Credit Certificate Programs

Behavioral Health Certification

Earning a Certificate in Behavioral Health is an excellent choice for college graduates who wish to transition into a new career field. As societal problems related to addictions, mental health, and child welfare increase, the demand for qualified individuals to serve those needs will also continue to grow.

Students in the Behavioral Health Certificate Program take five courses totaling 15 credits in the subject areas of:

    > chemical dependency
    > mental illness
    > neuropharmacology
    > counseling
    > crisis intervention

They also choose two approved electives totaling six credits from a specific area of concentration:

    > chemical dependency
    > mental health or
    > child welfare

Alvernia’s chemical dependency concentration is modeled after its long-standing Addiction Studies program, one of the first of its kind in the United States.

In addition to academic quality, the Behavioral Health Certificate Program’s commitment to excellence is exemplified through the credentials, dedication and enthusiasm of its faculty. They are not only excellent teachers, but also practicing professionals who stay current with changes in the healthcare field. Students therefore become knowledgeable about the most up-to-date issues and practices as they prepare to enter the workplace upon graduation.

Areas of Concentration

The Behavioral Health curriculum provides both theoretical and practical training for professional roles in three major areas of concentration.

> Chemical dependency
    This track is modeled after Alvernia’s highly successful Addiction Studies Program. It recognizes the need for the chemical dependency professional to establish related competencies in other areas – particularly that of mental health.

> Mental health
    This concentration provides a core of expertise and experience for students who wish to find employment in mental health clinics and centers immediately after graduation. Its chemical dependency component increases graduates’ job readiness

> Child welfare
    This challenging yet rewarding area will provide students with the essential knowledge to address the problem of child maltreatment. Abuse and neglect investigation, in-home services, out-of-home placement, adoption, and parenting education are just a few of the multiple employment opportunities that await graduates in this concentration area.

Career Success

Graduates of Alvernia’s Behavioral Health Certificate Program find employment in inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation centers, hospitals, corporate employee assistance programs, prevention and intervention centers, and other social agencies. The program maintains an excellent employment placement rate. The Career Services Office can provide assistance with resume preparation, interviewing and job searches.

Career Opportunities

Addiction Counseling
Case Management
Child Welfare and Related Agencies
Community-based Prevention/Education Programs
Drug and Alcohol Outpatient Programs
Inpatient and Halfway House Programs
Hospital Detoxification Programs
Methadone Centers


All courses are approved by the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB), the foremost drug and alcohol credentialing organization in Pennsylvania.

Coursework from the Behavioral Health program can be used to fulfill Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB) requirements for certification and re-certification of addiction counselors. Students from outside Pennsylvania should contact the Chemical Abuse Certification board in their state for information about requirements and the certification process.

Curriculum Overview

Required Courses (15 credits)
BHS 201 Foundations of Chemical Dependency
BHS 202 Origins of Mental Illness
BHS 203 Neuropharmacology
BHS 303 Counseling Techniques I
BHS 330 Crisis Intervention

Elective Courses (6 credits)
BHS ___ Elective from one area of concentration
BHS ___ Elective from one area of concentration

View the curriculum above required for this degree, read about the program in our brochure, learn more about our admission process, or request more information.

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