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The BHECN Scholars is a pathway program that supports undergraduate seniors who plan to pursue their master’s degree in a Nebraska-based behavioral health program following graduation. Scholars will receive tuition support, mentorship and professional development, and participate in social and learning opportunities built around a cohort model.

The purpose of BHECN Scholars is to recruit regionally and culturally diverse students into the behavioral health workforce and ensure their success as practicing, licensed professionals in Nebraska.


Eligibility criteria is as follows:

  • Rising senior (or equivalent standing) student with an anticipated undergraduate graduation in May 2025.
  • Currently attending a four-year undergraduate institution in Nebraska.
  • Majoring in a behavioral-health oriented degree (g., psychology, social work, criminal justice, behavioral health science, sociology, family sciences) and/or must show evidence of engagement in a related degree path (e.g., business major with 9+ credit hours in behavioral-health oriented courses).
  • Demonstrated plans to attend a behavioral health master’s degree program (g., Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy) in Nebraska immediately following undergraduate graduation (Summer or Fall 2025 enrollment).
  • A US citizen or lawful permanent resident.
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 strongly encouraged. (Applicants with a cumulative GPA of ≥ 2.75 will be considered.) 

Application & Selection Process

We anticipate accepting up to 10 Scholars for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Applications will only be accepted through the official application platform during the timeframes indicated on the platform’s homepage. Applications submitted before or after the indicated timeframes will not be considered. Award notifications will be made in July.

 Tuition & Other Financial Support

Scholars selected for the program will receive a one-time $5,000 payment in Fall 2024. Funding will be distributed to the Scholar and can be used to support tuition and other educational expenses.

Scholars who complete all program requirements and are admitted to an eligible graduate program in 2025 can renew in the second year for an additional $5,000.

Learning Community

Scholars will participate in monthly programmatic activities, including mentorship, professional development, and peer networking programs. These opportunities will be a blend of in-person and virtual events. Funding will be provided by the program to support cohort activities and travel.


Scholars will be paired with a BHECN mentor, a licensed, active professional in behavioral health. After being carefully matched based on overlapping interests, regional location, and professional goals, Scholars will meet monthly with their mentors throughout their time in the program. Mentorship meetings can be in-person or virtual.

Professional Development & Peer Networking Programming

Scholars will be provided opportunities for fellowship and community building within their cohorts. These opportunities will help students foster peer networking, build skills necessary to become successful behavioral health providers, and develop supportive learning communities. Scholars will have unique access to specialized programming designed to enhance their professional development, including assistance with graduate school applications (including letters of recommendation), engagement in BHECN-sponsored activities, and sponsorship for regional educational conferences. Scholars will also have regular connection points with the BHECN leadership and program staff.