Three Shippensburg University graduate counseling programs are accredited through October 2019.

The board of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), in a July 20 letter to Shippensburg President Bill Ruud, said the organization extended accredited status to the university’s clinical mental health counseling, school counseling,and student affairs and college counseling programs.

According to Dr. Barbara Lyman, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, “We applaud the Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel for building such strong programs whose quality has been affirmed through the rigorous process of accreditation review. Through the CACREP process, our students and the communities we serve throughout the region are reassured that our programs meet and even exceed the highest national standards in these fields of study. I congratulate the faculty of Counseling and College Student Personnel for earning this recognition of quality and certainly commend Dr. Jan Arminio under whose leadership as department chair the stage was set for this outstanding achievement.”

In 2011, CACREP accredited the department’s programs until 2019. At that time, the three programs received conditional accreditation status. The university’s Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel provided further information resulting in the recent action by CACREP’s board.

CACREP, according to its website, is an independent agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to accredit master’s degree programs. It promotes the professional competence of counseling and related practitioners through development of preparation standards; encouragement of excellence in program development; and accreditation of professional preparation programs, according to the website.

According to CACREP, clinical mental health counseling programs prepare graduates to work with clients across a spectrum of mental and emotional disorders, as well as to promote mental health and wellness. School counseling programs prepare graduates to work with students ranging from kindergarten through high school. Student affairs and college counseling programs prepare students to assume a variety of positions in higher education and student affairs offices after graduation.

The mission of Shippensburg’s department is to develop students’ academic and personal potential through a comprehensive counselor education program and through multi-faceted counseling services for all university students. It integrates the principles of a meaningful learning environment, professionalism and individual responsibility. It also seeks to graduate highly skilled practitioners in counseling and college student personnel by utilizing experiential learning opportunities in an atmosphere of intellectual, investigative, and creative scholarly curiosity.

Graduates have obtained positions in elementary and secondary schools as well as in major universities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and other locations throughout the United States. Other graduates work in community mental health agencies, group homes, service agencies, hospitals, and crisis units.