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COEHS Expanding Opportunities Project

Logo of the Expanding Opportunities Project


The goal of The Expanding Opportunities Project is to recruit and retain school-based mental health (SBMH) providers to serve the needs of students across the state, with a focus on rural and frontier communities that have a high percentage of at-risk and vulnerable student populations.


The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED), Safe and Healthy Schools Bureau, was awarded a USDE grant to increase the number and quality of school-based mental health (SBMH) providers in high-need schools. By partnering with local education agencies (LEAs), universities, Native American communities, and other state agencies, EOP will increase the number of SBMH providers and access to care for school-aged youth in identified communities.

There are currently four possibly pathways to reimbursement

Take a survey to see if you qualify for reimbursement

Tuition Reimbursement & Loan Repayment

We are recruiting students who are enrolled in master’s level or doctoral behavioral health programs (counseling, psychology, social work) in participating New Mexico universities (ENMU, NMHU, NMSU, UNM, WNMU). EOP will provide financial incentives (tuition reimbursement and loan repayment), along with resources and support to eligible participants.

Internship/Practicum Placement Stipends

Stipends are available to qualifying EOP participants who complete practicums/internships via a partnering university placement (in an EOP approved high-need school/district) and commit to minimum employment of two years post-graduation in a high-need school/district. More information regarding this opportunity is forthcoming.

Post-Graduation Opportunities

In an effort to retain and recruit school-based behavioral health professionals, stipends are available to providers employed in EOP approved schools/districts.

If the number of eligible participants exceeds the available grant funding, preference will be given to providers in LEAs identified with the highest needs, as per grant guidelines (ex., poverty, student-to-mental health provider ratio, etc). We are currently accepting applications for our next cohort. Apply today!

Licensing/Licensure Fees Reimbursement

Qualifying EOP participants are eligible for up to $300 in reimbursement for professional licensing exam/licensure costs.


Students who wish to qualify for EOP participation will need to be accepted and enrolled into the UNM Counseling Program, and on either the School Counseling or Dual Program academic tracks.  

Contact Information

Kristopher Goodrich, Associate Dean for Research and Distance Education