A major grant to South Dakota State University (SDSU), Brookings, SD, will help train rehabilitation counselors who can help people with disabilities find places within the workforce.

Rehabilitation counselors help people with physical and psychiatric disabilities obtain gainful employment and to function as fully integrated members of their communities.

The grant provides $749,000 over a 5-year period to allow SDSU to support master’s degree students in the program with funds for tuition and fees.

It places a special emphasis on training for counselors who can help veterans returning from war.

This is the latest milestone for SDSU’s recently formed rehabilitation counseling program, which has attained national accreditation through the Council on Rehabilitation Education. The student scholarship grant is from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, a federal program associated with the Department of Education.

Students who receive support under the program will need to work as rehabilitation counselors in the field for 2 years in repayment for every year of scholarship support they have been provided by the Department of Education.

Some states and agencies that work in career counseling are creating new positions for rehabilitation counselors to keep pace with the demand for such services. Many rehabilitation counselors are concentrating on retirement, as the Baby Boomer generation segues into its retirement years.

[Source: South Dakota State University]