New York State Department of Civil Service Announces Examinations Open to All Qualified Individuals

Mental Health Program Specialist 1 and 2

Written Test To Be Held
February 23, 2008
Applications Must Be Submitted or Postmarked By
January 22, 2008


Exams Included on This Announcement
Exam Number Exam Title Salary Salary Grade Fee
24-898 Mental Health Program Specialist 1 $45,113 G-18 $30
24-899 Mental Health Program Specialist 2 $58,406 G-23 $35

Appointees who work in the five boroughs of New York City or in Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, or Westchester Counties will receive an additional $1,302 annual downstate adjustment. Appointees who work in Dutchess, Orange, or Putnam Counties will receive an additional $651 annual mid-Hudson adjustment.

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Minimum Qualifications

On or before February 23, 2008, you must have a bachelor's degree AND professional clinical or administrative experience in a federal or state operated, licensed, certified, or funded mental health program as described below:

For Examination Number 24-898: two years

For Examination Number 24-899: three years


A master's degree in a mental health-related specialty, public administration, business administration, or health administration may be substituted for one year of the required experience for either Examination No. 24-898 or No. 24-899.


  1. Professional clinical experience is defined as the direct care, treatment, or instruction of patients in a federal or state operated, licensed, certified, or funded mental health program in the disciplines of psychology, social work, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, recreation therapy, rehabilitation counseling, special education, speech language pathology, or audiology.
  2. Professional administrative experience is defined as experience in the fields of budgeting, fiscal and business administration, or administrative planning and analysis, quality management, program evaluation, or experience in federal, state, or local government focusing on the planning, development, oversight, coordination, and operation of mental health programs.
  3. For purposes of this examination, mental health specialties are psychology, social work, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, recreation therapy, rehabilitation counseling, special education, child and family studies, speech language pathology, or audiology.
  4. Appropriate part-time and volunteer experience, which can be verified, will be accepted on a prorated basis.
  5. New York State residence is not required.
  6. Your degree must have been awarded by a regionally accredited college or university or one recognized by the NYS Education Department as following acceptable educational practices. If your degree was awarded by an educational institution outside the United States and its territories, you must provide independent verification of equivalency. You can write to the Examination Information Desk of the Department of Civil Service for a list of acceptable companies who provide this service. You must pay the required evaluation fee. If you are applying on the Internet, you must mail the independent verification of equivalency to the New York State Department of Civil Service, Alfred E. Smith State Office Building, Albany, New York 12239. Attention: S1DPL.
  7. You may file for these examinations by completing one OC-APP application form or applying on the Internet. Unless you are eligible for a fee waiver, the indicated processing fee must be submitted for each examination listed on your application.

The Positions

These positions exist in the New York State Office of Mental Health in the Central Office in Albany and in Field Offices located throughout the state.

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As a Mental Health Program Specialist 1 or 2, you would work under the supervision of a higher level Mental Health Program Specialist or Bureau Head and perform professional, administrative, and technical duties to promote the development, implementation, and evaluation of a mental health service delivery system and its component services. You may perform these functions for both state and/or local operations and for both functional and geographic areas of responsibility.

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Subject of Examination

There will be a written test which you must pass in order to be considered for appointment. The written test is designed to test for knowledge, skills, and/or abilities in such areas as:

  1. Ensuring effective inter/intra agency communications - These questions will test candidates' understanding of techniques for interacting effectively with individuals and agencies, to educate and inform them about topics of concern, to clarify agency programs or policies, to negotiate conflicts or resolve complaints, and to represent one's agency or program in a manner in keeping with good public relations practices. Questions may also cover interacting with the staff of one's own agency and/or that of other agencies in cooperative efforts of public outreach or service.
  2. Concepts and trends in mental health - These questions test for knowledge of current issues, initiatives, programs, and trends in the field of mental health. Questions will focus on broad concepts rather than specific clinical details associated with diagnosis and treatment. Questions may include such topics as adult, children, youth and forensic services; evidence-based practice; community mental health; residential alternatives; psychiatric rehabilitation; consumer involvement; and mental health systems and programs.
  3. Preparing written material - These questions test for the ability to present information clearly and accurately, and to organize paragraphs logically and comprehensibly. For some questions, you will be given information in two or three sentences followed by four restatements of the information. You must then choose the best version. For other questions, you will be given paragraphs with their sentences out of order. You must then choose, from four suggestions, the best order for the sentences.
  4. Program planning and evaluation - These questions test for a knowledge of basic concepts and techniques in such areas as the planning function, factors involved in implementing new procedures or programs, and evaluating their results and effectiveness. The questions are conceptual in approach and fundamental in level; they do not involve the manipulation of data nor the application of quantitative methods.
  5. Understanding and interpreting tabular material - These questions test your ability to understand, analyze, and use the internal logic of data presented in tabular form. You may be asked to perform tasks such as completing tables, drawing conclusions from them, analyzing data trends or interrelationships, and revising or combining data sets. The concepts of rate, ratio, and proportion are tested. Mathematical operations are simple, and computational speed is not a major factor in the test.
  6. Job Simulation Exercise in Mental Health Program Administration - This job simulation exercise will test your ability to provide administrative services in a mental health delivery system. You will be presented with situations that are similar to those encountered on the job by Mental Health Program Specialists and asked to select the best response(s) and/or action(s) from the choices given. Areas covered in the exercise may include analyzing information and drawing appropriate conclusions; participating in program planning, development, coordination, administration, monitoring and/or evaluation activities; communicating and interacting effectively with others; and/or other areas related to mental health program administration.

