The field of rehabilitation counseling was legislated into existence over 100 years ago. As you can imagine, some elements of the profession have changed quite a bit since its inception. Dr. Kate Kline spends time in both the classroom and private practice to keep up with all adapting elements of the field to best prepare students for what's ahead.
In this episode of Inside Rehabilitation Counseling, Dr. Kline explains why she introduces herself as a "counselor, but mainly a servant." Dr. Kline explains her background, shares insights on virtual counseling, and the ways in which competitive hiring practices are shifting where CRCs work.
Hello, and welcome to Inside Rehabilitation Counseling, presented by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. I'm Pam Schlemon, executive director of CRCC, and we're so glad to have you here for another conversation on the art and science of rehabilitation counseling. The field of rehabilitation counseling was legislated into existence over 100 years ago. As you can imagine, some elements of the profession have changed quite a bit since its inception. A few of those changes, including virtual services and competitive hiring practices are ever evolving, making it crucial for CRCs to keep up with the latest trends and employment practices. Dr. Kate Klein, our guest for this episode, truly walks the talk when it comes to keeping up with what's happening in the field. You'll hear Dr. Klein talk about everything from what drives her to advocate for CRCs with her students, as well as why she chooses to stay active in private practice. In addition to being an educator, she shares insights on new evolutions in the field that are driving interests in CRCs across all practice settings from state VR to online counseling platforms. Please enjoy our conversation with Dr. Kate Klein. Well, welcome Kate. It's a real pleasure to have you on inside Rehabilitation Counseling podcast. So today we're just gonna dive into your career a little bit and, um, talk about your credential and the impact that the credential has, but the work you've been doing. And I just wanna start off by saying that I've had the pleasure of working with you over the last three years as a board member and as a member of the standards and exam committee and your passion and dedication is so present. Um, where does that come from?Dr. Kate Klein:
Oh, gosh, that's a great question. Um, I think some of it's taught, um, I was raised by a pretty strong, uh, independent woman, so to speak, but I, a lot of it's my personality. I just, uh, I'm very authentic. So if I feel a certain way or something feels, uh, if I, I tend sometimes to have strong opinions in a room or, or maybe sometimes if people are all talking about this one thing, I always find myself talking about the other thing. And, uh, you know, share that perspective from a place of respect, certainly. But I always think it leads to really good discussion and conversation and, um, especially when we, when we, um, are serving, uh, vulnerable populations and we have to be advocates, I think it's a really good skill to have to be outspoken and, um, independent thinking. And, um, that's how we get things done.Pam Shlemon:
Tell me a little bit about how you got into the field of rehabilitation counseling. What drew you to the work?Dr. Kate Klein:
Well, I, I think I'm probably like a lot of other professionals in our field, and that I didn't, I didn't know about this field existing, and I just did a lot of due diligence and had a lot of luck along the way. So whenever I talk to people about our field, I always ask in, in a student capacity, I always, the first question I ask is, raise your hand if when you were a kid you wanted to be a veterinarian or work with animals. And undoubtedly like 50 to 75% of the room, shoots up their hand. Um, and I think that that's common. Like we have a lot of similar characteristics with other servant occupations and people who have a genuine desire to be the change that they see in their communities and do good for others. And the animal connection is, again, uh, serving and helping those without a voice. And I think that sometimes there's a lot of parallels to serving the disability community. Um, so long story short, I, I was pursuing becoming a veterinarian with the support of my parents as like a kid. And then I didn't realize that part of serving animals was, was at times euthanasia. And, uh, that's above my pay grade. Like that's, I, that's not, that's not a, uh, direction that I think I could, I'd be in the fetal position, let's just say that quite a bit. Um, that would be tough for me. So I talked to my parents. I was like, I don't think that this is a direction that I'm comfortable pursuing. And they talked to me about why I wanted to be, you know, help animals and what other places might, um, serve in similar ways. And we talked about education. Ironically, I never thought I'd be an educator, and we talked about counseling and psychology. And so I, I was most familiar with, or most interested, I guess, in like, uh, psychology. So I went on to college and I majored in psychology. And, um, I started, uh, I was very, um, intentional about wanting to work in the field in an entry level capacity. And that's how I met what I referred to as like my career mentor. Um, he was a neuropsychologist, his name is, is Ed Cook. And, um, he worked with individuals with TBIs, and he had a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling from Michigan State. And that's how I found out about the field. I, I ended up working for somebody who served individuals with traumatic brain injuries