CORE (Council on Rehabilitation Education) is a specialized accreditation organization that is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA). CORE accredits graduate programs which provide academic preparation for a variety of professional rehabilitation counseling positions. CORE also accredits undergraduate programs in Rehabilitation and Disability Studies. The undergraduate Registry includes programs that meet curriculum and outcome standards and guidelines for undergraduate programs in rehabilitation. Undergraduate programs in the United States and Puerto Rico will remain on the Registry until October 1, 2017 during which time they will be given an opportunity to become accredited. CORE will no longer accept applications to the Registry after July 1, 2012.
Structure and Functions
In 1969, a group of rehabilitation professionals met to discuss the need for accreditation of rehabilitation counselor education (RCE) programs. After 2 years of planning, the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) was formed in 1971 and incorporated in 1972. Five professional rehabilitation organizations were represented on CORE:
• American Rehabilitation Association (ARA), formerly the International Association of Rehabilitation Facilities
• American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA)
• Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR)
• National Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE), formerly the Council of Rehabilitation Counselor Educators
• National Rehabilitation Counseling Association (NRCA)
Today, these five organizations—except ARA, which has been replaced by the National Council of State Agencies of the Blind (NCSAB) and two public members—comprise CORE and as such represent the professional and organizational constituencies concerned with the training, evaluation, and employment of rehabilitation counselors.
CORE accredits approximately 96 university and college-based rehabilitation counselor education programs at the master’s degree level. Accreditation serves to promote the effective delivery of rehabilitation services to people with disabilities by stimulating and fostering continual review and improvement of master’s degree rehabilitation counselor education programs. CORE also accredits, via the Commission on Undergraduate Standards and Accreditation, two undergraduate programs in Rehabilitation Services and Disability Studies. There are 27 undergraduate programs in Rehabilitation Services and Disability Studies that are on the CORE registry, which will stop accepting applications on July 1, 2012.
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Purpose and Responsibilities
Each new rehabilitation counseling program is assessed in accordance with the Standards for Rehabilitation Counselor Education Programs, published by CORE, and accredited programs are periodically reviewed to ensure that they remain in substantial compliance. The Standards are not intended to limit program creativity or limit variability; programs may adopt innovative procedures or experiences that meet the Standards in a different manner.
As stated in its bylaws, the mission of CORE is the accreditation of rehabilitation counseling programs to promote the effective delivery of rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities by promoting and fostering continuing review and improvement of master’s degree-level RCE programs. It may also serve to assist and advise in the development and refinement of university-based undergraduate rehabilitation education programs. The accreditation process serves to:
• Promote a high standard of professional education in rehabilitation counseling and to foster program development based on a vocationally oriented, service-to-people attitude
• Encourage sound educational experimentation and innovations and to stimulate continuous self-study and improvement
• Reassess, redefine, and reevaluate program criteria as the needs of the profession and the public change
• Evolve a consultative model for developing programs
• Review admissions and other requirements of RCE programs to ensure that all qualified applicants may participate
• Foster mutual respect and cooperation between RCE programs and the programs of other helping professions
• Emphasize the vocational aspect of services in the broader context of human development and thereby help reduce dependency among all vulnerable consumer groups, especially individuals with the most severe and multiple disabilities
• Meet the personnel needs of public and private rehabilitation agencies
• Publish periodically a roster of recognized programs for members of the profession, the public, government agencies, and prospective students
• Enhance the position of mutual respect and acceptance of RCE programs in the academic community and on campus
• Develop an accreditation system based on the objective assessment of outcomes of the educational program.
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Composition of CORE
The Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) is composed of individuals appointed as Board Members at Large and public members. CORE maintains a membership size of no more than 12 and no less than nine members. All Board Members at Large are selected by the Board to represent content expertise in areas relevant to rehabilitation practice. The ratio of Public Members to Board Members at Large shall be at least 1:6 at all times. The Chair of the Graduate Commission on Standards and Accreditation and the Chair of the Undergraduate Commission on Standards and Accreditation are Board Members and voting members of CORE. All appointees are Certified Rehabilitation Counselors (CRCs), except the public members, and are appointed to four-year terms.
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Composition of the Two Commission
The composition of the two Commissions of CORE are described on page 7-8 of the Graduate Accreditation Manual and page 7-9 of the Undergraduate Accreditation Manual.
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