Campus: NORTHRIDGE -- December 8, 2006

CSUN Receives $328,000 Grant to Support Student Internships with Mental Health Organizations

Cal State Northridge has received a $328,758, three-year grant from The California Endowment to support student internships with community-based mental health organizations.

The money will fund a new component of the university's Career Opportunities in Research (COR), an undergraduate honors program for psychology students in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The program, led by psychology professor Carrie Saetermoe, will place COR students in internships with community-based mental health organizations to strengthen their data management and planning initiatives and improve service delivery.

"The significance of the grant," said Saetermoe, "is that it focuses both on supporting students who are traditionally underrepresented in doctoral programs in the field and emphasizes action research. We will be working directly with community-based mental health agencies--helping them get their data bases set up and analyze them, develop their own grant initiatives and do program evaluations.

"The students will be doing real-world things while getting hands-on research experience," she said.

The Endowment grant will provide funding for student stipends, an executive director and project director for the program as well as field trips, workshops and program supplies.

Recently re-refunded for another five years, the Career Opportunities in Research program at CSUN is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health. It has been highly successful in training underrepresented junior and senior students for doctoral-level careers in mental health-related fields.

COR provides supportive, rigorous and culturally attuned training and experiences to develop a work ethic among its students of academic integrity and social commitment to the mental health needs of vulnerable populations. During their two years in the program, COR students take seven honors-level courses, conduct mentored research, present at professional conferences and write a senior honors thesis.


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