Enter into the Behavioral Health Field
The Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science with an Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders degree program prepares students with the skills and training to work in various settings as behavioral health technicians or specialists. You will gain a comprehensive knowledge base of childhood and adolescent development and behavior, and in particular, a thorough understanding childhood and adolescent disorders.
Within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, you will explore the biological, emotional and environmental aspects that impact childhood and adolescent development, as well as theories related to childhood and adolescent physical and behavioral health. The behavioral health science program addresses the assessment, diagnosis, intervention and best practices for the behavioral health treatment of both children and adolescents. This behavioral health degree does not lead to licensure.
Meet the Needs of Behavioral Health
Upon earning your degree in behavioral health science, you will have the skills and training to work as part of a clinical team within the in-demand behavioral health field in an area such as counseling, health services management, human services, government and law enforcement.
As a graduate, you will have an in-depth understanding of the following core competencies:
- Concepts of Behavioral Health
- Behavioral Health Skills
- Cultural Competency
- Behavioral Health Information Technology
- Professional Network
- Childhood and Adolescent Disorders
The curriculum also delivers a strong foundation for pursing a graduate degree in counseling, criminal justice, clinical or forensic psychology, or human services. You will have the academic background to continue your education and advance your career toward clinical psychology, licensed therapy or professional counseling.
Explore Childhood and Adolescence Development and Disorders
You will learn to identify the theories of childhood development and the DSM disorders related to children and adolescents. This program prepares you with the ability to distinguish evidence-based treatment options, as well as discuss the Code of Ethics and legal rights when working with minors. The Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science with an Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders program concludes with a capstone project designed to be a culmination of your learning experiences. You will develop a proposal focusing on your area of specialty for a community-based behavioral health organization.
Course topics include:
- Introduction to Counseling Theories
- Introduction to Family Dynamics
- Understanding Trauma
- Childhood and Adolescence Disorders
- Introduction to Childhood and Adolescent Physical and Behavioral Health
Pursue a Rewarding Career in Healthcare
You will be equipped to enter a career in the behavioral health field as a behavioral health technician, specialist or paraprofessional with the skills to help you address childhood and adolescent development or advance within the childhood and adolescence disorders emphasis program. You may also pursue positions as a mental health service technician, social or community service manager, or case manager. Other potential career opportunities include professional roles in areas of behavioral health, counseling, health services management, health services and other agencies including, but not limited to, government, private and public entities.
General Education Requirements
General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.
Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.
- UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4
- UNV-103, University Success: 4
- UNV-303, University Success: 4
- UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.
- UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
- ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
- ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.
- CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
- CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.
- MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
- MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
- PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
- BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, crosscultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.
- HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
Program Core Courses
This course provides foundational knowledge regarding addiction and substance use disorders. Topics studied include biopsychosocial dynamics; stages, processes, and impact of addiction and substance use; and the role of the addiction professional in prevention, intervention, relapse prevention, and aftercare. In addition, the course provides overviews of the substance abuse counselor's code of ethics, HIPAA, and legal issues involved in counseling.
This course provides foundational knowledge in theoretical approaches to counseling. Theoretical models studied include psychodynamic, existential, Gestalt, person-centered, cognitive and behavioral therapy, family systems, and narrative- and solution-focused therapies.
This course provides a broad understanding of group development stages, group dynamics, group counseling theories, and ethical standards pertaining to group work. In addition, this course explores theoretical approaches to group work. The course also addresses the growth and development of group members.
This writing-intensive course provides a broad understanding of ethics, legal standards, and responsibilities in behavioral health. Students explore basic ethical concepts, legislation, and current trends in behavioral health ethics. This course pays special attention to technology and its effects on lawmaking and ethics in behavioral health. Important goals of this course are to help students develop a comprehensive understanding of the history and current application of ethics in the behavioral health field.
This course provides a comprehensive foundation through exploring the content areas of cultural diversity, social justice, and religious and spiritual values. Examination of these areas strives to offer an overarching framework to guide students and gain perspectives for working with multicultural populations in the behavioral health field. This course assists students with developing knowledge and application of cultural diversity, cultural competency, and the importance of self-awareness, social justice, and advocacy. In addition, this course provides students a blended approach of the beliefs and values associated with religion and spirituality as a component of cultural competency.
This course provides an understanding of the nature and needs of individuals across the life-span development. This course covers physical, cognitive, and socioemotional development across various points in human development. Additionally, students learn about the influence of spiritual and moral beliefs throughout the life span.
This is a writing intensive foundation course in the science of abnormal behavior that offers students the opportunity to study the origin and development of abnormal patterns and disorders. This course is designed to assist students in recognizing and understanding mental illness through increased awareness of emotional, functional, and physiological factors influencing mental health. Specific topics include symptoms, diagnoses, etiology, epidemiology, and treatment of various psychological disorders and syndromes.
This course is a study of elementary theories of probability, distribution, and testing of statistical hypotheses. Practical experience is provided in the application of statistical methods. Prerequisite: MAT-134, MAT-144 or MAT-154.
This course provides a comprehensive understanding of the various documentation styles used in the behavioral health field. Students critically examine evidence-based research in the field of behavioral health. The course offers an introduction to conducting applied clinical research.
This course introduces the historical and theoretical perspectives of family dynamics and systems. Topics include roles, communication styles, boundaries, generational patterns, cultural influences, and couples and parenting dynamics. Skills and modalities relevant to working with families in the behavioral health field are explored.
This course offers an overview of various types of trauma, and effects of traumatic experiences within the physical, emotional, sociological, cognitive, and spiritual domains of a human being. It studies the dynamics of trauma throughout the human life-span development. It offers a brief overview of trauma, informed care assessment and treatment, and ethics associated with working with trauma victims.
This course provides students with an understanding of the biological, emotional, and environmental aspects that impact childhood and adolescent development. The course addresses assessment, diagnosis, and intervention as it relates to childhood and adolescent disorders. Students examine the classification and epidemiology of anxiety disorders, mood disorders, conduct problems, ADD/ADHD, language and learning, intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, and other childhood- and adolescence-related disorders according to the DSM. Prerequisite: BHS-420.
This course provides a broad understanding of the components and theories related to childhood and adolescent physical and behavioral health. Also covered are the modalities that can be utilized to promote best practice approaches in behavioral health treatment of both children and adolescents. Students gain the necessary knowledge to advance in the Childhood and Adolescence Disorders emphasis program. Prerequisite: BHS-420.
The capstone project is a culmination of the learning experiences while a student is within the behavioral health science program at Grand Canyon University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Students prepare a written proposal for a community-based behavioral health organization related to the student’s specific area of focus. The proposal includes the name, geographical location, identified service gap, target populations, types of service/treatments, potential challenges, ethical considerations, and supervision/oversight considerations. The professional capstone project proposal needs to reflect synthesis and integration of course content. This capstone course needs to be completed at the end of program. Prerequisite: BHS-350.
Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere. GCU offers the most experienced leadership in delivering online degree programs. Full-time faculty members and fully trained adjunct instructors, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Designed with the career-oriented professional in mind, our online classes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Choose from programs across our distinct colleges, in high-demand employment areas. Classes begin frequently.
Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom. Night classes are designed for a specific number of students, providing a warm and nurturing environment that supports an engaging experience. In an evening cohort, you will progress through your degree program with the same career-minded classmates, providing an opportunity to network and forge relationships that go beyond the classroom. Classes begin frequently at various locations, including our main campus.
* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.