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NSU gains accreditation for three counseling degrees

(Tahlequah, Okla.)-- In July 2015, Northeastern State University became the first university in the state of Oklahoma to gain accreditation in three specific counseling degree programs by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling and Addiction Counseling are run by the Department of Psychology and Counseling within the College of Education, and were accredited for a two-year period.

Dr. Kenny Paris, chair and professor in the psychology and counseling department, said he was thrilled about the distinction which this level of accreditation brought to the university.

“This designation reflects that our students receive the highest levels of education and training and signifies that our program exceeds national standards.”

He praised the many faculty members who played a role in helping the department elevate its status, but said it was all for the students, who would benefit immensely from the accreditation.

“Our students will now be able to pursue career opportunities with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and TRICARE, as both of these federal entities require counselors to have graduated from a CACREP program.”

According to Paris, research showed students who graduated from CACREP programs performed better on the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE).

Another major perk to NSU students graduating from a CACREP accredited program is eligibility for licensure outside of Oklahoma.

“Thus, portability of their license from state to state is greatly enhanced,” Paris noted.

In a letter sent to President Steve Turner announcing the accreditation, CACREP described NSU’s counseling programs as substantially meeting the required criteria for approval.

“The faculty deserve to be congratulated for the time, energy and commitment that they have given throughout the accreditation process.”

Turner agreed and commended the department for its impressive work.

“This is a great example of one of the many faculty-led initiatives underway at NSU and I am grateful to Dr. Paris for his tenacity and leadership.”

The path to accreditation began in October 2011, as faculty made curriculum changes, updated syllabi, and aligned courses with standards outlined by CACREP.

“We knew, based on feedback from the site team, that we had made a strong case for being granted accreditation. The Board vote (by CACREP) in July confirmed this. Thus, what began in fall 2011, came to fruition in July, 2015,” Paris said.

With this new accreditation, Northeastern has further positioned itself as a university of choice for a quality education that leads to successful careers for its graduates.

For more information, please contact Dr. Kenny Paris at

Published: 9/14/2015 1:59:58 PM

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