Addiction Counselor Education (Certificate)

Addiction Counselor Education class

Addiction Counselor Education Overview

The Addiction Counselor Education (ACE) Certificate prepares Human Service or other helping professionals for work in the substance use field. Graduates of this program will be trained to offer the following supervised substance use services that include: Individual and group counseling; assessment; case planning; client services support; documentation; and community service outreach and referrals for individuals and families.

The ACE Program can be completed in one-year or students may opt to attend part-time. Classes will be offered in a variety of modalities. A Certificate of Completion (with 29 college credits) is awarded from Berkshire Community College for those students who successfully complete the six required courses (270 education hours) and a 300-hour ACE field work practicum and seminar.

A strong feature of the ACE certificate is that it will continue to offer stackable credits that will allow students to continue on to an Associate Degree in Social Work with a focus on addiction.

Additionally, HSV-210 (Addiction Counseling) and HSV-225 (Addiction Treatment Modalities) can be used as Specialized Electives for the Social Work Transfer degree or Human Services and Mental Health certificates. Additionally, CRJ-108 (Drugs and Society) is approved for the 2-credit required Fitness block and may be used as a Special Elective course as well.

The ACE certificate at Berkshire Community College will help to address this urgent crisis locally by helping to provide a trained workforce of addiction counselor professionals who will be eligible, after completed the required supervised practical experience in the addiction recovery field, to take the Certificate of Alcohol and Drug Certification (CADC) exam. Overall, students in the proposed ACE certificate will receive a significant increase in pay and enhanced job opportunities. Agencies will benefit from a better trained workforce and can pay workers with 3rd party billing, and our community is strengthened from having skilled workers to help address the devastating addiction recovery crisis in Berkshire County.

Expected Outcomes

  • Demonstrate knowledge of current research about alcoholism and drug use, trends and success rates in addiction recovery treatment by successful completion of weekly quizzes and tests.
  • Show enhanced understanding of individual, group and family substance use treatment planning and options (McGee detox, Clinical Stabilization Services, Harm Reduction, Medication Assisted Treatment, 12-step and other interventions) by completion of classroom small group activities, listening to guest speakers and written assignments.
  • Learn about family and community education resources (for alcohol and drugs, HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases, tobacco cessation etc.) and demonstrate this understanding by classroom presentations, class exercises and written assignments.
  • Learn and demonstrate basic substance use individual and group counseling skills including assessment, clinical evaluation, treatment planning and case management through successful completion of weekly class role plays, self-reflection classroom exercises and field practicum experience.
  • Show enhanced understanding of effective counseling techniques for problematic substance use interviews (mandated clients, anger, resistance, dual diagnosis) by successful completion of weekly class activities, quizzes and tests.
  • Demonstrate the importance of client confidentiality and record keeping through participation in the Field Practicum.
  • Develop an appreciation of how a client’s age, race/ethnicity, class, physical and mental status and/or gender can potentially influence the substance use counseling process shown by successful completion of written assignments, classroom activities and field practicum experience.
  • Demonstrate understanding of legal and ethical responsibilities in the substance use counseling profession, and follow the ethical standards for human services professionals as recommended by the National Organization of Human Services.

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Visit the College Catalog for program details

Contact Us

Dr. Kari Dupuis, Program Advisor