School of Social Work

Purpose of Program


The purpose of the California State University, Chico Master of Social Work (MSW) Behavioral Health Program (BHP) is to recruit, educate, and place MSW students from culturally and linguistically diverse socio-demographic backgrounds and other characteristics of historically marginalized communities into behavioral health settings in the North State. MSW BHP students will engage in behavioral health services for children, youth, families, and adults in under-resourced and underserved communities across the 18 Northern California Superior Region counties (PDF): Del Norte, Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, and Yuba. During their awarded period, MSW BHP students will deliver culturally sensitive primary and behavioral health services within behavioral health agencies. They will collaborate in multidisciplinary teams spanning various professions and agencies, while receiving training in wellness, recovery, and resilience principles, encompassing self-help, healing, and empowerment support


In Spring of 2023, the California State University Chico School of Social Work was awarded two behavioral health grants to train MSW students in behavioral health settings. The two funding opportunities are the Behavioral Health Expansion Program (BHEP) and the CalSWEC Public Behavioral Health (PBH) program.

Students pursuing their MSW degree can apply for acceptance in the BHP program for one academic year at a time. They can participate in the program for a maximum of two academic years. However, acceptance for one academic year does not guarantee acceptance for the second year. Please click on "Student Eligibility and Requirements" to determine your eligibility for the program. 

Behavioral Health Expansion Program (BHEP)

The BHEP is funded through the Social Work Education Capacity Expansion (SWECE) grant from the California Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) to recruit, train, and place social workers to meet the behavioral health needs of the Northern California Superior Region (PDF)across four academic years (Fall 2023 – Spring 2027). The BHEP provides twelve incoming MSW studentsfor the 2024-2025 academic year and/or are recipients of the BHEP award for the 2023-2024 academic year a $10,000 financial stipend for the awarded academic year and does not have a post-graduation service obligation. 

CalSWEC Public Behavioral Health Program (PBH)

The CalSWEC PBH program is a funding initiative that aims to better prepare MSW (Master of Social Work) students to provide effective and evidence-based behavioral healthcare in publicly-funded programs and settings. The program also aims to train MSWs in proactively supporting the integration of behavioral healthcare services with and within other public services and systems, while enhancing their retention and development in public behavioral health programs and settings. As part of this program, ten MSW students are awarded a $25,000 yearly stipend. The CalSWEC PBH training program has a post-graduation service obligation. For more details about the post-graduation service obligation, please click on Student Eligibility and Requirements.

The stipends for full-time students (based on campus enrollment rules) are $25,000 per academic year:

  • Awardee will receive stipends in two disbursements:
    • $12,500 in mid to late fall semester
    • $12,500 in mid spring semester

Stipends for part-time students (based on campus enrollment rules) are $12,500 per academic year

  • Trainees will receive stipends in two disbursements:
    • $6,250 in mid to late fall semester
    • $6,250 in mid spring semester

Behavioral Health Program Team

The Behavioral Health Program is lead by:

  • Program Coordinator, Dr. Judy Vang, LCSW
  • Practicum Coordinator, Gail Garcia, LCSW
  • Principal Investigator, Dr. Molly Calhoun, MSW
  • Cultural Responsiveness and Emotional Liberation Trainer, Dr. Devanji (Juni) Banerjee-Stevens, PhD
  • Behavioral Health Faculty, Dr. Qingyi Li, PhD
  • Administrative Support Staff, Stephanie Cello, BA

If you would like further information about the MSW BHP, please contact Judy Vang, Program Coordinator at

The Behavioral Health Program Team