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TROY’s College of Education receives grants to train future rehabilitation counselors

Over a five-year period, the three U.S. Department of Education grants will provide full tuition and stipends for 100 master's level students.

Over a five-year period, the three U.S. Department of Education grants will provide full tuition and stipends for 100 master's level students.

U.S. Department of Education grants, totaling $3 million, will help Troy University’s College of Education train future rehabilitation counselors for state vocational rehabilitation agencies in Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

The three Rehabilitation Counseling Education Program grants, each totaling $1 million, will focus on training rehabilitation counselors for public service, as well as counselors to serve individuals who are deaf/hard-of-hearing and those who have a mental illness.

Over the five-year grant period, a minimum of 100 rehabilitation counseling trainees will be recruited and provided full tuition and stipends, helping to address a critical need within the field.

The grants were written by Dr. Suzanne Tew-Washburn, Project Director; Drs. Rodney Maiden, Paola Premuda-Conti, and Joel Willis, Assistant Project Directors; and Drs. Lynn Boyd, Necoal Driver, and Sharon Weaver.

 “As a result of these three grants, a minimum of 100 students will have the financial means to earn master’s degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling,” Dr. Tew-Washburn said. “There is a severe shortage of qualified rehabilitation counselors to meet the personnel needs of the State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies who serve people with disabilities throughout our nation. With the recent expansion of our program to Troy University locations in Florida and Georgia, we will work closely with the state agencies there as well as in Alabama to address their needs and to make sure our students have excellent internship experiences and employment offers once they graduate.”

In addition to the core rehabilitation counseling curriculum, the program will offer five academic concentrations from which students can choose, including Clinical Rehabilitation; Public and Community Rehabilitation; Rehabilitation and Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Services; Counseling Military Populations; and Addictions Counseling.

The grants will enable Troy University to prepare rehabilitation counselors to meet critical needs, according to Dr. Kerry Palmer, Interim Dean of the University’s College of Education.

“Thanks to the tireless efforts of Dr. Suzanne Tew-Washburn and her team, more than 100 future rehabilitation counselors will receive full-tuition scholarships to study with us here at TROY,” Dr. Palmer said. “The potential impact of this award will be difficult to measure, as the students benefiting from the grant will touch countless lives in their work with rehabilitation services over the course of many years. We are so proud of this team, and we are grateful to the U. S. Department of Education for entrusting us with these resources. We will steward them well.”

The Program is currently recruiting applicants for the 2021 Spring semester. For additional information, contact Dr. Tew-Washburn, Project Director, at stew-washburn@troy.edu or 334-448-5157.

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