and strokes. I watched him assist them in the rehabilitation. I watched him connect them with the community and be an advocate and, and a resource for the community. And, um, it was a no-brainer for me how much change I saw him, um, facilitate in these folks' lives. I knew I wanted to be a part of it. Uh, immediately it was, it was, um, intoxicating, almost just, uh, just being around that energy. And so, so that's how I, I was like, you know, I'm definitely gonna apply to this program. And, um, so yeah, so that's how I got into the field, so to speak. When I entered my program and I introduced myself on my first day, I was like, oh, I'm here because I'm gonna work with, with TBI patients. Um, you know, thanks for coming<laugh>. And of course, uh, I, as I went through my program, I was exposed to so many different things and, um, it really opened my eyes. So, um, it, it's led me in a lot of greatPam Shlemon:
Paths. Gosh, thank you for sharing that. I love your entry into this field, and like so many that we've spoken to, it's not a direct pathway. It really isn't. But those stories are so inspiring. This is, uh, career, it's not a job, right. Because you're so passionate about the work you all do. As you said, you went to both your masters in your doctorate are from Michigan State University. Uh, you worked as a graduate researcher assistant with Dr. Michael Leahy, a distinguished professor of rehabilitation counseling. Well-known professor. Absolutely. Um, he since retired. What does an education experience from Dr. Lehi mean to you, and how has that inspired you to prepare for your career?Dr. Kate Klein:
Well, that's a great question and a loaded one. Of course, working around Dr. Leahy, just knowing his reputation in the field and how much he is respected and how much he's done, um, was, you know, definitely had my attention. Um, certainly, and I knew it was a, he was an individual that I wanted to be around more and learn from more. Um, I remember my first doc program class, um, I don't recall the name of it, but he facilitated that course from a, in, in a way that I, I had never experienced as, as a student. Uh, it was more as doctoral programs are, it was more of a discussion and conversation and around Robin, um, experience. But he just like held stage for a little bit. He sat there and he spoke to us about all the things that he personally has experienced and been involved in. And you realize that you are around, you know, you're around somebody who has helped shape the history of your discipline, and it's powerful. And, uh, the other things that I just really appreciated about Dr. Leahy is that working with him or being a student of his, uh, open doors for me that I never had anticipated, so specifically his work in Ireland and working, um, globally on the disability community, was something I directly benefited from. I also went to Ireland with him and, uh, participated in the doctorate conference. That's the first time I had ever like, left the country and had an experience like that, ever seen anything that old, um, the buildings, the history, but also going from a disability lens and seeing, in my master's program, I had a, a, a, a peer in that program that was from Poland. Um, his name was Joseph, and he was studying in the United States because he was an individual with a disability and he wanted to learn how to change policies back home. And we had a lot of conversations about just, um, infrastructure, um, architecture and what it was like in Poland versus what he was experiencing there in East Lansing. And, uh, the contrast was, I mean, it was, it, it was interesting hearing that like they don't have ramps and they don't necessarily have a lot of accessible buildings. And so it was neat meeting him and hearing that perspective, and then experiencing it myself when I got to go to Ireland and recognizing, wow, we have done so much in our country to, to serve and, and open doors and provide access for, for people with disabilities. But since we are so advanced compared to these other countries, we should be much farther along than we are now. I'm, I'm thinking about employment rates, um, but we have tools and resources. We're doing things right. Why are we not further along in this, this social issue than we are right now? So that was, that was interesting. Um, certainly. But going back to Dr. Leahy too, um, he was somebody that, um, has done a lot of research regarding, uh, you know, the role and function studies of course, and job tasks and working out or reaching out to professionals in the field to figure out what their needs were, what they're seeing, and how does that inform what we do as educators. And of course, the certification. So I, it was so easy for me to see, I'm like, sometimes I feel like it's hard in, uh, an R one or a research institution that the direct connection between the work we're doing and what the outcomes are and how it directly impacts something that I can see that's tangible. And it was very abundantly clear for me with Dr. Leahy. So, um, I just, again, remember, that was a powerful experience. I actually did my dissertation, um, while I was in Michigan. I worked for Michigan Rehabilitation Services as a transition counselor. And so I had a, a passion and a heart for serving youth. And so I was able to talk to Dr. Lehe and, and have some guidance from him about how to, how to connect to those rehabilitation counselors that also serve youth and how, what are their needs and how might their needs differ from counselors that serve adults or have other caseloads, and how can I drill down a little bit those unique needs. So, um, he was an incredible mentor. Uh, just, you know, great guy overall. I, I, I enjoyed my time with him tremendously.Pam Shlemon:
