University Communications

RAC program earns $1.1 million grant

Rehabilitation and Addiction Counseling Program earns $1.1 million grant

The St. Cloud State University Rehabilitation and Addiction Counseling (RAC) graduate program has earned a five-year $1.1 million federal Rehabilitation Long-Term Training grant for training rehabilitation and addiction counselors.

The grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services of the U.S. Department of Education will provide tuition assistance and professional development stipends to graduate students in the RAC program. The grant is designed to support graduates to meet the growing need for highly qualified counselors who have an expertise in serving consumers with disabilities and co-occurring addiction. 

The program is one of only two training programs with specialized expertise in Vocational Rehabilitation and Addiction Counseling in the United States. This is the second five-year long-term training grant that has been awarded to the program.

“I’m proud that RSA has recognized the work we are doing in the specialized field of both rehabilitation and addiction counseling,” said Amy Hebert Knopf, principal investigator on the grant and Rehabilitation and Addiction Counseling professor and program coordinator.

“A goal of this grant is to provide opportunities for underserved and unrepresented students to obtain a graduate degree who would otherwise not have an opportunity to do a graduate program,” she said. “I’m so proud of the team of faculty, staff and students that I work with, another successful competition is truly a reflection of the amazing talent we have in our program.”

Students receiving the scholarships will work at a public vocational-rehabilitation agency or non-profit community rehabilitation program that operates under contract with the federal-state rehabilitation system after completing the program or pay back the funds at a later date.

Assisting with writing the grant were: co-principal investigators Bradley Kuhlman, Khadija Ali, Barbara Vesely, Peter Eischens ’14, grant coordinator Katie Ramos ’16 and Megan Robillard. Several graduate students assisted with the writing as well: Krista Tomford ‘21, Karlee Verhaggh ‘20, Kaitlyn Hoffman ‘21, Kaitlyn Wall ‘21 and Taylor Fischer ‘21.

“Our department is proud of the work Dr. Knopf and team have done in obtaining this training grant again,” said Dr. Bill Lepkowski, Department of Community Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy co-chair. “They have worked for several years to develop a high quality graduate program whose graduates provide much needed rehabilitation and addiction counseling services to the community. The renewal of this grant highlights the hard work of this team and importance of the program.”

This is the fourth $1 million grant the Department of Community Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy has earned. The Rehabilitation Counseling program earned a $1 million Rehabilitation Long-Term Training grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2014 and 2019.The Rehabilitation and Addiction Counseling program earned its first grant in 2015, the first year of the program.