HealthForce Partners is pleased to share an updated Mental Health Specialist Certification program from San Joaquin Delta College.

Delta College has recently updated its Mental Health Specialist Certificate to match the current requirement for San Joaquin County Behavioral Health’s Mental Health Specialist I position. This position requires completion of 45 semester units from an approved college or university of which a minimum of 30 must be in Psychology, Social Work, Nursing or related Social Science. Students who successfully complete the Mental Health Specialist Certificate are positioned for competitive eligibility. SJC BHS has noted on its employment requirements that Mental Health Specialist Certificate fulfills the Minimum Qualifications requirement for their Mental Health Specialist position.

“California continues to experience a shortage of mental health service providers to meet the needs of an increasingly culturally diverse population. Educational programs have historically focused on preparing students for entry into the fields of substance abuse treatment, social work, counseling and nursing,” explains Courtney Flores, Interim Director, Children and Youth Services, San Joaquin County Behavioral Health Services.

“San Joaquin County Behavioral Health Services believes the Mental Health Specialist Certificate program will allow students to gain important skills and the requisite knowledge necessary to increase the level of competency of entry-level professionals into the field of behavioral health. Students with the Mental Health Specialist Certificate skills will directly translate into better outcomes for mental health consumers and serve to improve the community as a whole,” said Flores. 

Through the collaborative partnership of HealthForce Partners, we brought together education and employment partners to establish curricula understanding across participating educational institutions to meet Behavioral Health employment qualifications and workforce needs. With our Behavioral Health Work Team, we were able to review Behavioral Health employment descriptions to reflect current minimum qualifications, desired qualifications, and opportunities for experience equivalency. 

“As a public institution, it is a requisite to partner with local employers for any program that is deemed necessary to meet the local, regional, and State workforce demand. With the partnership and support of HealthForce Partners, we were able to make a connection with the needs of employers and respond appropriately,” said Salvador Vargas, Dean of Technical and Education and Workforce Development. 

The program is currently open for enrollment at Delta College and will begin in Summer 2020.

To apply to the program, visit:

For the program course outline, visit the link below.

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