Davenport University to offer two new degrees to address mental health care needs within the state

New offerings reflect university’s mission to offer degrees that meet community needs, lead to successful careers

(Grand Rapids, Mich. – February 22, 2023)  Across the United States, the need for mental health services continues to rise. A recent study from the American Psychological Association found that nearly half the practitioners surveyed are unable to meet patient demands for treatment. On average, psychologists reported being contacted by more than 15 potential new patients seeking care a month.

In response, Davenport University has launched a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling program and a Master of Science in Nursing with a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner concentration to give more Michigan students the skills needed to help individuals and families facing mental health challenges. 

“It’s part of our mission – to offer degrees that meet specific needs within our community and lead our graduates to successful, in-demand careers,” said Dr. Richard J. Pappas, president of Davenport University. “I’m confident that these new offerings will equip our students with the critical skills needed to support the growing mental health needs of our community and our state’s workforce.” 

Davenport’s Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling program takes a unique approach to curriculum that builds cultural competency to be effective in the community at the highest professional level. Students gain real-world experience through a 100-hour practicum in a mental health setting and a 600-hour internship in the counseling field under the supervision of a qualified mental health provider. 

The Master of Science in Nursing with a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner concentration program helps nurses advance their knowledge and build the skills necessary to level up their career and care for patients with mental, emotional or behavioral conditions. The curriculum focuses on addressing psychopathology, substance use disorders and behavioral health. In addition students learn effective counseling and crisis intervention strategies, how to conduct mental health assessments, and provide psychiatric care and rehabilitation.

“Through these programs, students develop the specialized knowledge and empathy needed to address mental health topics in today’s society – valuable skills that include focused listening, analytical thinking and the ability to help others navigate through difficult circumstances,” said Dr. Amy Stahley, interim dean of the College of Health Professions for Davenport University. 

Both programs are accepting applications now for fall enrollment and are offered through 100% online delivery. 

“Graduates from both programs will enter the workforce with the skills necessary to work with clients of all ages and backgrounds in individual, group and family settings,” said Dr. Gerald Nyambane, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Davenport University. “We have built this curriculum with the understanding that the skills students need to thrive as a counselor or nurse practitioner aren’t just learned in a classroom—they’re built through experience.” 

Upon graduation, Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling students will have the skills needed to help future clients overcome addictions, substance abuse, grief, self-esteem issues, marital difficulties and more. They will be adept at counseling and advising individuals and groups to promote a healthy mental and emotional state, with an emphasis on prevention.

With a Master of Science in Nursing with a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner concentration, students will assess, diagnose and treat the mental health needs of patients of all ages. They may also provide physical and psychosocial assessments as well as emergency psychiatric care.

Davenport’s work to launch these new programs was made possible through the support of generous donors including Keith and Kathy Klingenberg and the M.E. Davenport Foundation through the M.E. Davenport Legacy Endowment Committee. To learn more visit davenport.edu/ELEVATE.

About Davenport University:

Founded in 1866, Davenport is a private, non-profit university serving students at campuses across Michigan and online. The university is committed to providing high academic quality, small class sizes, conveniently located campuses, faculty with real-world experience, and more than 60 dynamic undergraduate and graduate programs addressing in-demand careers in business, technology, health, and urban education. Learn more at www.davenport.edu.


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