The County of Santa Clara


Held from June 18, 2019 (Item No. 28): Approve Agreement with San Jose State University Research Foundation relating to providing scholarship administration and monitoring services in an amount not to exceed $300,000 for period August 13, 2019 through June 30, 2021, that has been reviewed and approved by County Counsel as to form and legality. A sole source exception to competitive procurement has been approved by the Office of Countywide Contracting Management pursuant to Board of Supervisors Policy (Mental Health Services, Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System)


Department:Mental Health Services (Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System)Sponsors:



The Agreement with San Jose State University Research Foundation (SJSURF) is funded by the Workforce Education and Training (WET) component of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). WET funds are not meant to be used for treatment services; however, students may provide treatment services for clients in their role as a student intern. The program was approved as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-2020 MHSA Three-Year Program and Expenditure Plan by the Board of Supervisors, June 19, 2018 (ID# 91647), and the funding is included in the Behavioral Health Services Department’s (BHSD) FY 2020 Board Approved Budget.


On April 22, 2019, the Office of Countywide Contracting Management (OCCM) approved SJSURF as a sole source contract provider. A copy of the approved exception form is attached to this legislative file.


The recommended action would approve an Agreement with SJSURF to provide administrative oversight and financial administration of the Behavioral Health Services Department’s (BHSD) Mental Health Scholarship Program (MHSP) at San Jose State University (SJSU). The MHSP in collaboration with SJSU is intended to provide financial support to students currently enrolled in its Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) program. SJSURF would be responsible for awarding scholarships to eligible students using eligibility criteria, application requirements, and selection criteria developed by the BHSD. In addition, SJSURF would submit annual reports to the BHSD to include data on student retention, attrition, graduation rates, and post-graduation employment to track the effectiveness of the MHSP.

A BASW is a prerequisite to employment and advancement in public behavioral health, and scholarships would support and encourage students to continue to pursue a career in the public sector and/or train in Santa Clara County. The goal of the MHSP is to support and create a pipeline of qualified applicants for difficult to fill social work positions. The BHSD is dedicated to supporting a workforce that is trained in the principals of wellness and recovery, utilizes strength-based approaches, and uses culturally competent interventions.

SJSURF requested that certain Standard Provisions be modified for this Agreement. Alternate Provisions (Exhibit 1) has been reviewed and approved by County Counsel.

The recommended action supports the County of Santa Clara Health System’s Strategic Road Map goals by increasing growth, learning, and development of coordinated care through the support of partnerships with SJSU to provide a local pipeline of qualified social workers to address the County’s needs.


The recommended action would have a positive impact on children and youth by supporting the development of social workers familiar with the behavioral health needs of this target population in Santa Clara County.


The recommended action would have a positive impact on seniors by supporting the development of social workers familiar with the behavioral health needs of this target population in Santa Clara County.


The recommended action balances public policy and program interests, and enhances the Board of Supervisors’ sustainability goal of social equity and safety by providing scholarship support to students in SJSU’s BASW program and tracking the student retention, attrition, graduation, and post-graduate employment rates to address public sector staffing issues in Santa Clara County.


The SJSU BASW curriculum provides a social work curriculum for beginning practice in the field. Foundation social work courses meet the primary program goal of preparing students with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for beginning social work practice. In addition to the core social work curriculum, electives are offered to expand interest in various areas such as child welfare, family welfare, alcoholism and the family, and social work with the aging.

BASW graduates have gained the knowledge, skills, and a value base that has been augmented by professional social work supervision in social services. BASW graduates are required to undertake as part of their education extensive agency field internships to prepare them for practice upon graduation. Graduates also develop the skills in their social work practice to work with children, youth, families, adults and the elderly.

BASW graduates are generally employed in many different public sector areas, including but not limited to: children and youth services, juvenile justice services, elementary and/or secondary schools, ethnic specific services, residential treatment programs, substance abuse programs, domestic violence programs, homeless shelters, mental health programs, aging services, hospitals, developmentally delayed services, vocational rehabilitation services, public health programs, and legal services.

In response to the Board of Supervisors’ request for additional information at the June 18, 2019 Board meeting, the MHSP has awarded 36 scholarships to 32 students (four students were scholarship recipients for two years). Of the 32 students, 14 (or 44%) are currently working in various departments with the County of Santa Clara or for one of the department’s contract agencies. Other County departments include: Department of Family & Children Services (DFCS) with Social Services Agency, County of Office of Education, Office of Supportive Housing and Valley Medical Center.  In addition, nine students are working for other California counties in various public mental health/education settings (see attachment) and only two students are not working in a public behavioral/education setting. The remaining students are still being tracked by program staff to determine the employment status. Overall, approximately 72 percent of the scholarship recipients are working in a public mental health/educational setting in which they are using their social work education and contributing to increasing the public mental health workforce, which is one of the goals for WET. 


Failure to approve the recommended action would result in a lack of scholarship support for students of the SJSU BASW program and negatively impact the BHSD’s ability to establish a local pipeline of qualified social workers experienced in behavioral health issues in Santa Clara County.


Upon approval, the Clerk of the Board is requested to send e-mail notifications to Evonne Lai at and Melissa Burnias at

Meeting History

Aug 13, 2019 9:30 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting

Added to the Consent Calendar at the request of Supervisor Ellenberg.

President Simitian requested that Administration develop methods to track job placements for scholarship recipients and encourage applicants to seek employment at the County or use their education to benefit the County through work at County nonprofit organizations.

MOVER:Cindy Chavez, Vice President
SECONDER:Susan Ellenberg, Supervisor
AYES:Mike Wasserman, Cindy Chavez, Dave Cortese, Susan Ellenberg, S. Joseph Simitian