Vocational Forensic Rehabilitation - Graduate Certificate

Fully Online and Fully On Campus Options

Definition: In many fields the term "forensic" means any legal or court related process (forensic refers to more than clinical pathology). In this case using forensic rehabilitation skills will further develop our students understanding and application of vocational skills.

This is a graduate level certificate, as such students with a bachelors degree or masters degree are eligible to enroll in the FVRC program. Students will take six courses, which are required for certificate completion. There are no electives. Students will take two courses each semester, for three semesters to complete the programs. Cohorts will be admitted each fall semester. Courses can be taken as non-degree by students eligible for Master' level coursework, or have a degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, or those completing a master's degree.

Auburn University’s (AU) Vocational Forensic Rehabilitation Certification program is designed to help State VR entities meet personnel standards as required by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA; 2014; 2016), and the 1998 Amendments to the 1973 Rehabilitation Act. This proposal is designed to address the specific personnel needs of State VR system requirements, providing greater emphasis on evidence-based practices within vocational programming. Although some studies suggest that counselors who hold a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling perform significantly better with VR clients who have significant disabilities (Fleming, Del Valle, Kim, & Leahy, 2013), the creation of WIOA has downgraded the educational requirements to serve individuals with disabilities in a vocational capacity (McClanahan & Sligar, 2015; WIOA, 2014). This legislation allows employees with many different bachelor’s degrees to provide vocational services to individuals with disabilities, despite a lack of specific training related to the rehabilitation field. This means that employees without education in vocational services or counseling will be working with individuals with disabilities, including those who have severe disabilities. Although there are a few forensic programs that exist, they do not incorporate the needs of State VR services. The AU Vocational Forensic Rehabilitation Certification will provide programming that covers the commonalities from both the State VR and Forensic systems. The main goal is to train skilled personnel to fill State vocational rehabilitation vacancies, and/or work in the forensic arena.