Yeah, he has impacted so many lives. He just, I don't think he knows the extent or what he's done to this field. Um, and too bad we can't clone him.<laugh>. Yeah. Obviously C R C C is the certification organization, and we, one of our primary roles is to make sure that students are well prepared to sit for the CRC exam and be successful to work with individuals with disabilities. Yeah. Yeah. The, the credential demonstrates competency and it separates those that are not competent from those that are to work with individuals with disabilities. I know you've taught at, you've taught at Merrillville in rehabilitation counseling, and I had you sit on a panel to talk about how do you prepare your students, um, not just to sit for the CRC exam, but how do you prepare them to go out into the world and be successful. But obviously the most important thing is to sit for that C R C exam, to get that ultimate certification based on the outcomes that we have seen from your program. Tell the audience a little bit about what are your driving motivators to prepare your students, and how are you successful? How do you think that c r C has benefited you from preparing your students? AnybodyDr. Kate Klein:
That's listening right now, if you are an educator, um, and there's an opportunity for you to serve CRCC specifically on the standards and exams committee underneath the, the leadership of Janine, um, I highly recommend it. It is an invaluable experience for your students. Your service on this committee will directly benefit your institution, your program, and your students, because you will start to understand, uh, pardon my analogy, but like what's behind us as curtain? Like how does this whole thing come together? How does it work? What does it look like? And, and it kind of demystifies this really important milestone of professionals in our field. So we need people that are interested in this and helping this cause and understanding how it works so that they can go back to their institutions and inspire and encourage students. So first and foremost, that's the best way to do it as an educator. First students, how I help them prepare is I, first of all, I have the knowledge from serving that committee about how the exam is broken down. Like, you know, that there are two forms here. There's a rehab form in the counseling form. What does that look like? Um, we know a little bit about like areas or content areas from, well, we know a lot about content areas from the role and function study, but we know a little bit about which areas, uh, students might struggle with more. Um, first time test taker. So, um, what to be aware of. Um, yes, you might not love research, but you know, we have to focus on, basically what I tell my students is you have to go into every course that you've taken and you have to look at your syllabi. That's where I start and look at the main topics that were covered in that course. So yes, go back to research, um, go back to case management, of course, you know, foundations every course that you've taken. Refresh yourself about the topics that are covered in that course, especially if it was two years ago. And pull out your notes and your, your texts to be able to make sure that you have some understanding of that. So it's really easy for us when we take a, an exam at the end of our program to forget what we learned about in the first semester. But when you sit for that exam, those content courses you took semester one are just as abundantly clear as they were, you know, as they are today. So you need to do your due diligence to refresh yourself. I like to tell students at orientation, so before they even have taken their first course, they, I encourage students to take, to basically engage in good record keeping as a professional skill, but also to recognize that keeping notes being organized, um, highlighting the things that your faculty member and your textbook point out as significant pieces of information so that you can draw, draw back on that when you're studying are really good best practices to prepare yourself when you get, when you get ready.Pam Shlemon:
I'm gonna shift from the education to another area of practice setting you are involved in. And you are actually the first CRC on our podcast. Not only you're an academia, but also you own your own private practice. Yeah. Can you share with our audience how it came to be that you started your own private practice and share for the new professionals the work that you do in your practice?Dr. Kate Klein:
Oh my goodness. I love this question. I love that you're asking me this. Um, so I believe that it is very important for, for myself as an educator to be engaged in the field, um, to be able to ha be able to relate to students and what they're experiencing and going through. So it's possible for me because, you know, I, I basically see, you know, no more than 10 clients a week. Um, but I, I do that so that I'm still actively serving. I'm working, you know, I'm dealing with client issues, with caseload management, um, you know, using theories and interventions, and so I can have that dialogue with students because this, this helps me as I teach clinical courses as well. It, you know, and I, if I go back to the pandemic, so, um, I have three little boys. Um, and when my second son was born, I stopped seeing clients. Um, and I thought, I'm not gonna see clients until my, my kids are in school. And then the pandemic hit, and then suddenly I'm at home all the time with