Your final score must be 70 or higher in order to pass. Rank on the eligible list will be determined after adding any wartime veterans' and Civil Service Law Section 85-a credits to your final passing score.

Test Guide

A Guide to the Written Test for Mental Health Program Specialist 1 and 2 will be available on or about December 7, 2007. If you do not have access to the Internet, you may request a copy of the Test Guide by e-mail at or by calling the Exams Information Desk at the Department of Civil Service in the Albany area at 518-457-6216 or outside of the Albany area toll free at 1-877-697-5627.

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How To Apply

This announcement is for viewing purposes only.

Additional Information

New York State is an Equal Opportunity Employer

It is the policy of the State of New York to provide for and promote equal opportunity in employment, compensation and other terms and conditions of employment without discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, religion, disability, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, or arrest and/or criminal conviction record unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification or other exception.

Appointment to many positions in State government require candidates to undergo an investigative screening. This may include a thorough character investigation, a Federal Bureau of Investigation Criminal Record History Check, a Child Abuse Registry clearance, or other similar procedures. Candidates may be fingerprinted and may be required to pay any necessary fees for that procedure. Depending on the nature of the job, the criminal convictions discovered, or any falsified or omitted information revealed, the investigative findings may bar appointment or result in removal after appointment.

Eligibility for Employment

You must be legally eligible to work in the United States at the time of appointment and throughout your employment with New York State. If appointed, you must produce documents that establish your identity and eligibility to work in the United States, as required by the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, and the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Religious Accommodation

Most written tests are held on Saturdays. If you cannot take the test on the announced test date, due to a conflict with a religious observance or practice, check the box under “Religious Accommodation.” We will make arrangements for you to take the test on a different date (usually the following day).

Reasonable Accommodations in Testing

In addition, it is the policy of the Department of Civil Service, in accordance with the New York State Human Rights Law and the Americans with Disabilities Act, to provide qualified persons with disabilities equal employment opportunity and equal opportunity to participate in and receive the benefits, services, programs, and activities of the Department. It is the policy of the Department to provide such persons reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications as are necessary to enjoy equal opportunity. Persons with disabilities who require an accommodation to participate in an examination must note this on their applications. Further information is available from the Special Arrangements Unit of the Department of Civil Service at 518-457-2487 [press 2, then press 2] in the Albany area, toll free at 1-877-697-5627 [press 2, then press 2], or via TDD (telecommunications device for the deaf) at 518-457-8480.

Admission to Examination

Notice to appear for the test may be conditional as review of applications may not be made until after the test. If you have not received your notice to appear for the written test three days before the date of the test, call 518-474-6470 in the Albany area or toll free at 1-877-697-5627 [press 2, then press 1].

Multiple Examinations Scheduled for the Same Day

With the exception of written tests announced by New York City, if you have applied to take a written test announced by a local jurisdiction (county, town, city) scheduled to be held on the same test date as this written test, you must call 518-474-6470 in the Albany area or toll free at 1-877-697-5627 [press 2, then press 1], no later than two weeks before the test date, to make arrangements for taking all tests at one test site. All tests will be held at the state examination center.

S1/TB1 DPL-tmc
Issued: 12/07/07

This announcement is subject to amendment or cancellation without notice. Do not copy it, or post it to any other site, but link to it instead.

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