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Grant Benefits Rehabilitation and Disabilities Studies at SC

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield College Rehabilitation and Disability Studies Department has received a five-year, $997,500 grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to continue its Long-term Training in Rehabilitation Counseling Program.

Grant funds were awarded to the SC Rehabilitation and Disability Studies Department in recognition of the college’s strong relationship with state vocational rehabilitation agencies in terms of program quality, national accreditation status, graduate-student clinical-site internships, and graduates’ employment in public agencies serving people with disabilities. The annual award is for $199,500, of which more than 90% goes directly to tuition and stipends for up to 12 full-time-equivalent graduate students pursuing a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling.

“It is my hope that this long-term training grant will help the Rehabilitation and Disability Studies Department not only increase the number of qualified rehabilitation counselors in New England, but also help increase the diversity of the graduates in the program by helping underrepresented students with the cost of education,” said Springfield College Professor of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies Michael Accordino, the current project director, who also served in that capacity for the previous five-year grant award at Springfield College.

As a result of receiving the grant’s financial aid, students must commit to working in a state vocational-rehabilitation agency, with cooperating agencies located in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and New York.

“This training grant will help to ensure the availability of competent, caring vocational-rehabilitation professionals in the region for many years to come,” said SC School of Health Sciences and Rehabilitation Studies Dean David Miller. “The faculty members in this department are uniquely qualified to provide this training, based on their scholarship, experience, and student-centered approach to education.”

Springfield College is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the graduate rehabilitation counseling program on the campus. The college was among the first institutions to be awarded federal grant funds for this high-need training area.

“Springfield College is very proud to be the recipient of yet another RSA grant that will support our rehabilitation and disability students in their graduate studies,” said Springfield College Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jean Wyld. “Springfield College has a rich history in the field of rehabilitation and disability studies, and to have the opportunity to build upon the legacy our students and faculty have already created in this area will be very rewarding.”

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