Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Georgia Southern College of Education Attains CACREP Accreditation

Georgia Southern University’s College of Education has attained accreditation by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) in the three specialty areas of community counseling, school counseling and student affairs. Georgia Southern is the only institution in the state to be CACREP accredited in the area of student affairs, and the only one in southeast Georgia CACREP accredited in community counseling and school counseling.
The accreditation will allow Georgia Southern students concentrating in those fields to be nationally certified when they graduate.

“These students will be eligible to take the National Counselor Examination for Certification when they graduate, without having to complete the additional post-graduate work normally required,” said Dr. Leon Spencer, program coordinator for counseling education programs.
“This a tremendous advantage because it saves the students time and money as they work to obtain this important professional certification. It also helps expedite the licensure application process.”

According to CACREP, students who attend accredited universities like Georgia Southern are also more likely to do better on licensing exams than other students and have more job opportunities after graduation.

Georgia Southern University’s CACREP accreditation is also important for the state because many of the graduates will stay in Georgia and put their professional expertise to work in local schools and community mental health agencies.

“The counseling and student affairs professionals in our schools and community agencies are critical to the success of many students. Students today are dealing with many pressures and influences that have a direct impact on their success in the classroom and their chance at future success once they leave school. We’re proud that Georgia Southern University will be able to provide counselors with an education that is nationally recognized for excellence and that they, in turn, will be able to work to positively impact the lives of young students,” said College of Education dean Lucindia Chance. “The professionals who graduate from our program will be held to a higher standard because they are expected to understand and abide by the counseling profession’s ethical standards.”

CACREP accreditation also means the University’s College of Education will be held to a higher standard.

“It took us eight years to achieve CACREP accreditation,” said Chance. “Our faculty and staff worked diligently to meet the rigorous standards set forth by this organization. Now that we are CACREP accredited, we will be expected to continually evaluate our programs and exceed nationally accepted standards in order to keep our accreditation. We are committed to maintaining this quality for the generations of future education professionals who choose Georgia Southern University for their own education,” said Chance.

To accommodate the busy schedules of education professionals, nine of the 48 required course hours are offered on-line. Some courses are also taught at the Coastal Georgia Center in Savannah.

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