February 12, 2014

Counseling program research recognized

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill.  -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Rehabilitation Counseling program, within the Rehabilitation Institute, is once again in the national spotlight. 

Already ranked fourth in the country by U.S. News and World Report, the program has now earned recognition among the top three programs in the United States for research productivity over a ten-year period.  SIU’s program ranked third among all such programs across the country for scholarly productivity according to the January issue of Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin. 

“This recognition for our rehabilitation counseling program, as well as the U.S. News and World Report ranking, is indicative of the quality of our program, our faculty and our students,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said.  “We’re proud that the program is a leader conducting research that advances an important profession.” 

Rehabilitation counselors assist people with disabilities to help them achieve maximum psychological, social, vocational, economic independence, and quality of life to their fullest capacity. 

“Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin,” one of the top journals in the field, featured an article entitled “Scholarly Productivity in Rehabilitation Counseling:  A Review of Journal Contributors from 2000 to 2009.”  Authors Roy K. Chen, Stephen A. Zanskas and Hung-Jen Kuo considered 1,855 peer-reviewed articles from that publication and six other top rehabilitation-related journals over the decade.  Using a formula that took into account single or joint authorship of research articles, they calculated scores for the scholarly productivity of rehabilitation counseling programs across the country. 

SIU earned 53.2387 points, coming in only behind Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Kentucky, and ahead of some of the country’s most prestigious programs.  Carl R. Flowers, professor and director of the institute, said in this study published by the independent journal SIU outscored three programs - The University of Iowa, The University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michigan State University  - which are often highly lauded in the rehabilitation counseling field. 

“This ranking is very impressive,” Flowers said.  “It speaks well of the consistency of the faculty in being able to produce scholarly research while maintaining a strong academic program and recruiting, retaining and graduating students.” 

Founded in 1955 by Guy A. Renzaglia, SIU’s Rehabilitation Institute is one of the oldest and most recognized programs in the country, Flowers said.   The program offers both master’s degree and doctoral programs in rehabilitation counseling and administration.  

Flowers said all Rehabilitation Institute faculty, including those in the rehabilitation counseling program, behavioral analysis and therapy program, and communication disorders and sciences are all involved in research and publishing.  That research often involves students in conjunction with the Research Rookies program, as well.