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  • PCC adds behavioral health program

    Behavioral Health Program

    PUEBLO – To address a growing need for qualified professionals, Pueblo Community College will add a behavioral health program in the spring 2020 semester.

    Students attending classes full time will be able to complete the program in one calendar year – three semesters and two summer sessions – and will receive an Associate of Applied Science degree. The program will be offered at PCC’s Pueblo, Fremont and Southwest campuses.

    “We have been working with area employers to address their need for entry-level behavioral health specialists,” said Mary Chavez, PCC’s dean of health and public safety. “Through collaborations with industry partners and multiple PCC academic divisions, we have developed a program to address the need in many practice settings and streamlined the pathway to a bachelor’s degree at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.”

    A behavioral health specialist works in a variety of settings to assist people in overcoming behavioral and mental health obstacles. Students will study behavioral health concepts related to addiction and substance abuse, counseling, group dynamics, interpersonal communications, conflict management, professional ethics and human development. They will also complete the required coursework for Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC) levels I and II certification. 

    According to Colorado Labor Market Information, employment in the behavioral health field is expected to increase more than 31 percent through 2028. Graduates of PCC’s program can work in careers such as behavioral health technician/specialist, case manager, community health worker, substance abuse counselor and social service liaison, among others. 

    “Much of Colorado is designated as a mental health professional shortage area and as a whole has an inadequate amount of qualified professionals. As a result, we are constantly looking at ways to attract and retain a well-trained behavioral health workforce,” said Dena McCrackin, divisional manager of human resources for Abraxas Youth & Family Services. “PCC has developed a behavioral health degree with the curriculum that makes connections to the labor market locally and across the state. These job-oriented classes will prepare the student to step in to any one of our vacant positions.”

    Thanks to a transfer agreement between the two schools, those who wish to complete a bachelor’s degree will be able to transfer their PCC credits to UCCS and get the necessary clinical hours to earn their CAC certifications while pursuing a degree in human services.

    “UCCS is committed to working with PCC to ensure seamless transfer for students seeking bachelor’s degrees. We are excited to partner with PCC to provide access to students pursuing professions in the behavioral sciences,” said Valerie Martin Conley, dean of the UCCS College of Education.

    Prospective students can get program details by contacting Bonnie Housh at 719-549-3198 or Bonnie.Housh@pueblocc.edu. Registration is now open for PCC’s spring semester.

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    Founded in 1933, Pueblo Community College is a premier teaching institution focused on providing academic and service excellence to help its students acquire the 21st Century skills needed to better their lives. An educational and technological leader, PCC fosters economic development and utilizes strong partnerships in the communities it serves through its Pueblo, Fremont and Southwest campuses.