Thanks to a $1.9 million grant, Central Pennsylvania will soon have more well-trained behavioral healthcare professionals. The grant to Millersville University is from the Health Resources and Services Administration.
“This project will help to teach graduate students about the unique needs and challenges found in today’s behavioral health fields,” explains Dr. Karen Rice, chair of the School of Social Work. “It will also give students the chance to gain valuable work experience with one of our community partners. In addition, students will receive a $10,000 stipend upon completion of their specialized training and internship.”
The “Promoting Rigorous and Interdisciplinary Mental Healthcare Education” project, otherwise known as PRIME, will provide clinical training opportunities for graduate students in the Masters of Social Work and Clinical Psychology programs. PRIME is co-directed by Rice and Dr. Debra Vredenburg-Rudy, chair of psychology. Additional PRIME leadership team members include Drs. Leonora Foels, Laura Granruth, Curtis Proctor, Karena Rush, Kat Walsh, and School of Social Work Field Director, Heather Strohman.
“Our project will address the need for more well-trained behavioral healthcare professionals throughout our region,” says Vredenburg-Rudy. “Our goals are to increase the number of underrepresented students recruited into our two graduate programs and expand the number of community partners and internship sites that the University is involved with by 28%. In addition, University staff and community partners will receive training to integrate technology, such as tele-health services, into the curriculum and practice. And, finally, the project will implement a hands-on approach in its curriculum. This includes offering inter-professional and applied learning experiences to graduate students.”
To reach the goals, new marketing materials will be developed to promote the two graduate programs. Recruitment efforts will be expanded to a more diverse population of students.
“We’ll work closely with our community partners to monitor their needs,” says Rice. “Professional training and workshops will be offered to students, MU faculty and to our community partners.”
The training will focus on tele-health, cultural competency and youth violence. Those same focuses will also be embedded into the curriculum of a new set of elective courses. These classes will involve experiential learning exercises for both programs.
To apply to the PRIME program, visit: PRIME
Students will first need to apply to either MSW or Clinical Psychology program if they are not already enrolled in one of these programs. Links to those programs are:
Interested in Prime? Click here.