my kids, and I am not having any interaction with adults, and I'm feeling isolated, um, overwhelmed, burnt out. I'm craving if you don't know me, I'm an extrovert and I thrive. I get energy from being with people. And so it was a tremendously hard time. I, I know it was hard for everybody for a lot of reasons, but I missed, I missed my students. I miss interacting with people. And so I started seeing clients again through telehealth because it was possible for me as, as a parent, um, as somebody as an American who's also, you know, like isolated in my house. And I know that there were so many people that had a need, I started serving people again and seeing people again. Um, it was such a, a gift for me to be able to like, talk to people. Um, and of course, uh, they're talking about what's going on in their world and how they're coping, but it was tremendously healing for me as well. Um, I, I'm so thankful that our field has, has made this shift and that there is pos it is, uh, possible to serve folks. Um, so, so I still see clients, I see them all virtually because of this. And I like telehealth because it does increase access. Mm-hmm.<affirmative>. So traditionally, if I would have somebody who, who could not make it to my office or who could not see me due to active symptomology or transportation issues, that that barrier is gone. Um, I can all somebody, people don't even need a laptop. A lot of clients can access me through their cell phones. And, um, so I can, I can work with people in a variety of different, um, needs that they might have. I always tell my students how, um, in a, um, a rehabilitation counseling program, we, we talk about serving people with disabilities, we talk about the employment aspect, of course, but we also know that a lot of students have a desire to serve, obviously clients with, with different needs and abilities, but not always the vocational route. Mm-hmm.<affirmative>, and I get that. I totally get that. I try not to tell them, like, just, just wait and see what happens as you take your classes and go through the program. But, um, I remind them that, and, and when they get to clinical courses that there is not a single client that I serve, and I promise, I'll tell you what I tell them. I don't, I don't facilitate and, and guide the conversations and sessions my clients do. But there is not a single client that I serve that doesn't talk about their job. Every single client talks about work, they talk about job satisfaction, they talk about compensation, they talk about work life balance, they talk about burnout. It is, it is pervasive because our work is our identity, right? And so anybody who is, is in the field right now, or preparing to be in the field that wants to consider, you know, clinical mental health, or they're just going the clinical route, um, these courses that are abundant in the rehabilitation counseling program, the career development, the job placement, the medical aspects, all of that comes up in private practice settings. And you will be better prepared to have those discussions and help clients advocate for themselves, um, advocate for fair wages. Um, that's been a, a really interesting conversation I've been having with clients throughout the pandemic because, you know, folks have been getting laid off. They've been looking for, they've been making career shifts, they've been moving remote. And there's also, um, you know, in, in many different fields, a high demand for skilled workers. And so how do we advocate for ourselves? How do we have our needs met? Um, how do we ask for raises? How do we research what a going rate is? And, and how do we prepare those conversations with, uh, with HR or, or our employers so that we, we feel empowered at work and not powerless, so to speak. So I love those discussions.Pam Shlemon:
And I think what you just mentioned, two things I wanna say to comment on what you just mentioned. One, for individuals with disabilities, work is therapeutic for them. So it's so important that they have meaningful employment. Two, I think when you talk about the work that you do in private practice without having your crc, you can't do that work. You're not, that's what sets CRCs apart, that their unique difference under the counseling umbrella is the disability portion of it. The rehabilitation and disability counseling is counseling and, and it's important for sure, but without that rehabilitation and disability, you can't serve individuals with disabilities and do the work that you're doing.Dr. Kate Klein:
Absolutely. I mean, just, just in the past, um, you know, I, I had several, I've, I've served several individuals that identify as healthcare workers, that are nurses, that are physicians, um, that have had terrible experiences professionally over the past two years and, you know, predating the pandemic and mental health and mental health diagnosis and symptoms are only exacerbated by feeling undervalued and overwhelmed. Right? And how do we slow down and focus on our needs and make sure that we're safe and secure and before we figure out what our next step is and how do we, we need somebody to remind us of our worth and, um, when it seems like nobody else does. And so being, being the, the, the person who can walk that path and help show somebody the way and remind them about their worth and remind them everything that is, you know, that we're seeing happening around us, and, and, um, how how critical they are has been, uh, just one of the best professional experiences that, that I can attest to really,Pam Shlemon:
