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Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Counseling

Program

The Drexel Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Counseling (BHC) prepares students for careers in mental health and addictions treatment. We offer a competency-based curriculum that addresses the growing need for skilled, direct service providers. BHC graduates are effective and caring professionals who contribute to the healing and well-being of people in recovery, families, and communities.

Our mission is rooted in the core values of service, compassion, initiative, respect, integrity, competence, and intellectual curiosity. The four-year program includes an optional six-month co-op, described in the curriculum section, and is designed for the full-time undergraduate student.

The College of Nursing and Health Professions is located at Drexel University's Center City Health Sciences campus, home to the Clinical Learning Resource Center. This center features a state-of-the-art standardized patient lab which facilitates student acquisition of counseling skills through structured interactions with actors simulating people in need of mental health or addictions treatment.

What you’ll learn

The focus of student learning in this major 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.

Students select courses that reflect individual interests and that meet a variety of pre-professional development needs. High achieving students earn Certificates of Advanced Study that signal specialized knowledge and skill in specific areas of behavioral health counseling.

This unique major offers opportunities for on-the-job learning experiences through selected co-op placements or community service arrangements. Co-op students in the Behavioral Health Counseling major have enjoyed work experiences in a variety of behavioral health settings such as psycho-social rehabilitation centers, addictions treatment clinics, inpatient and partial hospitalization settings, children’s treatment services and related facilities.

What makes the Drexel Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Counseling program unique?

  • Our faculty members are known for their research and clinical practice experience in the Greater Philadelphia region.
  • Skills-based co-operative employment experiences enhance the program with real-world knowledge application.
  • You are part of the Drexel College of Nursing and Health Professions with access to stimulating learning environments and interdisciplinary health care scenarios.
  • Our advanced, skills-based curriculum and innovative hands-on training far exceeds that found at most other undergraduate colleges and universities.  

Career Opportunities

Students confidently enter the workforce immediately upon graduation or go on to graduate school, in areas such as social work, counseling, or psychology, knowing that the quality of their education is well-recognized by leading universities throughout the United States.

Graduates easily find employment in behavioral health settings because they are widely acknowledged by the region's employers as being among the best prepared job applicants. This is particularly noteworthy given the increased employer demand for well-trained behavioral health care professionals.  Graduates typically find immediate employment in areas such as:

  • Psychiatric rehabilitation
  • Family and child support services
  • Addictions counseling
  • Case management and services coordination
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Forensic mental health services
  • 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.

 

Admissions

For Entering Freshmen

To review admission prerequisites, visit the Admission Prerequisites page. 

To find admissions deadlines, apply online, check out financial aid information, and find the current schedule for open houses, visit the Undergraduate Admissions site.

For Transferring 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.)

To review transfer instructions, visit the Transfer Instructions page.

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.

Curriculum

Behavioral Health Counseling Co-op

Drexel University has long been known for its co-operative education programs, through which students mix periods of full-time, career-related employment with their studies. Co-op employment is a part of the Behavioral Health Counseling curriculum.

Co-operative employment experiences are directed toward activities that will expose students to the various work environments of behavioral health professionals. These work settings provide students with the opportunity to observe mental health and addictions professionals at work, while assessing their own potential and individualized interests in undertaking careers in behavioral health. In the past year Co-op students in the Behavioral Health Counseling major have been selected to work at a psycho-social rehabilitation center, a methadone clinic, and a psychiatric inpatient unit.

The Drexel co-op is paid and unpaid employment selected from a variety of clinical settings that match the interests, abilities, and aptitudes of the student.

For more information about the Drexel Co-op visit the Steinbright Career Development page at http://www.drexel.edu/scdc/

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

Students confidently enter the workforce immediately upon graduation or go on to graduate school, in areas such as social work, counseling, or psychology, knowing that the quality of their education is well-recognized by leading universities throughout the United States.

Graduates easily find employment in behavioral health settings because they are widely acknowledged by the region's employers as being among the best prepared job applicants. This is particularly noteworthy given the increased employer demand for well-trained behavioral health care professionals.  Graduates typically find immediate employment in areas such as:

  • Psychiatric rehabilitation
  • Family and child support services
  • Addictions counseling
  • Case management and services coordination
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Forensic mental health services
  • 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

06/03/17

Revisiting our mission — To impact health and wellness through basic and translational scholarly works created by interprofessional teams investigating complex healthcare issues — we see that the service these men and women have given to Drexel, to the College of Nursing and Health Professions and to our students directly contributed to achieving that goal daily. 
 
We thank these individuals for sharing their talent, intellect and energy toward changing the way we delivery healthcare — with compassion and precision and with the expertise of all our faculty and staff behind it.
 
