Rehabilitation Counselor Education and Supervision Specialization

Disability Disciplines Doctoral Program

The specialization

The Rehabilitation Counseling doctoral specialization at Utah State University offers students a unique combination of:

  • extensive collaboration with faculty,
  • direct experience in research, teaching, counselor supervision, and grant writing, and
  • focus on preparing outstanding rehabilitation counseling service providers.

This specialization prepares graduates to be highly effective university faculty and agency administrators in rehabilitation counseling.  Graduates significantly improve the lives of persons with disabilities through research, teaching, and program administration.


Program Contact

Dr. Trent Landon

Assistant Professor

Office Location: EDUC 323
Phone: 435-797-3269

Research Opportunities

SPERC students talking to an employee at Malouf

Doctoral students can choose to perform practicum/internship hours in the Employability Clinic, which is a function of the Institute for Disability Research, Policy & Practice. The clinic utilizes research-based models and curriculum to offer students an effective preparation for future employment by providing Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS). We also offer individuals support and coaching to assist in obtaining and maintaining self-directed employment opportunities in the community. Services are individualized and prepare individuals for entry into the world of work. Targeted services for students and youth with disabilities are also provided.  

individual getting counseling
For doctoral students interested in completing hours necessary for licensure as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CMHC) in the State of Utah, the Clinical Rehabilitation Center provides mental health services to individuals living in the Cache Valley area. Services target adolescents and adults specifically experiencing psychosocial and psychological issues related to chronic illness and disability. 
Tim Riesen and Brian Phillips
Dr. Brian Phillips was recently selected as a 2021-2022 Faculty Fellow for a collaborative project between CEHS and the Institute for Disability Research, Policy & Practice (IDRPP) here at Utah State University. The project entitled, “Collaborating to Achieve Better Transitions for Youth with Disabilities,” will provide opportunity for Dr. Phillips to work collaboratively with the Director of Research and Training at the USU IDRPP to improve the assessment and provision of transition services to youth with disabilities, Dr. Timothy Riesen. Dr. Riesen is nationally renowned for his work in school-to-work barriers and customized employment. 

The focus of this collaboration will be on the measurement and identification of evidence-based transition services for youth with disabilities receiving services in the state of Utah. 


Kathleen Oertle and Caren Sax
Dr. Kathleen Marie Oertle, an assistant professor in the SPERC department at Utah State University, was awarded a $600,000 grant for her latest project, called “Collaborate for Change.” 

Dr. Oertle and her colleagues seek to bridge the gap between these services. The main goal of “Collaborate for Change” is to improve outcomes for young adults with disabilities by clearly defining collaboration standards for the professionals who support them. More information can be found here:  


Planning Guides

Admission Deadline

Applications to the PhD Program are due January 15th for the following Fall semester. 

Learn about Admission Right arrow

Financial Aid

Excellent financial assistance is available to qualified students in the Disability Disciplines program. Support includes a monthly living stipend, tuition waiver, participation in professional conferences, and computer technology.