Behavioral Health Support

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Behavioral Health Support

Associate in Applied Science (AAS)

Offered through Human Studies

@ Florissant Valley | Wildwood

As healthcare reform continues in the United States, support positions in the helping fields are critical for creating better client outcomes and experiences, as well as reducing costs. The Associate in Applied Science in Behavioral Health Support program trains graduates to obtain employment as a support professional in the areas of addiction, disabilities, education support, mental health and psychiatric care. Graduates of this program are qualified for employment in entry-level positions in state, county and local human service agencies, substance use disorder facilities, community mental health centers, hospitals, schools and other identified agencies.

Required Courses

The recommended academic plan blends general education requirements with options for areas of concentration to ensure students get the most out of their certificate or degree.

Why Behavioral Health

 

 

To be admitted to the program, students must:

  1. Be admitted to St. Louis Community College
  2. Have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  3. Participate in a personal interview
  4. Complete a criminal background check through a college-approved background screening company prior to the beginning of the fall semester of admission. The student will be responsible for the cost of the background check and drug screen. Students not passing the criminal background check and/or drug screen may be prohibited from participating in clinical education. This will prevent the student from being able to complete all program requirements for graduation.

Maintenance Fee (Tuition) - Based on 61 credit hours

  • In-District ($110.50/credit hour) - $6,740.50
  • Other Missouri Residents ($157.50/credit hour) - $9,607.50
  • Out-of-State ($215.50/credit hour) - $13,145.50
  • International Students ($225.50/credit hour) - $13,755.50

Estimated Additional Costs:

  • Textbooks – Cengage subscription
    • 4 Month Cengage Unlimited E-Book Access Card: $120.00
    • 12 Month Cengage Unlimited E-Book Access Card: $180.00
    • 24 Month Cengage Unlimited E-Book Access Card: $240.00 (recommended)
  • Background checks and Regulations – CastleBranch
  • Criminal background (Missouri) - $13.80
  • Drug screen and health documents - $61.50
  • CastleBranch totals - $75.30

Practicum sites may have other requirements that students must document for participation. This experience begins in the second year of the program. Prices will vary and may include:

  • Seasonal flu shot (annually) – price will vary
  • Drug screen
  • MMR – price will vary
  • Hepatitis B series – price will vary
  • TB – price will vary
  • Physical exam – price will vary
  • Health insurance
  • CPR certification

Transportation – to school and clinical sites

  • Own a car (gas and maintenance) or
  • Access to public transportation
    • Please Note: All credit-seeking students at St. Louis Community College are eligible for a U-Pass to ride the MetroBus and MetroLink. The U-Pass, or "Universal Pass," is valid throughout the semester. You must be a currently enrolled credit student taking at least one credit hour to be eligible for U-Pass. U-Pass is paid through your College activity fee and is available at no extra cost.

The Behavioral Health Support AAS provides a pathway for entry-level positions within the helping professions. This program includes hands-on practicum experiences in community settings and prepares students for support positions in mental health settings while assisting clients with behavioral and mental health diagnoses. Graduates of this program are qualified for entry-level positions in state, county and local human service agencies, substance use disorder facilities, community mental health centers, hospitals, schools and other identified agencies. At the completion of the program, students are expected to:

  • Collaborate in the development, revision, revision and execution of an individualized treatment plan that identifies specific, measurable, time-limited goals and interventions.
  • Obtain certification in Mental Health First Aid.
  • Communicate with clients regarding internal and external resources for recovery.
  • Create documentation to support client and treatment plan.
  • Assist clients with various mental health needs within practical settings.
  • Analyze potential legal and ethical issues as they relate to targeted populations.
  • Synthesize foundational knowledge of risk factors, treatment options, options and recovery techniques to assist clients with a variety of mental illnesses.
  • Demonstrate an appropriate helping response for individuals in mental health crisis and/or with suicidal ideation.

Prepare to dedicate your life to the program. Can I attend the program part-time?
Yes, however, the Behavioral Health Support (BHS) classes must be taken in sequence. So, once you start the program, you must take the BHS classes in order. You may choose to fill in the general education components before you begin, during the summer or after. Please speak with the program coordinator for more information as some courses are paired in preparation of practicum.

Can I work while attending the program?
Yes, but the Behavioral Health Support program requires a significant time commitment. You will need to set aside 2-3 hours of study time (reading, papers, preparation for role plays and presentations) for each hour you are in class. It is recommended you work no more than 20 hours per week. Working more than 20 hours per week is discouraged, since this heavy workload may be detrimental to your academic and clinical success in the program, and your job must not conflict with classroom or practicum hours.

What employment options are available to graduates with an associate’s degree in Behavioral Health Support?
Graduates who hold an associate’s degree in Behavioral Health Support have many employment options. Among these, graduates can serve as case managers, community support specialists or in-home specialists through the College’s Department of Mental Health facility partners. Graduates can also work in substance use, intensive treatment, school-based or mental health focused departments.

What is the employment outlook and expected starting salary range anticipated upon completing the program?
Polls of potential local employers revealed that the anticipated beginning salary range for a new graduate of the A.A.S. Behavioral Health support program is between $28,000 and $33,000. Research organizations rate employment possibilities in these fields as excellent.

Can I take the General Education (PSY 110, ENG 101, COM 100, etc.) courses before applying to the Behavioral Health Support program?
Yes. The program encourages interested applicants to complete as many general education courses as possible before beginning the program. Not only does this provide students with more time to focus on their BHS coursework, but studies show that students who are able to maintain concentration on applying the skills learned during the field practicums experience greater overall success and program completion.

Can I pick when I take BHS classes?
No. Once the BHS program accepts an individual into the program, students must take the courses in sequence in the given semester. Visit the Course Catalog to view the Semester by Semester Plan. It is important to note, however, that students can take the general education courses when they are available and fit with their schedule.

What if I haven’t had any previous experience in mental healthcare?
Students enter the mental health programs with a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Some have years of experience, and some have none at all. Both types of students can be successful. However, the more a student understands the mental health profession, the more satisfied one will be with his or her choice to pursue an associate’s degree in Behavioral Health Support.

What if I have a criminal record? Will I still be accepted into the program?
Although a criminal record does not prevent you from being accepted into the program, it may prohibit you from participating in clinical education courses, which would prevent you from completing all program requirements for graduation. The clinical site has the right to deny participation to a student, which may not be appealed. This is why there in a background check in the beginning so that you don’t get too far into the program before you realize that hiring and employment might be an issue.

Any person failing a criminal background check may request an exception from the DMH Exceptions Committee in accordance with DOR 1.240 Employment Disqualification Exceptions. Speak with the Program Coordinator for details.

Suggestions from BHS Students:
Apply for financial aid (scholarships) – make a financial plan
Save money to prepare for practicum semesters
Make all courses a priority
Must be passionate about helping people
Be prepared to write
Flexibility
Be ready to work hard
Prepare for class
Make time to study
Participate in class
Work a job as little as possible
Use time management
Ask questions

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