Rehabilitation Counselor Requirements in Michigan

Michigan rehabilitation counselors are licensed as Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs). Rehabilitation counseling master’s programs that hold approved accreditation are recognized as license qualifying in the state; additionally, Michigan is one of fourteen states that accepts a rehabilitation counseling certification examination for licensing purposes.

Prospective licensees must also meet supervised practice requirements. In-state candidates will be credentialed first as Limited Professional Counselors (LLPCs).

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Educational Requirements: CORE or CACREP

A prospective rehabilitation counselor must complete a degree at at least the master's level. The licensing agency accepts accreditation by either the Commission on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) or the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP). CACREP/CORE has traditionally set the standards for rehabilitation counseling programs. Both CORE (http://www.cacrep.org/) and CACREP (http://www.cacrep.org/directory/) maintain online directories.

The licensing agency can accept programs not accredited by CACREP or CORE if they are housed in institutions of higher learning and include coursework in required content areas:

  • Counseling techniques
  • Counseling philosophy
  • Counseling theory
  • Group techniques
  • Career development
  • Testing procedures and assessment
  • Research methodologies
  • Multicultural counseling
  • Consulting
  • Professional ethics

The program must include both practicum and internship. The internship is to be at least 600 hours. Minimum program length is 48 semester hours.

Supervised Practice Requirement

The graduate must complete a supervised practice requirement.

Individuals with no qualifying education beyond the master's degree must work under supervision for fully two years and accrue at least 3,000 hours of supervised practice; 100 hours are to be in the physical presence of a supervisor. With 30 hours of post-master education, the requirement is reduced to 1,500 hours, accrued over a period of at least one year; only 50 hours need be in the presence of the supervisor.

In order to credit any hours earned in Michigan, the counselor must hold limited licensure.

The supervisor must meet qualifications outlined in R 338.1757 of administrative code. The professional is to provide the supervisee with a written statement of his or her qualifications; this is to be done before the onset of supervision.

Examination Requirements: CRC and NCE

A counselor must pass an approved examination prior to full licensure as an LPC. The Michigan Board has approved two examinations.

Rehabilitation counselors can be licensed as LPCs on the basis of the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor examination, or CRC. The examination is offered by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). By meeting eligibility requirements and passing the examination, the counselor can be nationally certified as a CRC.

There are multiple eligibility pathways; some allow a candidate to test sooner. A student who has graduated from a CORE-accredited rehabilitation counseling program is immediately eligible, as is an individual who holds a counseling or rehabilitation counseling doctorate, provided he or she has completed the requisite 600-hour rehabilitation counseling internship.

Individuals who graduate from other qualifying programs must meet an experience requirement; in some cases, the requirement will be longer than the minimum requirement for Michigan licensure. If the degree was in rehabilitation counseling but did not hold the preferred accreditation, the requirement can be met in as little as one year; this assumes a CRC-supervised internship. A summary of eligibility requirements is found on the CRCC website (http://www.crccertification.com/pages/eligibility_requirements/69.php); the candidate bulletin includes additional details.

Certification candidates should be prepared to remit a $385 application/ certification fee; $200 can be refunded if the applicant is found ineligible to test. The examination is offered during three annual testing windows. Application materials are due four to five months in advance; CRCC has provided an application schedule (http://www.crccertification.com/pages/crc_exam_schedule/83.php). A student who is enrolled in a CORE-accredited program that includes 600 hours of internship may be allowed to test with as little as 75% of the program completed.

The Michigan licensing agency also accepts the National Counselor Examination, or 'NCE', a generalist counseling examination offered by the National Board for Certified Counselors. A Michigan candidate will provide transcripts directly to the NBCC, documenting receipt of a qualifying master’s degree. Registration materials can be found on the Michigan page of the NBCC website (http://www.nbcc.org/stateboardmap//MI). The examination fee is currently $195; it is nonrefundable. The candidate will wait about four weeks for an ATT. At that point, he or she can schedule a computerized testing session through Pearson VUE. There are monthly testing windows.

The License Application Process

Applications can be downloaded from the website of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-35299_63294_27529_27536---,00.html).

The application includes an educational verification form that is to be filled out by the director of the counseling program. The applicant will also need to request official transcripts.

The applicant must provide a copy of his or her professional disclosure statement. The Board has provided templates for applicants at each license level.

An applicant for limited licensure must include a statement from his or her supervisor.

The application fee is $80 for candidates applying for limited licensure; it is $115 for those applying for full licensure.

Applicants who answer “yes” to personal data questions will need to provide official documents.

Applicants must also have fingerprint-based criminal background checks. The candidate will need to wait until after the application has been received and a customer ID has been issued.

Out-of-State Counselors

The licensing agency will require certification or verification from each state of licensure, past or present. Out-of-state licenses must be in good standing. The licensing agency notes that an applicant who has current disciplinary sanctions on any license, whether active or inactive, is ineligible for licensing. An applicant who has resolved past sanctions can be considered for licensure.

Counselors who hold current licensing and have practiced for at least five years may be candidates for endorsement. They will not need to verify that requirements have been met at the level required for license by examination. They will need to clear criminal background checks. There is a separate application package for endorsement candidates.

Additional Information

Counselors are regulated by the Michigan Board of Counseling, under the banner of Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). Licensing information can be found on the LARA website (http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-35299_63294_27529_27536---,00.html). The licensing agency can be reached at (517) 335-0918.

The Michigan Rehabilitation Association (http://michiganrehabilitationassociation.org) and the Michigan Association of Rehabilitation Professionals (https://connect.rehabpro.org/michigan/home) are additional resources.

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