The counseling program at Hood College has received a $2.2 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

The federal grant is intended to be used to increase diversity within the master’s program in clinical mental health counseling as well as to increase diversity within the profession. 

The funds will be dispersed over the next five years and will be used to strengthen recruitment and retention efforts as well as increase the graduation rates of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including underrepresented minority groups.

The money will also help fund Hood’s “Helping the Helper: Supporting Disadvantaged Clinical Mental Health Students” project, which addresses the lack of racial and ethnic minorities who work in the field of clinical mental health counseling in the Frederick region.

“I believe this grant to be a huge step in the right direction for our work in the counseling field,” Andrew Campbell, director of Hood's counseling program said in a statement. “It will go to fund new students coming from economically disadvantaged backgrounds in an effort to provide them with the means to pursue their graduate studies and give back to those same communities."

Follow Katryna Perera on Twitter: @katrynajill

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