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Bellevue University Clinical Counseling Program Earns CACREP Accreditation

Bellevue University, one of the nation's leaders in preparing students for lifelong success with career-relevant knowledge and skills, recently announced that its Master of Science in Clinical Counseling degree program has been accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs and is now CACREP-accredited.

CACREP accreditation provides recognition that the content and quality of the program has been evaluated and meets standards set by the profession. The Bellevue University program is one of the nation's few that is fully online and according to President Mary Hawkins, "The CACREP accreditation formalizes and fully communicates the high quality that's been present for years in our clinical counseling graduate program. Current and prospective students, as well as their future employers recognize CACREP accreditation as the 'gold standard' in a growing industry." According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists — careers which clinical counseling graduates are prepared for — is growing at a rate of 19 percent, compared to the 7 percent average occupational growth rate.

"CACREP accreditation is an affirmation of the quality of our program," said Bellevue University Program Director Barb Daubenspeck. She added that "graduating from a CACREP-accredited program provides an easier path for licensure for students entering into counseling practice." According to CACREP, research shows that CACREP graduates perform better on the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE). A number of states and some government entities, such as the Office of Veteran Affairs, now require CACREP-accredited education of the counselors they employ.

Daubenspeck added that all Bellevue University students who began the Master of Clinical Counseling degree program on or after June 1, 2016 (when the program standards were implemented), and new students, will be able to say they graduated from a CACREP-accredited program.