The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) met January 12-14, 2014 and reaccredited the counselor education programs at North Carolina Central University. All three programs (career counseling, school counseling and mental health counseling) were accredited for eight years which is the maximum allowable. CACREP noted that programs receiving accreditation for an eight-year period “deserve to be commended.”
Since 1981, CACREP has served as the premier accrediting organization of the Counseling profession, accrediting over 600 graduate counseling programs at over 270 institutions in the United States and throughout the world. CACREP is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as a quality assurance provider and a national partner in public protection from unqualified counselors.
Dr. Edward E. Moody, Jr., the chair of the Department of Allied Professions, noted that CACREP accreditation increases the marketability of NCCU students. For example, the Veterans Administration recognizes licensed professional counselors who graduated from a CACREP-accredited program as approved providers, and currently, 27 states specifically cite CACREP in their rules or regulations as meeting the educational requirements for licensure. Of the remaining 23 states, 15 require the CACREP core areas without specifically citing CACREP.
Research studies demonstrate that students from CACREP-accredited programs perform better on the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) (Adams, 2006) and pass the NCE at higher rates (Milsom & Akos, 2007). Another recent national study found that 81.7% of licensed professional counselors sanctioned for ethical violations graduated from non-CACREP-accredited programs (Even & Robinson, 2013).
The CACREP standards were developed and have been maintained by professional counselor educators and practitioners. Standards are outcome based and require that programs measure and evaluate student learning outcomes. Therefore, faculty members must engage in continuous systematic program evaluation to demonstrate effectiveness. Dr. Moody noted that Dr. Peggy Whiting (counselor education program coordinator) and the rest of the faculty and students should be especially pleased. “These programs are models of Eagle Excellence. They have been thoroughly examined by counselor education professionals through a self-study and site visit and found to be worthy of the full eight years of accreditation.” He also noted that the career counseling program is one of only 9 CACREP accreditation programs making it truly unique.