Rehabilitation Counselor Requirements in Connecticut: The Path to Become a Rehabilitation Counselor in Connecticut

Connecticut rehabilitation counselors are eligible for licensing as Licensed Professional Counselors, or LPCs. In some cases, a vocational rehabilitation counselor may be exempt from the law requiring licensing; allowable roles are described in the state's practice act (http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3121&q=396902&dphNav_GID=1821). Some Connecticut rehabilitation counselors seek third party certification through the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). Whether licensed or certified, rehabilitation counselors have education at the graduate level.

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Education Requirements for those Seeking Rehabilitation Counselor LPC Licensure

In order to be license-eligible, an individual must complete 60 semester hours of counseling-related education through a regionally accredited institution. He or she must earn a degree at the master’s or doctoral level.

The following coursework must be included in the program of study:

  • Helping relationships or counseling theories and techniques
  • Cultural and social foundations
  • Human growth and development
  • Career and lifestyle development
  • Tests and measurements, or appraisal
  • Group dynamics, processing, and counseling
  • Research and evaluation
  • Professional counseling orientation

A description of course content can be found in the ‘Course of Study’ form.

The Department of Public Health will accept degrees in various mental health fields including psychology and social work. However, some jobs may favor individuals with degrees in vocational rehabilitation.

Programmatic accreditation by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) is not tied to counseling licensure in Connecticut. It is, however, important for establishing eligibility for third party certification as a rehabilitation counselor. In most cases, rehabilitation professional who do not complete CORE-accredited programs are not eligible for certification until they have met a work experience requirement (http://www.crccertification.com/pages/eligibility_requirements/69.php). Those with doctoral degrees in counseling may constitute an exception; however, they will need to have completed a rehabilitation counseling internship.

Examination Requirements: NCE and NCMHCE

Connecticut has approved the National Counselor Examination (NCE) for counseling licensure. The National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) has also been approved; however, this is a mental health examination. Both examinations are administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).

Some individuals may have taken the NCE as students. Those who have not yet taken it can submit their qualifying documents directly to the NBCC. The Assessment Department will require a transcript, registration form, and $275 fee. Registration information can be found on the Connecticut page of the NBCC website (http://www.nbcc.org/stateboardmap//CT). Individuals who have questions about the process are directed to email ‘exam at cce-global.org’ before submitting their materials. Authorization to test may take four weeks (figured from the time the fee clears). An authorized candidate is granted a six month eligibility window.

Connecticut’s assessment centers are located in Norwalk, Wallingford, and Wethersfield. However, candidates are allowed to schedule at Pearson Vue centers located in other states. Beginning in 2015, all assessment centers utilize computerized testing. Examinations are available two weeks out of the month. Registration may be carried out as little as 24 hours in advance, provided that space is available. However, the testing agencies notes that scheduling is “first-come, first served”.

Candidates who test as part of the Connecticut licensing process will have their scores reported automatically to the Department of Public Health. In some cases, an individual may need to request a score verification report (http://www.nbcc.org/Exam/ScoreVerificationReport).

Supervised Practice

Licensure is dependent on completing 3,000 hours of supervised practice. The practitioner will need 100 hours of direct supervision. The supervisor may be a licensed Professional Counselor or other licensed mental health professional (psychiatrist, psychologist, marital and family therapist, clinical social worker, or advanced practice nurse certified in adult mental health/ psychiatric nursing).

The qualifying experience must span, at minimum, one year. At the end of the supervisory period, the supervisor will complete a verification form, noting his or her own license number and state of licensure.

The Application Process

The Department of Public Health has posted application materials online; they can be accessed from the Professional Counselor Licensing Requirements’ page of the website (http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3121&q=396906&dphNav_GID=1821).

Supporting documents should be requested and sent directly to the licensing agency from the source.

An authorized representative of the school will need to fill out the coursework verification form. An official transcript will be required as well. The licensing agency will require verification of all graduate coursework and degrees.

An applicant who answers ‘yes’ to any question about adverse professional history must provide a statement and supporting documentation.

Application carries a $315 fee. The form requires notarization. Materials are to be sent to the following address:

Connecticut Department of Public Health
Professional Counselor Licensure
410 Capitol Ave., MS #12 APP
P.O. Box 340308
Hartford, CT 06134

Applicants can email the Department to check their application status (http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?).

Out-of-State Counselors

The licensing agency will require verification from ever state where the applicant has ever been licensed.

A counselor may be endorsed on the basis of licensure in a state with similar standards (http://www.ct.gov/practitioner_licensing_and_investigations/plis/professionalcounselor/lpc_stats.pdf).

Third Party Rehabilitation Counselor Certification

The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification grants the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) credential. Students in CORE-accredited rehabilitation counseling programs may register for the CRC examination before completing all degree requirements. Currently, there are just three CRC testing windows per year (http://www.crccertification.com/pages/crc_exam_schedule/83.php). The certification process costs $385.

Additional Information

Licensing information is available from the Connecticut Department of Public Health (http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3121&q=396902&dphNav_GID=1821). The licensing agency can be reached by telephone at (860) 509-7603 or by email at ‘oplc.dph at ct.gov’.

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