52 Years of Service
Vincent Zarro, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Chinatown Clinic and Dornsife Center Wellness HUB
 
41 Years of Service
David Flood, PhD, BA
Professor, Health Services Administration
 
40 Years of Service
R. Peter Meyer, PhD, BS
Associate Professor, Health Sciences
 
39 Years of Service
Alan Haroian, PhD, BA
Associate Professor, Health Sciences

36 Years of Service
Michael C. Kennedy, PhD, MS, BA
Professor and Associate Dean, Undergraduate Health Professions

32 Years of Service
Geraldine Buck, DrPH, MHS, PA-C, DFAAPA
Associate Teaching Professor and Director, Physician Assistant Post-Professional Master's Program Physician Assistant
 
29 Years of Service
Rita O'Donnell
Program Coordinator, Health Sciences
 
Gloria Turchi
Administrative Assistant, Dean's Office
 
Ronald Comer, DSW, MA, BA
Associate Professor and Associate Director, Behavioral Health Counseling
 
Janet Stern
Academic Assistant Director, Physician Assistant
 
24 Years of Service
Ellen Schelly Hill, MMT, BC-DMT, NCC, LPC
Associate Clinical Professor and Director, Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling, Creative Arts Therapies

26 Years of Service
Margo Orlin, PT, PhD
Associate Professor, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences
 
21 Years of Service
Gloria Donnelly, PhD, RN, FAAN, FCPP
Professor and Dean Emerita
 
Priscilla Killian, MSN, RN, CPNP
Assistant Clinical Professor
 
Patricia Gerrity, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor and Associate Dean for Community Programs
Founder and Director, Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University
 
20 Years of Service
Elizabeth Gonzalez, PhD, PMHCNS-BC
Associate Professor and Department Chair of Doctoral Nursing Program
 
Patricia Rubertone, PT, MSW, EdD
Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of Experiential Learning, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences

17 Years of Service
Diane Lewis
Administrative Coordinator, Physician Assistant

13 Years of Service
Cheryl Portwood, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, CNE
Assistant Clinical Professor, Division of Graduate Nursing Advanced Role MSN Department
 
Susan Smith, PT, PhD
Interim Dean
 
12 Years of Service
Robin Young
CICSP Clinical Lab Coordinator

11 Years of Service
Michelle Sahl, PhD, Med, MBA, MBE
Associate Teaching Professor, Health Services Administration

10 Years of Service
Joseph Rubertone, PhD, MPT
Associate Clinical Professor, Health Sciences and Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences

06/03/17

Kimberly Conkol, MSN `15, became vice president of Care Coordination and Utilization Management at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, according to a LinkedIn update.
 
Sandy, MCAT `04, and Stephen Sheller, University trustee, will be honored at the National Liberty Museum in October 2017 with the Heroes of Liberty Award.
 
Denise Wolf, MA `99, received a 2016-2017 Provost’s Award for Teaching, Scholarship, and Professional Service at Drexel University.
 
Jonathan B. Venarchick, DPT `12, won the Extreme Kayak Battle, a two-day fishing tournament in the Bahamas. 
 
Noor Afroza Jemy, BS `16, will participate in a Drexel-sponsored discussion on "Confronting Religious Intolerance and Islamophobia," along with activist and Howard University professor, Altaf Husain, PhD.
 
Joanne McGovern, MSN `15, has been named chief nursing officer at Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Eastern Regional Center. 


05/01/17

Very few individuals can gather enough experience before going to college to be absolutely sure of their chosen major, especially when following the traditional path of starting the fall after high school graduation. Health Services Administration senior, Toni Ross, is one of the few who can say that her experiences before coming to Drexel undeniably revealed the path she wanted to pursue. But Toni Ross is anything but traditional.
 
Ross said that what she’s interested in is rather complex. “I hope to merge my experience with emergency management and disaster preparedness with the healthcare industry. I want to guarantee that medical professionals and the community-at-large are ready for large-scale disasters and emergencies,” she stated. “My dream job would be working at a facility as an emergency planner.” You might ask where she gained the kind of knowledge that would lead her to want to do something that specific. Her answer would be, “the United States Air Force.” Ross spent 12 years in the military where her jobs included maintenance scheduler for F-16s in Saudi Arabia, graduate medical program clerkship coordinator at Travis Air Force Base and tactical operations center coordinator in Afghanistan. 
 
