• Mental Health, Social Service and Addiction Counseling Admission Details

  • The information below is based on the application requirements for Fall  2022 admission. It is provided as an example to guide potential applicants on the admission process and application requirements which may be subject to change as program criteria can change for each new application year. 

    Thank you for your interest in learning about the exciting and rewarding field of Mental Health! Mt. Hood Community College's Mental Health, Social Service and Addiction Counseling (MHSSAC) program is the only all-encompassing 2-year degree in mental health within the Portland-Metro area.

    The primary approach in this program is "hands on" learning. This means there are experiential parts to the classes including fieldwork, group work, and videotaped interviewing sessions. This kind of training prepares graduates for immediate employment upon graduation. Most graduates who seek employment find work before or shortly after graduation. Other graduates elect to go on for a four-year degree utilizing our great transfer agreements.

    This is a restricted entry program and applicants must meet certain criteria before their application will be considered. Currently, the program admits 24 students every fall term.

    Admission Requirements

    The information below is based on application requirements for Fall term 2022 admission. Applicants must meet the requirements described below with coursework and/or course placement completed by the extended application deadline date of May 27, 2022.


      1. Admission to MHCC

      Apply for general admission to MHCC if you are new or  have not attended in the last four (4) terms. Select AGS in Health Professions as your major. It will change to Mental Health if/when you are admitted into the program.

      2. Required Coursework

      Applicants must meet academic prerequisite requirements in reading, writing and mathematics by either placement scores or course completion as listed below. 

      Placement Scores: Students must place into:

      READING:          RD115 or higher

      WRITING:          WR121

      MATH:                MTH058/MTH060 or higher

      • Students may satisfy this requirement through the Accuplacer College Placement Test (CPT), Smarter Balanced Test Scores, GED, or GPA/high school records. For more information, see Course Placement Determination.
      • Applicants using the Accuplacer College Placement Test (CPT) are encouraged to practice for the test and review English and math concepts by using Accuplacer’s free study app.
      • CPT scores are valid for five years and cannot be older than 5/27/2017.

      Course Completion: Students must provide official college transcripts demonstrating completion of:

      READING:          RD090 or IECC201R or WR115

      WRITING:          WR115 or WR121

      MATH:                MTH020 or higher

      • Courses must be completed with a C grade or higher
      • Courses do not expire
      • See Transcript Requirements at the bottom of this page.* 

      Note: Applicants who do not meet the prerequisites may apply but priority consideration is given to applicants who have completed the requirements by the deadline date. If there is an insufficient applicant pool, these applicants may be invited to an interview and conditional acceptance may be considered for those applicants enrolled in prerequisite courses. Conditionally accepted applicants must complete all prerequisite coursework with a grade of “C” or better prior to the program start date.

      3. Experience Summary

      On the online application form, you will be asked to describe specifically what volunteer or professional experience you have had helping people in a social service, mental health, school, health care, church or spiritual organization, or other related setting. There is a 2,000-word limit. Bullet points and lists are not acceptable. It is recommended that you type your experience summary in advance, save the copy and then copy and paste into the space provided.

      4. Application Fee and Application Submission

      Applicants must pay the $35 non-refundable application fee and complete the MHSSAC application available at https://www.mhcc.edu/MHSSACApplication. The payment receipt must be uploaded to submit with your application. You will also need your MHCC student ID number and password to submit your application.

      Applicant and Point Selection Process

      Phase 1: Evaluation of Completed Applications

      The maximum points that will be awarded for Phase 1 is 20. Applications submitted by the deadline will be reviewed by the admissions evaluator followed by the faculty committee for point awarding of the Experience Summary. Up to 70 applicants may be selected for an interview. Applicants that score less than 10 points will not qualify for an interview.

      Phase 2: Group Style Interview

      Qualified applicants that have earned the necessary points will be invited to participate in a group style interview. Applicants are officially admitted into the program based on points earned during the interview phase. Up to 10 qualified candidates will be offered an alternate position in the program. Alternates are offered a position in the program if any of the accepted applicants decline a position in the program. The Career Planning and Counseling Center is happy to help you prepare and build skills for this interview. Please email mhcareer@mhcc.edu to make an appointment.

