March 11, 2021
Las Vegas, N.M. – The New Mexico Highlands University School of Education received official notice of accreditation March 1 for all four of its counseling programs from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
The School of Education received accreditation for its master’s degree programs for Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, and School Counseling. The accreditation extends through March 31, 2023.
“National Accreditation demands a deep analysis of programming design and impact,” said Mary Earick, School of Education dean. “The counseling faculty under the leadership of Dr. Geri Glover has met the highest standards for their professional programs.
“The counseling faculty’s professionalism and laser focus on meeting CACREP standards communicates the expertise needed to successfully support life-ready graduates. The entire School of Education is proud and appreciative of the work they have done to be nationally recognized,” Erick said.
Glover said CACREP accreditation ensures that Highlands University’s counseling programs meet the content and skill training needs for its students so they will be effective professional counselors when they enter the field.
“Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs accreditation is the ‘gold’ standard for counselor education programs and attaining accreditation is a symbol of excellence in the professional counseling community,” Glover said. “This accreditation gives the Highlands counseling programs important national recognition. When prospective students from New Mexico and across the nation are searching for graduate courses in counseling, CACREP accreditation will help attract them to Highlands.”
Glover said because CACREP is a national accreditation, it streamlines the licensure process for Highlands University counseling graduates no matter where they live.
“Accreditation gets our graduates into the counseling profession more quickly and easily. Some states will only license graduates from CACREP accredited programs,” Glover said.
Glover said Highlands University’s counseling graduates from the School of Education are well prepared to help meet the shortage of professional counselors in New Mexico, especially in the state’s rural areas and reservations.
“While it is true that that New Mexico licensing boards have always recognized our counseling programs and our students do not have any problems becoming licensed in New Mexico, this CACREP accreditation gives our graduates a competitive edge in the state’s job market. They are ready to help meet the counseling needs of New Mexico,” Glover said.
Glover said the entire counseling faculty in the Highlands School of Education deserves recognition for its outstanding dedication to the rigorous accreditation process, with Anna Koch playing a key role.
The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs is a recognized accrediting agency by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and holds full membership status with the Association of Specialized and Professionals Accreditors (ASPA).