Advancing Your Behavioral Health Career
The decision to pursue a graduate degree or certificate program in behavioral health is no small undertaking. It is a time intensive process requiring research, a variety of application materials, interviews, application fees, and deadline juggling that can result in disappointment, doubt, stress, and anxiety.
Rather than spending hours of your time sending out dozens of applications to behavioral health programs and hoping for the best, we have compiled a list of resources that can aid you in finding the best pathway for your career goals.
How to Guide
For those just beginning to consider the possibility of returning to school or entering into a professional development program, we suggest checking out of newly published guide to choosing a graduate a program in behavioral health. This guide provides a 6 step strategic approach to help aspiring behavioral health graduate students find their best fit certificate, masters, or doctoral program.
If you have a degree program in mind, consider attending information sessions at a variety of universities to learn about the program, the school, and timeline for enrollment. Come prepared with questions, as many info sessions allow for Q&A at the close of the event. CGI hosts monthly DBH info sessions that can be watched live or at a later date.
Connect with People
While in the consideration phase, reach out to admissions coordinators, program directors, faculty, and students. Whether it be through email, phone call, social media, or text, introduce yourself, share why you’re interested in the program, and ask questions to help you gain a better understanding of the elements of the program that matter to you. Some programs, like CGI, offer the opportunity to schedule a call at time most convenient to you or chat with students.
Research Faculty Members
Faculty will make or break your student experience. Explore faculty bios on program websites and search for subject matter experts that parallel your research and career interests. For schools offering podcasts or videoplatforms, as CGI does, watch or listen to faculty interviews to get to know your potential future faculty.
Student and Alumni Testimonials
Feedback from students and alumni can offer an insightful preview into the student experience. Explore testimonials, both written and video format, for their perspectives the student experience, faculty support, and impact of the credential on their career. Don’t hesitate to ask an admissions coordinator for help connecting with a student or alumni with similar education or career experience as yourself.
Not all behavioral health graduate programs are created equal.
Granting yourself ample time to weigh your options and prioritize your needs will help you feel more confident in your decision to pursue postgraduate education and have a richer student experience once your enroll.