National organization accredits UHV counseling degrees after lengthy process

Two of the master’s-level counseling programs offered by the University of Houston-Victoria School of Education & Human Development recently received national accreditation for the first time after a rigorous two-year review.  

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs accredited the UHV Master’s of Education degrees in both community and school counseling. The programs, which are offered in Victoria and Sugar Land, are accredited through Oct. 31, 2012.  

Lawrence Rossow

“This accreditation is something on which our counseling faculty members have worked hard,” said Lawrence Rossow, dean of the UHV School of Education & Human Development. “Students now have further confirmation that we are offering quality programs that meet the national standards set by the counseling profession.”  

The council is an independent accrediting body based in Alexandria, Va., that is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. In the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the organization accredits 582 graduate-level, professional counseling programs based at 250 higher education institutions.  

The UHV counseling faculty members first submitted a lengthy, self-study of the two programs to the council in 2008. The self-evaluation included an assessment of the programs’ resources, objectives, strengths and limitations. After the self-evaluation was completed and reviewed by the council, UHV submitted additional paperwork in 2009. An accreditation team from the council visited in March, and then the council’s Board of Directors had to approve the accreditation.  

Elsa Leggett

“This accreditation gives our counseling programs prestige and provides accountability,” said Elsa Leggett, interim program coordinator for the UHV counselor education program. “Students look at this when they are selecting a counseling program, so it can only help us in the future.”  

Jennifer Day

Jennifer Day, a Richmond resident who will graduate with a MEd in community counseling this month, said UHV counseling students were aware that the programs were up for accreditation.  

“This accreditation is the gold standard for counseling programs,” said Day, who took classes at the University of Houston System at Sugar Land, where UHV offers the counselor education programs. “All of the students were rooting for the programs to get the accreditation.”  

Day is planning on taking her Licensed Professional Counselor examination in October and feels ready because of UHV.  

“I knew whatever I took at UHV was going to prepare me to obtain my license,” she said. “The counselor education program is small. There are great professors, and I really enjoyed my experience.”  

The UHV School of Education & Human Development counselor education division offers MEds in community counseling, school counseling and student affairs. Graduates work in elementary and second schools, college counseling and career counseling centers, nonprofit community mental health agencies, hospitals and private practices. For more information, go to

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler