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Kirstern James (left), a student in Thomas University’s Master of Science Degree in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling degree program, works with TU student Trinity Strickland in TU’s Career Center. James is a recipient of one of the scholarships funded by a previous $1million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. TU was recently notified that it received the $1 million grant again, which will provide scholarships to 12 CRMHC students per year for the next five years.



U.S. Dept. of Education awards $1 million grant to TU counseling program

The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded Thomas University’s Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling program a $1 million grant. The funds will be used for 12 scholarships per year for full-time students over the next five years. Students will earn the Master of Science Degree in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling (CRMHC).

“TU is committed to providing assistance to the students receiving the scholarships as well as all CRMHC students with support developing internship sites, career counseling and cultivating job opportunities once they graduate from the TU master’s program,” said Pauline Patrick, Project Director and CRMHC Assistant Professor. “The goal of the federal grant is to address the national shortage of master level Vocational Rehabilitation counselors at the national, state and regional levels by increasing the number of qualified personnel trained in providing vocational, medical, social and psychological rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.”

The grant awarded to TU is intended to provide scholarships to students who are interested in pursuing careers as Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors or VR counselors in their respective states. These counselors assist persons with disabilities in many ways, such as conducting medical and psychological assessments; conducting vocational evaluations and creating vocational plans; providing career counseling and guidance; coordinating training and education after high school; assessing job sites and accommodations for those with disabilities, including assistive technology and devices; conducting job placement and job coaching; providing on-the-job training; and providing time-limited medical and/or psychological treatment.

The 2015 award marks the second time Thomas University has received the grant. TU previously received this five-year grant in 2010.

“The grant enhances our ability to train Rehabilitation Counselors and prepare them for the field,” Patrick said. “This new grant allows TU to continue the previous grant seamlessly.”

To qualify for the scholarship provided by the grant, a student must not have a degree in any field above a bachelor’s degree, must not have received a scholarship under the previous RSA grant, must have a passion for working with people with disabilities, must be willing to work in his or her state’s Vocational Rehabilitation system, and must be enrolled full-time (nine hours of credit per semester).

Thomas University’s Master of Science Degree in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling is a fully online program. Of the 96 current students in the program, many reside in various states across the U.S. as well as students in the military who are deployed overseas.

Those interested in applying for one of the 12 scholarships available to begin January 2016 send an email of interest by Oct. 30, 2015, to Theresa Neubauer, Project Administrator, at

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