the specific shortage of rehabilitation counselors providing services for the transition of special education students from high school to work.

The program is designed to provide WSSU rehabilitation-counseling students with the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to assist individuals with disabilities in attaining employment goals, and will be directed particularly to those in unserved and underserved rural areas in the state and region. The grant pays for student tuition, stipend, professional development activities, such as attending and presenting at conferences.

“We will use the grant to prepare candidates from our rehabilitation counseling program to work with those in underrepresented groups who need vocational rehabilitation as they transition from high school and on to work,” said Dr. Yolanda Edwards, department chair and program coordinator of the Master of Rehabilitation Counseling program WSSU’s Department Rehabilitation Counseling in the School of Health Science. “This program track is designed to increase the number of qualified rehabilitation counselors available to meet the staff needs of the State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies in our region.”


With this latest grant, the department has received a total of three training grants (2014-2020) amounting to nearly $2.75 million to enhance its online master's level rehabilitation counseling training program. The three grants focus on separate areas: rural rehabilitation, deaf and hard of hearing, and transition.

Because the program is offered online, adult learners from across the state, region, and nation may continue their education and give back to their communities. “The grant really allows our program to continue WSSU motto enter to learn and depart to serve, Edwards said.

Source: Winston-Salem State University

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