It didn’t take long for Malorie McLain to realize she had found the right fit as a student at Ball State University.

Once she discovered Ball State offered a Rehabilitation Counseling program, which “very closely” aligned with her interests, Ms. McLain said it was a “no-brainer that I would choose Ball State and start to gain experiences in the field that I had recently become so passionate about.”

“Of course, not only did the program itself draw me here—I also took into account how I felt when I came to campus to interview for the Ph.D. program,” Ms. McLain said. “I loved the location, the school itself, and most of all, the Department of Counseling Psychology, Social Psychology, and Counseling.”

Ball State’s Rehabilitation Counseling master’s program sets students up for success in helping people with physical, developmental, mental, or emotional disabilities.

Started in 2002, the program also teaches ways to enhance psychosocial functioning and improve employment opportunities for those with disabilities, while preparing students for a career in the helping professions.

Ball State’s Rehabilitation Counseling track is the only rehabilitation counseling program in the state to be accredited by The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

The Rehabilitation Counseling program trains students to become highly competent scientist-professionals in counseling. This training is designed to conceptualize and assist people in the context of their relationships, communities, and environments. Students are taught to address the social, educational, and physical well-being of individuals, families, and groups.

Soon to be a doctorate student at Ball State, Ms. McLain said the University has given her the opportunity to affirm her passions, build on her knowledge and skills, and feel empowered in the work that she does. She has been able to complete a practicum experience at the Marion VA Medical Center and a clinical internship at the IU Health Ball Memorial Cancer Center.

“Ball State, and specifically my department, has truly fostered my growth in so many ways that I will be eternally grateful that I was even given the opportunity to pursue my degree in Rehabilitation Counseling here,” Ms. McLain said.

Dr. Yuichung Chan, associate professor of Psychology Counseling, says the Rehabilitation Counseling program gives students a clear path to become certified, license-eligible rehabilitation counselors.

“It allows students to work in various settings, including but not limited to, hospitals, state agencies, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Universities, private practices, and private rehabilitation,” Dr. Chan said, noting the hands-on experience students receive. “They can also learn how to work with people with disabilities and chronic illnesses.”

The Master of Arts degree program offers an intensive supervised internship, which will provide students with field experience in counseling, assessment, and evaluation. Rehabilitation Counseling is all about serving others, and it is a concept that Dr. Chan passionately teaches to his students.

“I would like to see them grow in professionalism, knowledge and skills, and practical experience so that they are ready to serve others,” Dr. Chan said. “There is a need for rehab counselors in our communities, our state, and our country. It can be a wonderful career.”

For students interested in the Rehabilitation Counseling track, Ms. McLain noted the importance of doing your research and then aligning your passions, which, in her case, turned out to be the start of an exciting, fulfilling career.

“Self-reflection is such an important part of life,” she said. “I have done nothing but thrive in a field that captures my passions so well. Don’t be afraid to listen to yourself because, at the end of the day, no one knows you better than you do.”

Updated on December 19, 2022.

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