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Mental Health Associate Degree

Associate of Applied Science
Mental Health Associate AAS Degree

Effective summer 2020, no new students will be accepted into the mental health associate program.

MC's mental health associate AAS curriculum is designed to educate a mental health generalist who is trained for a variety of related occupations, rather than for a specific job. Students study a core of general education subjects combined with specialized courses related to a wide spectrum of human services. Part of the curriculum consists of supervised field experiences in several different kinds of agencies and institutions in the field of human services such as those in county and state mental health departments, community mental health organizations and agencies, gerontology, hospice, drugs and alcohol rehabilitation, corrections, and school systems, and in culturally disadvantaged areas.

The mental health associate curriculum has three objectives: (1) to prepare the career student who wants a technical curriculum for immediate paid employment upon graduation, (2) to provide the transfer student with an excellent foundation, and flexible background so that study may continue in the field of mental health, social work, or psychology, or some allied field, such as substance abuse, or gerontology, and (3) to permit a student to continue with an education on a part-time basis, while being gainfully employed.

In addition to the scholastic standards required of all students at the College, students in the mental health associate curriculum are expected to achieve a grade of C or better in each mental health and psychology course. Completion of all requirements for this curriculum will lead to the award of the AAS.

Students are encouraged to apply to the mental health associate program prior to the semester they begin their studies. Students who plan to major in mental health associate will be assigned the temporary major of pre-mental health associate, with POS code 560, until they are officially admitted to the mental health associate program. The Office of Admissions, Records, and Registration at Takoma Park will assign a matriculated code once students are admitted to the mental health associate program.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, a student will be able to:

  • Evaluate the impact of the history of the mental health movement, as it relates to human service professionals, and policies.   
  • Integrate the political impact (local, regional, national, and international) on current MHLT trends, competencies, and characteristics of MHLT/Human services workers, and current industry trends.
  • Apply learned ethical principles, multicultural principles, and professional decorum germane to the MHLT industry.
  • Personify professional decorum and attire consistent with MHLT/Human Service Workers.
  • Operate with the highest standards of ethical principles, multicultural sensitivity, and professional comportment that indicates a robust understanding of these critical principles.
  • Exhibit professionalism and accountability, teamwork, and working for the common good of the client. 
  • Research, and develop supportable analysis in written assignments, using APA 6th edition format. 
  • Apply knowledge of the MHLT field, theoretical orientations, and common practice. 
  • Apply group work knowledge of the progression of the groups and effective theoretical orientation.
  • Integrate knowledge and understanding of group dynamics theory; exhibit an understanding of leadership skills; the application of current group methods; and apply non-verbal communication skills to fieldwork.
  • Apply non-verbal communication skills to fieldwork. assignments, and field placements.

Program Advising

Academic advising helps students reach their educational and career goals. Meet with your academic advisor regularly to discuss your academic plans and make sure you are on track to graduate and/or transfer.  The program advising guide outlines the degree requirements and is meant to supplement the advising process.

Transfer Opportunities

MC has a long history of successfully preparing students for transfer to four-year institutions. See all transfer agreements.


Mental health workers are active in such fields as psychology, social work, child welfare, health, family services, gerontology, criminal justice, substance abuse, therapeutic recreation, and education, among others. 



Distribution, General Education and Foundation Courses

  • All students should review the advising guide and consult an advisor.
  • Find out about related programs and course in the Fields of Study section.
  • Most courses have either assessment levels that must be met or prerequisites (courses that must be taken first). Part-time students and those who need to meet assessment levels or take prerequisite courses will take longer to complete a degree. An advisor will help make sure you are taking your courses in the right order.
  • All degree-seeking students must take a central group of General Education courses in English, mathematics, arts, behavioral and social sciences, humanities, and science. These courses are included in the suggested course sequence below.

General Education Elective