      What will I have to do after I am accepted into the program?

      Immunizations - Accepted students must provide documentation of the following:

      • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR), 2 vaccines or positive titers for all 3 diseases
      • Varicella, 2 vaccines or positive titer
      • Tuberculosis screening current within the last 12 months
      • Hepatitis B, 3 vaccines and follow up titer
        (Please note that the Hepatitis B vaccine series takes 6 months to complete.)
      • Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis (Tdap), current with the last 10 years

      Background Check - The program requires students to complete a criminal background check after acceptance in order to be placed in internships. If you have concerns about your background and success in the program, feel free to discuss your concerns with Karen Green, Director of the MHSSAC program.

      Please Note: Prior person to person assault charges may disqualify you from being placed with many of our agency partners and ultimately has proven to be a significant barrier to employment in the Mental Health field.

      In addition, many but not all of our internship sites require a DHS/CPS background check. 

      Drug Screen - Students may be required to complete a comprehensive drug screen while in the program if there is evidence of concerning behavior. In addition, students may be required by their internship site to complete a 10-panel drug screen before participating in a clinical rotation per the requirements of the assigned clinical facility. Please note, this drug screening will check for drugs that contain, amphetamines, barbiturates, opioids, and benzodiazepines. If you are taking any prescribed medication that may contain these drugs you will need to alert the drug screener.

      Sobriety for those with Substance Use Disorder - The Mental Health, Social Service, and Addiction Counseling program is a rigorous and personally challenging program. If you identify as a person who has struggled with substance abuse disorder, we highly recommend that you have three years clean of your addiction in order to assure success in this program.

      Further Considerations 


      The Mental Health, Social Service and Addiction Counseling program is a professional training program with high performance and behavioral standards. The program has an excellent reputation in the social service community and our interns and graduates are sought after for employment. It is expected that students are prepared to commit themselves fully to learning to become ethical and effective helping professionals and are ready to focus on this goal. Excellent attendance, appropriate classroom behavior, healthy interpersonal communication skills, and competent academic performance are expected and rewarded throughout the program.

      Personal Discoveries

      It is the teaching philosophy of the program that healthy helpers have examined their own lives. You will be reflecting on your own developmental journey as part of your studies and this may trigger strong emotions to the point that outside support may be beneficial in processing these emotions. MHCC offers five free counseling sessions that any MHSSAC student may utilize as needed. You will be changing and growing as a result of this exceptional program, the skills and theories you will learn. Sometimes, students change during this process and friends and families are confused about these changes.

      *Transcript Requirement if Meeting Prerequisites through Course Completion

      Transcripts showing completed coursework that meets the academic requirements must be official (unopened) and issued directly by the institution from which the course(s) were taken. Coursework showing as transferred from one institution to another is not accepted. Official electronic transcripts (e-transcripts such as Parchment or EDI) submitted via secure electronic delivery service may be submitted to ar@mhcc.edu. If submitting transcripts by mail, send to:

      Mt. Hood Community College – MHSSAC Application
      Admissions, Registration and Records
      26000 SE Stark St.
      Gresham OR 97030

      • Regionally Accredited Institutions: Required.
      • Non-Regionally Accredited Institutions: Not required.
      • AP, CLEP or IB Transcripts/Scores: Required only if using for admission requirements and must be issued directly from College Board or International Baccalaureate in a sealed envelope. (see https://mhcc.edu/CreditAlternatives)
      • Foreign/Non-US Based Educational Transcript: Required only if using for admission requirements and must be evaluated by an outside credential service before the application deadline. The evaluated transcript must be submitted by the application deadline for the program. For more information visit: www.mhcc.edu/internationaltranscript. Evaluation processing for foreign transcripts is time consuming, and our process could take up to six weeks. It is best to start this process early. A foreign bachelor's degree does not fulfill the prerequisite requirements.
      • MHCC transcript: Not required, already on file.
      • If an up-to-date transcript is on file (showing most recently completed coursework with nothing in progress), applicants do not need to submit another copy. Courses may be in progress at the time of application submission but an updated transcript showing posted grades for all coursework must be received by the application deadline.

      Click here for program costs and other considerations.

      Graduating Class of 2014