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Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Counseling - Saturday Scholars Program

Program

With the Drexel Bachelor of Science Saturday Scholars Program, students can complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Health Counseling entirely on Saturdays. This program is specifically designed to help students balance the challenges of education, work, and family life by offering the course content in an accelerated, convenient and flexible manner.

If you have earned an associate’s degree or have other college credits and want to complete a Behavioral Health Counseling degree on a part-time basis, the Saturday Scholars program is an ideal option. Students complete two courses every six weeks throughout the year, allowing the accumulation of credits toward the degree at a rate comparable to full-time students.

The number of credits required to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Health Counseling is 180 quarter-credits. For Saturday Scholars, this generally includes 90 or more quarter credits distributed in general education and elective course areas, plus up to 90 credits of coursework in the Behavioral Health Counseling major. 

What you’ll learn

The focus of student learning in this program is on how to do a broad range of evidence-based practices associated with individual and group counseling, person-centered assessment and treatment planning, psychiatric rehabilitation, recovery-oriented treatment of substance-use disorders, child and family-focused interventions and other essential clinical skills in demand by behavioral health care employers. High achieving students earn Certificates of Advanced Study that signal specialized knowledge and skills in specific areas of behavioral health counseling.

Graduates of the Behavioral Health Counseling Program are widely acknowledged by the region's employers as being among the best prepared for jobs within the field.

What makes the Behavioral Health Counseling Saturday Scholars Program unique?

  • Students have access to the state-of-the-art Clinical Learning Resources Center where advanced counseling skills are practiced with actors simulating behavioral health clients.
  • Saturday schedule is tailored for returning adult students who work during the week.
  • Skills-based counseling courses are specifically kept smaller in size to allow for more individualized attention to training.
  • Our advanced, skills-based curriculum and innovative hands-on training far exceeds that found at most other undergraduate colleges and universities.

Admissions

For Transfer Students

Our transfer policies are specifically designed to accommodate students applying from other colleges. Transfer students may enter the program at any point and transfer a maximum of 90 semester credits (135 quarter credits). The courses and credit values show how many general education credits can be transferred in at the discretion of the program. (Please note: This program is offered in quarter credits, not semester credits. One semester credit is equal to 1.5 quarter credits; therefore, a bachelor's degree worth 120 semester credits is equal to 180 quarter credits.)

Detailed Instructions

To apply, please use this link.

If this is your first time applying to Drexel you will need to create an account. If you are a returning user please log in with the appropriate credentials.

After registering you will need to retrieve your temporary PIN number emailed to you. Enter your PIN in the space provided along with your birthdate. You will then create your own password.

Once complete, you will be directed to Drexel University's Admission Application. On this page you will click on the link titled Start New Application

Next you will Select an Application Type and choose the school year for which you are applying.  You will then select your student type, transfer part-time, and then Create Application.

You will be asked to review the application details you previously entered. If correct, select Open Application.

From here, follow all prompts in the application for transfer, part-time, Saturday Scholars Behavioral Health Counseling applicants. As a reminder there is no application fee for this program.

For International Students

To review transfer instructions, visit the International Instructions page.

Tuition and Fee Rates
Please visit the Tuition and Fee Rates page on Drexel Central

COMPLIANCE

The College of Nursing and Health Professions has a compliance process that may be required for every student. Some of these steps may take significant time to complete. Please plan accordingly.

Visit the Compliance pages for more information.

Accreditation

MSA: Accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools

Program Level Outcomes

At Drexel University we believe that a well-formulated set of Program Level Outcomes [PLO] that support and are consistent with the institutional mission and goals are the building blocks of an effective assessment program. 

Click here to view the College of Nursing and Health Professions Department of Behavioral Health Counseling Program Level Outcomes.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Saturday Scholars Behavioral Health Counseling Program easily find employment in behavioral health settings, in part because of a critical shortage of qualified applicants. Drexel graduates are widely acknowledged by the region's employers as being among the best prepared.

Graduates who choose to enter the behavioral health workforce instead of continuing in graduate school typically 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
  • Case management and services coordination
  • Forensic mental health services
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Crisis intervention
Starting salaries with a bachelor's degree range from $34,000 to $45,000 per year. 

The behavioral healthcare field is tremendously diverse and encompasses far more career opportunities than listed. Career choices exist at all levels of service—from direct care to administration and policy-making. Students will find tremendous benefit both in the employment listings and outreach offered by Drexel's Steinbright Career Development Center and in the diverse professional career experience our faculty brings to our students.

News & Events

01/19/16

Faculty members from the Behavioral Health Counseling (BHC) Department traveled to Seoul, Korea in November 2015, to present a workshop on a unique partnership with Project HOME, a nonprofit organization that provides housing and other services to men, women, and children in Philadelphia. Associate Clinical Professors Veronica Carey, PhD, and Lisa Schmidt, PhD, shared an innovative approach to teaching psychiatric rehabilitation skills in a community setting at the international meeting of the World Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR) – an event that was attended by 1,400 individuals representing 46 countries.

The workshop described Drexel’s advanced counseling course, BACS 420 Psychiatric Rehabilitation Competencies. This course conducts a couple of classes at the Project HOME site in Philadelphia, allowing students, service recipients, and staff to interact with one another on issues related to psychiatric rehabilitation. Students then have an opportunity to partner with one resident for the term, meeting several times to talk about recovery issues and what it’s like to go back to live, learn, work, and socialize, when you’re experiencing psychiatric symptoms. The partnership between Drexel’s Behavioral Health Counseling Department and Project HOME is entering its sixth year.

