Dr. Valerie E. Dixon

Associate Professor; Rehabilitation Counseling Coordinator

Counseling, Recreation and School Psychology

Office: ZEB 238B

Phone: 305-348-3865

Email: verussel@fiu.edu

Specialty: Rehabilitation Counseling

Dr. Dixon is program director of the Counselor Education and Program Coordinator, Rehabilitation Counseling track at Florida International University. Dr. Dixon is also the principal investigator (PI) and project director for RSA training grants and has been awarded $3 million in federal funding from the Department of Education. Additionally, she serves as the faculty advisor for Student American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (SARCA).

Prior to her current position(s), she worked over 18 years in the human service/rehabilitation counseling field in several capacities such as counselor, counseling supervisor and program director. Also, she developed region-wide staff development/training for state vocational rehabilitation counselors, facilitated county-wide training for healthcare professionals, and statewide staff training initiatives for officer academy trainings. She is a licensed clinical mental health counselor and a qualified supervisor in the state of Florida, a licensed clinical professional counselor in the state of Illinios, a nationally certified rehabilitation counselor, a nationally certified counselor and a professional vocational expert for the Social Security Administration.

Her research interests include underrepresented populations (persons with disabilities, multicultural populations, and offenders), counseling supervision and staff development/training. These efforts have resulted in several peer-reviewed journal articles, textbooks and textbook chapters. In addition, she has been an author or co-author on over 30 peer-reviewed national or regional conference presentations.

Dr. Dixon is currently president of the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA) and an active member of the American Counseling Association (ACA), National Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE), and the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). Overall, Dr. Dixon’s agenda highlights her interest in ensuring that counselors (mental health and rehabilitation) in training receive quality training and continuous professional development so they can provide effective service delivery and interventions to all their clients, especially those from underrepresented populations.

Research Areas

  • Counseling Skills and Techniques
  • Staff Development
  • Training and Program Evaluation
  • Ethical Issues in Counseling
  • Multicultural Concerns
  • Special Populations
  • Substance Abuse and Psychiatric Disorders


  • PhD (2011) Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Rehabilitation Administration
  • EdS (2008) Florida State University, Rehabilitation Counseling
  • MA (2001) University of South Florida, Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling