Academic journal article The Journal of Negro Education

Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

Academic journal article The Journal of Negro Education

Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

Article excerpt

Historically Black colleges and universities, (HBCUs) have been educating African Americans and other students of color for over 100 years (Brown, Donahoo, & Bertrand, 2001). "Unlike other institutions, HBCUs were founded on and continue to be united by the distinct mission of positioning, preparing, and empowering African American students to succeed in what many perceive to be a hostile society" (Brown, Donahoo, & Bertrand, 2001, p. 559). In comparison to predominantly White institutions (PWIs), past research suggests that HBCUs have been the primary higher education institutions for African Americans (Allen, Epps, & Haniff, 1991; Garibaldi, 1984). Stated differently, Roebuck and Murty (1993) found that HBCUs were the undergraduate institution to 75% of all African Americans with earned doctorates, 80% of all African American federal judges, and 85% of all African American medical doctors. Based on this trend, it can be assumed that HBCUs educate African American counselors at a higher rate than PWIs. Therefore, if HBCU counselor education programs are not accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the largest counseling accrediting agency, what are the reasons?

According to CACREP (2009), at the time of the larger study, there were 25 HBCU counselor education programs without CACREP accreditation and five that were accredited by CACREP. These five were North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University, North Carolina Central University, Jackson State University, South Carolina State University, and Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College (CACREP, 2009). These institutions of higher learning are public and state-supported and are among the largest HBCUs in the country.

The establishment of CACREP was preceded by more than two decades of extensive preparation of standards development and adoption including Standards for the Preparation of Secondary School Counselors in 1967, Standards for the Preparation of Elementary School Counselors in 1968, and Guidelines for Graduate Programs in Student Personnel Work in Higher Education also in 1968 (Sweeney, 1992). Leaders of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) were responsible for beginning the discussion on the importance of establishing standards for the preparation of counselors and counselor educators and since 1981, CACREP has accredited graduate-level counseling programs in more than 200 colleges and universities (CACREP, 2008).

Bobby and Kandor (1992) surveyed counselor education professionals to determine if a particular set of standards was a hindrance to seeking and achieving CACREP accreditation. The two researchers found that the cost of the accreditation process, a fear of decreased enrollment, and a belief that the standards were too prescriptive were common perceptions among the participants (Bobby & Kandor, 1992). Holcomb-McCoy, Bryan, and Rayhill (2002) studied professional school counselors to determine to what extent they rate the CACREP school counseling standards as important to their actual work as school counselors. The participants rated each of the standards to be nearly equally important, except for the knowledge and skill requirements as they relate to program development, implementation, and evaluation. The findings imply that survey participants did not perceive this standard to be as important to their work as professional school counselors (Holcomb-McCoy, Bryan, & Rayhill, 2002).

McGlothin and Davis (2004) studied mental health and professional school counselors, as well as counselor educators on the perceived benefit of the 2001 CACREP core curriculum standards. Their findings coincided with the findings of earlier studies that analyzed the benefit of the CACREP core curriculum (Bobby & Kandor, 1992; Cecil & Comas, 1986; Vacc, 1992). The overall 2001 CACREP core curriculum standards that were perceived to be most beneficial were human growth and development and helping relationships. …

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