Catawba College Gift Will Establish Mental Health Counseling Program
February 18, 2019
Catawba College has received a $250,000 gift to establish a mental health counseling curriculum, according to an announcement by Dr. Jim Hand, Dean of the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance.
The curriculum is made possible with a gift from the Jim Whitton family – Jim Whitton Sr., a former Salisbury resident and former member of the Catawba College Board of Trustees, and wife Barbara; Jim (Jimmy) Whitton Jr. and wife Barbara; Anne Whitton Bolyea; and Jane Whitton Trevey and husband Chris.
The School of Health Sciences and Human Performance plans to establish a minor in counseling in its undergraduate program, as well as a graduate program in counseling.
Dr. Chad Betters, associate professor of health sciences, said that there is significant need in the state of North Carolina for these programs, with 15 to 20 percent anticipated growth in the next five years. Betters is a licensed professional counselor with more than 15 years in counseling, working in both academic and clinical settings.
Catawba plans a generalist program in counseling that will allow students to specialize in programs such as addiction counseling, pediatrics, rehabilitation, education, or other specialties. “This allows the greatest degree in marketability,” said Betters.
“The mental health counseling program stays true to the mission of Catawba of service to the community,” said Hand. “The counseling program is very intentional, as it speaks to character, scholarship and service. We want to build character and have empathetic, trained workers for this community. At Catawba, we are not just training for the job, we are training for life. We teach students to think of others before self and then to serve.”
The School of Health Sciences and Human Performance offers majors in nursing, athletic training, exercise science, therapeutic recreation, sport management, and recreation. Currently, Catawba’s MIND BODY SOUL Campaign for Growth plans to raise $3.9 million for the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance, including a new outdoor recreation activity center (ORAC) for expanded student fitness and outdoor recreational activities.
Other plans include refurbishing the exercise science and anatomy labs and beginning a graduate program in sports management and a Master of Science in Nursing degree.
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