Improve the capacity of the counseling profession to maximize effective service delivery through a nationally competitive, learning-centered, program of excellence serving Arkansas, the nation and the world

Program Mission

The Counselor Education and Supervision Program advances clinical mental health, rehabilitationand school counseling by: providing high-quality teaching and training to emerging counselors and counselor educators; conducting rigorous research with real-world implications; and serving professional and community organizations. The program is committed to recruiting students from a variety of backgrounds; supporting their professional and personal growth; preparing them to work with individuals with marginalized identities; and working to end oppression within the field and the larger society. Collectively, these efforts improve mental health, wellness, educational and career outcomes in Arkansas and beyond.

Philosophy Statement

The guiding philosophy, goals, policies and practices of the Counselor Education Program are shaped by its central commitment: To provide learning experiences allowing each graduate to become a fully functioning helping professional in an evolving and diverse world.

Inherent in the concept of a fully functioning individual is the conceptual frame that emotional and intellectual growth and the worth of each person are emphasized, in addition to academic and professional activities. Students admitted to the Counselor Education Program are engaged in a professional preparation curriculum, are accepted as professionals-in-training and are expected to conduct themselves in accord with professional standards. In this context, a professional is a person engaged in an endeavor which requires advanced training in a body of knowledge that is based on theoretical and applied research, on a set of appropriate skills and on ethical standards adhered to by members of the profession.


Training in rehabilitation counseling at the University of Arkansas was established in 1974 as an emphasis area in counselor education. In 1977, the college, the university and the Board of Higher Education approved the Rehabilitation Education and Research program. Since its inception the recruitment and retention of a diverse cadre of students, particularly students with disabilities and students from other underrepresented groups, has been a program emphasis.

The original program consisted of three emphasis areas: rehabilitation counseling, rehabilitation program evaluation, and rehabilitation orientation and mobility of the blind. Due to both changing national and state priorities and to faculty changes, the program evaluation and the vision impairment emphasis areas were deleted during 1980. That same year, funding from a Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Innovation and Expansion grant provided supplemental program support to train independent living rehabilitation counselors. Subsequent to receipt of that funding, independent living rehabilitation counseling was developed and approved by the college and university as a new emphasis area.

During 1983, the RSA awarded a long-term grant to train master's level rehabilitation counselors to offer services to individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired. In 1984, deafness rehabilitation counseling was added to the Rehabilitation Education and Research Program. This emphasis area is taught in Little Rock, Arkansas, by faculty who hold graduate school status at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and who are associated with the Arkansas Research and Training Center for Persons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (RT-31). In 1984, RSA awarded a long-term training grant to the vocational rehabilitation counseling emphasis area. This grant vitalized this emphasis area and brought the program more in line with RSA priorities by providing funds for the recruitment and retention of qualified students and by stimulating the development of new curriculum materials.

In 2004 the RSA awarded a long-term grant to train master's level rehabilitation counselors to offer intensive job placement services to clients of the state-federal rehabilitation program. That same year the job placement track was added to the Rehabilitation Education and Research Program and five students were enrolled in the job placement track.