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CACREP FAQ

Is Texas A&M University - Central Texas (TAMUCT) accredited?

Yes. Texas A&M University-Central Texas is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award Baccalaureate, Master's, and Specialist degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of A&M-Central Texas.

Is Texas A&M University - Central Texas CACREP accredited?

No. We are in the process of acquiring CACREP accreditation for the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CHMC) Program. Accreditation is a multi-stage process that generally takes 12-18 months from the time an application is received, but can take up to 24 months. We are already in alignment with their standards, and believe the process should go smoothly. According to CACREP Policies Governing Recognition of Graduates, students enrolled in a program seeking accreditation are considered graduates of a CACREP program if they receive their degree within 18 months prior to when accreditation is conferred, and if the program can verify that the student completed the CACREP program requirements. In other words, if a program is accredited in July 2018, graduates of the program would be considered graduates of a CACREP-accredited program if they graduated between January 2017 and July 2018.

Can I still get licensed without CACREP?

Yes. The 60 semester credit curriculum includes required core courses and supervised clinical experiences needed for all graduates to be prepared for successful, ethical and competent practice as mental health counselors as well as eligibility to pursue licensure in most states. Without CACREP, state licensing boards require an education review of your coursework. TAMUCT syllabi presently list how each course aligns to CACREP standards, making the process quicker and easier. If you have questions or concerns, we are happy to connect you with faculty to further discuss this.

Where can I find information regarding CACREP?

You can go to www.cacrep.org to find out more about the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Why is TAMUCT seeking CACREP accreditation for the CMHC program?

Accreditation is an important step in the process of developing high quality programs as it incorporates external assessment. In addition, accreditation will facilitate job placements for graduates of the program. For instance, some federal agencies and certifications require CACREPapproved program graduates for practice in counseling, including the Veteran’s Administration, Department of Defense, TRICARE Certified Mental Health Counselor Credential and the Army Substance Abuse Program Practitioner.

Is it assured that TAMUCT’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program will be accredited?

No. During the CACREP team site visit, they will interact with faculty, staff and students as well as examine the program to assess its standards (see www.cacrep.org for more information). This team will then issue a report of their findings and TAMUCT can respond. The report and response will be submitted to the CACREP board of directors at this point in the process. This board will make a final decision from the following options - accreditation, accreditation for two years with conditions or denial of accreditation.

Is it a requirement to graduate from a CACREP accredited program to become a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Texas?

No. The requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor in Texas are mandated by the Texas Department of Health Services. More information about becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Texas can be found at https://www.dshs.texas.gov/counselor/
lpc_ethics.shtm.

What is CACREP?

CACREP is a specialized accreditor for counseling programs. The agency accredits counseling programs in a variety of specialization areas at the masters and doctoral levels in the United States and throughout the world. CACREP is recognized as an accreditor by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

What kinds of programs does CACREP accredit?

CACREP accredits master’s-level counseling programs in the following areas: Addiction Counseling; Career Counseling; Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling; College Counseling and Student Affairs; Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling; and, School Counseling. In addition, CACREP accredits doctoral programs in Counselor Education and Supervision.

What does a program have to do to become CACREP accredited?

Programs that desire to become CACREP accredited make a commitment to demonstrate that they adhere to the publicly available CACREP Policies and Standards. In order to achieve becoming an accredited program, the program faculty conducts a comprehensive internal review and then develops an extensive report, called a Self-Study Report, explaining and providing documentation on how the CACREP Policies and Standards are met. The submission of the Self-Study Report begins an intensive and multi-stage review process, including a three day onsite peer review, culminating in the CACREP Board of Directors determining whether or not to grant accredited status to the program. Throughout the review process, the program faculty are engaged in an ongoing dialogue with reviewers to clarify and present additional evidence of how the policies and standards are being met.

I noticed the process includes the submission of a Self-Study Report. What is a Self-Study Report?

Programs seeking accreditation or reaccreditation develop self-study reports. These comprehensive reports provide an overview of the program(s) for which accreditation is sought and include narrative responses and supporting documentation indicating how the program is meeting the specifications if the CACREP Policies and Standards. The review of the Self-Study Report constitutes the first phase of the CACREP accreditation review process.

Who makes accreditation decisions for CACREP?

The CACREP accreditation process is a multi-stage process involving initial reviewers, site team visitors, and the CACREP Board of Directors. All reviewers provide input at the various stages of review. The ultimate authority for the rendering of accreditation decisions rests with the CACREP Board of Directors. The CACREP Board consists of counselor educators, counseling practitioners, and public members.

How long does the CACREP accreditation process take?

The accreditation process generally takes 12-18 months from the time an application is received but can take up to 24 months.

Does CACREP accreditation expire?

Yes, accreditation can expire. It is granted for a specified period of time. A full CACREP accreditation cycle is eight years. A program may be accredited for either the full eight year cycle or receive accreditation for two years of the full cycle, necessitating further reporting on standards for which deficiencies were noted. Once a program has been approved for the full cycle, prior to the accreditation expiration date, a program must submit an application and Self-Study Report for reaccreditation and go through a full accreditation review for another cycle of accreditation.

I graduated from a non-accredited program. Are there courses or tests I can take to become accredited?

While an individual may be a graduate of a CACREP-accredited program, CACREP accredits programs not people. There is no separate process by which an individual who did not attend a CACREP-accredited program can become a graduate of a CACREP- accredited program, other than by completing a CACREP-accredited program.

If a program has applied for accreditation, when will I know if it has been accredited?

CACREP publishes a list of new programs in the review process in the Directory section of the CACREP website. The CACREP Board renders accreditation decisions twice a year at meetings held in January and July. The Directory of Accredited Programs is generally updated within 45 days following a Board meeting.

The program in which I am interested indicates they are an applicant for accreditation. What does this mean?

This should mean that the program has applied for accreditation and is currently progressing through the review process. CACREP maintains a list of programs currently in the accreditation review process on the Directory page of the website. The accreditation process generally takes 12-18 months for completion from the time a program applies for accreditation.

What if I am about to graduate and my program is still in the accreditation review process? Can I be considered a graduate of a CACREP accredited program?

As per CACREP Policies Governing Recognition of Graduates 5.a.- Program Graduate Qualifications for Initial Accreditation, students in a program seeking accreditation shall be considered graduates of a CACREP program if they receive their degree within eighteen (18) months prior to when accreditation is conferred, and if the program can verify that the student completed the CACREP program requirements.

Will attending a CACREP-accredited program guarantee that I will be eligible for licensure or certification as a counselor?

No. Each state has its own set of rules and regulations for the licensure or certification of counselors in that state. While attending a CACREP-accredited program will not guarantee eligibility for licensure or certification as a counselor in all states, the extensive curricular and clinical training requirements included in the CACREP Standards help maximize the chances that you will have met the majority of the educational requirements required for licensure or certification as a counselor in all states. You should contact your state licensing board with any questions you may have regarding licensure eligibility. While it may not be in your plans now, moving to a different state is often in peoples’ futures. Given that licensure and certification requirements vary across the states, maximizing the potential that you will have met the majority of the educational requirements required for licensure or certification as a counselor in all states is an important consideration in choosing a counselor preparation program.