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Graduate Certificate in Addictions Counseling - Online

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  • Course description
    Program Goals:
      1. To prepare students to practice in the field of addictions to carry out professional roles and responsibilities consistent with the values and ethics of addictions-based practice.        
    2. To prepare students to understand the interactive and multiple historical and contextual factors that shape the addictions field, policies and programs, and their impact on different client systems.        
    3. To provide students with the knowledge and skills in addictions assessment and treatment to identify and build upon the strengths of client systems at multiple levels.       4. To provide students with the knowledge and skills in addictions necessary to produce effective interventions with people from diverse backgrounds, experiencing different kinds of addictions-related problems, across different settings.        
    5. To help students develop and implement professional addictions practice relationships based upon empowerment and connection to enhance social functioning and social change consistent with the values of human dignity, individual and cultural diversity, self-determination, and social justice.        
    6. To help students use critical self-reflection and research to enhance professional addictions-based practice.
    The School of Social Work (SSW) offers a Certificate of Graduate Study (CGS) in its Addictions Counseling Certificate Program (ACCP). Matriculation in the Master of Social  Work (MSW) Program is not required for the ACCP. Students enrolled in both the MSW program and the ACCP program may receive the MSW degree and a CGS in Addictions Counseling.

    As an extension of the MSW program, the ACCP focuses on developing expertise in addictions counseling and leads to the Certificate of Graduate Study (CGS) in Addictions Counseling. It builds on elective courses in the MSW program and incorporates a clinical component.

    This certificate is aimed at MSW students, alumni, and other professionals seeking to expand their clinical expertise, as well as individuals seeking to develop careers focused on addictions counseling. Students develop their clinical practice skills through case conferences, case discussions, and role playing. Both descriptive and prescriptive theories, diagnostic classification systems, and agency treatment models are examined from a critical perspective. Students are provided with on-going opportunities to process course material and to critically reflect on their practice.

    The certificate requires 18 credits, but with careful selection of existing School of Social Work elective courses, MSW students can complete the program within the MSW curriculum. Credit for previous course work is evaluated on an individual basis. MSW students enrolled in the ACCP may plan for a portion of their field experience to be addictions related and supervised by an addictions professional.

    The Addiction Counseling Certificate curriculum is designed to provide students the educational foundation to sit for a national certified level written examination developed by the International Certification Reciprocity Consortium/Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse Inc. (ICRC/AODA). This test is one of the criteria that the Maine State Board of Alcohol and Drug Counselors (BADC) requires for licensure eligibility. MSW students in the ACCP should plan for a portion of their field experience in the MSW to be in the addictions area. Field work experience providing substance abuse services will apply towards the MSW requirement for contact hours in a field setting; however, new regulations proposed by BADC may not consider these hours counting towards work experience for BADC licensure unless the field agency also has a BADC certified clinical supervisor.

    Faculty Courses are taught by faculty with expertise in addictions and by licensed practitioners from area agencies, organizations, and private practice. These professionals share their expertise, recent developments in addictions theory, and clinical methods.

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