Rehabilitation Counselor Requirements in Louisiana: Becoming a Rehabilitation Counselor in Louisiana

The Louisiana Licensed Professional Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors Board of Examiners licenses the state’s rehabilitation counselors as Licensed Professional Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors. It is possible for an individual with baccalaureate level education to receive the credential, but only after five years of work experience. The experience requirement is reduced for individuals with education at the master’s or doctoral level.

Some Louisiana rehabilitation counselors seek the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential through the Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners. Professional counseling is a graduate discipline.

The state’s licensing acts determine who is, and is not, required to hold a professional license.

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LPVRC Education Requirements

A person can become a rehabilitation counselor with a degree in rehabilitation counseling or a related field. Clinical and counseling psychology and guidance and counseling are accepted. Special education may be accepted. Rehabilitation studies may be accepted; however, occupational therapy and physical therapy are excluded. The Board will look for 42 hours of qualifying coursework drawn from the following areas:

  • Vocational rehabilitation orientation
  • Statistics
  • Tests and measurements
  • Theories of personality
  • Analysis of the individual
  • Terminology of disabilities
  • Social and psychological effects of disability
  • Job placement and development or occupational information
  • Counseling theories
  • Counseling demonstration and practice
  • Psychiatric disorder or substance abuse
  • Vocational analysis or assessment
  • Introduction to sociology
  • Introduction to psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Adult or adolescent developmental psychology
  • Counseling ethics
  • Fieldwork or practicum

The Board may credit six hours of credit for theories of counseling techniques and nine to twelve hours of credit for practicum and fieldwork experiences. In most content areas, just three semester hours will be credited toward the minimum 42. It is at Board discretion what degrees and courses can be accepted. Louisiana does not license rehabilitation counselors on the basis of unrelated degrees even if the individual pursues additional coursework.

LPVRC Experience/Supervision Requirements

Licensure depends on completing a supervised practice requirement. With a master's degree, the provisional licensee will need two years of experience. With a doctoral degree in rehabilitation counseling, the experience requirement may be reduced to one year. Individuals with education at the bachelor’s level will not achieve full licensure until they have worked under supervision for fully five years.

Provisionally licensed rehabilitation counselors are to gain experience in the core rehabilitation counseling functions; these are identified in the application packet. The Board recognizes, however, that some functions may not be relevant to a particular job position.

Supervisory arrangements are to be preapproved. The provisional licensee will work under a supervision plan. Supervision is to be provided by an experienced, trained Licensed Professional Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. At least two-thirds of the supervision is to be individual. Paperwork is to be submitted on a quarterly basis.

LPVRC Examination

A prospective rehabilitation counselor may opt to 1) pursue national certification as a rehabilitation counselor or 2) take the qualifying examination solely for the purpose of licensure.

The Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) credential is awarded by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). Those seeking certification may take the examination at multiple stages. Students in programs accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) can take the exam immediately after graduation or, with status verification from the appropriate school official, before. Graduates of doctoral programs that include qualifying 600 hour rehabilitation counseling internships are also eligible to apply immediately following graduation. Students who earn master’s degrees from rehabilitation counseling programs not accredited by CORE or who earn degrees in related fields will not be able to test until they have accrued the requisite work experience. The CRCC website describes multiple eligibility avenues (http://www.crccertification.com/pages/eligibility_requirements/69.php). According to the candidate handbook, eligibility could, in some cases, be denied for legal or professional reasons. The certification process costs $385. The examination is now administered three times per year; the application deadline precedes the start of the testing window by more than four months.

The Louisiana Board now utilizes the CRC as its licensing examination (http://lrcboard.org/faq.htm#When will the next Exam be given). Candidates are scheduled for examination during regularly scheduled test administration periods. The examination fee is currently listed as $100. The Board notes that taking the examination for licensing purposes does not make one a CRC.

The LPVRC Application Process

Application materials are available on the website of the LLPVRC Board of Examiners (http://lrcboard.org/forms_lit.htm).

The applicant will provide a resume and verification of work experience. The Board will also require certified transcripts and two references. References are to be on Board-supplied forms; the applicant will either have them sent directly to the Board or include them in the application package in their original, sealed envelopes.

There is a $200 fee associated with license application; this is in addition to fees incurred as part of the examination process.

Rehabilitation Counselor LPC Requirements

An LPC must complete a graduate degree (http://www.lpcboard.org/index.htm). The content of the degree program must be mental health counseling. However, various counseling degrees may serve as the basis for licensure; according to Board rule, a degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling could be license-qualifying. In September of 2015, the credit hour requirement will go up from 48 semester hours to 60 semester hours. However, it is not mandatory that all required coursework be included in the original degree.

The program must include coursework in Board-identified content areas. It must meet Louisiana’s minimum practicum and internship standards. Students who complete programs not accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) will need to document their practicum and internship experiences. Some clinical rehabilitation counseling or combined mental health/ rehabilitation counseling programs do hold CACREP accreditation. Louisiana hosts one of the first programs that was accredited as ‘clinical rehabilitation counseling’ in partnership between CACREP and CORE.

Approved LPC examinations include the National Counselor Examination (NCE) and the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE), both of which are under the banner of the National Board for Certified Counselors. The NBCC has provided an information page specifically for Louisiana candidates (http://www.nbcc.org/stateboardmap//LA).

The Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor must accrue 3,000 supervised practice hours. A minimum of 1,900 hours must be spent in direct counseling and psychotherapy. Provisional Licensed Professional Counselors also work under supervisory plans. Supervision requirements, however, are different for professional counselors than they are for professional vocational rehabilitation counselors.

Applications for Licensed Professional Counselors (http://www.lpcboard.org/LPC%20Instructions%20Forms.htm) and Provisional Licensed Professional Counselors (http://www.lpcboard.org/LPC%20registration_of_supervisors_for_CI.htm) are available on the website of the Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners.

Out-of-state professional counselors who have been licensed and actively practicing for at least five years are not required to meet all requirements for “substantial equivalency” but must have passed one of the approved examinations.

Additional Information

The Louisiana Licensed Professional Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors Board of Examiners (http://lrcboard.org) can be reached at (225) 922-1435 Professionals may call the Board to request hard copies of the practice act, regulations, or standards and ethics documents.

The Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners (http://www.lpcboard.org/) can be reached at (225) 765-2515 or ‘lpcboard at eatel.net’.

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