Find Your Purpose with a Behavioral Health Trauma Bachelor of Science Degree
Trauma-informed care is a model of delivering behavioral health care that treats the whole person. It assumes that every patient is more likely than not to have a history of trauma. 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 the BS in trauma.
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. Students learn best practices in working with client populations affected by trauma. These include informed care assessments, interventions and ethics.
As a Christian school, GCU and our trauma degree program emphasize the role of Christian ethics and principles in the professional space. The guiding beliefs and worldview of Christianity are integrated into the coursework. Students are inspired to bring the qualities of compassion and empathy to their professional careers.
Gain a Foundation in Trauma-Focused Behavioral Health
Graduates with a BS in trauma will become effective communicators who can connect with clients and their co-workers in a professional manner. Students will gain a firm understanding of the key concepts in behavioral health and trauma-informed care. These include the physical, psychological and interpersonal effects of traumatic situations. There is a focus on identifying, assessing and treating the short-term and long-term consequences of trauma in childhood. Some of the courses included with this trauma degree program include:
- Cultural and Social Diversity in Behavioral Health
- Understanding Trauma
- Introduction to Trauma-Informed Care
- Overview of Assessment and Treatment of Trauma
- Ethics of Behavioral Health Science
Students will conclude their studies with the Professional Capstone Project. 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 students to synthesize previous coursework and demonstrate their skills and competencies.
Pursue a Future with a Trauma Bachelor’s Degree
Working in the trauma field is a calling that requires strength of character, compassion and empathy. A BS in trauma may prepare you 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 a trauma degree, you may pursue work in the following settings:
- Hospitals or clinics
- Community health programs
- Government agencies
- Nonprofit organizations
- Social and human service agencies
The BS in trauma 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 can pave the way for specialists to pursue a rewarding career as a clinical trauma psychologist.
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 offers an overview of the six key principles of the trauma-informed care approach. The purpose of the course is to develop knowledge and awareness about safety building, trustworthiness, peer support networking, connectedness, empowerment, cultural, historical, spiritual, and gender issues. In addition, the course addresses recovery, support systems, resiliency, and an integrated approach when working with trauma victims.
This course offers an overview of the evidence-based screening and assessment tools utilized in assessing the impact of trauma. In addition, this course will cover best practice approaches to trauma treatment. Prerequisite: BHS-470.
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.