Our earlier posting, Ohio Goes CACREP, was based upon an ACAeNews April 22 article with incorrect information.

Turns out that Ohio licensure DOES have alternatives to CACREP graduation.  The specifics are spelled out in these draft rule changes to House Bill 232 which we are told have been been implemented — along with several other interesting requirements.

According to Jim Rough — Executive Director of Ohio’s Counselor, Social Worker & Marriage and Family Therapist Board:

Our endorsement rule 4757-13-06 says the course work must be substantially equivalent. In implementation, applicants with five or more years of practice have many course(s) waived.  We do have one course that we require for all applicants, which involves assessment instruments, psychological testing. Ohio counselors won the legislative right to utilize these assessment instruments per their educational requirements. In order to maintain that status, all licensees are required to take this course, but approved endorsement applicants may do so under a consent agreement that licenses them with the requirement to take the course for renewal.
The intent of the Ohio board is to allow all counselors, who meet the requirements of our law, to get licensed. We have made that easier for certain out of state CACREP accredited degree holders.  Others have to go through the educational review process and those with five or more years of post-graduate licensed experience have an easier path to licensure. Additionally, instead of having 20 semester hours of clinical coursework the requirement is for a course in each of five content areas. The final result is that it will be easier for all applicants with counseling degrees no matter where they originate from to get licensed after 7/9/2014 when the new statute goes into effect.

We appreciate his assistance with understanding Ohio developments.

What remains unclear to us is exactly how close to the CACREP requirements the credentials of Ohio applicants from CACREP-unaffiliated programs will need to be to obtain licensure.  Ohio is clearly very pro-CACREP — the new rules specify that all Ohio programs must be CACREP certified by 2018.  CACREP, according to ACA, is/was a voluntary program certification.

The rules also want applicants to graduate from counseling programs (as opposed to social work or psychology programs).  Where this frequently gets tricky is with masters-level counseling psychology programs.  Graduates of these programs typically become professional counselors (psychologists require Ph.D. degrees), and while often oriented towards the counseling profession these programs don’t qualify for CACREP certification as their core staff usually include psychologists.

Again, according to Jim Rough, counseling psychology degrees are included “if they are designed to meet counselor licensure.  We have denied counseling psychology degrees that are APA accredited and do not look like counseling degrees.”