Delve Into Behavioral Trauma With This Bachelor’s Program
Trauma-informed care is a model of delivering behavioral healthcare that treats the whole person. It assumes that every patient is more likely than not to have a history of trauma, and it recognizes that individuals with a history of trauma need to feel safe and empowered.1 This is an enlightened approach to healthcare that requires the insights of professionals and paraprofessionals who have an academic background in trauma. If you feel called upon to assist survivors and help them work through difficult times in their lives, Grand Canyon University invites you to explore our trauma courses.
The Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science with an Emphasis in Trauma, offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, focuses on the biopsychosocial effects of trauma, including the dynamics of trauma throughout the different life stages of an individual. You will be taught best practices in working with client populations affected by trauma. These include informed care assessments, interventions and ethics.
Explore Foundational Competencies in Behavioral Trauma at GCU
Trauma is something that could happen to anyone. In fact, one in four women in the U.S. has suffered from domestic violence. One in five women and one in 71 men have been victims of sexual assault.1 Other types of trauma — from natural disasters to serious medical diagnoses — are also common. The goal of this Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science degree program is to enable you to empower victims of trauma to work toward healing and to cope with their past in healthy ways. GCU strives to graduate practice-ready professionals who are eager to make a positive difference in the lives of others in their communities.
As a Christian school, GCU and our behavioral trauma courses emphasize the role of Christian ethics and principles in the professional space. The guiding beliefs and worldview of Christianity are integrated into the coursework. You will be encouraged to bring the qualities of compassion and empathy to your professional careers.
Behavioral Trauma Courses Enable Specialized Training
One of the goals of this Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science degree program is to empower you to become an effective communicator who can connect with clients and co-workers in a professional manner. This program provides opportunities to develop critical thinking and ethical problem-solving abilities, along with teaching behavioral health science competencies in areas such as:
- The fundamentals of addiction and substance use disorders, including biopsychosocial dynamics, stages, processes and effects
- Physical, cognitive and socioemotional development across the human lifespan
- The origin and development of abnormal patterns and disorders, with a look at the physiological factors that may influence mental health
- Types of trauma and the effects of traumatic experiences, as well as trauma-informed care assessments and treatments
Develop Your Skills for Trauma-Informed Care
Throughout this bachelor’s program, you will examine the following key concepts in behavioral health and trauma-informed care:
- The physical, psychological and interpersonal effects of traumatic situations
- The short-term and long-term consequences of trauma in childhood
- Advocacy on behalf of diverse clients
- Applied clinical research and established behavioral health documentation styles
You will conclude your trauma focus studies with a capstone course. It requires the development of a written proposal that focuses on an aspect of trauma or trauma care for a community-based behavioral health organization. This is an opportunity for you to synthesize previous coursework and demonstrate the skills and competencies you’ve been taught.
Career Paths with a BS in Behavioral Health Science: Trauma Emphasis
Working in the trauma field is a calling that requires strength of character, compassion and empathy. With competencies in the behavioral health field, you may be prepared to pursue a position as a trauma specialist, behavioral health technician or paraprofessional. Trauma specialists are needed in a variety of situations. They work with clients of all ages who have suffered trauma as a result of acts of violence and neglect, medical catastrophes, natural disasters or geopolitical unrest. As a graduate with this degree, you may position yourself to work in the following settings:2
- Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals or clinics
- Government agencies
- Residential mental health and substance abuse facilities
- Outpatient mental health and substance abuse facilities
The BS in Behavioral Health Science does not lead to clinical licensure. Some individuals who go into this field decide to enhance their qualifications and career opportunities by pursuing further education. A graduate degree in counseling or psychology might pave the way for you to pursue a career as a clinical trauma psychologist.
Earn Your BS in Behavioral Health Science From an Institutionally Accredited University
At GCU, our mission is to provide thoughtfully designed, well-rounded academic programs that empower our graduates to effect positive change in their communities. Our commitment to quality education is reflected in our accreditation.
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has continually accredited GCU since 1968. The College of Humanities and Social Sciences shares the university’s commitment to upholding the principles and standards established by our accrediting bodies.
Behavioral Health Science: Trauma Emphasis FAQs
Earning a degree in behavioral trauma can provide the pathway toward pursuing a career you may find meaningful. Before making a decision for your future, you can explore the mental health field further in the following FAQs and answers.
Find your purpose at Grand Canyon University and pursue a future dedicated to serving and uplifting others in your community. Fill out the form on this page to request more information about the behavioral trauma emphasis.
1 Tello, M., MD, MPH. (2018, Oct. 16). Trauma-informed care: what it is and why it’s important. Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved Nov. 6, 2023.
2 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2023, Sept. 6). Psychiatric technicians and aides: work environment. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved Nov. 6, 2023.
3 Learn.org. (n.d.). What is behavioral science? Learn.org. Retrieved Nov. 6, 2023.
4 Gillette, H. (2023, March 28). What’s the difference between mental health and behavioral health? Healthline. Retrieved Nov. 6, 2023.
5 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2023, Sept. 6). How to become a psychiatric technician or aide. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved Nov. 6, 2023.
6 Resilient Educator. (2019, Dec. 20). Trauma-informed specialist: education, salary, and outlook. Retrieved Nov. 6, 2023.
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, cross-cultural 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
* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.