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
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
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