Carey stated “The workshop reflected well on Drexel’s initiatives to partner with the community, to not just educate our students, but also to build bridges with persons in the surrounding area of the behavioral health program.” The two BHC professors hope the lessons learned help launch similar initiatives internationally. Schmidt added, “Community-based learning is a model that’s been effective at Drexel and something that international conference attendees can adapt to their particular setting, especially if they are struggling to train staff in the latest skills in psychiatric rehabilitation.”

The pair also learned there is a stark contrast between U.S. mental health systems and those in other countries. For instance, Carey offered, “most Pacific Rim countries still rely on institutionalization to care for persons with serious mental illnesses.” Schmidt added, “We heard about places such as Bangladesh where there is only one Occupational Therapist in the entire country working with people recovering from serious mental illnesses.”  It was such an important opportunity to learn about and then bring back to the Drexel classroom what is happening around the world with respect to rehabilitation and mental health care.

With a majority of conference attendees from Seoul (1,000 individuals representing their professional workforce and student population), the event offered a glimpse into the Korean culture. For instance, Schmidt shared, “The welcome dinner opened with folk music and drumming from a group of high school students.” There were also opportunities for independent touring, which gave insight into Korean religion and architecture. Schmidt continued, “There were several ancient palaces within the city dating back to the 1400s that were very interesting to see.”

Another highlight of the trip – the two had an opportunity to connect with President Fry who was coincidentally hosting an alumni reception in Seoul for international students. Carey said, “It was a great opportunity to meet with families of Drexel’s international students and represent the College of Nursing and Health Professions.”

Overall, the conference offered a great opportunity to further several goals within the BHC Department. These include promoting the program internationally, encouraging others to incorporate community-based learning into their behavioral health education framework, and enriching Drexel’s Behavioral Health Counseling cultural competency curriculum. 

01/19/16

Patrick Kilduff, DO, MPT ‘98, a board-certified family doctor at InterMountain Medical Group in Shavertown, Pennsylvania, was named Best Family Doctor in the Back Mountain by Dallas Post newspaper.

Tobey Schilling, RN, MCAT ’90, has joined Penn Foundation, a behavioral health services center in Sellersville, Pennsylvania, as a psychiatric mental health certified registered nurse practitioner.

Sandy Sheller, MCAT ’04, CFT ’05, clinical director of independent projects for the Salvation Army of the Greater Philadelphia Area, was selected to serve on Mayor-Elect Jim Kenney's Transition Team.

Theresa Sims, RN, BSN ‘11, a cardiothoracic registered nurse and a volunteer with the American Diabetes Association, was a guest on the internet talk radio program, Saturday Morning with Joy Keys, to discuss diabetes awareness.

10/26/15

It’s often said that the road to success is not a straight line, but your experiences along the way define who you are. For Zach Stone, a 2011 graduate of Drexel’s Behavioral Health Counseling program, his path included risks, failures, and challenging the norm, but he always stayed true to his core beliefs.

“You need to help the community. You need to help others. It’s your role in the world as human beings to be there for one another,” said Stone, whose enthusiasm is contagious, even over the phone. In person, his effect is even stronger. Stone knows this, and has strategically capitalized on his strengths to create a unique yet impactful business called the Red Kite Project. It wasn’t easy finding his sweet spot, though, and Stone overcame significant adversity and uncertainty to get where he is today.

It took Stone a bit of time to come to the realization that he could turn his passions for counseling, crisis management and group facilitation into a successful business. In high school, Stone was exposed to gangs, violence, and a culture of apathy. In elementary school he was misdiagnosed with a learning disability, and struggled in traditional learning environments until college.

“I don’t know how I made it through,” said Stone, remembering more uncertain and chaotic times. What Stone did have, though, was a passion he was committed to following and a support system that reverberated community transformation and change.

As a teenager – and even today – Stone’s true passion was group facilitation, and he wasn’t afraid to admit that. His mother suggested he get involved with Help Increase the Peace, an organization focused on addressing violence in prisons and schools with gang violence, which snowballed into participation with other social impact groups. Stone knew he wanted to pursue his passions of helping others, building resiliency, and furthering his education, so he began his search for the right school to help him achieve his goals.

After spending some time at community college in Vermont, Stone ultimately returned to Pennsylvania and completed his associate’s degree at the Community College of Philadelphia. Still hungry for more, Stone enrolled in Drexel’s Behavioral Health Counseling program following his grandfather’s endorsement, and graduated less than two years later. “‘Drexel is for do-ers,” said Stone, remembering his grandfather’s advice. “When I got to Drexel, I realized he was right. It was where I honed my skills and got a graduate-level experience as an undergrad.”

Stone’s degree empowered him to co-found Red Kite Project and dive head-first into one of their first – and most significant – contracts. SEPTA approached Stone and Charlotte DiBartolomeo, CEO, and asked if they could help improve employee performance. Through innovative methods borrowed from post-war and conflict zones like Bosnia and Rwanda, as well as techniques and philosophies learned at Drexel,Stone and DiBartolomeo delivered for SEPTA. For the past five years they have helped reduce assaults on SEPTA employees by nearly 65% and reduced absenteeism of new hires by 50% during the same time period.

The exceptional results achieved during the SEPTA contract piqued interest from the transportation industry, but also drew attention from the medical and military industries. Red Kite Project is now pioneering resiliency building and trauma healing programs to help new companies the same way they helped Septa. “Collaborating with organizations like Apple, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Penn Medicine and the Department of State brings us great honor,” said Stone. “It’s where our future is.”

Now that Stone’s role is shifting away from facilitation and towards strategy and business development, he can focus more on enhancing his product and integrating technology and continued learning into Red Kite Project’s training models.

Stone believes that Red Kite Project should mirror tech start-ups and stay adaptable and agile in dynamic environments. He also remains fully committed to his core principle that organizations need to give back to their communities. “We want to make sure we have a really strong role in our community, wherever that is, because we believe that if we help take care of the city, it will take care of us.”

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