Behavioral Health Service Corps℠

Career Ladder Program

Spend a Year Exploring the Field of Behavioral Healthcare, Earn Credits Toward Your Master's in Counseling

Are you a passionate, service-minded individual? Are you interested in a career in mental health? Take the next step in your professional and educational journey and join the Behavioral Health Service Corps℠. We're looking for talented college graduates who desire to work in underserved communities and make a difference in the lives of others. You'll gain hands-on experience, earn a salary, and get credit toward your master's degree. 

The Behavioral Health Service Corps℠ (BHSC) is a paid year-long service and learning opportunity for college graduates, which provides entry-level career experience in behavioral healthcare along with credits towards a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. BHSC Scholars spend the year becoming familiar with the work of behavioral healthcare, understanding the needs of different populations, and receiving mentoring in becoming professionals in this field. The mentoring component is provided by mental health professionals and faculty. In addition, Scholars engage in a process of personal introspection that facilitates their personal and professional development.

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Make a Difference

More than 1 in 5 children and adults have behavioral health problems that impact their work, education and family life. About one-quarter of Massachusetts residents who seek behavioral health treatment are unable to secure an appointment—and for those seeking a provider with expertise in working with children or seniors, or who come from a similar cultural background, the process of finding a provider is even more complicated. Few clinicians treat children or seniors, and nearly ninety percent of behavioral health professionals nationwide are non-Latino Caucasian.

The William James College Behavioral Health Service Corps℠ offers you an introduction to this important healthcare field and the opportunity to help.

Capryce Browne“Being a part of this program has definitely opened my eyes to what the field was like, but also my place in the field. I really came to this program to strengthen my clinical skills and to become a well-versed clinician. My previous work has been very much community service-based so a really big draw to the program was how I am able to work in communities that are underserved.”

Capryce Browne
Behavioral Health Service Corps℠ Scholar

Gain Hands-On Experience and Earn While You Learn

  1. Begin with a 1-week, skills-based orientation.
  2. Receive an employment placement with a partnering agency in a BA/BS level position and serve in inpatient units, home-based services, residential treatment and recovery centers, among others.
  3. Earn up to nine, free, graduate credits taking three courses as non-matriculating students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master’s program at William James College. Partnering agencies will allow four-hours of release time for coursework and professional development.
  4. Receive clinical supervisory support and mentoring throughout the year-long experience.
  5. Friday afternoons will be reserved for academic training, mentorship, professional development, and supervisory-related activities. The required time commitment will be 1:00-5:00 PM on-campus at William James College to allow Scholars to meet with their supervisors/mentors from 4:00-5:00 PM on Fridays.

Enroll in two courses at William James College. Courses are designed to complement and enhance the employment experience and the six credits earned during the service year can be applied toward the master’s degree. Employers allot four hours per week of work release time for training and professional development.

In addition to the required six credits, Scholars will receive a 3-credit course voucher, which they can use to enroll in another course through the Counseling and Behavioral Health Department. The voucher will be valid for a period of one year following program completion, and Scholars must enroll as non-matriculating students on a space-available basis.

Scholars work side by-side with behavioral health professionals who have committed their lives to serving the needs of others, giving scholars the opportunity to learn through direct mentoring and also the opportunity to make an impact through their own work. In addition, Scholars  live and learn in the Boston area and connect with peers who share the same commitment to service.

Scholarship, Stipend, and Sign-On Bonus: Funded by Mass General Brigham

With a new grant awarded by Mass General Brigham, the Center for Workforce Development at William James College will scale up the BHSC by recruiting, mentoring, and training individuals who belong to groups that are underrepresented in the field of behavioral health (e.g., ethnic, linguistic, racial, religious, or sexual minority groups; first-generation college students; individuals with disabilities; military/veteran personnel). As part of the College's ongoing strategic plan to expand, strengthen, and diversify the behavioral health workforce, the BHSC seeks to recruit new talents into the field and retain providers who are from underrepresented backgrounds, and are committed to serving individuals, families, and groups in historically excluded and underserved communities throughout the state.

A sign-on bonus of $500 will be awarded to students who begin the program in Spring 2023 or Fall 2023.

  • Graduates of the BHSC who are admitted to a master’s or a doctoral degree program (e.g., MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, PsyD in Clinical Psychology) at William James College may apply for a $15,000 annual scholarship to defray the costs of tuition and fees.
  • The BHSC Scholarship Program is funded by Mass General Brigham—an initiative designed to recruit, mentor, and train individuals who belong to groups that are underrepresented in the field of behavioral health (e.g., ethnic, linguistic, racial, religious, or sexual minority groups; first-generation college students; individuals with disabilities; military/veteran personnel) and are committed to working in underserved communities.   
  • Graduates of the BHSC must fill out an application form and participate in an interview to determine their eligibility for the scholarship. For more information about the BHSC Scholarship Program or to obtain the link to the application portal, please email

BHSC graduates who complete a master's or a doctoral degree program at WJC may be eligibile for an annual stipend to provide direct care services in schools, community-based agencies, and health centers located in underserved communities in Massachusetts. The stipend will be paid above and beyond the participants' salaries and all stipends will be provided by William James College.

$5,000 for the 1st year
$7,000 for the 2nd year
$10,000 for the 3rd year

Applicants to the Behavioral Health Service Corps℠ MGB Scholarship Program must meet the following criteria:

  • Self-identify as belonging to a group that is underrepresented in the field of behavioral health (e.g., ethnic, linguistic, racial, religious, or sexual minority groups; first-generation college students; individuals with a disability; military/veteran personnel).
  • Have earned a bachelor's degree.
  • Work and plan to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • Have a strong commitment to providing behavioral health services in a community health center or at a community-based agency.
  • Have a demonstrated background and/or interest in serving historically excluded and underserved populations.

Contact Us

Marc Abelard, MEd
Director, Behavioral Health Service Corps℠

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