COD Offers Highly Employable Addictions Counseling Programs

By Mike McKissack

College of DuPage is one of only a handful of colleges in Illinois to offer an approved A.A.S. degree program, certificate training and a Master's Track certification program for Addictions Counseling.

According to Jason Florin, an A.A.S. degree in Addictions Counseling can be a fast track to develop knowledge and skills for students looking for employment.

"Since bachelor and graduate degrees are not required to work as an addictions counselor, the A.A.S. degree in Addictions Counseling is considered to be one of the faster ways to enter into employment in the health field," he said. 

In addition to general education and addiction-related course work, students in this program study contemporary treatment approaches, behavior modification, cross-cultural communications, ethics in counseling, family education and treatment models, group dynamics, interpersonal dynamics and psychopharmacology. Some required coursework for the program can be completed online.

Following the completion of the academic requirements, students participate in one to two 300-hour field placement(s) at inpatient, outpatient and partial hospital substance abuse treatment centers; and other affiliated organizations. Students are then eligible to take the certification exam offered by the Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professionals Certification Association and receive their CADC certification. The addictions training program prides itself on providing the best preparation for students entering the field.

"Our program is rigorous and features longer training hours than most, but it allows our students to really excel in the field and find employment," Florin said. Our students pass the licensure exam at a really high rate, nearly 95 percent, so we our program is well-known and respected by local organizations."

College of DuPage also offers a Master's Track program designed for students who have already earned a clinical degree and are looking for specialization or increased opportunity for employment. The Master's Track program can be earned in the classroom, entirely online or a combination of both.

Graduates of the program go on to find work as addictions counselors and social workers in a variety of environments including treatment centers, hospitals, and domestic violence and homeless shelters.

For more information about the Addictions Counseling program, call (630) 942-2043, or visit www.cod.edu/programs/human_services/addictions.

For more information about the Human Services Department at College of DuPage, visit www.cod.edu/programs/human_services.