Support for Community Mental Health Students

The Peer Career Mentor Program (PCM) was launched in 2007 with initial funds from the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act (VTEA) at City College of San Francisco (CCSF). The PCM was developed to increase retention and completion rates among Career and Technical Education (CTE) students in the Health Education Department and create a new internship placement site at CCSF for advanced certificate students to provide career mentorship.

Today, the PCM unit consists of two current Community Mental Health student interns, the Associate Director Edith Guillén-Nuñez and the Director Sal Núñez.

Peer Career Mentor interns provide the following to new students in our programs:

  • peer-based outreach
  • education
  • coaching
  • academic supportive counseling
  • wellness and recovery services
  • “survival tips” workshops
  • clubhouse meetings
  • on-going individual peer counseling
  • social-support groups.

Interns draw on student centered, motivational interviewing skills, and wellness and recovery approach to discover student strengths and challenges and develop a personalized wellness and recovery action plan to address academic and life elements such as need for tutoring, computer literacy skills, financial aid, parenting classes, counseling, legal assistance, health care, and other basic support services. The PCM internship is innovative, and tailored to meet professional standards. The program requires interns to commit 8 hours per week for the length of an academic semester. Interns receive weekly group supervision, individual clinical supervision and in-service training.

Career and Academic Mentorship

Peer Career Mentorship is a collaborative process that assesses, plans, implements, coordinates, monitors, and evaluates the options and services required to meet the students’ needs. It is characterized by advocacy, communication, and resource management and promotes quality and cost-effective interventions and outcomes. Career and academic mentorship facilitates the achievement of student wellness and autonomy through advocacy, assessment, planning, communication, education, resource management, and service facilitation. Based on the needs, culture, and values of the student, and in collaboration with other service providers, the career mentor makes appropriate referrals while ensuring that the assistance provided is safe, effective, student-centered, timely, efficient, culturally appropriate, and equitable. Additionally, the Peer Career Mentors engage in outreach, and facilitate Survival Tips Workshops, Individual Peer Counseling, and Group Based Social Support. Most of the peer career mentors are training as community mental health and behavioral health workers.

Student Support Services

Student support services are available at City College of San Francisco to help students succeed in both educational programs and career.