Department of Counseling wins U.S. Department of Education funding to train school-based mental health professionals

Author: Staff
April 26, 2023

The U.S. Department of Education awarded $5.7 million to the Department of Counseling’s Equity and Justice-Focused School-Based Mental Health training project for a five-year program to address the shortage of school-based mental health professionals. Partnering with Oakland and San Francisco Unified School Districts (OUSD and SFUSD, respectively), the Department of Counseling will train master’s students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to work with K-12 students in high-need schools. The project will be led by Department of Counseling Associate Professors Molly Strear (lead researcher) and Tiffany O’Shaughnessy and Professor Julie Chronister

Students in the department with a specialization or emphasis in School Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Marriage, Family and Child Counseling are eligible for a $10,000 stipend each year they complete fieldwork in OUSD or SFUSD schools and commit to one-year of full-time employment in high-need K-12 schools after graduation. 

“As the only publicly funded school counselor training program in the San Francisco region of the Bay Area, and one of only three CACREP (Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs)-accredited programs in California, SF State has been integral in building capacity to meet the mental health needs of Bay Area youth for over 30 years,” said Strear. “Our students reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of the [region], and many choose to return to work in their Bay Area communities after graduation. The high cost of living coupled with rising tuition rates and lack of compensation for pre-graduate fieldwork makes it very challenging to pursue a graduate degree.”