The rehabilitative counseling program at Thomas University just got a little boost with a 5-year, $750,000 grant from the state of Georgia, aimed to help 'increase the number of counselors in Georgia and north Florida.'
Staff say the grant provides enough money for 50 students to study in a field which, they say, continues to grow in popularity each year.
Dr. Jim Patrick is the Counseling Division Chairman at TU. He says, "What's happening is that a lot of people are retiring over the next 4 or 5 years, so there's a real need in the state agencies - and also other agencies - in the field of rehabilitation."
The focus of a rehabilitation counselor can run the gamut, from military members returning from war with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, to addicts battling drug abuse, to people injured on the job.
And while counseling students admit their future careers may be challenging, they say the most important part of the job description involves making a difference in the community.
Grant money is available to any student in the major with at least a 3.0 GPA.
Students who are selected will have their tuition paid in full in exchange for their service as a rehab counselor in a state facility after graduation.