• Mental Health, Social Service and Addiction Counseling Program Details

  • Thank you for your interest in learning about the exciting and rewarding field of Mental Health! Mt. Hood Community College's Mental Health, Social Service and Addiction Counseling program is the only all-encompassing 2-year degree in mental health within the Portland-Metro area.

    The primary approach in this program is "hands on" learning. This means there are experiential parts to the classes including fieldwork, group work, and videotaped interviewing sessions. This kind of training prepares graduates for immediate employment upon graduation. Most graduates who seek employment find work before or shortly after graduation. Other graduates elect to go on for a four-year degree utilizing our great transfer agreements.

    This is a restricted entry program and applicants to the program must meet certain criteria before their application will be considered. Currently, the program admits 24 students every fall term.

    Admission to the Program

    Requirements to Apply

    The information below is based on application requirements for Fall term 2020 admission. To be eligible to apply, applicants must meet the requirements described below with coursework and/or course placement completed by the application deadline date of May 22, 2020.

    Applicants are required to:

    1. Apply for general admission to the College at https://my.mhcc.edu/ICS/Admissions if you do not have a MHCC ID number. Select General Studies as your major. It will change to Mental Health if/when you are admitted into the program.
    2. Meet minimum academic requirements in reading, writing and mathematics:

      Subject Option 1
      Placement into*
      OR Option 2
      Completion of**
      Reading RD115 or higher or RD090/IECC201R/WR115 or a higher level Writing-specific course**
      Writing WR121 or WR115 or WR121*
      (WR101 does not satisfy this requirement)
      Math MTH058/MTH060 or higher or MTH020 or a higher level Math-specific course**

      *OPTION 1 – Placement Scores

      • The Accuplacer College Placement Test (CPT) is a non-timed skills assessment test given on a walk-in basis. For more information visit: https://www.mhcc.edu/TestingServices.
      • Applicants are encouraged to review the CPT prep page available at mhcc.edu/cptprep.
      • CPT scores are valid for five years and cannot be older than 5/8/15. If it is older, the CPT will need to be taken again.
      • Students may be able to use Smarter Balanced, GPA or GED scores, or self-directed placement for meeting the academic skills requirements, see Course Placement Determination.

      **OPTION 2 – Transcript Requirements if meeting the minimum academic requirements using completed coursework.

      • Courses must be completed with a "C" grade or better.
      • Courses in progress ("IP" courses) do not satisfy the minimum academic requirements.
      • Transcripts must be official (unopened) and issued directly by the accredited institution from which the course(s) were taken. Official electronic transcripts (e-transcripts such as Parchment or EDI) submitted via secure electronic delivery service are acceptable and may be submitted to ar@mhcc.edu. Additionally, official AP or IB transcripts/scores must be submitted if courses are to be used for admission requirements (see Credit Alternatives).
      • Do NOT include an MHCC transcript.
      • Coursework showing as transferred from one institution to another is not accepted. Original transcripts must accompany all earned, attempted, or audited college credits.
      • Nationally accredited (for-profit institutions) transcripts are not required and will not fulfill program or degree requirements, but may be submitted.
      • If an up-to-date transcript is on file (showing most recently completed coursework with nothing in progress) applicants do not need to submit another copy. Courses may be in progress at the time of application submission but an updated transcript showing posted grades for the required coursework for Winter term 2020 must be received by the application deadline.
      • Transcripts from foreign institutions must be evaluated before the application deadline by an outside credential service if courses are to be used for meeting admission/degree requirements. The evaluated transcript must be submitted by the application deadline for the program. For more information visit: www.mhcc.edu/internationaltranscript. Evaluation processing for foreign transcripts is time consuming, and our process could take up to six weeks. It is best to start this process early.
    3. Submit completed application forms in the packet along with the $25 application fee to the Student Services HUB, room AC2253.
    4. Participate in a group style interview (if selected) with faculty representatives and fellow students.

    Applicant and Point Selection Process

    Applicants who have submitted their completed application by the deadline will be awarded points on a 20-point scale for their Experience Summary. Up to 70 applicants may be selected for an interview. Applicants that score less than 10 points will not be qualified for an interview.


    Qualified applicants may earn up to 37 points during the interview phase. Applicants selected for an interview will participate in a group style interview and proctored essay. Points from Phase 1 are not moved forward. Applicants are officially admitted into the program based on points earned during the interview phase. Up to 10 qualified candidates will be offered an alternate position in the program. Alternates are offered a position in the program if any of the accepted applicants decline a position in the program.

    What will I have to do after I am accepted into the program?

    Immunizations - Accepted students must provide documentation of the following:

    • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR), 2 vaccines or positive titers for all 3 diseases
    • Varicella, 2 vaccines or positive titer
    • Tuberculosis screening current within the last 12 months
    • Hepatitis B, 3 vaccines and follow up titer
      (Please note that the Hepatitis B vaccine series takes 6 months to complete.)
    • Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis (Tdap), current with the last 10 years

    Background Check - The program requires students to complete a criminal background check after acceptance. If you have concerns about your background and success in the program, please discuss your concerns with program faculty.

    Please Note: Prior person to person assault charges will disqualify you from being placed within many of our agency partners and might ultimately prove to be a significant barrier to employment in the Mental Health field.

    In addition, many but not all of our internship sites require a DHS/CPS background check. You will not be qualified to work with vulnerable populations if you have had any prior involvement with these state agencies.

    Drug Screen - Students will be required to complete a comprehensive drug screen, prior to entering the program. In addition, students may be required to complete a 10 panel drug screen before participating in a clinical rotation per the requirements of the assigned clinical facility. Please note, this drug screening will check for drugs that contain, amphetamines, barbiturates, opioids, benzodiazepines and marijuana. If you are taking any prescribed medication that may contain these drugs you will need to meet with the program director before completing the drug screen.

    If you have had a prior DUI or MIP charges you will would need to disclose all of those charges in writing prior to being placed in an internship.

    Sobriety Requirement- The Mental Health, Social Services, and Addiction Counseling Program is a rigorous and personally challenging program. If you identify as a person who has struggled with substance abuse disorder, we highly recommend that you have three years clean of your addiction in order to assure success in this program.

    Further Considerations Prior to Applying


    The Mental Health, Social Service and Addiction Counseling program is a professional training program with high performance and behavioral standards. The program has an excellent reputation in the social service community and our interns and graduates are highly regarded. It is expected that students are prepared to commit themselves fully to learning to become ethical and effective helping professionals and are ready to focus on this goal. Excellent attendance, appropriate classroom behavior, healthy interpersonal communication skills, and competent academic performance are expected throughout the program.

    Personal Discoveries

    It is the teaching philosophy of the program that healthy helpers have examined their own lives. You will be reflecting on your own developmental journey as part of your studies and this may trigger strong emotions to the point that outside support may be beneficial in processing these emotions. MHCC offers five free counseling sessions that any MHSSAC student may utilize as needed. You will be changing and growing as a result of the skills and theories you are learning. Sometimes, students change during this process and friends and families are confused about these changes.

    Click here for program costs and other considerations.

    Graduating Class of 2014