Two UNLV master’s programs have lost their accreditation.
The university and its College of Education were notified in February that the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs did not renew accreditation for the Master of Science-Clinical Mental Health Counseling and the Master of Education-School Counseling programs.
Public records show that the school counseling program’s accreditation expired in December, and both programs’ status is listed as “in process.”
UNLV notified students in mid-March and gave them the option of continuing toward their degree or immediately withdrawing from their classes.
“The university and the College of Education are deeply committed to the continued success of all our students, an objective that is first and foremost in all our efforts,” UNLV spokesman Tony Allen said in an email Friday.
Students were instructed to fill out a form before the end of the semester to declare whether they will stay or go.
The accreditation council evaluates a program based on its mission and objectives, content, advising and faculty qualifications, among other factors. The council also looks at institutional issues such as financial viability and resources, according to its website.
“Though this type of accreditation is voluntary and not a requirement, we have formally appealed the decision to CACREP,” according to Allen’s email. “The programs’ curricula remain aligned with state licensing requirements, and future graduates will not be impacted in their eligibility for licensure in Nevada nor will it impact their potential employment.”
The accreditation process takes up to two years after an application is received, but UNLV told students that if they graduate within 18 months of the programs’ reaccreditation, they will be considered graduates of an accredited program.
“While reaccreditation by CACREP is anticipated, neither the (College of Education) nor UNLV can guarantee if or when that will happen,” the notice to students states. “However, if accreditation is not achieved, future graduates of this program will not have the distinction of having earned a degree from a CACREP accredited program.”
The letter encourages students to contact coordinators from the graduate college to discuss the future of their academic careers.
UNLV is offering to waive the graduate college application fee for students who choose to transfer to another degree program.
The graduate college will allow students to withdraw from the current semester’s classes, according to the letter sent to students.
According to Allen’s email, the College of Education has notified prospective students of the loss of accreditation, and staffers have met with current students.
Requests for comment Friday from graduate college administrators were not answered.