MS in Counseling

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Matt Bruinekool, Ed.D.

Associate Professor

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” – Author unknown

Contact Information

Phone: 515-271-4507
Address: 2507 University Ave. Des Moines, IA 50311

Office: Collier Scripps 211


BS: University of Iowa
MS: Drake University
Ed.D: Drake University

Honors & Professional Memberships

I have been a member of the faculty at Drake since 1999 and the Director of the National Rehabilitation Institute at Drake University since 2000. Prior to that I served as the Technology Director for the Region VII RCEP and CRP-RCEP (now call the Region VII TACE) where I was responsible for the development of web-based educational training. I also provided face-to-face training to administrative staff of community rehabilitation programs and state VR agency counselors and administrative staff. Before my work with the TACE I served as Project Coordinator for the National Rehabilitation Institute, and worked in the field in various settings serving individuals with disabilities.

I consult to business and industry on organizational culture, work-life balance, the multi-generational workforce, strategic planning, and the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in the workplace. I consult to community rehabilitation agencies on workflow and the development of Information Management Systems to reduce overhead and improve services to individuals with disabilities.

I worked with Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Iowa Workforce Development on two different system change grants that resulted in significant changes in how services are provided to individuals with disabilities within the state as well as the accessibility of services for individuals with disabilities.

I have been the Project Director for 5 Rehabilitation Services Administration Long Term Training Grants and in collaboration with Dr. Stensrud have secured over $7,000,000 for Drake University to provide scholarships to individuals interested in working in the state-federal sector of the Rehabilitation Counseling profession after graduation.

I currently serve on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Rehabilitation Administration, am President of the Iowa Rehabilitation Counselors and Educators Association, and a board member of the Iowa Rehabilitation Association. I am a past president of the Iowa Rehabilitation Association and the Job Development Job Placement Division of the Iowa Rehabilitation Association.

Areas of Expertise

My research agenda builds on the history of the National Rehabilitation Job Placement/Job Development Institute at Drake. Established in 1976 the Institute established the first Job Placement MS degree program in the country. In 1992, Drake faculty published “Demand-side job development: A model for the 1990s,” that revolutionized the frame of reference of rehabilitation counseling professionals. Today my colleagues and I continue to conduct research that evolves the demand-side model. I have focused on utilizing a sector-based model and building social capital within sectors through social networking.

Tied closely to the employment of individuals with disabilities is my interest in working to continually improve the quality of services that our state-federal rehabilitation program and its partners provide to individuals with disabilities so higher quality employment outcomes can be achieved. 

Courses Taught

The courses I typically teach are: Introduction to Counseling, Disability Policy and the ADA, Human Resource Fieldwork, Advanced Placement, Rehabilitation Administration, Program Evaluation, Strategic Planning, and Internship. I feel that my purpose as a professor is not to tell students what to memorize and regurgitate in the course assessments but rather to give them opportunities to open their minds, think, learn, experience, and grow as professionals. I believe that in order to be successful and enjoy your professional life you must develop a passion for it, and my role is to help students find and grow their passion. Without passion it is difficult to have a positive impact on the profession and the individuals with disabilities we assist need people who want to positively impact the world in which they live. Students in my courses spend a significant amount of time in the field connecting classroom dialogue with real world experience.  

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