Area residents interested in a career helping others with behavioral or mental health diagnoses can enroll this fall for the next cohort of the community behavioral health support program at Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP).

Program coordinator/lecturer Elizabeth Mahan said students can enroll in the general education courses required for the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Community Behavioral Health Support degree this fall to prepare for the program’s next cohort, which will begin with the 2023 spring semester in January.

“Twenty-six of the required 61 credits needed to complete the degree are comprised of general education credits,” Mahan said. “Students can take classes toward those credits during the fall semester, then begin enrolling in the behavioral health support classes in January.”

The general education classes required for the degree can be completed at any time, but the behavioral health support classes needed to complete the degree will be offered in a set order that begins each spring semester, she explained.

Depending on remediation, summer enrollment and the number of classes taken each semester, most students should be able to complete the degree in two years, Mahan said.

Utilizing real-world experience and specialized training, the AAS in Community Behavioral Health Support degree prepares students to enter the workforce as community support specialists for a variety of professions related to behavioral and mental health. These include:

•Human service agencies

•Substance abuse counseling

•Private or public treatment and rehabilitation centers

•Correctional facilities

•Probation and parole

•Drug court

•Retirement facilities 

•Schools

“Graduates will be able to use their knowledge and skills to collaborate with mental health professionals. They also will be able to serve clients with behavioral and mental health diagnoses,” Mahan said.

“Thanks to our partnership with the Missouri Department of Mental Health, there are abundant local and statewide job opportunities available to graduates,” she added. Salaries for these positions range from $28,000 to $47,800 annually, she added.

For more information about the community behavioral health support program, contact Mahan at 417-255-7253 or email EMahan@MissouriState.edu.

More information about admission and registration procedures can be obtained by calling 417-255-7955, emailing WPAdmissions@MissouriState.edu or visiting WP.MissouriState.edu.

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