I'll say one last thing on this. We have three pathways that you can come in to obtain this crc and obviously it's through, uh, an accredited rehabilitation, a master's program in rehabilitation or clinical rehabilitation counseling or non-accredited. And then the third way is you have to have a master's in a like-minded profession, like P T O T, mental health, similar profession. Since I've been with the organization, that third pathway has grown tremendously. Yeah. And the reason why is because they don't have that, that component of, uh, of that rehabilitation and disability. So when we talk to individuals, why are you coming in? They still have to meet the requirements and they have to get all the, the courses for, uh, rehabilitation and disability, cuz they already have the counseling pieces. Most of the time it is because they're working with so many, so many of their clients have some form of disability and they don't feel competent enough to, to work with them. Yeah. So I just wanted to share that. I'm gonna go back to your private practice. How did you know how to start your own private practice?Dr. Kate Klein:
Oh, that, you know, this goes back to the first question you asked me, where I responded, where a lot of it's my personality and sometimes I'm a dog with a bone<laugh>. Um, so I, um, I had to figure it out quite a bit, um, myself. So what I did was, and you know, a lot of the, um, advice I give students and to some extent clients, it's stuff that's happened to me. I mean, I remember, so when I moved to Missouri, um, I, somebody reached out, somebody found me. I was not looking for, you know, a private practice experience. Somebody found me and called me at my office on campus one day and said, Hey, um, you're an L P C and a crc and I need somebody in my office to serve clients. We don't have enough clinicians to meet the need here. Have you gotten your license in Missouri yet? And I'm like, well, wow. Um, you know, this is, this is something that's unexpected. I'm not, I wasn't anticipating this. And I said, um, I'm, I'm working on this, but like, let's meet. And, um, you know, lo and behold, um, I was actually, I was expecting my first child at the time. Um, and it was early on in the pregnancy. And so this actually goes back to employment law. And, um, you know, I had to have this experience where, when do I disclose, I know that this person wants me to work for them or start serving their clients, but when do I disclose? And, and, and, um, so that was an, an interesting experience. And ultimately, and I have a lot of experience talking to people about their rights with disclosure and rare, I've never been in the situation myself. So, um, um, I, I talked to students about this all the time too, but I work for this woman, um, uh, and started seeing clients, um, after my first child was born and I went on, on maternity leave and whatnot. Um, and I, and so she kind of taught me the way about how to serve, uh, in a, in a private practice setting. But as you will realize, um, when you working in an association, there are administrative fees taken off of whatever you're, you're earning. So you're earning the, uh, uh, the practice money and your take home is, you know, a, a smaller fraction of that. And I, of course, I was like, Hmm, well this is interesting. Um, I am qualified, trained, competent. Why am I letting somebody take this massive proportion of what I've worked so hard for and what any CRC has worked hard for? And so I went off on my own and I figured out how to do it myself. And, um, because again, like I would tell a client, like, I, I think that you should, you should earn what you think you're worth, and you should work to make that happen regardless of the situation you find yourself in. There's a lot of satisfaction in just have, even if I see five people a week, I enjoy having control over my schedule and, and meeting their needs. I feel like I'm like, you know, I'm serving them and the way that they need to be served. I'm able to do it on my terms now on somebody else's terms. And I love that. So during the pandemic, um, I started working for Better Help and Talk space because I knew that my students were gonna be interested in this because these platforms are massive marketing all over the place, and it ramped up during the pandemic. Like they put a ton of money into marketing to try and get clients, and then I know if they're trying to get clients, they're gonna try and get my students. And so I wanted to go, I wanted to be a Guinea pig and tell my students, what's this all about? And really it's more of the same of what I experienced, which is, is they're gonna take you your, your credentials, your competency, your knowledge, and they're gonna profit off of it. Um, I mean, that's my very jaded opinion. Yeah. I think it's a wonderful experience to have for, for new professionals to build a caseload and manage a caseload. And yes, you could earn a living off of it. You'd have to, you know, it would be a full day Monday through Friday, you'd probably have to see like eight clients, which is typical for, for a professional and in, in a private practice setting. And there are so many people on those platforms that have disabilities that need help and that are struggling. So like, it is definitely a place to go to serve, um, to serve clients and, and utilize our, our credentials. But as somebody gets experienced with that and comfortable, um, I think it's, you know, I encourage people to, to consider, you know, having their own shingles, so to speak.Pam Shlemon:
