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MSU President Clif Smart, left, and Burrell President and CEO C.J. Davis sign a memorandum of understanding.
Provided by Missouri State University
MSU President Clif Smart, left, and Burrell President and CEO C.J. Davis sign a memorandum of understanding.

Burrell pledges $500K to create psychology doctorate at MSU

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Last edited 3:41 p.m., Feb. 16, 2022

Burrell Behavioral Health has pledged $500,000 toward the creation of a new psychology doctorate program at Missouri State University.

The organizations yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding at Burrell Administrative Center, according to a news release.

“With a nationwide workforce shortage and an ongoing mental health crisis made worse by COVID-19, there has never been a greater need for psychologists,” Burrell Behavioral President and CEO C.J. Davis said in the release. “This program will provide a much-needed influx of these versatile behavioral health professionals to our regional workforce."

The agreement calls on funding from Burrell over the next few years to help establish the program, and the organization also will provide clinical opportunities and training support for students. MSU will be responsible for creating and operating the program.

Students in the program will complete their second-year clinical hours and part of their third- and fourth-year hours at a Burrell location, according to the release. Burrell and MSU employees will be involved in the training.

“This is a win-win situation for everyone,” MSU President Clif Smart said in the release. “Our community will have more mental health resources; our students will benefit from the expertise of Burrell clinicians; and our faculty members will be able to keep their skills sharp by seeing patients at Burrell.”

The MSU Board of Governors is expected to approve the program at its Feb. 18 meeting, after which the university will seek formal approval from the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development and the Missouri Higher Learning Commission, as well as accreditation from the American Psychological Association. The Burrell Board of Directors approved the partnership at its late January meeting.

MSU has a goal of starting the program in 2023, according to the release.

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