Ends on

The NBCC Foundation is pleased to announce the 2024 application period for the National Board for Certified Counselors Minority Fellowship Program (NBCC MFP) for Mental Health Counselors (MHC-D). This program is made possible by a grant awarded to the NBCC Foundation by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The NBCC Foundation will administer up to 20 doctoral-level counseling fellowships of $22,000, plus the travel expenses to participate in program-related trainings.

The NBCC MFP helps ensure that the behavioral health needs of all Americans are met, regardless of language or culture, thereby reducing health disparities and improving overall community health and well-being. Minorities include but are not limited to racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender, sexual orientation, rural, or military groups. By strategically promoting and providing fellowships to doctoral counseling students, the NBCC MFP strengthens the infrastructure that engages diverse individuals in counseling and increases the number of professional counselors.

Eligible applicants must demonstrate knowledge of and experience with one or more of the following: people with serious mental illness/serious emotional disturbance; child/adolescent and geriatric groups; minority communities in inner cities and rural areas; refugee and migrant groups; minority persons including LGBTQI+; and those who are active-duty military, veterans, or from military families. Eligible applicants must commit to teach, administer services, conduct research, and/or provide direct mental health counseling to at least one of the above-listed populations.  

Eligibility Requirements: 

  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens or have permanent resident status. 
  • Applicants must not already possess a doctoral degree in a behavioral health field.  
  • Applicants must not receive any other federal funds (except for federal loans, work-study, or employment).   
  • Applicants must currently be board certified by holding the National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential. If the applicant is not currently board certified, they must document all the following:  
  1. A full state license as a professional counselor.  
  2. A passing score on the National Counselor Examination (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE). 
  3. A commitment to apply for the NCC credential and to complete the application within the shortest possible timeframe after notification of the MFP award. It is the applicant’s responsibility to determine their eligibility to obtain this certification prior to applying for the fellowship.  
  • Applicants must have completed one semester between summer 2023 and summer 2024 in a doctoral-level counseling program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) or counseling program pending CACREP accreditation. 
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled full time and be in good standing in a CACREP-accredited, doctoral-level counseling program or counseling program pending CACREP accreditation. Applicants must be currently taking courses at the time of application. Applicants may not have a pending status, deferred status, or other future start date for coursework. 
  • Applicants are expected to graduate by Dec. 31, 2027 (within 3 years of the date of the fellowship funding).
  • Eligible applicants must not have an anticipated academic program completion date before Sept. 30, 2025, which will be verified in writing by their academic department prior to the awarding of funds. 
  • Applicants must have demonstrated knowledge and experience with people with serious mental illness/serious emotional disturbance; child/adolescent and geriatric groups; minority communities in inner cities and rural areas; refugee and migrant groups; minority persons including LGBTQI+; and those who are active-duty military, veterans, or from military families. 
  • Applicants must commit to teach, administer, research, and/or provide direct mental health services to minority and underserved populations in the private, nonprofit, or public sectors within 1 year of graduation and for the duration of 2 years postgraduation.  
  • Applicants must be able to attend the 2025 NBCC Foundation’s Bridging the Gap Symposium to open their fellowship year the week of Feb. 27–March 1, 2025, and to close their fellowship year at the 2025 NBCCF Fall Institute during the week of Sept. 9–13, 2025, and up to two other training events during their fellowship year. 

African Americans, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders are especially encouraged to apply.* 

To check the CACREP status of a program, search the CACREP website

NOTE: Applicants who are not already NBCC board certified counselors are strongly advised to verify their eligibility for the NCC prior to applying. Requirements of the NCC certification can be found on NBCC’s website at nbcc.org/Certification/NCC

The application opens July 1, 2024, and the deadline is Sept. 30, 2024, at 11:59 pm EDT.  

Fellowship awardees will be announced by the end of December 2024. 

Disclaimer: Please be advised that all NBCCF MFP awards are subject to future funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA).

For questions, please review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). If after reviewing our FAQ document you still have questions, please email Foundation@nbcc.org or call 336-232-0376.

*Eligibility requirements for MFP awards are defined by SAMHSA. The program is not limited to individuals from minority populations; however, SAMHSA does prioritize individuals from the following communities: African American, Alaska Native, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander. SAMHSA’s priority population decision is based on the documentation of significant mental health disparities within these communities and the SAMHSA-identified strategy of increasing the number of individuals representing these communities in counselor education and leadership. This priority is considered when there are applicants with equivalently strong results identified during the review process. In that case, those applicants who meet the SAMHSA priority are chosen. 

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