- How will I meet the requirements for Alcohol and Drug Counselor licensure?
- I already have a degree, how do I meet licensure requirements?
- How can I prepare for the licensure exams?
- How can I qualify for a temporary permit?
- What is the job market like for alcohol and drug counselors? Will I be able to get a job? How much is the pay?
- Does Metropolitan State have a "minor" in Chemical Dependency Counseling?
- What are the 12 core functions?
- Why are the 12 core functions so important?
- Is it possible for someone to complete their practicum at the same time they are finishing their academic requirements?
- Are there any online courses I can take to meet the requirements of the major?
- Iím confused about all the terms which I hear people using, like alcohol and drug counselor, chemical dependency, alcoholism, substance abuse, and so forth.
- Are there any opportunities for students to become involved in activities at the University?
Although the field of addictions can be very broad in scope, the focus of the BS degree in Alcohol and Drug Counseling is to help students meet the academic and practicum requirements to become licensed alcohol and drug counselors in Minnesota (as per Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 148C and Minnesota Rules 4747), and, prepare them for employment. Completing the major and graduating with the BS degree is excellent preparation for licensure.
Additionally, in order to become a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, graduates will need to pass a comprehensive written exam, (or written exam & work option) which demonstrates their competence in the 12 core functions of alcohol and drug counseling. They will then make application to the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy. www.bbht.state.mn.us
Academic requirements for licensure are for course work in six content areas including: (See Minnesota Rules 4747.1100, subp. 2)
- HSCD 300 Chemical Dependency Concepts (4)
- HSCD 200 Pharmacology of Drug Abuse (4)
- HSER 346 Counseling & Interviewing Skills (4)
- HSER 348 Group Counseling (4)
- HSER 353 Social Casework Methods (4)
- HSCD 303 Cultural Aspects of Chemical Dependency (4)
- HSCD 309 Dual Disorders (Required by Rule 31) (4)
- HSCD 302 Chemical Dependency Assessment (4)
- HSCD 320 Pre-Practicum Seminar (1)
- Practicum: HSCD 380 & 390 (8 credits) practicum requirements are for at least 880 hours. (usually split into two semesters of 440 hours each).
Note: Prerequisites for practicum are completion of 32 credits of alcohol and drug counseling course work, including the Pre-Practicum Seminar (HSCD 320) as listed above.
There are a number of resources available, for example:
- "Basics of Addiction Counseling Desk Reference and Study Guide," from the National Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC) 800-548-0497 or 703-741-7686, www.naadac.org
- "Study Guides" from Minnesota Certification Board (ICRC) 763-434-9787, www.mcboard.org
A person who has met the academic and practicum requirements for licensure can apply for a temporary permit to practice, while they are waiting to take the written exam required for a full license. The temporary permit is good for one year, is annually renewable for up to five years and is valid only at a specific work site under the direct supervision of a specific supervisor. www.bbht.state.mn.us
The labor market for alcohol and drug counselors continues to be robust. According to anecdotal reports from graduates and other students, "nearly everyone who wants a job is able to get one." It is common for students to be offered a job at the end of their practicum.
For new counselors with little experience, employers commonly offer a starting salary in the range of $30,000 to $40,000 per year. Salaries are usually higher away from the Twin Cities metro area. According to the "Workforce Survey" (Payne & Stasson, 2006), a majority of alcohol and drug counselors in Minnesota get paid in the range of $30,000 to $55,000 per year. Median incomes are in the $35,000 to $39,999 range.
No, we have never had a "minor" in this area of study. This does not mean we will not have one in the future.
- "Screening" means the process by which a client is determined appropriate and eligible for admission to a particular program.
- "Intake" means the administrative and initial assessment procedures for admission to a program.
- "Orientation" means describing to the client the general nature and goals of the program; rules governing client conduct and infractions that can lead to disciplinary action or discharge from the program; in a nonresidential program, the hours during which services are available; treatment costs to be borne by the client, if any; and clientís rights.
- "Assessment" means those procedures by which a counselor identifies and evaluates an individualís strengths, weaknesses, problems, and needs to develop a treatment plan or make recommendations for the level of care placement.
- "Treatment planning" means the process by which the counselor and the client identify and rank problems needing resolution; establish agreed-upon immediate and long-term goals; and decide on a treatment process and the sources to be utilized.
- "Counseling" means the utilization of special skills to assist individuals, families, or groups in achieving objectives through exploration of a problem and its ramifications; examination of attitudes and feelings; consideration of alternative solutions; and decision making.
- "Case management" means activities which bring services, agencies, resources, or people together within a planned framework of action toward the achievement of established goals.
- "Crisis intervention" means those services which respond to an alcohol or other drug userís needs during acute emotional or physical distress.
- "Client education" means the provision of information to clients who are receiving or seeking counseling concerning alcohol and other drug abuse and the available services and resources.
- "Referral" means identifying the needs of the client which cannot be met by the counselor or agency and assisting the client to utilize the support systems and available community resources.
- "Reports and record keeping" means charting the results of the assessment and treatment plan, writing reports, progress notes, discharge summaries, and other client-related data.
- "Consultation with other professionals regarding client treatment and services" means communicating with other professionals in regard to client treatment and services to assure comprehensive, quality care for the client.
The 12 core functions are based upon a well-researched description (a job analysis) of the task and activities which alcohol and drug counselors actually perform when working. These 12 core functions are the basis for the legal definition of alcohol and drug counseling in Minnesota.
As a general rule, "no." Normally, alcohol and drug counseling course work comes first. It provides the theoretical foundation for practicum experience. Students commonly describe the practicum experience as "very demanding." However, some students are able to successfully take a course while completing practicum.
Note: prerequisite for practicum is completion of at least 32 credits of alcohol and drug counseling courses, including HSCD 320 "Pre-Practicum Seminar."
Also referred to as "distance learning" or "web-based" courses. Only HSER 353 "Social Casework Methods" is available in this course format.
For the purposes of this handbook, we may use these terms interchangeably. That is, they mean the same thing. However, you are likely to hear these words or terms used in more specific ways. For example, the name of this major is "alcohol and drug counseling" which we took from the licensure terminology. Treatment programs in Minnesota are more likely to be referred to as "chemical dependency" programs, while the federal government prefers to use the term "substance abuse."
Are there any opportunities for students to become involved in activities at the University?
Yes, there is a Human Services Club supports students in deepening their understanding of Human Services as a discipline and profession. This club is open to all students. The Human Services Club was formed in 1998. Generally speaking, the club events involve inviting human services professionals to come to campus to connect with students and offer networking opportunities which otherwise would not exist.
There is also an Alcohol and Drug Counseling Student support group which meets monthly at the St. Paul campus. This group was designed by ADC students to offer each other support and networking with future co-workers. Topics addressed at these meetings are: learning the steps to earning your license, discussion about specific course assignments, challenges to professionalism, etc.