Rehabilitation Services

About the Program

The Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation Services prepares entry-level human service personnel for careers in substance abuse, mental health, vocational rehabilitation, and other allied health professions. Working successfully with individuals who have life challenges including physical and/or mental disabilities and substance use disorders requires good communication skills, a strong interest in helping others, flexibility, creativity, a willingness to participate as a treatment team member, and strong leadership skills.

Through inquiry, education, and practice, the undergraduate program in Rehabilitation Services will build a culture of leadership among students. The shared values of respect, authenticity, accountability, teamwork, and commitment to serve others will be fostered. This program takes pride in developing leaders who inspire, empower and influence positive change.

Core content in the major includes effective interviewing, interpersonal, and helping skills; introduction to the case management process; information on alcohol and drug use and abuse; basic knowledge of medical, psychological, and social aspects of disability; philosophical and legislative history of rehabilitation services; an introduction to the organizational structure of rehabilitation systems, the rehabilitation process, and related community resources and services.

Field experience is an integral part of the curriculum and allows students to apply the knowledge learned in the program in a real world setting and to develop contacts and resources in the field for employment assistance. Students are encouraged to complete a minor or concentration in an area related to their rehabilitation interest.

Standards of Practice for Graduates

  • Understand the social, psychological, economic, physical, medical and environmental problems of people with disabilities.
  • Know the history, philosophy, legal status, and agencies/facilities of the rehabilitation system, as well as the roles and functions of rehabilitation practitioners.
  • Know of employment services available to people with disabilities.
  • Communicate effectively – both verbal and in writing – with people with disabilities and members of the treatment team.
  • Know of community resources available to people with disabilities.
  • Problem solve to assist persons with disabilities in their rehabilitation program and to empower the person with a disability.
  • Know of ethical principles and decision-making models to facilitate effective delivery of rehabilitation services.

These standards are adapted from Disability and Rehabilitation Studies Self Study of Curriculum Content Areas from the Council on Rehabilitation Education. The Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies also uses a set of technical standards for the admission, matriculation, and graduation of students.

Employment Opportunities

Employment titles and roles within rehabilitation service programs include substance abuse worker, employment specialist, casework technician, community skills instructor, case manager, activities assistant, vocational evaluator assistant, behavior technician, and behavioral and emotional disorder specialist. A detailed report from O*NET OnLine provides more information on some of these employment opportunities.

Advancement Potential

Opportunities to work as a rehabilitation counselor, substance abuse counselor, or vocational evaluator are often dependent on obtaining a master’s degree. The Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies Department offers three graduate degrees: Rehabilitation and Career Counseling, Clinical Counseling with an emphasis in addictions, and PhD in Rehabilitation Counseling and Administration, including four graduate certificates: Rehabilitation Counseling, Vocational Evaluation, Substance Abuse Counseling, and Military and Trauma Counseling. The Rehabilitation Services major and Alcohol and Drug Studies minor provide a bridge to this curriculum.

Code of Ethics

Students in the Rehabilitation Services degree program must abide by the Code of Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors. In the practice of any role in the rehabilitation process, the service provider is expected to demonstrate adherence to the ethical standards of the profession. The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification and many professional rehabilitation organizations have adopted the Code of Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors. Students are responsible for visiting this website and reading the Code of Ethics.



  • Minimum cumulative GPA from ECU of 2.5.
  • Successful completion of two core ADRE courses within the Rehabilitation Services major.
  • Application submission (link to application – currently a pdf file updated as needed) when the student is nearing completion of 42 semester hours.

Enrolled students will participate in experiential activities – including an interview course – designed to increase personal and interpersonal growth towards becoming a competent rehabilitation professional.


Application Deadlines

Fall Semester


Spring Semester


Criminal Background Checks and Drug Screenings

Criminal background checks and drug screenings are mandatory at many organizations. East Carolina University and the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies are not responsible for reviewing background checks or drug screenings, ordering them, or paying for them. A student who cannot finish the course work of the professional curricula because of a negative item or items in a criminal background check or the results of a drug screening will not graduate. Neither East Carolina University nor the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies will be held liable for the student’s failure to graduate because of a criminal background or drug screening.

