Behavioral Health Counseling

Major: Behavioral Health Counseling
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Science (BS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 180.0
Co-op Options: One Co-op (Four years); No Co-op (Four years)
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 51.1501; 51.1508
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 21-1011

About the Program

The Behavioral Health Counseling program develops clinical competencies needed to counsel and support people experiencing mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Our students go on to graduate school or begin work in areas such as psychiatric rehabilitation, prevention and treatment of substance use disorders, child and adolescent services, and case management. Students create a plan of study and select courses based on their career interests.

During the freshman and sophomore years, students develop a foundation for clinical practice by studying humanities, social sciences, writing, biological sciences, math, and research methods. Behavioral Health Counseling (BHC) courses build on this foundation by demonstrating that biological, psychological, and social perspectives are needed to deliver today's evidence-based practices and develop tomorrow's innovative interventions. BHC courses offer a comprehensive selection of topics that focus on aspects of therapeutic rapport building, assessment, planning, and intervening with people from diverse backgrounds and needs.

The major also offers a co-op experience in a clinical setting that greatly enhances the student’s preparation for employment after graduation and for graduate study in professional counseling, social work, or psychology. For students interested in certification as addictions counselors, all program courses are accredited by the Pennsylvania Certification Board. Students may also pursue certification in psychiatric rehabilitation.

For additional information about this major, visit the Behavioral Health Counseling Department on the College of Nursing and Health Profession's site.

Degree Requirements 

General Education Requirements
UNIV NH101The Drexel Experience1.0
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
Computing/Communication Requirement3.0
Introduction to Computing
Techniques of Speaking
English 9.0
Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research
Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing
Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres
Life Science3.0
Applied Cells, Genetics & Physiology
Cells, Genetics & Physiology
Mathematics 3.0
Probability and Statistics for Liberal Arts
Humanities and Social Sciences - Required13.0
Introduction to Cultural Diversity
Abnormal Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Any (1) Four Credit History Course
Humanities and Social Sciences Electives24.0
Free Electives54.0
Behavioral Health Counseling Courses Required30.0
Life Span Human Development
Foundation of Behavioral Health Care
Counseling Theory and Practice
Ethics and Professional Responsibility
Introduction to Addictive Disorders
Psychiatric Rehabilitation Principles and Practices
Multicultural Counseling
Group Counseling I
Cognitive and Behavioral Counseling I
Assessment and Treatment Planning
Behavioral Health Counseling Electives39.0
Select 13 From the Following Course List:
Genetics and Mental Health
Recovery and Relapse Prevention
Case Management Methods
Crisis and Brief Intervention
Psychopharmacology for Counselors
Careers in Behavioral Health
Child Psychopathology
Preventing Substance Abuse
Advanced Counseling Intervention
Addictions Counseling with Special Populations
Problem Gambling Interventions
Trauma-Informed Care
Special Topics in Mental Health
Cognitive and Behavioral Counseling II
Family-Focused Interventions
Child and Adolescent Support
Forensic Behavior Health Service
Group Counseling II
Co-Occurring Disorders
Psychiatric Rehabilitation Competencies
Behavioral Health and Aging
Senior Research Project
Total Credits180.0

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Center. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.


 Sample Plans of Study  

BS Behavioral Health Counseling: 4-Year Co-op Option

Term 1Credits
ANTH 101Introduction to Cultural Diversity3.0
BACS 100Life Span Human Development3.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
MATH 107Probability and Statistics for Liberal Arts3.0
UNIV NH101The Drexel Experience1.0
Humanities/Social Science elective3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 2
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
SOC 101Introduction to Sociology3.0
BACS elective3.0
Humanities/Social Science elective3.0
Free elective3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 3
BACS 200Foundation of Behavioral Health Care3.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
PSY 240 [WI] Abnormal Psychology3.0
Humanities/Social Science electives6.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 4
BACS 220Counseling Theory and Practice3.0
BACS 236Psychiatric Rehabilitation Principles and Practices3.0
BIO 100
or 107
Applied Cells, Genetics Physiology
Cells, Genetics Physiology
3.0
Humanities/Social Science elective3.0
Free elective3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 5
BACS 232Ethics and Professional Responsibility3.0
CS 161
or COM 230
Introduction to Computing
Techniques of Speaking
3.0
BACS elective3.0
History (HIST) elective4.0
Free elective3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 6
BACS 234Introduction to Addictive Disorders3.0
BACS 401Assessment and Treatment Planning3.0
BACS elective3.0
Humanities/Social Science elective3.0
Free elective3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 7
Humanities/Social Science elective3.0
Free electives12.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 8
BACS 301Group Counseling I3.0
BACS 304Cognitive and Behavioral Counseling I3.0
BACS elective3.0
Humanities/Social Science elective3.0
Free elective3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 9
BACS 255Multicultural Counseling3.0
BACS electives6.0
Free electives6.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 10
BACS electives9.0
Free electives6.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 11
BACS electives9.0
Free electives6.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 12
BACS elective3.0
Free electives9.0
 Term Credits12.0
Total Credit: 180.0

