Grand View Creates New Mental Health Master’s Degree as Need for Counseling in Iowa Grows

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Grand View University is offering a new Master’s degree in light of the growing importance of mental health and the need for people to help treat it.

With an increasing demand for treatment, the National Council for Behavioral Health reports a shortage of more than 15,000 mental health professionals by 2025. That's why Grand View is offering a new master's program that will prepare skilled counselors to help meet this need right in our own backyard.

“There's a need from the criminal justice sector. There's a need from the children's sector. All across the board, there's an increase and demand for mental health, so we did our homework to look at the job prospects and they aligned. The growing demand for mental health counselors is expected to increase faster than the national average for other professions in the state of Iowa and it made sense,” Patty Williams, Vice Provost for graduate and professional studies said.

This is the fifth graduate program offered by Grand View, the first graduate program for their psychology department. It's designed to prepare students for direct entry into the practice as a temporary counselor right after graduation.

It meets the Iowa Board of Behavioral Sciences Examiners licensing requirements as well as the national standards for the Center for Credentialing and Education.

It's an online program and has multiple ways to split up the workload, so those currently working and those who live anywhere in the state can enroll, and in return that can help small-town Iowa.

“We have a shortage of rural mental health counselors. We have a shortage of counselors that provide services to kids, and we wanted to help fill that need,” Dr. Jill Sudak-Allison, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Human Services, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist said. “I've been a counselor for over 27 years and I do that part-time and I think integration is so important. So we are training our students to learn how to help communities.”

They are recruiting for enrollment for the fall of 2020.

“We have current students who are wanting a graduate program here. A lot of that is driven for extrinsic motivation, but there's also the demand, the pull, the need that exists in our communities, both in central Iowa and in rural Iowa. Grand View's mission is to provide educational opportunities for people who want to step up and meet the needs of their communities,” Carl Moses, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs said.

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