Adams State's Ph.D. program gains CACREP accreditation

(08-24-2017)

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) recently granted accreditation to Adams State University's online doctoral program in Counselor Education and Supervision. This makes Adams State one of only seven institutions in the nation to offer an online, CACREP accredited doctoral program. CACREP is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

"CACREP accreditation provides recognition that the content and quality of the program has been evaluated and meets standards set by the profession," said Dr. Cheri Meder, director of the doctoral program. Those who supervise counselors or teach in an academic program are required to have a degree from a CACREP accredited program.

"CACREP is really the gold standard in the counseling profession. This is a major accomplishment for our program," said Dr. Mark Manzanares, chair of Adams State's Department of Counselor Education. In awarding the accreditation, CACREP officials wrote, "The program faculty deserve to be congratulated for the time, energy, and commitment that they have given throughout this accreditation process."

Meder said the program's faculty and staff have spent countless hours over the past five years developing, delivering, and refining the Ph.D. program. "Our mission and program objectives include meeting the academic needs of underserved students who otherwise would not have access to higher education. The process of seeking accreditation has given us the opportunity as a department to reflect on how we prepare our students to be change agents within the profession. A true team effort during this process is now being recognized nationally."

With 21 current students, Adams State launched its doctoral program in 2014. "When Governor Hickenlooper signed the law granting us university status in 2012, our mission changed, opening the door for us to develop a Ph.D. program," Manzanares explained. The first students to complete the Ph.D. program will graduate in May of 2018.

"Without the students who entered the program in 2014, accreditation would not have been possible, and as a program, we couldn't be happier that this first cohort will graduate next May from a CACREP accredited program," Meder said.

Adams State's Ph.D. program is offered online with summer residency on campus. Assuming students complete their dissertations in one year, they can complete the program within four years. Meder noted it is designed to prepare counselor educators and supervisors to serve as faculty members, researchers, and practitioners in academic and clinical settings. Through their dissertation research, students focus on areas relevant to counseling practice, counselor education, and/or supervision. The degree also qualifies them to assume leadership positions in the counseling profession and/or their area(s) of specialization.

Adams State's long-standing master's degree program in counselor education has been CACREP accredited since 1995. "Beginning in 2020, counselor licensing and certification will require that counselors come from CACREP accredited programs," Manzanares said. He added that CACREP accreditation both enhances a program's reputation and attracts highly qualified students and faculty.

Both the master's and doctoral program have been highly ranked for quality and affordability. For more information about Adams State University's master's or doctoral program in counselor education, call 719-587-8177.

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