BS Behavioral Health Counseling: 4-Year Non-Co-op Option

Term 1Credits
ANTH 101Introduction to Cultural Diversity3.0
BACS 100Life Span Human Development3.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
MATH 107Probability and Statistics for Liberal Arts3.0
UNIV NH101The Drexel Experience1.0
Humanities/Social Science elective3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 2
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
SOC 101Introduction to Sociology3.0
BACS elective3.0
Humanities/Social Science elective3.0
Free elective3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 3
BACS 200Foundation of Behavioral Health Care3.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
PSY 240 [WI] Abnormal Psychology3.0
Humanities/Social Science electives6.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 4
BACS 220Counseling Theory and Practice3.0
BACS 236Psychiatric Rehabilitation Principles and Practices3.0
BIO 100
or 107
Applied Cells, Genetics Physiology
Cells, Genetics Physiology
3.0
Humanities/Social Science elective3.0
Free elective3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 5
BACS 232Ethics and Professional Responsibility3.0
CS 161
or COM 230
Introduction to Computing
Techniques of Speaking
3.0
BACS elective3.0
History (HIST) elective4.0
Free elective3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 6
BACS 234Introduction to Addictive Disorders3.0
BACS 401Assessment and Treatment Planning3.0
BACS elective3.0
Humanities/Social Science elective3.0
Free elective3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 7
BACS 301Group Counseling I3.0
BACS 304Cognitive and Behavioral Counseling I3.0
BACS elective3.0
Humanities/Social Science elective3.0
Free elective3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 8
BACS 255Multicultural Counseling3.0
BACS elective3.0
Free electives9.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 9
BACS elective3.0
Humanities/Social Science elective3.0
Free electives9.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 10
BACS electives9.0
Free electives6.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 11
BACS electives9.0
Free electives6.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 12
BACS elective3.0
Free electives9.0
 Term Credits12.0
Total Credit: 180.0

Co-op/Career Opportunities

Drexel University has long been known for its cooperative education program, through which students mix periods of full-time, career-related employment with their studies. The Behavioral Health Counseling curriculum includes one co-op option that exposes students to the varied work environments of behavioral health professionals. Co-op provides students with an opportunity to assess their personal strengths and interests for a career in behavioral health by observing successful mental health and addictions professionals in action. Co-op students work for six months in paid or unpaid positions consistent with their interests, abilities, and aptitudes.

After Graduation

Graduates of the Behavioral Health Counseling program are widely acknowledged by regional employers as being among their best prepared new employees. This reputation helps graduates easily find preferred employment in a variety of behavioral health care settings. Many graduates elect to continue their education in graduate and doctoral programs at Drexel or leading universities across the nation. Within Drexel, students may select excellent graduate programs preparing them for licensure as behavioral health clinicians and/or administrative, research, and behavioral health policy-making positions.

Career Opportunities

Behavioral health counseling professionals are employed in a wide range of venues. Counselors are needed in social service agencies, schools, health care facilities, and inpatient and residential treatment settings. Counselors work with children, adolescents, adults, and elderly individuals who experience disability due to mental illnesses or substance use disorders. Graduates who choose to enter the behavioral health workforce find immediate employment in areas such as psychiatric rehabilitation; family and child support services; addictions counseling; case management and services coordination; forensic mental health services; individual and group counseling; and crisis intervention.

The behavioral health care field is tremendously diverse and encompasses far more career opportunities than are listed here. There are career choices to be made at all levels of service — from direct care to administration and policy making. In this regard, students will find tremendous benefit both in the listings and outreach offered by Drexel’s Steinbright Career Development Center and in the diverse professional career experience our faculty bring to our students.

Visit the Drexel Steinbright Career Development Center web page for more detailed information on post-graduate opportunities.

Facilities

The College of Nursing and Health Professions is located at Drexel University's Health Sciences Campus in Center City. A Clinical Learning Resource Center offers a simulation lab where students practices skills needed in their chosen behavioral health career. Sessions are video captured to allow students the opportunity to observe and critique their performance.

Behavioral Health Counseling Faculty

Veronica Carey, PhD (Capella University) Associate Director of the Saturday Scholars Program . Assistant Clinical Professor. Evidence-based best practices in recovery-oriented services, treatment planning, behavioral health care system practices, program planning, and implementation of psychiatric rehabilitation services.
Angela L. Colistra, PhD, CAADC, CCS (University of North Carolina at Charlotte). Clinical Assistant Professor. Best practices in substance use disorder treatment, opioid prevention and epidemic intervention, addiction related cognitive impairment, multicultural competence in clinical supervision, the intersect between loss and grief and addiction, the relationship between spiritual well-being and burnout.
Ronald C. Comer, DSW (University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Work) Chair, Behavioral Health Counseling Program. Clinical Associate Professor. Pre-professional and professional workforce development, and behavioral health care policy -- particularly at the service delivery level.
Lisa T. Schmidt, PhD (University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey). Associate Clinical Professor. The identification of best practices in psychiatric rehabilitation, illness management and recovery, and psycho-education.
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