B.S. Degree in Vocational Rehabilitation

Do you believe that people with disabilities should have the same rights and privileges as others? Are you committed to helping them claim those rights? Do you want a job that will give you a feeling of accomplishment and make a difference in the lives of other people? If so, consider a career in Vocational Rehabilitation where you'll identify, provide or coordinate the services necessary for clients to live their lives to the fullest.

The Vocational Rehabilitation program is dedicated to promoting your academic and career success, self-growth and leadership development. As part of your educational experiences, you'll learn about the many types of services provided to clients. Faculty are highly skilled, caring individuals. They are committed to providing quality education, to giving personal attention to students, and to helping students develop personal and professional skills that help them best serve their clients.

UW-Stout's Vocational Rehabilitation program is the largest undergraduate program of its kind in the United States. In addition, the Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute offers on-campus independent living, vocational evaluation and rehabilitation technology assessment, and services to persons with disabilities. The institute provides a supportive learning environment for both residents, and for students of the Vocational Rehabilitation program.

Rewarding Careers

The Vocational Rehabilitation program prepares you for dynamic careers in the human services field. You'll select coursework that will prepare you for positions such as:

  • Case Manager
  • Work Experience Coordinator
  • Behavioral Specialist
  • Job Placement Specialist/Employment Counselor
  • Rehabilitation Specialist or Technologist
  • Probation/Parole Officer
  • Community Corrections Counselor
  • Juvenile Justice Case Coordinator
  • Independent Living Coordinator
  • Case Manager/Social Worker
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Residential Counselor
  • Community-Based Specialist
  • Activities Program Director
  • Vocational Evaluator

Learning Experiences

Courses in the program cover three areas: general education studies, professional studies and concentrations. Instructional methods include both classroom and field-based experiences. Classroom experiences provide you with a theoretical foundation. Field-based experiences allow you to apply what you have learned. Concentrations allow you to focus newly acquired skills on a specific clientele or service delivery system. Ten concentrations are offered through the program.

Enjoying Student Life

The campus learning environment includes a wide variety of activities. Intramural sports, social clubs, sororities and fraternities, honor societies and professional organizations are all included. Two student professional organizations related to the Vocational Rehabilitation program are the Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Club and the Council for Exceptional Children.

Studying and Traveling Abroad

UW-Stout has study abroad programs in England, Australia, Scotland, Wales and Mexico. In addition, specific relationships with rehabilitation professionals have been established in Holland and England.

Experiencing the Professional World

Practicum and field experience courses are requirements for graduation. A carefully planned sequence of experiential learning is integrated into the major. You'll participate in your first community-based activity by year two. A second experience builds on the initial practicum. The final applied experience is developed to enhance the chosen area of concentration.

Getting Ready

If you are a high school student contemplating a career in vocational rehabilitation, you should take college preparatory classes. Effective communication skills are important, so technical writing and speech courses are recommended. You are strongly encouraged to gain related experience by tutoring special education students, volunteering in community work or joining organizations like ARC (an advocacy group for persons with mental retardation).

Entry Positions

Graduates of the Vocational Rehabilitation program have excellent job prospects, both in the number of openings and in the diversity of positions available. Salaries have shown a steady increase over the past several years. Entry-level salaries for 2012–13 graduates ranged from $24,000 to $52,000, with an average of $34,000. Three-year follow-up studies show steady advancement and salary increases.

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Alternate Delivery Option

Busy working professionals in Northwestern Wisconsin may consider our alternative delivery option which include evening, weekend and/or online courses.

Accreditation

Council on Rehabilitation Education

 

The B.S. in Vocational Rehabilitation program is accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). In 2012, UW-Stout was one of the first in the nation to be accredited; it was accredited for eight years with no recommendations for the program.