Addictions (Graduate Certificate)

Other Information

Graduate Catalog: CPCF

  • Admission requirements
  • Program details
  • Course descriptions
  • Internship information

Application Deadlines

Department: Community Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy

Program Coordinator:
Dr. Barb Vesely bnvesely@stcloudstate.edu

Program Location

This graduate certificate is offered on-campus and is also available for completion on-line.

Program Overview

  • This graduate certificate program provides academic and experiential training intended to prepare persons in counseling for chemical dependency counselor licensure.
  • Our curriculum prepares you for the Minnesota License Alcohol and Drug (MLADC) comprehensive examination and to become credentialed as a Board Certified Counselor (BCC).
  • Prospective students should study additional details and forms on the LADC license process.

Admission Information

  • Careful attention will be given to previous work experience, academic background, scholarship, interpersonal skills, and commitment to the field of addictions.
  • Applications are reviewed once a year for a fall semester start.

Gainful Employment

Certain undergraduate and graduate certificates at St. Cloud State University prepare students for employment in specific fields and do not result in a degree. Federal law requires publication of data associated with those programs of study, including approximate program costs, program length, and employment statistics. The Minnesota State Colleges and University's (MnSCU) Chancellor's office has provided this report containing the aforementioned information for all required programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have personal experience with chemical dependency or treatment to become an addiction counselor?
No. The science and practice of counseling individuals and groups who are affected by addiction requires advanced education and training in counseling and in understanding addiction and treatment.  Personal experience with substance abuse, chemical addiction, or treatment does not make a person more qualified to effectively counsel individuals affected by chemical addiction than a person without personal experience.

Can I work as an addiction counselor if I have been treated for chemical dependency?
Yes. Agencies and clinics require at least two year’s sobriety prior to placement in an internship and prior to hiring. All applicants seeking state licensure are required to sign a statement verifying a minimum of two year’s sobriety. The state of Minnesota may deny, suspend, or revoke a license if an individual has “habitually overindulged in the use of or the dependence on alcohol within the past two years” and/or has engaged in the illegal use of any controlled substance within the past two years.

Applicants to SCSU’s chemical addiction certificate program must provide written verification of one year of abstinence from drugs if chemically dependent and in recovery.

How will an addiction counseling certificate help me in a counseling career?
Most counselors will have clients who have problems related to chemical addiction during their career, and therefore could benefit from advanced education and training in this area. 

Does the certificate meet Minnesota Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counseling (LADC) requirements?
Yes. The certificate program is approved by the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy (MnBBHT), which is the state agency responsible for licensing addiction counselors. The program provides academic and supervised, experiential training intended to prepare individuals for the Minnesota LADC licensure examination.

Where do I apply for licensure?
The Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy (MnBBHT) http://www.bbht.state.mn.us/

Can credits I’ve earned elsewhere be applied to the certificate program at SCSU?
Maybe. With approval of program faculty, it is possible that some credits from previous coursework might apply to prerequisite or Addiction Counseling certificate core courses. It is important to meet with a program advisor to determine which, if any, previously earned credits may be applied to the certificate program requirements.

Can my previous work or volunteer experience count toward certificate requirements?
No. Students are required to complete all prerequisite and core courses, and the supervised internship.

Why is it important that I apply for admission to the graduate program?
Several requirements must be met for a student to be admitted to the certificate program.  It is not possible to earn the certificate without being admitted to the program. The list of requirements is available in the Graduate Catalog.

Do I have to take the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and obtain a certain score to be considered for admission to the certificate program?
No. The GRE is not required for the Addiction Counseling certificate program.

How long does it take to complete the program?
It depends. Full time students who have completed all the prerequisite courses could complete the core courses in 1-2 semesters, and the internship in 2 semesters, for a total of 3-4 semesters.  Part time students, students who need to complete prerequisite courses or students with other extenuating circumstances would need more than three semesters to complete the program.

Can I include the certificate in a Master’s degree program?
Yes. Many students include Chemical Addiction certificate coursework in their Master’s program.

Do I have to take the courses in a specific order?
No. Courses can be taken in any order, but all courses must be completed before the internship can begin.

Where can I learn more about careers associated with this certificate?
Mental Health Counselor career information is available at http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/21-1014.00

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor career information is available at http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/21-1011.00

State job postings can be found at https://statejobs.doer.state.mn.us/JobPosting

Are there professional organizations of chemical addiction counselors?
Yes. The nation’s largest professional organization is the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC). The association’s web address is http://www.naadac.org/  The Minnesota Division of NAADAC is at http://www.naadac.org/component/staff/?StateID=MN

MARRCH (Minnesota Association of Resources for Recovery and Chemical Health) http://www.marrch.org/index.cfm “As a collective body, MARRCH works to educate, support and guide individuals and agencies while speaking with a unified voice in public policy venues.”