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University of South Florida · College of Behavioral & Community Sciences · Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling

40th Anniversary Alumni & Community Gala Connects the Past with the Present

40th Anniversary Alumni & Community Gala Connects the Past with the Present

On June 1, 2012, the USF Department of Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling held its reunion and special recognition ceremony at the USF Alumni Association's Traditions Hall. This event marked 40 years of expansive growth and transformation by connecting founding and current faculty members with students, graduates, family members, field placement supervisors, and community supporters.

The first class of 1972 comprised 10 students who primarily focused on rehabilitation counseling. With the addition of mental health counseling, addictions and substance abuse counseling, marriage and family therapy, and behavioral health counseling, the student body has grown to over 170. In contrast to several state programs that have reduced their offerings or closed entirely, the USF Department of Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling continues to flourish and revitalize its curriculum to meet professional and community needs.

By bringing people together to strengthen relationships and celebrate accomplishments, the department will continue to learn about success stories from graduates and their families. An attendee said, "I understand now what my wife means when she says she can really feel how people care about one another in her program." Several graduates also remarked how they were excited to see colleagues they had not seen in over 20 years.

The majority of graduates are employed before they graduate and become certified and/or licensed to work in a multitude of settings, including mental health, rehabilitation counseling, forensic rehabilitation, and other public and private service industries. Changes in technology, payment structures, and an increasing demand for a wide range of skills and qualifications will further contribute to the rapid development of the field. By bringing the people and achievements of the past to current students and faculty at the reunion, the department broadened its already strong foundation to support students and graduates who are working with a wide variety of people with disabilities.

To learn more about the Department of Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling, please visit http://rmhc.cbcs.usf.edu