Health Care Registry

Licensed clinical mental health and substance abuse programs as well as other health care settings also check the North Carolina Health Care Personnel Registry. If your name is listed on this registry as being under investigation or with a substantiated finding you will not be allowed to work at these agencies. Neither East Carolina University nor the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies will be held liable for the student’s failure to graduate, failure to meet eligibility to sit for state or national certification examinations, or inability to obtain employment because they are listed on the North Carolina Health Care Personnel Registry as under investigation. All of the aforementioned factors should be considered prior to pursuing a degree in the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies.


Dr. Jennifer J. Wright McDougal
Director, Rehabilitation Services Program


Majors must earn a minimum grade of C (2.0) in all ADRE courses.

  1. General education requirements including the one listed below – 40 s.h.
    • MATH 1065 – College Algebra OR EQUIVALENT
  2. Core – 48-49 s.h.
    • ADRE 2000 – Survey of Community Resources in Rehabilitation and Health Care
    • ADRE 2003 – Alcohol and Drug Abuse: Health and Social Problem
    • ADRE 3000 – Introduction to Rehabilitation
    • ADRE 3010 – Case Management in Rehabilitation
    • ADRE 4000 – Interviewing Techniques for Health and Rehabilitation Settings
    • ADRE 4100 – Occupational Analysis and Job Placement
    • ADRE 4993 – Rehabilitation Services Internship
    • ADRE 4994 – Rehabilitation Services Internship
    • ADRE 4995 – Rehabilitation Services Internship
    • ADRE 4996 – Rehabilitation Services Internship
    • BIOS 1500 – Introduction to Biostatistics OR
      • MATH 2228 – Elementary Statistical Methods I OR
      • MATH 2283 – Statistics for Business OR
      • PSYC 2101 – Psychological Statistics
    • HIMA 3000 – Medical Terminology for Health Professionals OR
      • HLTH 3010 – Health Problems
    • PSYC 3221 – Social Psychology
    • PSYC 3325 – Introduction to Psychological Testing
    • PSYC 3375 – Abnormal Psychology
    • SOCW 2010 – Introduction to Social Work Practice with Special Populations
  3. Cognates – 5-8 s.h.
    • BIOL 2130 – Survey of Human Physiology and Anatomy OR
      • BIOL 2140 – Human Physiology and Anatomy I AND
      • BIOL 2150 – Human Physiology and Anatomy II
    • BIOL 2131 – Survey of Human Physiology and Anatomy Laboratory OR
      • BIOL 2141 – Human Physiology and Anatomy I Laboratory AND
      • BIOL 2151 – Human Physiology and Anatomy II Laboratory
  4. Minor or structured electives to complete requirements for graduation – 23-27 s.h.

Course Sequence (pdf)

Student Manual (PDF)


The purpose of the internship for the Rehabilitation Services major is to provide the senior-level student with on-site experience in a community agency involved in some phase of the rehabilitation process. A student must be a Rehabilitation Services major, have an overall GPA in the major of 2.5, have consent of the instructor, and have passed ADRE 3010 and ADRE 4000 with a C or better grade prior to registering for the internship.

Each student in the Rehabilitation Services program is required to have malpractice insurance. The insurance plan covers the student for a period of one year beginning in August of each year. If payment is required that is not covered by student fees, notification of the due date will be sent to a student’s ECU email account during the summer.

A required pre-internship meeting is held once each fall and spring semester near the beginning of the semester. Students must attend this meeting the semester prior to their internship and are encouraged to attend the meeting earlier should their schedules allow. Students are notified of this meeting via an email from the administrative assistant. The pre-internship meeting will answer students’ questions about internship.

The Rehabilitation Services Student Manual (PDF) located under Student Manual provides additional details regarding the internship. A Directory of Field Sites for Practicum and Internship is located under Student Resources.

Forms that need to be completed prior to beginning an internship and information on criminal background checks can be found in the documents below.

Internship Information