Frequently Asked Questions About Accreditation
What is accreditation?
Educational accreditation is a quality assurance process by which educational institutions and programs are evaluated by an external organization to determine if applicable standards are met.
There are two different levels of accreditation. One relates to the institution as a whole such as Lamar University being accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The second is specific to degree programs of which LU has accreditation across campus in many programs, including the School Counseling Program under the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
How do different types of program accreditations/certifications affect student access?
Any program has an obligation to carefully evaluate the positive and negative impacts of accreditation on student access. When programs are offered online such as the School Counseling Program and the Clinical Mental Health Program, requirements for face-to-face supervision place additional demands on both the student and the educational institutions. In the instance of the student, they may be required to come to campus or another site for supervision requiring the student to incur the costs of travel, possibly lodging and any other related expenditure.
The educational institution may be required to add fees to address the increased cost of the supervision. Whether or not the added requirements are important to the education experience that is important and must be weighed against the reality of the costs. Further, alternative accrediting bodies may meet the job placement requirements for students while also placing less demands on both the student and the institution.
How does program accreditation impact board certification?
On occasion professionals may seek board certification. Board certifications often have a number of requirements among which can be the nature of the practice experience of the professional, number of years in practice, recommendations by peers and degrees secured from accredited institutions among other requirements. There are no existing limitations on seeking employment in the counseling area that require national board certification.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding CACREP Accreditation
Where can I find information regarding CACREP?
You can go to www.cacrep.org to find out more about the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Are the counseling programs at Lamar University accredited by CACREP?
Currently, the Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) Program has received a 2-year accredidation for the online and campus programs through 2018.
Why is CACREP accreditation important for the CMHC program?
Accreditation is an important step in the process of developing high quality programs as it incorporates external assessment. In addition, accreditation will facilitate job placements for graduates of the program. For instance, some federal agencies and certifications require CACREP-approved program graduates for practice in counseling, including the Veteran’s Administration, Department of Defense, TRICARE Certified Mental Health Counselor Credential and the Army Substance Abuse Program Practitioner.
Is it a requirement to graduate from a CACREP accredited program to become a certified school counselor in the State of Texas?
No, the requirements to become a certified school counselor in Texas are mandated by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) (see tea.texas.gov for more information), which is the certifying body for school counselors in Texas.
What are the requirements to become a certified school counselor in the State of Texas?
You must earn a master’s degree in school counseling and have two years of teaching experience to sit for the TExES School Counselor Examination. See specific requirements for school counselors