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WKU to use $1.92 million grant to strengthen counseling workforce

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 7:47 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Western Kentucky University will use a $1.92 million federal grant to improve the counseling workforce.

”Additionally that money will go to supporting our faculty in professional development, but also importantly engaging our community members and our community partners. So, we’ll be doing some training around social-emotional learning, trauma-informed practice, career and workforce development, college and career readiness, and as we know, the most recent developments in our world have only exacerbated the need for mental health services. So, this could not come at a better time,” said Dean Corrine Murphy, WKU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.

The grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration is among $22 million in awards to 56 recipients as part of the BHWET Program for Professionals. WKU will receive $480,000 a year for four years beginning July 1.

“This is actually supporting our counseling programs. So these are students who are learning to be counselors. At the end of their programs, they will be licensed counselors and they will be working in our schools and in our community agencies supporting the mental wellness of our community members,” Murphy said.

The grant provides $10,000 stipends for up to 29 interns each year for the next four years, site supervisor stipends, as well as funds for inter-professional training and faculty professional development largely focused on serving the needs of our rural communities.

Murphy says this funding will significantly and positively impact their ability to recruit, retain and support students as they grow into counseling professionals.

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