Thank you. I think that's so important to share with our audience for new professionals, but also professionals that are, you know, been in the field for a long time that are trying to, or thinking about considering changing their career a little bit and doing something different. And I think private practice is one of those many opportunities that A C R C has. We see a lot of, um, comments coming through C R C C. How do you start your own private practice? What do you, what is, what is private practice? And do you need to have your license to be a private practitioner? And that's not always, we always say, no, you need your C R C first, and then you can go and get your L P C if that's what's needed. But not every state requires it. So, um, how do you advocate for the C R C knowing this credential is not a required credential right now? Um, in many practice settings, we're starting to see some government agencies like, uh, social Security and Veterans Health Administration now require the CRC, right? We're very proud of that. And we hope to see down the road more employers start requiring that. We hear from CRCs that their employers don't recognize the credential and therefore they don't see the value. What would you say to those who challenge the value of the credential?Dr. Kate Klein:
Oh, uh, I would say if you, if you challenge the value of the credential, show me a professional working, you know, serving people with disabilities and somebody with the credential and without the credential, and, um, I'll just observe them. Okay, that's all I need. I don't need to see, you know, case notes or I, let me see how they engage in a staff meeting. Let me see how they engage with their peers and their colleagues. Let me see how they engage in, you know, new, uh, policies and legislation that are passed and new, new, um, you know, like post pandemic. We ha you know, the ADA recognizes long haul or covid, um, symptoms as a disability and, and that that's something that we need to serve our clients on. But I see time and time again, a, a tremendous difference in the level of professionalism between the two, um, uh, individuals that I just mentioned. I witnessed it myself as a student when I was doing my internship. I knew very early on the, the designation, the, the professionalization of the certification. There were different levels of basically investment in their own profession, in their careers. And, um, I just could see it in like, I just, I have, I've probably said this to you before, Pam, but when you've asked me this, but I can remember being in, uh, meetings and seeing people, like in staff meetings, like playing Sudoku or, um, just kind of checked out like, this, this information is not, doesn't pertain to me or I'm just interested in it. And I noticed early on as a student, this sounds silly, but I'm being honest when I say like, it was a stark contrast between those that have gone on to get professionalized and those, those that didn't. And then I saw people with the certification get promoted Yeah. In the agency and move up and have opportunity. And of course, as like a, a 22 year old, like, that's, that's where I'm looking. That's what I wanna do. I wanna see what doors will open for me. Um, so I, I saw that very early on, but what I do, are you also asking me how do I advocate for it in the, in the field? Yes. Okay. Um, again, I'm very authentic. So I say depends on who my audience is, but I'll tell my students kind of what I just told you, which is that like I've seen people, I've witnessed people, my own students actually, uh, successfully negotiate for raises in promotions and leadership opportunities because they're professionalized, because they have the credential, because they do all the things. And I help them talk about how they, how they market themselves. I think that's incredibly important that we talk to students about personal branding and all my students create electronic portfolios. They talk about the scope of practice of rehabilitation counseling. They talk about their credential and I coach them on how to, you know, basically create a script about, they're going to go into a meeting with their employer to use the credential to negotiate for, uh, more, uh, responsibilities. Uh, that also comes with IT compensation, um, that matches with it. A lot of students are receptive to that, um, about how we can always, you know, market ourselves. So like later today at my program, we have a, we have a, an advisory board meeting. So we've got people coming in from the va, from vr, from nonprofits in, in St. Louis. And I have spent a lot of time during the pandemic talking to these agencies and saying, listen, you know, we have the, the credential that's, you know, that, that you're not currently requiring, but you know, that it sets the, again, they, they recognize the leadership in those agencies recognizes the value of the credential. And, um, cuz they often have it themselves, and they're the ones that I'm pleading to because they advocate to their hires up about, i, I talk, talk about salary in these industries, how much they're going to be able to pay. I, I basically talk about it from the, okay, my students are the commodity and I am the agent, so to speak. So I'm like, Hey, listen, if you want my students, you need to be competitive because my students, I'm preparing students that are trained to provide top not services and they're, they're competent because they'll come to you credentials and if you want them, you need to do your part to attract them. Uh, there are all sorts of agencies locally that are offering now, um, uh, like signon fees. Uh, I've never seen that before my entire career. So I'm getting, I mean, I have students that paid internships, they're getting offered sign-on