LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – LaGrange College celebrated its newest accreditation, The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, on Sep. 29, 2021. This accreditation will provide clinical mental health graduate students with the ability to apply for licensure upon graduation.
Dr. Kelly Veal, the Program Coordinator for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at LaGrange College, said she believes it is the best practice to be a CACREP accredited institution.
“Having that CACREP accreditation gives us that industry standard that we’re meeting the certain criteria that CACREP sets. It also provides information that the students will be meeting certain industry standards and be eligible for licensure in our state or another state,” said Dr. Veal.
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Graduate Program has been part of LaGrange College’s roster since 2015. This it the program’s first time being CACREP accredited, the accreditation is valid for eight years and will need to be renewed in 2029.
With this accreditation, students will be able to sit for the National Counselor Examination while still enrolled in the graduate program. If passed, the student can apply for their associate licensure upon graduation before applying to be a fully licensed counselor after being under supervision for three years.
Approval of the accreditation takes about two years and the university must meet several standards set by the CACREP board in order to become accredited. Dr. Veal said the university was excited to learn they had been awarded the accreditation for eight years instead of two like most new programs.
“We were really excited to be awarded eight years versus two. New programs are usually awarded two years because there are things that they need to work on so we were very grateful that we were able to obtain eight years which is really unheard-of for new programs. We were really really proud of that,” said Dr. Veal.
Dr. Veal said she expects enrollment to go up for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Graduate Program in all models which are in-person, hybrid and online. She said students tend to look for CACREP accredited programs so they can become licensed in any state.