Contributed by: Camille McDaniel, LPC, NCC
There are some students who have concerns about their ability to get licensed if their master’s program had not received CACREP accreditation and there is a lot of misinformation out there. In my book, “A Roadmap for Students and Professionals in the Counseling Field. Employment, Licensure, Clinical Supervision, and more” , I explain the major difference between the two.
CACREP stands for Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. CACREP accredits counseling degree programs at the master’s and doctoral level. Graduating from a non-CACREP program does not disqualify you from taking the licensing exam.
The reason why you are not totally eliminated from being licensed if your program is not CACREP accredited is because CACREP is just one of many different accrediting bodies. Almost every state has more than one accrediting organization that they approve of, along with various educational requirements for licensing.
The Council on Higher Education Accreditation, or CHEA, is an organization that actually “accredits the accreditors”. Therefore CHEA approves many accrediting organizations, including CACREP, to guarantee the quality and standards used by the accrediting organizations.
For example, some states say you can graduate from a program approved by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE), CORE is another accreditation program that has been approved by CHEA, or hold a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) credential, or submit transcripts and syllabi to obtain approval by a licensing committee.
**It is very important to check with the licensing board in your state because laws and regulations can change.**
If you are graduating from a non-CACREP program and you have a desire to work with military or veterans you will need to pay special attention to the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE). This exam will provide you with national certification as a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC). While the NCMHCE may be required by some states for licensure, it also serves as certification for individuals wanting to obtain military employment, provide counseling for military personnel and veterans, and to become a provider with TRICARE, a military insurance plan.
This exam is especially important if you did not graduate from a CACREP accredited graduate program. It should be noted that you have to be fully licensed, not associate or resident/intern, to become an insurance provider.
On December 27, 2011 the Department of Defense established a new rule. Effective January 1, 2015, recognition as a CCMHC, to work with TRICARE clients, will require graduation from a CACREP accredited program.
About Camille McDaniel, LPC, NCC:
Camille is a licensed professional counseling and national certified counselor. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Argosy University and has a private practice, Healing Psychotherapy Practices of Georgia. She provides counseling for children and adults, clinical supervision, and assists students and professionals through consultation.http://www.camillemcdaniel.com http://www.healingpsychotherapyga.com .