fees, it's highly competitive. They're, they're commodities are hot commodities now. So, and I'm training them to be professionalized and proud and strong in their professional identity. And so I want these agencies to compete for them. And part of that is meeting us to where we also are finding value, not just monetarily, but accepting and acknowledging that somebody else is gonna want them because of everything that they have those credentials and their competency and they're, they're paying more and they're offering sign-on bonuses. And I am biased. I, I'd love my students to go into the public sector and serve, um, in the public sector. And so that's kind of who I speak to. I let my colleagues in VR know, like, this is what they stand up against. Yeah, you want, you want my students that are certified, you know, across town, they're getting 10,$10,000 sign-on bonuses. Let's talk to, um, you know, central office about ways that you can attract and retain new professionals that, you know, can stand to be with you for many years to come, essentially. So it depends on who my audience is. I like, again, I probably sounds weird, but I do think about myself as an agent to help facilitate this relationship. And I talk about my students, um, from that marketing perspective and what they can do for my students.Pam Shlemon:
I'm just gonna say, you walk the talk<laugh>, do you wear it on your sleeve? Either passion and as I said in the very beginning, the passion and dedication you bring to this field. I mean, I could sit and talk to you for hours about the field. I just, it's, you're so inspiring in so many ways. Yeah. A lot of people discuss rehabilitation counseling as they're calling, or a pathway that they felt compelled to follow, as you said, at the top of the hour that indicates purpose. What elements of the job have brought you joy?Dr. Kate Klein:
Oh man, Pam, these are all very nostalgic questions. I'm thinking about my parents again and how I was raised. Um, you know, my parents did a lot of, um, I did a lot of volunteering, um, as a kid. So my parents, um, I was raised in a, I don't think we were like overly religious, but like, yeah, there, my, I come from a faith-based family and so I grew up in a church and we did a lot of community work in our town and there were a lot of refugee work that we did. So I was exposed to, to serving others from a, from an early age. I played a lot of sports at church, um, with people with a variety of resources and backgrounds. And so I always knew that, um, you know, Elise was a kid in those scenarios that I, that I was put in, I was, I always knew that, um, I was fortunate and that there were other people that I could help or that didn't have as much as I did. And so I think that that's something that kind of, again, helped shape my personality and my calling to use, to use your term. I, I had a lot of fun in college. I'll just say that. Um, but who hasn't, right, exactly.<laugh>, right? I can remember, um, I worked at Best Buy in college for a little while cuz I also liked music, um, which goes hand in hand with fun, right? Right. So we're, we're all, we're on brand there. I can remember the leaving work and being like, and this is silly, but like, I can remember thinking like, I didn't, like make any difference today. I didn't like I could have skipped today and it wouldn't have mattered, um, like substantially in, in, in my impact, um, so to speak. And I remember thinking that that was probably too, I was probably being too hard on myself or weird, or I should just, you know, hurry up and get to class or whatever. But, um, I remember I knew then that like a value of mine that I was gonna need to seek out to be fulfilled was one in which I was helping people probably most days. Um, now I find myself, you know, perpetually giving to others at this point in my career, and it's, and it's wonderful. Um, we have to protect ourselves from burnout of course, but Sure. Um, I just came from a family where those values were taught. It was something that was kind of ingrained in me. And it's something that, you know, I introduce myself in the first day of class, um, as a counselor, but mainly as a servant. I do feel like I'm here to serve them, to give to them. It makes me, actually, I'm gonna tie this back into Dr. Lehe, the first day of my doctoral program. He talked about how we are stewards of this discipline and he had us process that statement and what it meant. Ironically, as I sit here, you know, I'm, I'm, I've been in academia, um, you know, I'm a tenure professor now. I've been here for 10 years. I start my classes off without even making that direct connection until just now. But like, I tell them how I'm a servant and, um, and what that means for me and the different ways that I do serve. SoPam Shlemon:
Thank you so much for your time today. Our discussions were inspiring and I hope our audience enjoys, uh, the time that we've spent with you. And I look forward to further discussions and always thank you for your support and the service that you do. Thanks again to Dr. Kate Klein for an inspiring conversation. We're always happy to hear from our listeners about questions that come up while listening to the show. If you have any s or insights on topics covered in this episode, let us know by emailing us at contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you are listening to us today. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn at CRC Cert and our website is crc certification.com. Until next time, I'm CRCC's executive director, Pam Shlemon.:
. Thank you for listening to Inside Rehabilitation Counseling.