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WSSU’s New Degree in Rehabilitation Studies Is Among the First in State

WSSU’s New Degree in Rehabilitation Studies Is Among the First in State


When Winston-Salem State University began its new Bachelor of Science degree program in Rehabilitation Studies this month, it became one of the first of its kind in the state.

WSSU undergraduate Rehabilitation Studies is a comprehensive professional assistance program to help the people who are disabled achieve independent living or vocational outcomes. The uniqueness of this program is that it seeks to train individuals in this field from culturally diverse backgrounds.

The need is acute and growing. Regional reports indicate that the demand for qualified personnel far outweigh the supply. WSSU undergraduate program in Rehabilitation Studies specifically targets the recruitment of individuals from underrepresented groups and individuals with disabilities.

Students completing the program will be prepared for graduate school and for professional careers as rehabilitation generalists. Graduates may be employed by community rehabilitation agencies in a wide variety of careers. Job opportunities may include rehabilitation specialist, rehabilitation technician, case manager, employee assistance counselor, vocational caseworker, work adjustment trainer and job placement specialist.

The curriculum is based on recommendations from the National Council on Rehabilitation Education, the Council on Rehabilitation Education, and from the WSSU Rehabilitation Studies Task Force. The Rehabilitation Studies program will be located in the Department of Physical Education

Adding to the program’s uniqueness is the development of an assistive technology laboratory, says Dr. Gloria Kirby-Green, program coordinator. The lab will “provide hands-on, skill-building training for students,” she adds.

Dr. Cynthia Williams, interim chair for the Department of Physical Education, and Dr. Cynthia Stanley, assistant professor of Physical Education, began development of the project after Williams attended a workshop in 1999 on the need to prepare minority students for the field of rehabilitation.

The UNC Board of Governors authorized WSSU to offer the bachelor’s of science degree in Rehabilitation Studies and the U.S. Department of Education awarded a $467,000 three-year grant to help support the program. The grant will provide funding for a program coordinator, a national consultant, additional faculty, an assistive technology laboratory, scholarships and academic support.

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