For the second time in a year Utah State University’s Special Education and Rehabilitation Department has received a top national ranking for its master’s degree programs in special education.
Dr. Tim Slocum is a 25-year member of the department’s faculty who last July was named department head.
“Those ratings are based on both cost as well as indicators of program quality,” said Dr. Slocum. “So, for example, accreditation, academic quality of instruction, student satisfaction and reputation in the field.
“A lot of it comes from the fact that we over years and decades have been cultivating very high quality programs to insure that our graduates going out are extremely effective special education teachers.”
Also, the department’s rehabilitation counseling program was ranked 10th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The ranking corresponds to a 95 percent job placement rate for the rehabilitation counseling program.
“This ranking is purely based on quality of program. One of the big indicators for the rehabilitation master’s program is the rate of passing their certification exam to become certified rehabilitation counselors. That’s one of those national exams, like the bar exam. It is very rigorous. We have a very high pass rate on it.”
Dr. Slocum said there is a very high demand for USU’s graduates in rehabilitation counseling.
“They work with individuals who have disabilities of some sort, whether they are acquired disabilities such as a traumatic brain injury or lifetime disabilities such as intellectual disabilities.
“They help connect all these individuals with appropriate employment and community living. A big part of it is helping them make sure they have the job skills they need and find employment.”