A trio of programs at Northeastern State University has received extended accreditation, helping to support the demand of professional counselors, a media release states.

In July 2015, NSU became the first university in Oklahoma to gain accreditation in three specific counseling degree programs by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). A year later, CACREP extended the accredited status of the Addiction Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling programs through Oct. 31, 2023.

Dr. Kenny Paris, chair and professor in the Psychology and Counseling Department, said that there is a growing demand for professional counselors.

“The myriad of school and workplace shootings, and the large number of military veterans requiring counseling assistance, has cast a positive light on the profession and the important work we do in times of crisis,” Paris said.

Paris explained that as a CACREP accredited program, graduates are eligible for employment within the Veterans Affairs system and eligible for Tricare reimbursement.

“We are proud of the fact that we train more counselors in Northeast Oklahoma than any other program. Our graduates can be found at virtually any agency in the area offering counseling services.”

Paris noted that the Addictions program is one of only seven accredited addictions programs in the nation and the only accredited addictions program in Oklahoma.

Paris attributes much of the success of the department to the faculty and says that the Counseling faculty at NSU embody diversity and acceptance.

“As a faculty, we stress the richness of individual and group differences and embrace tolerance and acceptance.”

Members of the faculty are heavily involved in academic research and publish regularly and also volunteer in community settings such as The Equality Center in Tulsa, Red Cross of Oklahoma, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Cherokee Country and Catholic Charities of Tulsa.

Information: Dr. Kenny Paris, parisk@nsuok.edu.

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