There is an increasing need for mental health professionals in the United States. A new scholarship at Niagara University will support students studying for this growing specialty.

The university’s clinical mental health counseling program recently received a grant from the Patrick P. Lee Foundation to establish up to five scholarships for full-time students in the program. Scholarship recipients will receive up to $10,000 per year for the three-year program, for a total award of $30,000.

The 60-credit-hour clinical mental health counseling program, which is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, prepares students for service as licensed eligible professional counselors working in public agencies, hospitals, mental health clinics, and in private counseling practice. Graduates of the master’s degree program are eligible to become a licensed mental health counselor in New York state and have license eligibility in all 50 states and three territories. 

With the working professional in mind, courses are offered in the early evening and in a variety of formats, including on campus, online and hybrid. Students are prepared to become skilled, ethical professionals who advocate for positive change by learning, leading, and serving individuals, families, agencies, and communities, and especially those who are disadvantaged or marginalized.

“These scholarships will have a profound impact on our students and the communities they serve,” said Dr. Jennifer Beebe, associate professor and coordinator of the clinical mental health counseling program. “Mental health issues continue to rise, and access to quality counseling services is more critical than ever. These scholarships not only alleviate financial burdens for deserving students, but also ensure that talented individuals are empowered to pursue their passion for mental health counseling without financial constraints. By supporting students in our program, these scholarships ultimately strengthen our ability to address the growing mental health needs in our society, fostering healthier and more resilient communities.”

“Ensuring our community members are supported by a strong, well-trained mental health workforce is a top priority of the Lee Foundation,” said Jane Mogavero, executive director of the Patrick P. Lee Foundation. “Since 2016, we have awarded $2.1 million in scholarships to remove financial barriers for students pursuing degrees in psychiatry, psychology, psychiatric mental health nursing, social work, and counseling. With a proven track record of producing skilled mental health professionals, Niagara University is an ideal partner for our scholarship program. And, since these students are committed to remaining in Western New York after graduation, we are ensuring our local community agencies have access to talented and dedicated staff.”

In addition to this new scholarship, Niagara offers graduate assistantships, scholarship opportunities, and over 60 different awards for well-qualified matriculated graduate students to make graduate school more affordable.

The Patrick P. Lee Foundation is a private foundation committed to achieving immediate and measurable impact in the areas of education and mental health. To learn more, visit https://www.lee.foundation/

For more information on Niagara's clinical mental health counseling program, contact Dr. Jennifer Beebe, program coordinator, at 716.286.8182 or jbeebe@niagara.edu.