Early on in her military career, she received some great advice from her supervisor who, at the time, was having a difficult time finding a job. He said, “Listen kid, make sure you’re marketable when you get out of here. The military is going to get what it wants out of you, so you have to get what you want out of them.” Ross did some research before re-enlisting and found that the healthcare industry was poised for growth; she would be able to get a job as well as an education. That’s when her focus in the Air Force turned toward healthcare administration. Her first job out of tech school was in air medical evacuation. “It was awesome. I didn’t go on any missions. We just retrieved individuals on the ground,” she said. “I did become certified in driving a one-and-a-half ton truck and a learned how to parallel park a 24-passenger bus,” Ross pointed out. “I’m out of practice, so I wouldn’t dare try to park a bus now.” 
 
While deployed to Afghanistan, she coordinated and tracked 700 medical evacuation missions and 172 local and coalition patient transfers. Ross managed 10 emergency blood and medical resupply missions to forward operating locations and prepared at least 125 classified briefings for the Craig Joint Theater Hospital commander and executive staff. Her positions at Travis Air Force Base furthered her experience in healthcare administration as she coordinated medical student clinical rotations, created job position manuals, vetted executive staff, proctored privacy tests and increased facility compliance among other duties.
 
Ross returned home to Philadelphia after she was discharged and, needing a place to land, she moved in with her parents who were aging and needed some help. “I knew I wanted to go back to school, so I started at the Goodwin College of Professional Studies, but it didn’t work out,” she conveyed. “It’s a lot different from when I was 17 years old at Eastern University.” Because she needed a job, she started working at a non-profit organization. That’s when she found a flyer for Veterans Upward Bound. She doubted what the flyer stated, that there was a free program for veterans to go to school, so she called and got program director, Diane Sandefur on the phone. “I went into their office and met their fantastic staff. Tyrone Williams, Diane’s right hand, helped me enroll in courses there, like how to navigate college life. Then I was ready to return to Drexel,” added Ross. She met with Health Services Administration Chair Kristine Mulhorn, PhD before coming back. Mulhorn shared her belief in Ross and cautioned that pursuing a degree was one of the most selfish things a person could do. Ross took that to mean she would have to prepare those individuals who had come to solely depend on her. “I told them that I needed to do this and that they would be on their own for a little while. I’ve been here ever since,” she said. 
 
Ross is preparing to graduate in June and has been looking for a job. She attends different networking events and is up until late at night researching opportunities and companies. She wants to move back to California to be near her son, so that aspect sets another challenge to overcome. She’s put a lot of thought into what she wants to do. That is really helpful when looking for a job. 
 
“Initially, my ideal job was at FEMA. I wanted to be a liaison with local hospitals to make sure their staffs were trained for everything we plan for but don’t really think about,” she shared. That led her to thinking about being an emergency planner for a hospital or other facility. “I want to make sure they are prepared and trained for anything and everything thinking far outside the box,” Ross explained. “I want to work with the Red Kite Project developed by Drexel alumnus Zach Stone BHC ‘11. They are doing very important work in conflict management and being trauma-informed,” she noted. “If they could take that program and put it in a healthcare system or hospital to help providers and staff de-escalate situations and be prepared for various circumstances like active shooters, they would know how to respond and react instinctually.” This, in Ross’ mind, holds true for natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina when she worked as a national disaster medical system liaison. She was stationed in Northern California, but she was able to help facilitate bed movement so those affected by that disaster were placed in a safer environment.
 
When asked if she feels like Drexel had prepared her for her future, she has very strong feelings. “Right out of the gate, my program emphasized developing leadership skills and thinking beyond your walls, boundaries and education,” Ross explained. “Drexel exposes you to many other perspectives you may never have considered.” She recounted her experience in Mulhorn’s disabilities studies class where she got the opportunity to learn about activists and advocates who happened to be handicapped. “Now I’m looking at the world from their experience,” she added.
 
Ross noted that within her classes, discussions around career management and reactions to real world scenarios happened often to better prepare students for entering the workforce. “My professors share themselves with every student bringing different aspects of the healthcare industry to the classroom,” she said. When asked if she had a favorite class or professor her answer was simple — all of them. 
 
Her previous experience in the military didn’t include clinical settings, more supporting roles, however, Ross feels it is vital for administrators to not just work in one or the other. She feels they need both because administrators are needed everywhere. “We have a saying in the Air Force — 4AO, ‘we’re in demand and we’re indispensable.'” It is a motto they all took to heart and knew that they could go anywhere and do anything. “While I was deployed in Afghanistan, I worked in a support intelligence role in a hospital. I can apply those skills in any setting,” asserted Ross. 
 
There are many things that both the military and Drexel taught her, but it seems that the most important thing that Health Services Administration helped her realize is that anything can be done. “I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be a Drexel Dragon. I will make sure that I leave here and have a great impact on the community, and represent Drexel in a positive way,” articulated Ross.

Written by Roberta Perry
 
 

 
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