September To a Degree: Behavioral Health Support: Making a Difference in Your Community


September 11, 2019

September To a Degree: Behavioral Health Support: Making a Difference in Your Community

Author: Dr. Sharon Weiser, NCMC Dean of Extended Campus

Are you looking for a satisfying career helping others and making a difference in your community? Have others expressed what a good listener you are? Do others turn to you for help? The Behavioral Health Support program offered by North Central Missouri College may just be the ticket for you. The Behavioral Health Support, Associate of Applied Science degree is a two-year program of study that prepares students to enter the workforce as caseworkers for those with behavioral and mental health diagnoses.

The program of study, offered completely online except the two clinical practicums, prepares students to immediately enter the workforce after degree completion. The hands-on clinicals in community settings offer practical experiences. Employment options upon completion of this degree include positions in state, county, and local human service agencies, substance abuse counseling, positions in private or public treatment and rehabilitation centers, half-way houses, correction facilities, parole and probation, drug court, retirement facilities, schools and other human service agencies. While these jobs—Community Support Specialists- have been traditionally been held by Bachelor’s graduates, the Missouri Division of Mental Health has approved students with this AAS degree from NCMC eligible to be hired for these positions, allowing immediate entry in the field.

This is a career in high need. According to Hyde’s “Report to Congress on the Nation’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Workforce Issues,” seventy-seven percent of our counties have a severe shortage of mental health workers. In addition, the Occupational Outlook Handbook lists the job outlook as increasing at 22%.

For those who qualify, there are two state programs to help pay the tuition for this program: The Caring for Missourians Tuition Assistance and the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant. If you would like more information on the Behavioral Health Support program or the tuition assistance programs, contact Dr. Sharon Weiser at or (816) 232-1768. This is a program that can get you into the workforce quickly and making a difference in others’ lives.

Photo: Dr. Sharon Weiser, Dean of Extended Campus