BCC Offers Three New Programs

Certificates available in Addiction Counselor Education, Culinary Arts and Social Work – Introductory

PITTSFIELD, MA — Berkshire Community College (BCC) introduces three new certificate programs for the fall semester, which begins on Tuesday, September 3, 2024. To apply to the College or for more information, visit www.berkshirecc.edu/academics.

The Addiction Counselor Education (ACE) certificate prepares human services professionals for work in the substance use field. Graduates of this program will be trained to offer supervised substance use services that include individual and group counseling, assessment and documentation, case planning, client services support, 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. BCC awards a certificate of completion (with 29 college credits) to those students who successfully complete the six required courses (270 education hours) and a 300-hour ACE field work practicum and seminar. In addition, the ACE certificate offers stackable credits that allow students to continue on to an associate degree in social work with a focus on addiction.

Students who earn an ACE certificate at will help to address an urgent need by contributing to a trained workforce of addiction counselor professionals. In turn, agencies benefit from a better trained workforce, and the community is strengthened by having the skilled workers necessary to address the devastating addiction recovery crisis in Berkshire County.

The Culinary Arts certificate is a short (16 credit hours) but thorough apprenticeship program preparing students for careers in culinary arts. Successful graduates will be job-ready for entry-level occupations in the local food service industry, including positions in school cafeterias, hospital kitchens, restaurants and private households.

Culinary Arts instuctor

The Culinary Arts apprenticeship program combines instruction in the classroom and teaching kitchen with professional work in the field. After seven weeks of foundational coursework, focusing on core culinary skills and knowledge, students will apply their knowledge and receive further practical training while working professionally with BCC's educational partners. Successful program graduates will also be awarded the industry-recognized ServSafe Food Handler Certificate.

Graduates of the program will demonstrate professional knife skills, master the use of kitchen equipment and hand tools, maintain food safety and kitchen sanitation requirements, understand basic preparation techniques for a variety of foods, manage production of simple baked goods, exhibit professionalism in the workplace and participate in a fast-paced professional kitchen environment.

The Social Work – Introductory certificate is an 18-credit-hour program offering students a valuable starting point for a career in human services. It provides a comprehensive overview of the helping professions while developing essential skills such as communication, empathy, active listening and problem-solving. Earning a certificate will increase a student's opportunities for employment and advancement in human services work and will also serve as a stepping stone to further education or specialized training.

Social Work graducate cap

The Social Work – Introductory certificate is a beneficial credential for those looking to pursue entry-level positions in social work, counseling or related fields, or for individuals seeking to enhance their existing qualifications in these areas.

Students in the program learn from both classroom and real-world fieldwork experiences while receiving support and guidance from program faculty. By participating in hands-on experiences, students are able to apply the theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom to practical situations in the workplace environment. Students will be matched with agencies based on their skills and interests and will assist with entry-level agency operations, assessment, intervention, case planning and documentation at the field practicum site.

Learn more about applying to BCC, including viewing an admission checklist, browsing a course catalog, filing a financial aid form or scheduling a tour in person or online. Advisors are on hand to answer questions; call 413-499-4660 or email onestop@berkshirecc.edu.