UH Hilo; Counseling Pgm.

Appropriates funds to create a graduate counseling psychology
program at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           1584
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                     A BILL FOR AN ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that it is a
 2 responsibility of the University of Hawaii to provide training
 3 and programs that address the continuing needs of the island
 4 community.  These needs include the availability of properly
 5 trained and licensed or certified professionals in the helping
 6 services areas.
 7      The big island of Hawaii has the unenviable status of having
 8 the highest rate of economic, health, social, and psychological
 9 problems in the State.  For example, it has the highest
10 unemployment rate, the highest death rate from all causes, the
11 highest rate of child abuse and domestic violence, and the
12 highest rate of suicide and substance abuse.  Those who suffer
13 from these problems need the assistance of professionally trained
14 counselors to help improve the quality of their lives.
15 Unfortunately, there is a shortage of such counselors on the
16 island where the need is greatest.  Most of these professional
17 (master's level) positions in both the private and public sectors
18 have been filled by trained individuals imported from other
19 islands or other states.  In some cases, these positions were

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 1 filled by people who lacked the requisite credentials.  Very few
 2 of the positions have been filled by master's level counselors
 3 from the island because of an absence of a graduate training
 4 program on the island.
 5      The proposed prison on the big island provides an additional
 6 dimension and community need.  With the establishment of a 2,000-
 7 inmate facility on the big island, there will be a need for
 8 trained professionals in counseling psychology.  Adequately
 9 trained professionals for the new facility will definitely be
10 needed.  If a graduate program were available at the University
11 of Hawaii at Hilo, then trained individuals to fill the needed
12 positions for this new facility could come from people currently
13 working in the correctional system with baccalaureate degrees on
14 the big island.
15      The Felix v. Waihee consent decree has created an additional
16 dimension to this issue.  By mandating the State to provide an
17 adequate level of mental health services to school children, the
18 consent decree has essentially required an increase in the number
19 of qualified counselors to provide those services.  As an
20 example, the Hawaii district office of the department of
21 education is currently engaged in a project to hire and place
22 school-based mental health counselors in each school on the big
23 island.  Trained individuals to fill these positions must come

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                                     S.B. NO.           1584

 1 from other islands or states since schools on the big island are
 2 already having difficulty filling their traditional counseling
 3 positions with certified counselors.  Adequately trained
 4 professionals for these traditional school counselor positions or
 5 the new school-based mental health counselor positions could come
 6 from the big island itself if a graduate training program in
 7 counseling psychology was available.
 8      In regular session 1998, the legislature enacted Act 159 to
 9 regulate the profession of marriage and family therapists.  The
10 purpose section of the Act states that "Both public and private
11 universities in Hawaii seek to establish graduate marriage and
12 family therapy training programs.  However, they hesitate to
13 establish these programs until the profession is regulated to
14 ensure the employment of their graduates in Hawaii once trained."
15 With respect to the state-supported University of Hawaii, there
16 is currently no graduate program that specifically trains
17 marriage and family therapists.  Creating such a program within
18 the University of Hawaii system would serve the needs and
19 interests addressed by the last legislative session in adopting
20 the licensure Act for this profession.
21      The University of Hawaii at Hilo is uniquely positioned to
22 provide graduate training in counseling psychology.  Establishing
23 a program at that campus would help to resolve the critical

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 1 shortage of adequately trained counselors on the big island,
 2 fulfill the need for graduate trained professionals for the
 3 planned expansion of the correctional facilities, create the
 4 potential for a synergistic relationship between the campus and
 5 the community for the eventual benefit of people in need, assist
 6 the State in satisfying the court mandates under the Felix v.
 7 Waihee decree, and provide a training source for marriage and
 8 family therapists under the new licensing law.  In addition, the
 9 University of Hawaii at Hilo has been granted the authority by
10 the board of regents to create the Master of Arts Degree in
11 selected areas.  Finally, the University of Hawaii at Hilo's
12 strategic plan includes a strategic theme addressing the needs of
13 the big island communities.
14      The purpose of this Act is to appropriate funds to establish
15 a graduate counseling psychology program at the University of
16 Hawaii at Hilo.
17      SECTION 2.  There is appropriated out of the general
18 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $261,689, or so much
19 thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 1999-2000, and the
20 sum of $372,469, or so much thereof as may be necessary for
21 fiscal year 2000-2001 to establish a graduate counseling
22 psychology program at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
23      The appropriations are for the following purposes:

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                                     S.B. NO.           1584

 1      FY 1999-2000
 2      (1)  3 faculty lecturers and 2 half-time
 3             assistants                                   $204,712
 4      (2)  1 secretary                                     $24,877
 5      (3)  Equipment and current expenses                  $32,100
 6      FY 2000-2001
 7      (1)  5 faculty, lecturer & 2 half-time graduate
 8             assistants                                   $322,747
 9      (2)  1 secretary                                     $25,872
10      (3)  Equipment and current expenses                  $23,850
11      SECTION 3.  The sums appropriated shall be expended by the
12 University of Hawaii for the purposes of this Act.
13      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 1999.
15                              INTRODUCED BY:______________________