Sonia Peterson

Sonia Peterson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Administration, Rehabilitation, and Postsecondary Education

San Diego

Mail Code


Sonia’s areas of interest are disability policy, recovery-oriented mental health services and evidence-based vocational counseling interventions for individuals with mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders. She worked for the California Department of Rehabilitation as a counselor for eight years in the Oakland area, a supervisor in San Francisco, and then district manager in San Diego before returning to school to earn her Ph.D. at the University of Arizona in 2014. Sonia has been connected with ARPE and the Interwork Institute since attending supervisor training in 2005. She went on to earn a certificate in rehabilitation administration and was teaching since 2011 as an adjunct faculty member in ARPE before serving in her current role as an assistant professor. She manages the RSA Psychiatric Rehabilitation Project Training Grant and oversees the Concentration in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Leading to the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).


  • Peterson, S. (2021). The interaction of disability status and family income level as a predictor of STEM achievement for youth in U.S. high schools. Rehabilitation Professional, 29(2), 95-109.
  • Peterson, S., Alkhadim, G., Davis, M., & Olney, M. (2021). Increasing successful employment outcomes for individuals with psychiatric disabilities with on-the-job training. Rehabilitation Professional, 29(1), 21–36.
  • Peterson, S. (2020). Young professionals and leadership development in forensic vocational rehabilitation: Collaboration with rehabilitation counselor education programs. Rehabilitation Professional, 28(2), 53-62.
  • Peterson, S. & Olney, M. Peterson, S. (2020). An examination of CACREP curriculum standards from a psychiatric rehabilitation recovery model perspective. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, 34(4), 222-234. DOI: 10.1891/RE-19-17