Carroll University is helping to address the severe shortage of mental health professionals by offering a new Master of Science in Behavioral Health Psychology degree for fall 2021.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 32 percent of Wisconsin’s needs are being met by mental health practitioners.
“Mental Health has taken center stage in our country, and it is important that Carroll continues to step up to address the growing needs within our communities. This new program allows us to train our students to provide essential behavioral health services that will help fill the gap, and increase access to mental health resources where they are most scarce,” said Carroll President Cindy Gnadinger
. Carroll will be meeting the needs of today’s student by offering a flexible, hybrid format, with a mix of in-person and online work.
“We wanted to develop an accessible program for those who need flexibility while retaining the face-to-face application and skill practice so important in the human services,” program director Dr. Jessica Lahner
said. “Students digest course content during the week on their own time. Application and skill development occurs in the classroom with peers and faculty two weekends each month.”
Students will be able to specialize in one of four concentrations: clinical assessment, adult and geriatric behavioral health, youth behavioral health or applied research. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness (51.5 million in 2019). Graduates of this new program will be equipped to meet this growing need.
“We will provide training, inspired by the scientist-practitioner model that prepares graduates for careers as counselors or to pursue doctoral degrees in psychology,” Lahner said. “Cultural compassion and evidenced-based practice are at the forefront of our training model.” All students will be required to accrue at least 1,300 clinical hours in the program, and Carroll will work with them to secure placements aligned with their chosen concentration areas.
The Carroll University MS in Behavioral Health Psychology is currently pursuing the two-year accreditation process required by the Master’s in Psychology and Counselor Accreditation Program (MPCAP). Carroll’s program conforms to the 2016 CACREP Standards for Clinical Mental Health Counseling and meets Wisconsin's Department of Safety and Professional Services requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor–IT. After passing the state licensing exam and completing the post-graduation supervised practice hours, graduates are prepared for full licensing as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin.