Serving the Mental Health Needs of the Underserved Scholarship

The Serving the Mental Health Needs of the Underserved Scholarship, established in William James College’s (WJC) Center for Multicultural & Global Mental Health (CMGMH), reflects WJC’s commitment to promoting social justice and addressing mental health disparities among historically marginalized groups in the U.S.  The highly competitive scholarship, which covers 2/3 of tuition costs, recognizes the achievements and promise of students committed to pursuing Master’s (MA), Certificate of Advance Graduate Studies (CAGS) or Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degrees at WJC. Applicants will be evaluated based on a combination of academic achievement, leadership skills, volunteer or community service, and financial need. The scholarship is renewable annually, subject to awardees continued satisfactory academic progress, fulfillment of roles and responsibilities (described below), and demonstrated financial needs.

The broad, long-term objectives for the scholarship are:

  1. To recruit and train students dedicated to pursuing careers in which they provide culturally informed mental health and/or organizational wellness services to underserved communities and groups (e.g., rural communities, individuals with substance use disorders, immigrants/refugees, racial/ethnic minorities, sexual minorities, trauma-exposed children, religious minorities or individuals with disabilities).
  2. To increase diversity at William James College and in the behavioral health field.
  3. To provide financial support to enable students to complete their graduate degree programs.
  • Admission to and enrollment in a MA, CAGS, or PsyD degree program at William James College.
  • Full-time matriculation at William James College.
  • Good academic standing.
  • Demonstration of financial need (Note: Candidates must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to the Financial Aid Office).
  • Scholarship applications that do not include a FAFSA form will not be reviewed.
  • U.S. legal residency.
  • Detailed long-standing evidence of exceptional and innovative advocacy of historically underserved communities and groups (indicated in curriculum vitae and/or recommendation letters). Please Note: To be competitive, applicants should have 1-2 years of service to underserved groups, social/civil activism, community service, and/or leadership activities.
Application Procedures

Applicants must submit a  scholarship application form and an essay (500 words) addressing:

  • Concepts of privilege and oppression and how applicants’ own experiences with both phenomena have influenced their identities, values, and biases. Applicants must indicate how these concepts influence their commitment to reducing mental health and workplace disparities, and to providing culturally responsive advocacy and services to historically d marginalized groups and underserved communities.

E-mail the completed form and essay to Use a subject line that reads “Serving the Mental Health Needs of the Underserved Scholarship – CMGMH [Applicant’s Name].”

Scholarship Timeline

The scholarship application/essay must be received by the Office of Admissions and candidates need to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form on or before the submission date of their application for admission to WJC.

Application Review and Selection Process

The Admissions Office recommends eligible applications to a committee that is responsible for reviewing and selecting scholarship recipients. The committee independently reviews application materials, scholarship essays, résumés/CVs, recommendation letters, pre-interview forms, and faculty interview decision forms to select a group of finalists. The names of scholarship awardees are then submitted to the Admissions Office, which is responsible for notifying successful applicants.

  • Applicants will receive an Award Letter with a scholarship notification deadline. Awardees must inform the Admissions Office at William James College of their decision to accept or decline the scholarship by the date indicated in the letter. Candidates who fail to contact the Admissions Office by the notification date will forfeit the scholarship. 
  • The highest-ranked applicants who are not awarded the scholarship will be placed on a wait-list and notified of their current standing (e.g., 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place, etc.).  If a scholarship becomes available during the admission process, it will be offered to the first applicant on the list. Wait-listed candidates will remain eligible for the scholarship, up until the general notification date for admission to the College. 
  • Candidates who are awarded the scholarship but choose to defer enrollment in the program must re-apply for the scholarship. 
Awardees Roles and Responsibilities

Scholarship awardees will be appointed as Fellows in the Center for Multicultural & Global Mental Health (CMGMH).  The Serving the Mental Needs of the Underserved Scholarship comes with a set of duties and responsibilities that all awardees accept. These duties are to be met on an annual basis throughout the awardee’s matriculation at William James College.

As a condition of the scholarship, awardees are expected to:

  • Maintain good academic standing at William James College.
  • Meet monthly with their assigned CMGMH mentors.
  • Attend a CMGMH orientation meeting in the fall semester.
  • Participate in a minimum of two social-cultural and/or professional development activities annually either at William James College or elsewhere.
  • Serve as mentors to 1-2 students in the Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Human Services program or the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Initiative.
  • Attend the CMGMH Fellows’ community-building event annually.
  • Serve as student ambassadors in Admissions-related events at least once a year.
  • Conduct outreach (e.g., community service or volunteering) to the community beyond William James College.
Emphases - Concentrations - Professional Portfolios

Beginning in the fall of 2019, all scholarship awardees will be required to document that they receive focused training in serving underserved groups and are engaged in leadership, volunteer and/or community service activities throughout their enrollment at William James College.  

To demonstrate that they are meeting the obligations of the scholarship, awardees must choose ONE of the following two options:

  1. Enroll in a program-specific or a college-wide concentration, which can be completed either at the “Emphasis” or “Major Area of Study” level. Below is a list of qualified emphases and concentrations:
  1. OR Create an annual portfolio, which documents that awardees are meeting the requirements of the Serving the Mental Health Needs of the Underserved Scholarship. Portfolios must focus on topics that are relevant to underserved and historically marginalized individuals or groups. Portfolios will be supervised by the awardee’s CMGMH mentor.

Awardees who choose the portfolio option will identify and engage in academic, didactic and professional development activities that are equivalent to the 5-credit (75 literal hours) concentration requirements for a Doctoral Level Emphasis and a Master’s Level Major Area of Study.

In keeping with the goals of the Serving the Mental Health Needs of the Underserved Scholarship, the chosen activities must include focused didactic trainings on historically underserved communities and groups (e.g., rural communities, individuals with substance use disorders, immigrants/refugees, racial/ethnic minorities, sexual minorities, trauma-exposed children, religious minorities, or individuals with disabilities).

Awardees will work collaboratively with their CMGMH mentors to select relevant coursework, didactic trainings, and professional development activities that meet with portfolio requirements. Awardees will be required to document attendance and to demonstrate clinical applications of their training during the annual progress report process. At the end of each Spring Semester, awardees will submit a concise document describing how they fulfilled the portfolio requirements.

Contact Information

All inquiries pertaining to the Serving the Mental Health Needs of the Underserved Scholarship should be submitted via email to the Center for Multicultural & Global Mental Health at

Center of Excellence for Multicultural and Global Mental Health


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