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Counselor Education Programs Receive Accreditation

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ The Department of Counselor Education at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh has announced that its Student Affairs Professional Practice (M.S.) program has received accreditation and its Community Counseling (M.S.) and School Counseling (M.S. Ed/ C.A.S.) programs have been reaccredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

The Community Counseling and School Counseling programs are accredited for the next eight years while the Student Affairs program has received accreditation for the next two years.

The Department of Counselor Education first received accreditation in 1990 and was reaccredited in 1997.

Dr. Beverly Burnell, department head and associate professor of counselor education, said all three programs were revised following a two-year self-study to bring the programs into conformity with the 2001 CACREP accreditation standards.

The Student Affairs Practice in Higher Education - Counseling Emphasis program was also altered as a result of changes CACREP made in its programs standards. CACREP divided its Student Affairs program standards into two distinct programs. SUNY Plattsburgh changed its former program to reflect the CACREP Student Affairs Professional Practice Program.

Burnell said she was very optimistic about the opportunities that the accreditation will provide for current students in the counselor education programs.

"Our students can be assured that the level of preparation they receive here is consistent with the national level," Burnell said.  "Unlike those of unaccredited schools who must wait two years after graduation, our students can take the National Counselor Exam to become National Certified Counselors during their final semester."

Burnell said she was also confident that alumni of the program would also gain from this accreditation.

"Our alumni can feel proud to be associated with a program of such high standards. When they serve as field supervisors for our internship program, it will be reassuring to know that they will be working with well-prepared, qualified students."

Dr. Robert Golden, SUNY Plattsburgh provost and vice president for academic affairs, congratulated Dr. Burnell and the faculty and staff in the department who worked on the self-study effort. 

"I am very proud of the hard work and dedication of the faculty and staff of the counselor education department. This reaccredidation represents the high level of education that is present at Plattsburgh State," Golden said

The graduate counseling program has been part of the SUNY Plattsburgh curriculum for nearly 50 years. Since the first accreditation in 1990, the Community Counseling program has had 46 graduates while the School Counseling program has had 80.  Thirty students have graduated with a degree in Student Affairs under the former program standards and three successfully completed degree requirements under the new program this past spring.

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