Behavioral Health Service Corps

Behavioral Health Service Corps

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A paid year of service to explore behavioral healthcare.

  • Gain hands-on experience

  • Get credit toward your master’s degree

  • Make a difference


The Behavioral Health Service Corps (BHSC) at William James College is a cornerstone program that attracts new and emerging talent to work in behavioral healthcare. Recent college graduates spend a year exploring both a career and a path to and through graduate school.

What is the Behavioral Health Service Corps?

This program is a paid year-long service and learning opportunity for recent college graduates which provides an entry-level career experience in behavioral healthcare along with credits towards a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

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. It is a transformational year for the scholars to learn about their own interests.

Behavioral Health Agency Partners

William James College’s partnering community agencies include Advocates, Inc.Beth Israel Lahey HealthDoc WayneJustice Resource Institute (JRI), Mass General Brigham Salem HospitalNorth Suffolk Mental Health AssociationVictory Programs, and Walden Behavioral Health

Behavioral Health Agency Partners

A Year in the Life of the Behavioral Health Service Corps

  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.

Interested in a career?

BHSC Graduates have the option to continue to work with the partner organization into Year 2 and to apply to study in the William James College MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Tuition remission will be granted according to the personnel policies of the organization. Candidates can also compete for any appropriate scholarship funds at William James College.

Gain hands-on experience and earn while you learn

Work in a one-year paid service position with one of several partner behavioral health organizations serving underserved communities in Greater Boston. Hands-on work focuses on high-need areas such as Substance Use & Addictions, Veterans, and School-aged Youth. Entry-level roles pay a salary of $35,000-$40,000 per year plus benefits.

Get credit toward your master’s degree

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-availability basis.

Grow your network and make a difference

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.

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.

How to Apply

Applications for the 2022-23 Behavioral Health Service Corps are now being accepted. The application deadline for the Summer/Fall 2022 cohort is April 15, 2022.

Cohort Start Dates: 

  • Summer/Fall 2022 (Begins in July with a 1-week orientation)
  • January 2023

Applicants must complete an online application through William James College.

Along with the completed application, we require a 500-word essay stating your interest in the BHSC program, 2 professional recommendations, your resume/CV and undergraduate transcripts. Please provide this form to your recommenders.

Your admissions process will include two interviews: the first interview will be with William James College Center for Workforce Development team members; the second is with employers.

Contact Us

Marc Abelard, MEd
Director, Behavioral Health Service Corps

MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling